Before "The Sopranos" promoted a negative stereotype of Italians, before the "Game of Thrones" families taught the world how to stab each one another in the back, and before those "Downton Abbey" folks showed off the cushier side of period dramas, there was "I, Claudius," the 1976 BBC series that tells the story of Claudius, the fourth emperor of Rome, and his royally messed-up family. Combining Roman history with campy, soapy melodrama, "I, Claudius" is a must-see for TV fans and history buffs alike.
KCET is running the complete miniseries beginning on Sunday, with the first episode airing at 9 p.m. and the second at 10 p.m. In hopes of making sure you get the most out of your "I, Claudius" experience, KCET is offering you a few resources.
- The "I, Claudius" Character Guide: Because sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between one British guy in a toga and another.
- Our "just the good parts" recap for the first episode, "A Touch of Murder", or as we'd like to call it, "Why Is Grandma Poisoning Everybody?"
- Our similar recap for the second episode, "Family Affairs", which features the single most disturbing use of the word "caressing" in pop culture history.
- And finally, just in case you're really into the "I, Claudius" spirit, here's how you can fold an ordinary bedsheet into a toga. Hey -- someone might want to.