I, Claudius (1976) s01e01 Episode Script

A Touch of Murder

- Part I - 'A Touch Of Murder' I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus.
Nero Germanicus.
this-that-and-the-other who was once, and not so long ago, better known to my friends and relatives as 'Claudius The Idiot', or That Fool Claudius, or Claudius the Stammered am now about to write this strange history of my life.
Are you there? Yes you're there.
I can feel it I can feel your presence yes I knew you would come the moment I began to write.
Yes it was inevitable.
It was prophesied by the Sibyl Spies.
Spies everywhere spying on me.
In my bed at my prayers on the street.
Even in the lavatory.
Spies! I'll cheat them every one.
It was prophesied by the Sibyl I went to Cumae many years ago, to consult her.
She was most famous Her prophecies had achieved worldwide reknown; and she did not consent to see everyone.
Unexpectedly, she consented to see me.
I was terrified!.
"Oh Sibyl", I said "I've c-come to question you about Rome's fate and mine.
" "Hear me Cl-Cl-Claudius, " she answered mocking my stammer.
"Apollo speaks to you through me.
"Listen closely.
" (WOMAN) What groans beneath the Punic Curse.
And strangles in the strings of purse Before she mends must sicken worse? Ten years, 50 days and three Clau-Clau-Claudius shall given be.
A gift that all desire but he.
But when he's dumb and no more here Nineteen hundred year or near, Clau-Clau-Claudius shall speak clear.
Yes That's what it means No.
A box.
I need a box.
I'll put it all in here.
My story.
My history of the family.
Yes And the end of the Republic, Yes.
When I've finished I'll seal it and bury it where no one will find it.
No one.
Not for nineteen hundred years or more.
Then it will turn up suddenly.
People will read it They'll know the truth.
My voice as the Sibyl said as she prophesied for them - not for these fools in Rome but for them, out there.
in remote posterity.
For you.
It will all be in here sealed.
You will find it, I promise you.
I, Claudius, am now about to begin this strange history of my life of my family.
Of Livia my grandmother.
Of Augustus Caesar.
Of Marcus Agrippa.
Yes And his hatred for Marcellus Excellent! Excellent! Thallus! See they're well taken care of.
They were splendid.
- Yes, Caesar.
- And see they're properly fed.
-They'll eat better than the kitchen staff, Caesar.
- There's no need to go that far.
Better than us will be sufficient.
You know, Marcus, I like to eat sparingly.
There's too much gluttony in Rome.
Specially, at festivals.
But this one day, I think is very special I like to make an exception.
And I've got a surprise for you.
Two, as a matter of fact.
Thallus! - Yes, Caeser? - Bring in the cake.
- But it's for the end of the meal - I can't wait! I want the family to see it.
Aristarchus of Athens is in Rome.
Oh, Marcus.
They say that he's the greatest orator of our time, and I've asked him to prepare an oration, for the anniversary of the battle of Actium.
- Oh, no! - What's the matter.
Is he too boring for you? - We had one last year.
- That was last year.
Anyway, the speaker was very dull.
This man, they say he's wonderful! - "Seven years today sank Antony and his hopes in the harbour of Actium.
" - You see? How the young mock the battle scars of their elders.
- Battle scars! - A lot of good men died in that battle.
and a lot of good men got scarred.
I don't think it's right to make light of it.
- He's just being provocative.
- Not really.
I just think, we exaggerate its significance.
Now, Marcellus, let's not argue.
Marcus No.
no! Just a minute.
Let's hear what the young genius has to say.
- Well?.
- Look! Here is the cake.
- Do we get one each? - Julia, for heaven's sake! - Marcus, do you recognise it?.
- Yes, It's my ship.
- It's the one that you made it your headquarters.
- She was a fine ship.
- Ah! That must be you, Marcus.
The candied cherry in the prow.
(AUGUSTUS LAUGHS) Marcellus, please.
These things mean something to us.
- Don't you think, We're taking ourselves a little seriously, tonight? (MARCUS) Not seriously enough.
It seems to me.
Livia, isn't that a wonderful cake? - Wonderful - What you mean, Wonderful? Don't you like it?.
Bring in the Greek.
If you keep him waiting longer, he'll need a shave.
As a matter of fact he's bearded.
Thallus, bring in the Greek.
- Leave the cake.
- Take the cake.
Marcus, they say that he writes a sort of prose hymn.
What can that mean? It's a form I've never heard of.
One of these new Greek inventions.
They're always inventing.
Why are they so clever?.
If they're so clever, why are they our province instead of vice versa? - Ah, Aristarchus, welcome.
- Hail.
I hope we haven't kept you waiting.
We're ready now.
Give us your piece.
Give me your peace, Caesar, and I shall gladly give you mine.
Yes, of course.
I'm sorry.
Caesar calls for silence! - What a voice.
Perhaps we should change places? Only the Romans can afford ushers with a voice like that.
- Did you have it trained? - I was an actor, sir.
That explains it.
Resting, are you? No, sir.
I've given it up.
Everyone's an actor in Rome.
There isn't enough work.
And what there is goes to friends and relatives, It's the same everywhere.
The theatre isn't what it was.
And I'll tell you something else.
It never was what it was.
Thallus, please discuss your personal problems in your own time.
Today is a day to drink and dance! Let us rival the priests of Mars with feats to dock the couches of the Gods.
Seven summers past, the wild queen, Cleopatra, dreaming her dreams of ruin on your lovely Empire, sailed her hopes into the harbour of Actium, and there, with noble Antony, spa curses on the ships of Caesar and cried, "Sink Rome! And all her minions.
"Egypt's not for conquests!" But words do not kill and curses sink no ships.
Before she could catch her scented breath, mighty Agrippa (CLAUDIUS) Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
Old friend and commander of the armies of Augustus - Emperor of Rome and most remarkable man.
But even more remarkable was Livia his second wife.
If Augustus ruled the world, Livia ruled Augustus.
Octavia - Augustus' sister mother of Marcellus And next to him, Julia his wife - Augustus' only daughter.
Augustus was now clearly preferring Marcellus over Agrippa.
And Agrippa knew it And Antony, once proud Antony, fearing to be last, chased her to the very gates of heaven! Romans! Remember them! Their fateful deaths grace your lives today with living legend.
Your names and theirs in history, will be forever intertwined.
Wonderful Wonderful What a gift you Greeks have.
Incidentally, the battle wasn't like that.
- No? - No, not at all But you described it poetically.
I understand that.
It was poetic licence.
I'm used to that.
I write a little poetry myself.
Could I show it to you sometime? - I'd be honoured, Caesar.
- It's nothing professional.
but it's not bad, though I say it myself.
Ah, Thallus has found a place for you.
We'll talk some more later.
Wasn't that beautiful?.
He doesn't know about naval battles.
it wasn't much of a battle, was it?.
I beg your pardon? One wine-soaked lover and his Egyptian whore? I could have put up a better show myself.
Now, now, Marcellus.
- Let's not fool ourselves.
- You know all about it, do you? Yes.
I've studied that battle and I'm not impressed.
It wasn't a famous victory.
The result was a foregone conclusion.
- Let's watch the acrobats - Just a minute! I won't be taught my kids who've only just learned to piss in a pot.
When you've actually done something, come back and talk to me again.
- If you'll excuse me.
- Marcus, it's early.
It seams late to me.
Too late.
Perhaps that's because I'm such an old man! Thallus! Oh, get rid of them! Marcus! Marcus! My grandmother Livia.
Her mind always turning.
Always scheming.
And I - Claudius? You ask, where am I? I am not yet born, but will be soon.
Now I must continue with the story of the rivalry between Marcellus and Agrippa.
(KNOCKING) (LIVIA) Yes? - Yes? - Caesar is asking for you, Lady.
- Yes.
I'll come soon.
- He says at once.
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa is with him.
You'd better come down.
And wait outside.
I don't understand you.
You want to leave Rome, but you won't say why.
- You don't need me here anymore.
- Let me be the judge of that.
Appoint me Governor of Syria and I'll deal with that Parthian king.
- It's time someone did.
- He wants to leave Rome.
- Why, Marcus? - He doesn't need me in Rome.
That's not the reason.
You're not being straight with me.
Not straight?.
Oh, no, don't say that to me.
If one man has bean straight with you, it's Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
- Is it Marcellus? - Marcellus? - What's he got to do with it?.
- I don't know.
Do you object to my appointing him City Magistrate? It's got nothing to do with Marcellus.
He's a capable man - another reason why you don't need me here.
Look, Marcus, we're old friends.
We've shared a lot of campaigns.
If Marcellus has upset you Lady, talk to him.
It's not Marcellus.
I'm very fond of the boy.
We all are.
His friends can be high-handed, but I was young once and had friends.
The greatest friend a man aver had.
- Marcus - I'm not a man to hide my feelings.
- You know I feel the same.
- Of course.
I'd have gone long ago if I hadn't thought that.
That's why I can say to you now that I've got nothing against Marcellus.
He's a very gifted young man.
If you've advanced him ahead of his years, that's only natural I'm very relieved to hear it.
I know there's bean friction.
Not between you and him, but between his followers and yours.
Followers? Who has followers? Oh, he may have followers.
Such things don't come within my notice.
But me? I have followers? Show me.
Where are my followers? Lady, do you see any?.
Not followers, but people like to make factions, and that makes bad feeling faster than boiled asparagus.
There's no bad feeling.
You've put my mind at rest.
If you feel you have to leave Rome I don't feel I have to leave.
I just think I could be more use in the East.
Of course, if you feel you really need me in Rome No, no, I'm sure you're right.
You usually are.
Your instincts are always very sound.
When will you leave? In a few days.
Then we'll have all Rome at Ostia to see you off.
"For the Senate and the People of Rome," eh? For the Senate and the People of Rome! Goodbye, old friend.
Damn him! What does he think he is? We know whom he thinks he is.
Your successor.
He's too old! I need to groom a younger man.
We can't do without Marcus Agrippa.
Give him five months, then call him back.
- No.
- Do it, my dear.
Better to call him back when you don't need him than when you do.
No! I know what I'm doing.
My son is waiting outside to pay his respects.
Will you see him? Of course.
Ah, Tiberius.
You're off to join our troops in Germany?.
- Yes, Caesar.
- I'm sure you'll do well for us.
Remember that we need good generals.
The Empire won't hold together without.
Write to me.
I like to have views from all sides.
It helps me to make up my mind about things.
And now I have things to do.
Yes, yes, many things.
the best of luck go with you, and all the Muses.
I could have saved myself the trouble.
Oh, you're so keen to save yourself trouble.
Did that cost you so much - a hail and farewell?.
- He doesn't like me.
- Well.
we can't all be lovable, though we could try a bit harder.
It's my nature.
I can't change it.
And wouldn't if you could.
You've a mighty high opinion of yourself.
I wonder you didn't transfer your hopes to my brother.
I might have done that long ago if he didn't share the idiotic hopes your father had of another Republic.
Besides, I took the auspices when you were born and they were very favourable.
Not that old chicken story again.
You may sneer all you like, but I marked a Zodiac on the floor of the hen-house and a chicken came down and rested on your birth sign.
I took its egg and warmed it in my hands and it hatched - a young cock chick, and it already had a fine comb on its head.
You haven't much patience, have you? You want everything at once.
Twenty years ago, Augustus ruled with Mark Antony, but I could see that wouldn't last - I could see one man would be king.
So I divorced your father and married Augustus and waited.
Now where would I be now if I'd wanted everything at once, eh? And where would you be? Where am I now for all your patience and your prophetic chickens? You are my son and I am Augustus' wife - that's where you are.
And in the long run, that's better than being anybody else, even Marcellus or Marcus Agrippa.
Now you may kiss me and take your leave.
Remember my prophetic chickens and have patience.
Do well on the Rhine.
Your brother is covering himself with glory.
- We mustn't fall behind.
- Have I aver?.
In the less imaginative arts, you are certainly to be relied upon.
And now my grandmother's mind turned more and more towards the removal of Marcellus Good day, Mother.
You look a little piqued.
Are you feeling well?.
- Lady.
- I slept badly last night.
There's so much noise in the streets at night.
Can't we do something? The traffic must move sometime.
Would you have it move during the day?.
There's too many people in Rome.
They keep coming in from everywhere.
Syria, Gaul.
They're the life blood.
They make Rome what it is.
Noisy, garish and uninhabitable! It shall be even worse when the Games begin.
Look at that! Isn't it a beauty.
- Off your tree? - Of course.
You know, you should eat more pears, Livia.
How can I? You pick them all I'll have some more sent from the country.
Marcellus, we must talk about these games.
- Yes.
I want to do something new.
- That sounds familiar.
I want to really celebrate my appointment as City Magistrate.
What earth quaking innovations are we to see? Giraffes riding elephants? I want to tent in all the theatres.
Turn the whole marketplace into a gigantic multi-coloured marquee.
- Cover it.
- That's all?.
I have an idea for a battle between 50 Germans and 50 blacks from Morocco.
And who's going to pay for all this? I am, for part.
- And so are you.
- Yes, that's what I thought.
Come on.
Would you consider 20 Germans against 20 black Moroccans? He spoils him.
It would be hard not to.
He has such winning ways.
Oh, yes, he has winning ways all right.
People fall over themselves to do things for him.
I must go in.
It's too hot.
Come, Antonia, I think you should lie down.
Coming, Mother.
I hear there was opposition in the Senate to Marcellus' appointment.
Nothing to speak of.
Just some friends of Agrippa.
They're always ready to remind your father there are no kings in Rome.
I don't know why he puts up with the Senate at all Your father observes the forms.
It's very important.
Romans like to believe they govern themselves.
The older ones do perhaps, but I don't think it matters to us.
You should hear Marcellus' friends talk.
He's very popular, isn't he? - Yes.
- With you too? - Why do you ask? - Well.
there are no children yet.
There's no issue between you and Father and you've bean married for 20 years.
I'm very happy with your father.
And I am with Marcellus.
I'm pleased.
There's no substitute for a happy marriage.
Mind you, they seam to be few and far between these days.
I always thought Tiberius was lucky with his Vipsania.
Yes, they're very much in love.
You know, when I first married your father, you and Tiberius were children and you used to play together.
- Do you remember?.
- Yes, I remember.
And when you grew up, you seamed so fond of one another.
I once had hopes Yes, I used to adore him.
How foolish one is when one is young.
(HUM OF A CROWD) I wish to await the arrival of Marcellus.
You're not going to read letters during the performance? I see no reason to sit doing nothing while we wait.
- It looks so bad.
- These are urgent.
My great uncle Julius used to do it.
The crowd never liked it.
Wait till you see what Marcellus has arranged.
He's got a rhinoceros.
- What's that?.
- An extraordinary beast.
It's got a horn on its nose.
So has Scipio's wife.
He could have used her.
Ah, Marcellus.
We've bean waiting for you.
Marcellus! (CROWD ROARS) I told you he was popular.
(CROWD ROARS) (TUMULTUOUS CHEERING) (FANFARE) Let the Games begin! (CROWD ROARS) Are you all right?.
- I have a headache.
- What a shame.
The games are wonderful Can't you come back? - No.
- Marcellus is a huge success.
Yes, I could see that.
Yes, well.
I'll go back to the Games.
You're not worried about me leaving, are you? You'll have Marcellus.
He can do all my work.
How long will you be gone? About four or five months.
I haven't bean to the Eastern provinces for years.
Will you see Agrippa? No, why should I? He never got any further than Lesbos.
He sent his deputy to govern Syria.
He's got a nerve.
I can manage without him now.
He can see that.
Now let him stew.
I don't need him.
Are you sure you're all right?.
I'll go back to the Games.
Are there letters from the Emperor?.
No, Lady, but one has arrived for my lord Marcellus.
When you take it to him, would you ask him to see me before dinner?.
There are some names here I want to discuss.
He already has the letter, but it seams my lord Marcellus is in bed.
- What's the matter with him? - A chill on the stomach.
It's a pity his wife and mother went away.
(KNOCKING) - Yes? - The Lady Livia has called, master.
Ask her to come in.
I can't stay in bed.
I've got too much to do.
If you get up now, you'll be in bed all tomorrow.
Wise, Musar, wise.
Marcellus! It's nothing, Lady.
A summer chill on the stomach.
- I've worked through worse.
- Have you eaten? He can't keep anything down.
It's perfectly natural Only if the food doesn't agree with him.
I nursed Augustus last summer and he ate everything I prepared for him.
I'll be well tomorrow.
These chills can be dangerous.
Augustus was nearly carried off.
I'm not so easily disposed of.
I'd never forgive myself if anything happened to you.
What can happen to me? I wouldn't think of it.
- My mother and Julia will.
- Exactly.
Your mother and Julia.
And how should I face them if anything did happen? Oh, there, there.
I shall move my room next to yours and I shall prepare all your food myself.
You'll see what can be served up to tempt a weak apatite.
But it's a chill.
nothing more.
Musar assures me.
I wouldn't pay too much attention to Musar.
He thinks he cured Augustus, but it was my nursing that did it.
- And I shall nurse you.
- Lady No.
No arguments.
- Why go to this trouble? - I insist.
- It's very good of you.
- No, no, my dear.
Goodness has nothing to do with it.
It's Musar, Lady.
He's getting worse.
Much worse.
(LIVIA) Yes.
I'll come soon.
We ought to inform his wife and his mother.
They should be here.
You exaggerate.
Things have to get worse before they get better.
But he keeps nothing down.
It is worrying.
He's bringing up green slime.
I've never see anything like it.
- Green, you say?.
- Yes.
Have you seen it before? No.
No, I've never see green before.
Perhaps it's a good sign.
Forgive me, Lady.
You're thinner.
You look better.
The life of the legions agrees with you.
Have I aver complained? I'd as soon be in camp on the Rhine as here.
I had to call you back.
Augustus is still in Greece touring the provinces and Marcellus - How is he? - I think he may die.
- Has Augustus bean told? - Yes, of course.
As soon as it began to look serious.
- When did he fall ill?.
- About a month ago.
Musar said it was just a chill.
but I could see it was more serious, so I decided I'd nurse him myself.
his wife and mother were away.
I've bean at his side day and night.
I prepare all his food myself and I see that he eats it.
I wouldn't have thought you'd care whether he lived or died.
I care very much whether he lives or dies.
- Do Julia and his mother know?.
- Yes.
They're with him now.
Julia is being hysterical.
of course, and his mother never stops praying.
- Let's hope her prayers are heard.
- Yes, indeed.
And mine too.
Tell me what do you think of Julia? Nothing.
Nobody could accuse you of being devious.
- She thinks well of you.
- What's that supposed to mean? Nothing.
She likes you, that's all Always has.
Mother, I'm a happily married man.
Julia doesn't interest me.
Not even if you hung her naked from the ceiling above my bed.
She might even do that if I asked her! Aren't you forgetting something? She's married to Marcellus and he's not dead yet.
When I start to forget things, you may light my funeral pyre and put me on it - dead or alive.
Don't ask me to divorce Vipsania because I won't do it.
Oh, what a lover we have here! Did you bring back poems from the Rhine? Vipsania's the only thing that means anything to me.
I thought a boy's mother meant something.
you do mean something, but so does she, so don't ask me to push her aside.
I may ask more than that before I finish.
Where does all this get us? There's Marcellus and Agrippa, and Augustus proffers them both to me.
(WOMAN SCREAMS) Ye Gods! What's that?.
It sounds as if there is now only Agrippa.
- He's dead! - Julia! - He's dead! - Julia! Julia! Julia.
Control yourself! That's no way for a Roman woman to behave! But he's dead.
He gave a great cry and then he rolled over and fell on the bed.
- He's dead! He's dead! - Come along.
Wait here.
- He's dead.
- Tiberius, take care of Julia.
This is very grave.
We must send to Augustus.
Tiberius! I said take care of Julia! I did everything I could.
I did everything I could.
Everything I did for Augustus I did for him, but it made no difference.
He's dead? You're sure he's dead? My son is dead.
You can be sure.
Poor Augustus.
His heart will break.
It must have bean food poisoning.
What do you mean, food poisoning? Well.
the summer's bean so hot.
These things happen.
Yes, of course.
there has bean a lot of it about.
I thought it was a chill.
but I was wrong.
Wrong! It must have bean something he ate.
There ought to be an inquest, I suppose.
There's no need of that.
We know what he died of.
- Do we? - Food poisoning! You said so yourself! Yes.
I couldn't swear to it.
No but I could.
Tiberius, take Julia to her room and comfort her.
Stay with her a while.
I'll send word to your wife what keeps you.
"My dear Augustus "a most unfortunate and tragic thing has happened "Marcellus, your adopted some, "has unaccountably died after a short illness "No one is certain of the cause, but food poisoning is suspected.
"I must say that does seem to me the most likely explanation.
" (ANGRY SHOUTING) (CLAUDIUS) Rome erupted into fury.
Marcellus' death led to demands for a return of the Republic - the last thing my grandmother wanted.
(FAINT SHOUTING) They're rampaging through the streets, looting the shops.
All the City Watchmen are out.
They're no use! Turn the Guard out on them! I won't answer for the consequences.
Oh, you drooping lily! Do you want us all to be murdered in our beds? - Go and talk to them, then.
- Are you mad? No.
And I'm not frightened of that rabble either.
Out of my way! What do you want?.
The Republic was all humbug! Do you want civil wars all over again? Do you want famine in the streets? Do you want Gauls and Huns knocking on your doors? You're all crying for the moon! Go on back to your homes and Rabble! You call yourselves Romans?! You wait till my husband gets home! I wish, just for once, you would behave like a normal woman! To be a normal woman you need normal men around you.
We must get Agrippa back.
He's the only one who speaks their language.
Whatever Augustus thinks, he must patch up this quarrel and get Agrippa back at any price.
I'm going to write to him at once.
Meanwhile, order the Guards onto the streets! Marcus.
Marcus! Oh, it's bean too long, too long.
I wouldn't have had it so.
Marcus, what silly things get in the way of friendship.
- You could have come sooner.
- How could I have come? I'd have come to you.
Just one word - a hint, that's all Would I have stayed away if I'd bean sure of my welcome? It's pride, stupid pride.
Did you have a good journey?.
The sea was rough, but I didn't really notice it.
I was thinking of when we were young together.
It's too painful to think of one's youth.
- We've come a long way together.
- Not always together.
Marcus, you were always in my thoughts.
It wasn't always obvious.
No, be just with me.
There were times - oh, I can remember them - when that young man - and I'm sorry he's dead When that young man went out of his way to insult me with never a word of reproof from you.
From my old friend, not a word.
Marcus, he was like a son to me.
You have children.
You know what it's like.
Perhaps I was foolish.
Perhaps I did indulge him.
But it seamed like high spirits, that's all - a little horseplay.
- Haven't we all bean guilty of it?.
- Maybe.
I'm sorry he's dead.
I wouldn't have wished it, though he was no friend.
I need my old friend again.
Now Marcellus is gone, you need Agrippa.
No, no, no, you must believe me.
I'd already made up my mind to see you.
Would I pass Lesbos without calling in? It's unthinkable.
No, Marcus, I need you back in Rome.
I don't know.
I don't know if I'm up to it anymore.
Things are bad there, I hear.
Oh, there's bean a little trouble.
That's not why I want you back.
I want you back because that's where you belong.
My old friend should be in Rome with me.
I need that strong right arm again.
What do you say?.
It's yours! Marcus! But err But?.
Let's seal this bond tighter than it's aver bean before.
What's closer than a family tie? To be related is a declaration of what we mean to each other.
- You're thinking of your children? - No.
I'm thinking of myself.
- I don't get on with my wife.
- I didn't know that.
We haven't slept together for years.
I'm speaking a little soon, I know, and one must observe the decencies, but Julia's a young woman.
She'll get married again soon.
why not to me? - To you? - Well.
why not?.
Don't tell me I'm not good enough for your family.
Why not?.
It's a deal You'll be my son-in-law, have you thought of that?.
I've thought of nothing else! (LIVIA) Why? Why did you agree to it?.
Because he wanted it.
It was his price.
- His price! - What could I say?.
You could have said no! No, I could not! I saw no reason to say no.
- I understood why he wanted it.
- So could anyone! - What would you have done? - I could have handled him.
I would have reminded him that he's a man of no background and that he cannot assume to enter the Julian family.
- And you would have lost him! - I would not! Lost him as quick as boiled asparagus.
That is the most foolish expression.
It's my expression! I'll use it when I like! Why are you so opposed to this marriage? I see no reason for it.
It gives him more than he deserves.
There's another reason.
What is it?.
There is no other reason! Except Except You might have consulted Julia first.
Are we now to ignore the wishes of our children and sell them as if they were solves? Have you no feelings? But she got her way in the end.
Nine years passed before Agrippa's services could be spared.
Then he died - poisoned by Livia.
Tiberius divorced his wife and married Julia.
(BALL BOUNCES) Drusus, my father - Tiberius' beloved brother.
But then everybody loved my father, except Liviahis mother.
Wicked woman.
You're getting soft.
You wouldn't last a five-hour march in the army.
Throw it! Oh, come on! Throw it! Antonia throws harder than that.
Shut up! Throw the ball If you lost some of that stomach of yours Now we'll see who's hard.
- Death or surrender?.
- Oh, get off.
Ha! I never thought I'd see you in such a condition.
Spend ten years in Rome and see how you feel Hay What's this, eh? Sulks? You're lucky.
You go back to the army tomorrow.
That's the only decent life for a Roman.
Marching, fighting, building forts.
Those were the best years of my life.
You made the army's life bloody hell I drilled them hard, but I was fair.
I'll boot they say I was fair.
- Do you know what they really say?.
- What?.
They say that your drills were bloodless battles and your battles were bloody drills.
- Is that what they say?.
- Yes.
You know, that army I took across the Alps, they were men.
- You've never had men like that.
- We've won some victories too.
I know, I know.
But those two legions The twelfth and the sixteenth? You'll never see their like again.
Nothing bothered them - the heat, the cold the marching.
Oh, I cursed them and I flogged them, but I cursed and flogged their officers too.
If there weren't any tents for the men, I slept out in the open with them.
You'll have to take the field again.
- He won't let me.
- Who, Augustus? He keeps me here as his work donkey.
Says he can't spare me.
I'm his chief errand boy.
I spend my time investigating the level of unemployment.
Or reorganising the city fire brigade.
Added to that, there's that bitch Julia they made me marry.
Oh, he's just impossible.
Sometimes he doesn't speak to me for days.
He was always very broody, according to Drusus, even as a child.
Drusus can always make him laugh.
Drusus only knows him as a brother.
He ought to be married to him.
You know, Antonia, I'm very easygoing.
Do you want that toe to drop off?.
! There's a stiffness in the joint.
There wasn't before you started to work on it.
They daydream.
They'll spend all day massaging a toe if you let them.
- She's probably in love.
- I hope she has better luck than me.
- What was I talking about?.
- About Tiberius.
He never wanted to divorce Vipsania.
That stalk of a thing? I don't know what he saw in her.
She's as thin as a stick.
He used to spend half of every night in bed looking for her! - Julia! - It's true.
If the sheets got a bit crumpled, she disappeared until morning.
He was lucky if they found her when they made the bed.
- She's not that thin! - I don't know what you call thin, but I saw old Valerius after he starved himself to death and he looks better than she looks! I could never see the attraction.
After ten years, I'd have thought he'd be glad to see the back of her.
That's the trouble.
He was always glad to see the back of her.
- Julia, what on earth do you mean? - Well.
he's very strange.
You're too sensitive a person for me to go into details.
Julia, he doesn't? Oh, I could put up with that.
I'm not like you.
I could probably teach him a thing or two.
But it's the coldness.
I can't get near him.
Even snow will melt on a warm day, but not him.
- I had no idea.
- And he hates Gaius and Lucius.
- He hates my boys.
They're sweet.
- Very sweet.
And to think I was once mad about him.
What fools we women are.
Augustus should never have insisted on the marriage.
Don't blame my father.
Blame Livia.
If anyone insisted, she did.
She tried the same thing ten years ago, but Agrippa got in first.
- I didn't know that.
- No.
You were too young.
That's all right.
I've had enough.
When Marcellus died, she had everything planned.
She knew how I felt about Tiberius and she wanted us to marry, but Agrippa had the same idea, and Augustus needed him more than he needed her son, so she had to wait.
And can she wait! Ye Gods, time means nothing to her! - Poor Marcellus.
- That must have bean terrible.
To tell you the truth Leave us.
I'll call you.
Off you go.
To tell you the truth, it's crossed my mind that Livia might have had a hand in that.
Julia! I might be wrong, but he was a strong, healthy man, and he never had a serious illness until she got her hands on him.
I often wonder about that woman.
Antonia, you're so innocent! Hah! Not so innocent.
Ask Drusus.
I might just do that one of these days if I get him in the mood! He's very attractive.
Why is it that when I come in here with you, I cover myself up, but normally I don't bother?.
you should.
I don't approve of all this nakedness.
Oh, Antonia! I shall miss you when you leave tomorrow.
Not so hard.
The dirt's ingrained in the skin.
- It goes deeper than that.
- Your gloom is magnificent.
Not so hard or I'll get my men to do it.
I can't think why you won't let them anyway.
A man should keep himself clean, not have slaves do it.
How's he supposed to scrape his own back? - He gets his brother to do it.
- If he hasn't a brother?.
- Gets his son.
- If he hasn't a son? - Gets his friend.
- If he hasn't a friend? Then he should go and hang himself.
I've tried it.
It's better to have a slave scrape your back.
You know, I shall miss you.
- You don't have any dark thoughts.
- Nonsense.
We all have them.
Not like me.
Not like me.
You're no worse than the rest of us.
I'll tell you something, Drusus.
Sometimes I so hate myself, I can't bear the thought of me anymore.
You don't know anything about darkness, do you? Inside darkness.
Stop bragging! I could match you black for black.
Not you.
Not you.
The Claudian tree produces two kinds of apples - the sweet and the sour.
That was never more true than you and me.
And what of our mother, which is she? - Livia? - Mmm.
They say a snake bit her once and died.
Hay, that's no longer funny.
I've only cared for three people in my life.
- One was our father.
- The noblest of us all Yes.
The other was Vipsania.
I was sorry about that.
Why did you divorce her?.
Livia insisted on it.
Julia wanted it.
Augustus insisted on it.
All the same, you were so happy, you might have refused.
Do you think the monarchy will survive Augustus? No, I don't.
Rome will be a republic again, I promise you that.
Then perhaps I did it all for nothing.
Is that why you did it?.
Is that really?.
But there are Julia's sons.
They'll come before you anyway.
My poor brother.
- So ambitious.
- Our mother makes me so.
Oh, God, I miss her so! Vipsania.
What did they make me do? Tiberius.
What's done is done.
Yes, it's done.
I must forget her.
Vipsania was the second and she's gone.
You're the third.
you know I feel the same way.
You should have my nature and I yours.
- Why?.
- I'm older.
I should protect you.
we'll protect each other.
I don't know what from.
There are many things you don't know.
- If anything happens to you - What could happen? You could be killed in battle.
- Or you could fall sick and die.
- Yes.
And you could cut your throat shaving or choke on a plum stone.
Tiberius, none of us is guaranteed a time.
You're my lifeline into the light.
Six again! One, two, three, four, five, six Now what will you do? I'll put two legions in the port and stop the corn supply.
Not bad.
Rome can't live without corn.
You've got your back to the sea and that's not good.
It's your decision.
Lucius, your turn.
- Six! - These dice have nothing but sixes.
One, two, three, four, five, six Belgica, Belgic's mine.
Go on, throw again.
- One, two.
I'll take Britain.
- You've only got three legions.
- Julius did it.
- He didn't stay long though.
Yes, what is it?.
Caesar, your stepson Drusus Nero begs to take his leave.
- Yes, you can come with me.
- Can't we finish the game? Later.
We have a duty and duty comes before pleasure.
Come and say goodbye to the man who commands all our armies in Germany.
Come on, come on.
No sulks.
That's not the Roman way.
- So you're leaving us? - Yes, Caesar.
And glad to go? I go where I'm sent, Caesar, but, yes, I am glad to go.
When I was your age, I wanted to be with the army too.
I brought Gaius and Lucius to say goodbye.
We've bean playing Empire.
I've already lost Egypt and Syria.
- May I ask Drusus a question? - Go ahead.
How many legions could invade Britain? Four.
And a great deal of auxiliary cavalry as well Not three? They're very uncivilised.
It's not worth the risk.
On a fresh venture, you must hit hard and quickly.
Sending for reinforcements gives the enemy breathing space.
I'll do it one day.
I doubt it's worth it.
There's nothing of value there and the people make poor slaves.
Say goodbye and wait for me upstairs.
- Goodbye, then.
- Goodbye.
Read Julius' commentaries on his campaign in Britain.
- I've read it twice.
- So have I.
Don't move the tokens while I'm gone.
I know where they are.
They're good boys.
We'll have need of them one day.
Come and walk with me in the garden a moment.
- Is Antonia travelling with you? - Yes.
- That's all right in her condition? - Yes.
I didn't realise she was expecting again.
Julia told me.
- It's a bit close to the others.
- Well.
what can you do? True.
Anyway, we need more children, especially among the nobility.
People aren't getting married early enough.
I must do something about that.
Have you said goodbye to Livia? She's with the Parthian ambassador.
Oh, yes.
She works so hard for me.
Your mother is a very fine woman.
I'd have given up long ago if it weren't for her.
It's an immense burden to place on the shoulders of one man.
Yes, it is.
It's really too much.
I sometimes have a longing to be just a private citizen again.
It's bean 20 years now since Mark Antony died and I took it all on my own.
I blame him, you know.
What a fool that man was.
The whole of the Eastern Empire was his.
If he'd bean a proper husband to my sister, things would be different.
- Is it too late? - Yes? Is it too late to lay down the burdens of office? - And let the Senate rule? - Yes.
You're just like your father.
Always wanting the Republic.
He was my enemy too at one time.
I'll never be that.
No, I didn't mean that.
Be like him, you couldn't do better.
I did him wrong once, you know.
Oh, yes, yes.
I took your mother from him and that has weighed with me over the years.
we're a family, and we all work together for the greater good of Rome.
My brother Yes, yes, Tiberius.
He's a puzzle to me, like the Sphinx He's like a large dog watching everything and saying nothing.
- He wants to leave Rome.
- I know.
But I need him here.
What would I do without him? - Still.
an unwilling horse - Is more trouble than walking.
But we're not horses.
We can't all do what we want.
And what does he want?.
He wants to sit on a rock all day - Rhodes or Capri - and throw stones at the sea.
I don't know.
We can't have it.
Ah, here's your mother.
- You're off again? - Yes, Mother.
You read the dispatches? The Corusci are giving trouble again.
I'll give them trouble enough.
Shall we aver civilise the Germans? - I doubt it.
- You know how I feel When we conquer a people, we must be temperate, but when agreements are broken, punishments must be severe.
What do the Parthians want?.
They want a Roman god to worship.
They want to dedicate a temple to you.
I won't have it.
We've abolished kings in Rome.
Would you give us living gods? They won't be in Rome.
They'll be in Syria.
What harm is a temple built in your name where primitive people? No, it makes me uneasy, Livia.
I feel in my heart it's not right.
We may offend those gods that look after us and oversee our destiny.
- But - No.
You must tell them no.
I must get back to the boys and finish the game.
Look after Antonia.
No accidents.
Who knows what great Roman she may be carrying.
The gods go with you.
I shall ask the boys to dine with us.
They can listen to the discussion with the ambassadors.
Leave him alone.
Don't encourage him to step down from office.
Mother, do you really want us to drift into a hereditary monarchy?.
Become corrupt like the Eastern potentates? Rome will never be a republic again.
we needn't quarrel about it.
Let me kiss you and say goodbye.
You know, you mustn't mind if you dislike me.
A mother can't love all her children.
You shouldn't have come here.
It's wrong.
It's wrong.
Don't send me away.
Please, Vipsania.
Do you want to make trouble for me? No.
Then go away.
It's dangerous.
Open the shutter.
Let me look at you again.
Please, please go away! Is it true? Yes.
Yes, it's true.
- You're getting married again.
- Yes.
I won't have it.
I won't have it! I'll kill you! You're mine! You're my wife! I am not your wife.
You divorced me.
Don't Don't.
Please, you must leave me alone.
We mustn't see each other again.
- Do you love him? - Do you love her?.
No, I hate her.
- He's very kind to me.
- But why must you marry again? I must put an end to your following me! To your coming to see me! Your mother's spies are everywhere.
I don't care about that! You're married to Augustus' daughter.
You can't treat her like no one.
Don't get married again, I beg you.
I couldn't bear it.
And spend the rest of my life alone? You wouldn't be alone, I promise you.
Tiberius, it was not my doing.
I didn't divorce you, you divorced me! I didn't want to.
- They made me do it.
- They couldn't have made me! I'm sorry.
I didn't mean that.
I didn't mean that.
It was hard for you, I know.
Harder for you than it would have bean for me.
I shouldn't have done it.
I should have killed myself first.
It's done now.
There's no going back.
Let's die together.
Let's kill ourselves.
Let's go into our bathroom, open our veins, and when they find us, our blood will be mingling in the water.
Oh, my baby, my baby.
It's too late.
It's too late.
I'm lost.
I'm lost.
I go from darkness into darkness.
You'll come through it and so will I.
How will I? I'm afraid of what I'll become without you.
- Why should you be afraid? - Because of your sweetness.
We had a delegation here six months ago from Palmyra.
And Augustus refused, I remember.
The thought of deification makes him uneasy.
It might make us all uneasy.
- We're not all worthy of it.
- No, of course.
But his mind is made up? Yes, but so is mine.
I cannot allow his natural modesty to interfere with his political judgement.
If the Senate thought that his deification were politically useful.
he would not be displeased.
But he will exert no pressure nor be present at the debates.
Of course.
There will be some opposition.
- But I'll take the line - I'll tell you what line to take.
You were seen! And in broad daylight! Going in and coming out.
I won't have it! It's not the first time! I went to congratulate her.
Don't congratulate her! Leave her be! You didn't go for that reason! You'll treat my daughter with respect! Do you hear me?! I didn't ask for this marriage, you asked for it! I won't have it made a mockery of! He's bean seeing his former wife, if you please! - I think you exaggerate.
- I exaggerate nothing! He met her on the street.
Yes, you did.
I heard about it.
I hear everything.
Nothing escapes me.
He didn't dare speak to her, but he followed her like a moonstruck calf for everyone to see! You will not make a laughing stock of my family or as quick as boiled asparagus, I'll have you out! Out! You listen to me.
Mark Antony was twice the man you are, but when he spa on my sister, he learned a lesson he didn't live long enough to profit from.
Julia and I don't get on.
Damn you! You'll get on whether you like it or not! And you'll leave that woman alone! Let me go away.
Let me leave Rome.
What am I to do with him? Tell me.
You're his mother, speak to him.
It's Agrippa all over again.
He doesn't mean it.
He doesn't want to go.
Didn't you hear what he said?! He's unhappy.
He didn't mean it.
It's not unnatural for a man to see his former wife now and then.
I saw his father several times after you and I were married.
- That was different.
- Not so different.
And you saw Julia's mother from time to time.
- Yes, but not in secret! - I don't remember being present.
Maybe not, but it was not in secret! Well.
how secret was this? I knew about it.
- You knew about it?.
- Of course.
He told me.
You never said anything to me.
Have you so little to occupy your time that I must tell you about everyone in the household? You're always complaining that you have too much to think about.
Perhaps you'd care to see the laundry lists in future? All right.
I was hasty.
But you understand I felt I had cause! Tiberius, listen.
I'm not blind.
I know that you and Julia aren't the most perfectly-matched couple, but what can you do? These things happen.
We can't cut the knot every time we quarrel Especially us.
We have to set an example.
Livia, you'll back me.
Of course.
We have duties which far outweigh our private feelings.
Now, Tiberius, you play fair with me, eh? Don't sulk.
If it's a little thing on the side - I'm not encouraging - who's to know?.
Forgetting that your mother's here - if that's aver possible! Yes.
we can wink at it between men.
But Vipsania I don't like it, do you understand? It's not right.
You play fair with me and you'll see I can be generous too.
If there's one thing I hate, it's a family row.
What does it cost to be kind? To be sympathetic and understanding.
Yes? A messenger has arrived from Germany, Caesar.
Send him in.
A dispatch from Drusus Nero for his noble brother.
Tiberius, let's hear what he says.
"My dear Tiberius, a period of enforced rest due to a slight head wound "has given me much time to reflect on the state of our beloved Rome.
" - He's wounded.
Not seriously?.
- He says slight.
"Such was the extent of the corruption that I found in" Go on.
The handwriting is Surely you can read more than that?.
he goes on to say err Well?.
Honestly, sir, it's not worth reading.
I think my brother was perhaps not himself when he wrote it.
The corruption and petty place seeking that I found in Rome.
"I have come to the conclusion that it is the consequence "of the continued exercise of supreme power by Augustus.
"Could we not persuade him, even compel him to retire? "I firmly believe he is ready to do this, "but for the stubbornness of our mother Livia, "who derives such satisfaction "from the exercise of supreme power through him" There's more.
Do you want to read it?.
The letter's clearly treasonable.
No, no.
He feels strongly about it.
I understand that.
He's wrong, but I understand it.
Then again, perhaps he's right.
Perhaps I should retire.
I've said so often enough.
Will you allow him to insult me? He's your son, not mine! His wound might have affected him.
He speaks of giddiness at the end.
That's it.
He's a little bit deranged.
Those German forests can affect a man.
I'll call him back for a rest.
It'll be good to see him again.
Yes, you're right.
We should have him back.
I'll send a doctor with the letter.
- He's got a doctor.
- Army doctors! What do they know?.
I'll send my own.
He'll know how to take care of him.
That's right.
Fetch the doctor.
- Which one? - Ours, of course, and hurry.
Lift him onto the table and be careful or I'll make eunuchs of you! You blockheads! Right.
Get this away.
I'll have the lot of you crucified.
It's all right.
It's all right.
All right.
Clear out.
It feels terrible.
It's a mess.
We'll get it cleaned.
Hurry up with that water! What happened? My horse fell on me.
I couldn't get out.
It crushed my leg on a rock, then tore it to shreds getting up.
- The doctor's coming.
- What did they mean - "Which one"? One arrived from Rome.
He's your mother's personal physician.
That was kind of her.
He'll have more to look at.
Where is he? We found him a room.
He doesn't look too happy.
He's already missing the comforts of home.
This will probably hurt.
He brought a letter with him from Caesar.
- Where is it?.
- I'll give it to you after.
Give it to me now! Rufus? - What happened? - A horse fell and crushed his leg.
- Oh - No, no, I'm all right.
I've bean invited, politely, back to Rome.
- Why?.
- I'm not sure, but I can guess.
Oh! Get out of here! You'll not be moving far on that leg, if I'm any judge of wounds.
I don't understand it.
A simple fall - How could it happen? - They can be bad sometimes.
- To bring him to death's door.
- It's an excuse for not returning.
Why do you say that?.
I've heard such reasons before.
Don't raise your voice to me.
- What reason could he have? - Who knows? We know he has the whole of the western armies at his back.
He'll come when it suits him.
I must go to my brother.
He's 500 miles away.
He could be dead even now.
All the same, I must go to him.
I'll make a sacrifice and offer prayers.
Perhaps he won't be taken from us.
Take him our love.
go, go quickly! The Senate today voted to make me a god in Palmyra.
They'll put a little statue to me in the temple and people will bring offerings asking me to bring rain or cure their father's gout.
Tell me, Livia, if I'm a god - even in Palmyra how do I cure gout?.
What is it, my love? What do you want?.
Fetch the children.
Yes, of course.
I'll bring them.
He wants me to fetch the children.
- Is he? - No.
But it's near.
- What is it?.
- Gangrene.
It crept slowly up.
Nothing seamed to stop it.
Where's the staff surgeon? He wasn't allowed near him.
He took the case out of his hands.
It was just a simple fall What happened to your skill?.
II came too late.
His condition was too far gone.
I came too late.
Drusus? Drusus, look at me.
Drusus, it's I, Tiberius.
You and your damned plum stones.
She read the letter.
I couldn't stop her.
She was there when I got it.
I couldn't think it would have anything in it.
Rome has a severe mother.
And Gaius and Lucius a cruel stepmother.
Drusus? Drusus? Drusus! No.
(BABY CRIES) You didn't wait.
You didn't wait.
I brought you little Claudius.
And you didn't wait.
Shouldn't have died and that's a fact Somebody blundered, and that's a fact (KNOCKING) Come.
Your meal is ready, Caesar.
Will you have it now or shall I take it away?.
Very good.
I think the cook's on form today, for a change.
Try that.
The garlic's overdone for my taste.
You're always complaining about the g-garlic.
Go on.
A good swallow now.
Yes, I know this one.
It's from the north.
About five years old.
They had a bad summer.
The grapes had less sugar in them.
Oh, stop showing off.
fill it up, then you can go.
I'm very busy.
- Another history, Caesar?.
- Yes.
- Of the Etruscans again? - No, of my family.
Did you aver read my history of the Etruscans? No.
I got it down from the library once, but I couldn't get into it.
Very well written, of course.
Very well Is something the matter, Caesar?.
The fact is, when you know that someone's trying to poison you, nothing tastes right, absolutely nothing.
Come now, who would want to poison you, Caesar?.
Don't butter me up! You know who'd want to poison me.
My wife, that's who, and that slimy son of hers.
For all I know, you're in league with them.
In my opinion, the only person likely to poison us is the cook.
I wish you'd let me get rid of him.
He's a Greek and the only thing he does is stuff vine leaves.
Will you take it away?.
I'm not hungry.
May I ask how the current work is coming? Well enough.
May I ask how far you've got?.
The death of my father.
Ah, the noble Drusus.
A tragedy that one should lose one's father so young.
- Yes! - Yes.
A tragedy for us all Yes, and for Rome.
And especially for my uncle.
He was never the same again.
sons of Agrippa The daylight's fled and stars are out.
It's time for decent people to lock their doors and go to sleep.
Come on.
You can see me to my bed and then go to your own.
Yes, we've eaten well and drunk well Too well perhaps.
Poor Julia.
She can't take the wine as she used to.
And even dear Antonia nods a little.
What? What were you thinking tonight, my dear?.
Ah, of poor Drusus.
Yes, yes, I was thinking of him tonight too.
Rome cannot afford such a loss.
I pray to the Gods that these boys will be as noble and virtuous as he was.
You mustn't dwell on it.
A year has gone by.
That's quite long enough for grief.
More is not the Roman way, you know.
Musicians, play us out.
Let us have music to take us to our sleep.
A year?.
Is that all it is? One little year?.
Goodnight, Lady.
(JULIA SNORES) Pretty sight, isn't she? I must get away from her.
I must leave Rome.
You'll stay.
You'll have patience, as I have.
Where has your patience got you? You've lost him, Mother.
You've lost him to those two boys.
If you leave Rome, I'll wash my hands of you once and for all and shed not a single tear.
That's not surprising.
I saw you shed none for my brother.
Have they all gone? Oh, Tiberius, I was having such a beautiful dream.
Tiberius Sleep with me tonight.
I'll be so loving to you.
Be nice to me.
Oh, just tonight.
Let me go, you fat drunken cow! Fat?.
! Fat?.
! I'm fat where a woman should be fat, not skinny like a boy! Go to bed, my dear, and I'll send you one up.
He's very pretty, I promise you.
I've had him myself.
He reminds me of your ex-wife.
Not a hair on his body and his even skinnier behind! There'll be no divorce.
None! I don't care what he is.
You married him.
Look what your son did to my daughter.
What kind of a man is that?.
I've never liked him, never.
He's your son, but I've never liked him.
- I want a divorce! - No divorce! You've bean married three times already! That's not my fault! I was widowed twice! How can a woman get herself widowed twice? - That's not fair! - It shows damn poor judgment! I never asked to marry Agrippa! Well.
you asked to marry this one! That husband of yours can clear out of Rome.
Tell him to go.
I don't even want to see him.
I don't want his name mentioned in this house! How am I supposed to live, neither married nor divorced? You'll live as befits a Roman matron.
And heaven help you if you don't! Oh, I don't know.
Why can't they get on? What do they want from life? I'm supposed to rule an empire and I can't rule my own family.
Thank God for these boys.
You'll help me, won't you? What would we do without Agrippa's sons, Livia? They're our one hope.
In three or four years, they'll be able to take some of this burden.
They're promising, all right.
Aren't you, my beauties? Very promising.
you've a long way to go, haven't you? A long, long way.
We must take good care of them, Augustus.
And we shall.
I promise you.
The very best of care.
Ah, that's how it should be.
Stay like that a moment.
What a picture you make.
It expresses the true spirit of the Roman family.