I, Claudius (1976) s01e03 Episode Script

What Shall We Do About Claudius?

- Part II - ' What Shall We Do About Claudius?' (MAN) "Thaw follows frost, hard on the heels of spring "treads summer bound to die" (CLAUDIUS) Myself when young - not a pretty sight "Then back to wintertime again where nothing stirs.
"But, oh, what're the sky-led seasons mar, "Moon upon moon rebuilds it with her" Postumus, Agrippa's sole surviving son, and my best friend.
His mother, Julia was banished you may remember, and his two elder brothers died mysteriously.
If the gods in heaven should add the morrow to the day" The golden-haired Apollo is Germanicus my brother - already a great soldier.
will aver hold.
"When thou descendent once the shades among, "the stern assize" And if you wait a moment, you will see a creature of a different kind - Livilla my sister.
Yes there she is tormenting Postumus as usual when her husband is away.
Shall friend thee more.
" Oh, beautiful.
beautiful Horace, my dear fellow, such language.
wonderful Weren't they lovely poems? Exquisite.
Now, that's what I call poetry.
Ovid! No comparison.
It's better than Ovid.
I don't care what they say! I've never liked that man.
His poetry's very beautiful.
but it's also very smutty.
A lot of it's downright indecent.
I wouldn't have him in the house.
Thank you.
People say that he has a lovely voice, but what does he do with it?.
Talks a lot of smut, that's what! Write poetry, yes, but write about nice things - things you'd like your children to hear.
I want a copy of the book when you publish.
- Of course, Caesar.
- I've got a present for you.
- But Caesar - It's a little gold statue.
Etruscan, I think.
It's solid gold, but you'll appreciate it properly.
- You go too - No, no.
Err, Praxis? Where are you? - Here, Caesar.
- He knows where it is.
I was wondering how long it would take you to knock that over.
How can you be so clumsy?.
(LIVIA) Leave it alone, for heaven's sake.
If you want to clear up, you can work in the kitchens.
(ANTONIA) Claudius! Pina, wake up.
It's time to go home.
- Time we all went home.
- Are you leaving? It's two hours after dark already.
Yes, and there's a lot of work to do tomorrow.
A sleepy head's a foolish one.
What a poet that Horace is, eh? Livilla, the whole family was here except your husband.
It won't do.
What can I do? Castor hates family dinners.
I don't understand that.
Tiberius, you must talk to that son of yours.
- He doesn't listen to me.
- Goodnight, Uncle.
Goodnight, my dear.
- Grandfather.
- Goodnight, Germanicus, Pina.
Goodnight, Grandmother.
That's my foot you're treading on.
- Are we going? - Sorry.
(ANTONIA) Claudius, do come on.
Postumus, I'll come and see your troops.
How are they shaping up? - Very well - Good.
Goodnight, everyone.
- Goodnight, Domitia.
- Goodnight, Grandfather.
Ah, goodnight, Livilla.
You tell that husband of yours You know what to tell him.
- Grandmother.
- Goodnight, my dear.
- You looked very lovely tonight.
- Thank you.
Goodnight, Uncle.
- Goodnight, G-Grandfather.
- What?.
Oh, goodnight, Claudius.
What a wonderful avenging.
They're such good children.
I think they liked their little presents.
What are we going to do about Claudius? Claudius? In the matter of what?.
The games to be held in his father's honour.
I don't know.
Must we think about it now?.
How much longer can we leave it?.
Is he to sit in your box or is he not?.
- It'll look odd if he doesn't.
- It might look odder if he does.
Do you want to sit next to a twitching idiot?.
Let's think about it tomorrow.
Goodnight, my dear.
Don't worry about Claudius.
I'll have him to dinner a few times and see how he gets on.
If we could just stop that twitching.
Caesar, forgive me, but a courier has just arrived from Germany.
Are you mad? Do you expect me to read despatches at this time? But it's urgent, Caesar.
There's beena terrible disaster.
- Send him in.
- Come in, come in.
Is this the way you present yourself?.
Couldn't you have taken a bath? Forgive me, Caesar.
I would not have presumed - Which legion are you with? - I was with the 19th.
Was? Have you beentransferred? No, Caesar.
The 19th legion does not exist anymore.
Nor does the 17th, nor the 18th.
The army of Quinctilius Varus was massacred in the Teutoberg Forest.
Nothing stands between the German tribes and our provinces in Gaul Massacred? What are you saying to me? There is no army in Across-the-Rhine Germany.
Troops and orderlies auxiliaries and general staff massacred to a man.
Those who survived the battle were hunted down.
Where is Varus? Dead.
When he saw that all was lost, he killed himself.
Three legions? Three legions, Caesar.
There's nothing left.
Send for Germanicus and Postumus.
Hurry! Come to the study.
Come with us! They caught us here and here.
We were on a punitive expedition because a tax collector had beenmurdered.
He sent three legions on a punitive expedition? Not at first, Caesar, no.
We'd suffered some early defeats, so he sent back for the rest.
What happened to the loyal Germans? They betrayed us.
They led us into the forest and vanished.
But weren't you warned? Many times, Caesar.
Go on.
We'd err We'd had a mass of intelligence warning us that things were happening in the villages.
Go on.
The commander ignored it, sir.
That stiff-knocked fool! I should never have appointed him! Go on.
We were advancing along a track.
We didn't even put out advance guards.
Progress was slow because we were felling trees and the tribes had time to gather.
Then it started to rain.
The archers couldn't keep their bows dry and their shields became soaked.
Our carts got stuck in the mud.
When the Germans attacked, we were in a hopeless position.
What's happened? The army east of the Rhine has beendestroyed.
All of it.
Nothing stands between the Germans and our provinces in Gaul How did you get out?.
Only one officer kept his head - Cassius Chaerea.
About 120 of us cut our way out and back to the fort.
- The others are still there.
- All right.
Did the Germans take any prisoners? Yes.
They put them in wicker cages and burned them alive.
Lady, I can't find Postumus Agrippa.
He's not in his room.
Praxis, did it occur to you he may have visited his wife's room? Naturally I tried there.
But he wasn't there either.
I then spoke to one of the palace guards, who said he'd seen him going towards your grand-daughter's apartments.
- Livilla? - Yes.
Naturally, I didn't enquire further because Because her husband has not yet returned.
With the men Postumus has bean training, it's about a legion.
It depends whether the Germans have seized the Rhine bridges.
They won't have taken them.
They're barbarians.
They'll go for plunder.
Then we'll have to secure the bridges.
- I'll start tomorrow.
- I'll raise the rest.
Germanicus stays here.
There'll be panic.
I'll need him here.
it was here.
It was years ago, but I saw it.
Then it's beenstolen probably.
Ah, here is someone.
There's a book we want to look at.
It's by a Greek called Polemocles.
It's a commentary on Polybius' Military Tactics.
It was here.
I'll see if I can find it.
Why, it's young Claudius, isn't it?.
Yes, it is, sir.
You're studious.
What are you reading.
Romantic rubbish, I'll be bound.
That's all the young want.
What is it that you're reading? It's your own History of the C-C-Civil Wars.
It's rubbish, all right.
- So you know who I am? - Yes, sir.
Asinius P-P-Pollio.
One of our g-greatest historians.
One of them? What do you mean? - One of the t-two greatest.
- And who is the other one? Livy, of course.
there can't be two greatest.
That's shilly-shallying and an abuse of the Roman tongue.
You must choose.
Which one of us would you rather read? - Pollio, that's not fair.
- Nonsense.
The lad's intelligent.
Speak up, boy.
Which of us would you rather read? Well.
it d-d-depends, sir.
- Intelligent, but cowardly.
- No.
I mean, it depends on what I'm reading for.
For b-beauty of language I would read Livy, and for interpretation of fact I would read P-P-Pollio.
Now you please neither of us and that's a mistake! I wasn't t-trying to please, just to tell the truth.
He might make an historian after all The book isn't here.
Perhaps you meant the Octavian library?.
I'm not so old that I don't know what library I'm in! Excuse me.
The book you want, it's on the t-t-top shelf, fourth from the window at the back.
I had it out the other day.
Only the t-t-title is Dissertation on Tactics and it's by P-P-Polemocrates, not Polemocles, and he was a J-J-Jew, not a Greek.
You'd better be right.
I don't take kindly to that many corrections! - Have I upset him? - Yes.
It'll do him good.
- Do you like history?.
- Yes, sir.
But who the devil are you? Livy called you Claudius.
I'm T-T-Tiberius Claudius D-Drusus Nero Germanicus.
Oh, that Claudius! They told me you were a half-wit.
my f-family's ashamed of me because I s-s stammer, and I'm lame and my head twitches.
Yes, I've noticed that.
Can't you stop it?.
The doctors said I might g-g-grow out of it.
Why were you reading my History of the Civil Wars? Oh, I'm gathering material for a life of my father and grandfather.
Oh, I remember them.
They both believed in the Republic.
I know they did.
That's why they died.
I beg your pardon? I mean, that's why they were poisoned.
- P-p-p-poisoned! - Sh! Not so loud.
I won't mention any names, but I'll tell you this.
You say you're writing a life of your father?.
They won't let you finish it.
Who won't?.
Never mind.
Look here, Claudius, I'll give you some good advice.
Do you want to live a long and useful life? In that case, exaggerate your stutter and your limp.
Let your wits wander and play the fool as much as you like.
Do you understand me? It's a pleasure to talk to you.
I must find Livy.
P-P-Poisoned? There's nothing like a piece of food picked fresh from a tree, or a field or a stalk.
It's very nice, but you didn't ask me here to taste figs.
Did you aver think how fortunate we are? That we weren't born in a hut on the banks of the Rhine, or in a grubby little tent in Syria.
Did you aver think what Rome means? Do you understand the effort that has gone into making this little place master of the world? Do you understand the dedication needed to maintain it?.
Are you displeased with me, Grandfather?.
Sit down.
Listen, Postumus.
We can't afford to sleep, you know.
Other people think only of their bread and their circuses, but we have to provide them.
I hear nothing but complaints about you.
- What sort of complaint?.
- Well.
all sorts.
You threw a palace guard into the fountain.
- He was laughing at Claudius.
- Everyone laughs at Claudius.
Will you throw them all in the fountain? And people say you're rude and bad-tempered.
- Who says? - Livia complains about you a lot.
What does she say?.
she says, for example, that you're a bit of a rake.
Is it true? The night that the courier brought news from Germany, I sent for you.
You weren't in your room.
Your wife complains you don't sleep with her enough.
- I never wanted that marriage.
- You could sleep with her.
She's the same as any other woman.
It's for us to set an example.
Without proper family life, where will we find people to carry on? Why has my inheritance from my father beenwithheld? Oh, that's what's bothering you.
You'll get it when I think you're mature enough to use it.
- Do I have to sit an examination? - Don't be cheeky with me.
Now, you listen.
Your father was my greatest friend.
He would have taken over.
And that's what I looked for in his sons.
Both your brothers are dead and you're all I've left of him.
It's my intention that you should follow me.
- My step-father may not agree.
- Let me worry about Tiberius.
You made him your adopted son as well I did it out of respect for his mother.
She's an amazing woman.
But we just don't get on.
I've never liked him.
He's not right to succeed me, whatever Livia thinks.
I say "succeed", but we are not kings.
We have no divine right to rule.
after all my years of service to the state, I think the Senate will accept my recommendation.
But you must earn it.
You must give me confidence in you.
You sent for me.
How are you? Grandmother?.
Why do you deceive your husband when he's away?.
Deceive? I don't understand.
Why do you allow Postumus Agrippa into your room at night?.
But I don't! Who said such a thing? Come here.
You're not going to lie to me, are you? You're not going to treat me like a fool?.
Do you think that I wouldn't know what happens under my own roof?.
I've had you watched, child, and Postumus Agrippa as I had his mother watched - your Aunt Julia.
Do you remember her?.
She was sent to an island called Pandataria.
It's a few minutes walk from end to end.
I shouldn't think she walks it much anymore.
She's beenon it for seven years.
Oh, God! I didn't mean it.
I didn't mean it! I won't aver do it again.
Don't send me away.
I won't aver see him again, I swear it.
You were always a naughty little girl, you know that, don't you? Your mother never punished you enough.
You won't tell Augustus, will you? He'll send me away if you do and I couldn't bear it! Well.
perhaps that won't be necessary.
Oh, come on, dry your tears.
That's better.
Such a beautiful girl I was beautiful too once, you know?.
They say you were the most beautiful woman in the world.
There was one other, but she was in Egypt.
And, besides, she didn't last as long as I did.
Now, about Postumus Agrippa.
You're not in love with him, are you? No.
He pestered you, I suppose, and you gave in.
- What frail creatures we women are.
- He always wanted me.
And you always enjoyed teasing him.
Yes, you did, I've seen it.
I swear to you I won't do it again.
Yes, well.
let's not be in too much of a hurry to swear anything.
My dear, I must talk to you like a grown woman now.
Can I talk to you? Can I open my heart to you? Oh, yes, Grandmother, yes.
Many years ago, before you were born, we all went through the terrible agony of civil war.
Rome tottered and shook and nearly fell I'm afraid that may happen again.
And will it?.
I'm sure of one thing.
Only a single hand at the helm will keep this ship on course.
The question is, whose hand will it be? If there is any doubt, the rivalry will plunge us into civil war again.
- Is there a doubt?.
- Not in my mind.
But there is in someone else's.
And it's my duty to remove that doubt.
Through everything I've aver done, that has beenmy only object.
And now it must become yours.
How, Grandmother?.
You want your husband to become Emperor of Rome? Yes.
Then his father must become Emperor before him.
Tiberius must succeed Augustus if Castor is to succeed Tiberius.
Only then will the line become established.
It'll seam easier to accept it than reject it.
And Postumus? Bravo, my dear, you've put your finger on it.
As always, we come back to Postumus.
Nothing! That's what it amounts to - he's done nothing! He holds bridges, but he doesn't cross them.
He's playing some game of his own! That's what he's doing.
(KNOCKING) Come in! What's that son of yours playing at? Six months, he's been out there and all he's got are the bridges on the rhine! - He sits on his arse all day! - What does he say?.
He says nothing, that's what.
That's what it amounts to.
Those damned barbarians have got my eagles! Quinctilius Varus, where are my eagles?! Leave.
He is cautious, naturally.
I sent him to get my eagles back, not to sit on banks of the Rhine! He has an army of raw recruits.
Would you have him risk another ambush? If he doesn't risk something He may as well have stayed here! - He's playing some game of his own.
That's what he's doing.
- That's a childish thing to say! - Is it? Then, Why doesn't he send my eagles back? He'll move when he judges the army ready.
He'll move now! I'll send Postumus with an army to make sure! I think that wouldn't be wise.
I make the military decisions, not you! There's no need to lose your temper.
I wouldn't dream of advising you on such matters.
My son would welcome reinforcements.
- I question only, the wisdom of sending Postumus.
- Why?.
- He's unproved and untried.
- Oh, you always say that! That's because it's always true.
He's the obvious person to send.
He's been training recruits on mass field for months.
Training and leading men into battle are not the same.
Oh! How will he aver learn if he never does anything? His brother was Governor of Syria at 19.
Gaius was different.
You had confidence in him and so did the Senate.
Gaius was reliable.
He was a statesman.
We all loved him.
- Yes, but Postumus - Postumus is unpredictable.
Besides, if you send Postumus, Tiberius will regard it as a criticism.
Good! That's what it's meant to be.
I'm not inquiring after his health! But, There's a history of antagonism between Postumus and Tiberius.
Tiberius will regard Postumus more of a spy than a support.
He'll think you don't trust him.
That's ridiculous! Haven't you said you think he's playing some game of his own? If you want to avoid friction between the commanders, then I suggest you send Germanicus.
All right, I'll send Germanicus! But I want my damned eagles back! What's this? It's a biography.
The beginning of one, anyway.
- A biography of whom? - By whom is more to the point.
It's by my idiot grandson Claudius.
Antonia found it in his study.
You don't expect me to read it?.
I'm having it destroyed.
It's subversive.
- I told him not to continue it.
- How is it subversive? He praises his father's only fault - his attachment to the Republic.
He's harmless enough.
You don't want me to punish him, do you? No.
But, I do want a decision on whether he'll sit in your box at the Games.
The games are in honour of his father.
If we send Germanicus off, to the Rhine.
neither of his sons will be in the box.
He should be there, but at the back.
I hope you don't think I'm going to pay for these games.
So that's how you feel about the Games! No.
I just feel like that about paying for them! Nobody's asking you to pay! Yes.
As long as that's understood.
Was it aver in doubt?.
Antonia and I will pay for the Games, and Germanicus and Claudius.
Claudius? That's even more reason why he should be in the box.
It'll be a very expensive seat.
And when is he going to get married? - This year.
- You said that last year.
Yes, but I put it off.
- Will this girl marry him? - What's it got to do with her?.
They were betrothed six years ago.
To be honest, I feel sorry for her.
What's she like? I don't know.
I haven't seen her since she was 13 - Does she know what she's getting? - Do any of us? Look, you've left these matters to me for the last 30 years.
Are you going to interfere now?.
I was asking a question.
Can't I ask a question anymore? What's wrong with you? Why are you so bad tempered?! It's you that's bad tempered! Your temper gets worse by the day.
Everybody notices it! I think you could do with a rest! A long one! Quinctilius Varus, where are my eagles?! (STATELY MUSIC PLAYS) (CROWD ROARS) Claudius, not there! Those are the Imperial seats.
Sit behind.
Here, with Herod.
Your nose is running.
Just look at them all They can't wait to see the blood start flowing.
I've n-n-never seen a swordfight before.
I wish Ger-Germanicus was here.
Look at them! Stuffing themselves with cakes when men are preparing to die for their enjoyment.
Oh, Herod! I hope you're not going to s-s-spoil it all My dear Claudius, I'm fascinated.
I never cease to wonder at these spectacles.
It's origin's r-r-religious.
It's a r-r-religious r-r-rite r-r-really.
It's an honour.
We render the spirits of the dead.
By rendering more people dead? How noble! Oh, shut up, Herod.
You're a J-Jew.
You don't understand these things.
Besides, Mother will hear you and you'll make her cross.
I've a few words to say to you before these games begin.
gather round.
Now, these games are being held in honour of my son, Drusus Nero, who was worth the lot of you put together.
It's my intention that these games shall be remembered long after you're dead and forgotten even by your nearest and dearest.
You're all scum and you know it, but you've a chance here - some of you - to prove that you're a bit more than that.
And for those whom death doesn't liberate, there'll be plenty of freedoms handed out afterwards - to say nothing of gold plate and coin.
But I want a good show.
I want my money's worth! I don't want any kiss-in-the-ring stuff.
And I don't want my family watching two grown men pussyfooting around each other for half an hour.
There's beentoo much of that.
Don't think you can fool me - I know Avery trick in the book, like the pig's blood in the bladder to make it look as if you're dead.
There's beentoo much of that too lately.
These games are being degraded by the increasing use of professional tricks to stay alive, and I won't have it.
So put on a good show and there'll be plenty of money for the living and a decent burial for the dead.
If not, I'll break this guild up and I'll send the lot of you to the mines in Numidia.
That's all I have to say.
(TRUMPET FANFARE) (CROWD ROARS) Claudius! Get him up.
This is not a comedy theatre.
That happened to me once.
Do you remember, Livia? No, I don't.
- It did.
Which games was it at?.
- I don't remember.
- Or was it at the races? - The gladiators are saluting you.
Eh? Oh.
(STEEL CLANGS) - Calm down, for heaven's sake.
- I'm t-trying.
One of them's about to die and they look more relaxed than you do.
Drusus would have loved this.
I was thinking of him.
I'm sure he's watching, my dear.
Poor Drusus.
I'm sure the fat one's going to win.
How about a little bet, Herod? I'll take the fat man for 20 gold pieces.
It's against my religion to boot on the life of a man.
I thought you could boot on anything.
Caesar, it's true.
The Jews love gambling, but they fear their god more.
- Which one? - We have only one, Caesar.
I've never understood that.
It's insufficient.
You could have some of ours.
Believe me, Caesar, the one we have is hard enough to live with! (CROWD ROARS) On second thoughts, I'll take the boot.
- Good man! - Finish him! Finish him! - Err - It's all right.
I'll see him home.
- Where's your husband? - Out on one of his usual jaunts.
Oh, Livilla.
It was all I could do to stop touching you at the Games today.
I nearly went mad.
Oh, my poor darling.
Oh! Ow! Murder! Murder! - Stop it! Help me! - Livilla Don't! Stop it! Help me! (SHE SCREAMS) No, please! Help! Help! He tried to rape me! Keep him away! You bitch! You filthy bitch! What are you? Some kind of animal?.
It's a lie.
Can't you see? The whole thing's a lie.
Look at her.
She's terrified! - She invited me into her room.
- I didn't! He climbed up and attacked me! She'd invite you to her room with her husband a few doors away?.
! - She told me he'd be out.
- You filthy pig! Stop it! Stop it! Wait outside.
I suppose this isn't your dagger?.
Yes, it's mine, but she could have got it anytime.
She and Castor dine with us often enough.
What do you take me for?.
You expect me to believe she falsely accused you of rape? For what reason? Well.
tell me! - Ask her.
Perhaps she knows.
- I'm asking you! He'll incriminate us all before he's done.
She hates me and you're too blind to see it.
Hates you? What do you mean? She hated my brothers and my mother.
She hates anyone who might come between you and her son! What is going on? What is he saying? Oh, Grandfather, open your eyes! Throw off the blinkers! For years! Everyone around you has either died or disappeared.
Do you think it was all an accident?.
My father Agrippa and before him, Marcellus.
My brothers Gaius and Lucius, my mother Julia and now me! Can't you see? She's clearing a path for herself! And the her other son, Drusus, whose revered memory she honours in those games - ask her how he died! There was nothing wrong with him till she sent her physician to him! Marcellus? Agrippa? What is he saying? What is he, some kind of raving lunatic?.
Does he think that they were all murdered? Are you insane? Or is just that you want me to think you are? Yes! You're very clever.
You think that by pretending to be mad that I'll be lenient with you.
You think insanity will move me, and I'll put you away somewhere? In the care, of a doctor? You're disgusting! You know something? I'd rather clear vomit off the street, than talk to you.
It's incredible, isn't it?.
It's too horrific even to think about.
I have to be mad even to mention it.
What a joke! What a pathetic joke! It's not me that's mad, it's her! Look at her, she's a mad woman! She'll destroy us all before she's finished, you included! I could kill you now.
Spill your guts on the floor and give you no more thought than I would a dog, killed on the road.
But that's too easy for you.
You're going to suffer, like your mother suffers.
Living out your life on a rock somewhere with nothing but birds for company.
It won't be on any map because they're all too big for you.
But I'll find one, don't worry, just your size.
And you'll stay there till you rot.
Guard! Take him away, and keep him under arrest! Are you all right?.
- I feel unclean.
- It's him that's unclean, not you.
Tomorrow, you and I will go the temple and make a sacrifice together.
You'll feel better.
(SHOUTING OUTSIDE) Go on! (SHOUTING OUTSIDE) Sh! They're searching for me in the grounds.
They'll find me soon.
- I haven't much time.
- Postumus.
Just listen.
He slipped the guards.
They're searching the palace.
He won't get far.
If he runs to the ends of the earth, he'll find a Roman or a friend of Rome ready to give him up.
Oh, take your wife to bed! And, Castor, be nice to her.
Get in beside her.
That's your place.
If you'd beenthere more often, this would not have happened! And you really think my grandmother put Livilla up to it?.
I'm certain of it.
I'll go.
If Livia knows I've beenhere, your life won't be worth much.
But I wanted you, above all.
to know the truth, and Germanicus.
I'll tell him.
But, listen, stay alive.
Don't give them any excuse to k-k-kill you.
I'm sorry I won't be at your wedding.
Don't worry.
It'll be a very small affair.
I embarrass them all far too much.
Go on embarrassing them.
Go on playing the idiot.
It's safer that way.
Somebody else said that to me a while ago.
Asinius P-Pollio.
Then we're not the only ones who know what's going on.
Goodbye, old friend.