I, Claudius (1976) s01e04 Episode Script

Poison Is Queen.

- Part IV - ' Poison Is Queen ' (KNOCKING) Come.
Ah, where did you find this one? Under a pile of old rubbish in the cellar.
I doubt we'll find any more.
That's what you said the l-l-last time we found something.
It's incredible - the way people just dump things! You sea, it should all be lettered and filed and well.
numbered.
Would you like me to tidy up some of this mess, Caesar?.
No! The last time you tidied up I couldn't find anything any more.
What is this? "The Last Will and Testament of Augustus Caesar.
" Augustus' will (TRUMPETERS AND CHEERING) Hail.
Caesar! The Legions of Rome salute you on their return from the Rhine.
- In triumph? - In triumph, Caesar! The German tribes are put down.
They have sued for peace.
Our punishments have bean fierce and we have brought back many captives.
The province is peaceful once more and her tribute flows again.
Your legions await your further orders.
Hail.
Caesar! (ALL CHEER) You'll hurt your ayes reading in this light.
- It was so hot in my r-room.
- Am I disturbing you? No.
It's a v-v-very boring book.
- Where's Mother?.
- She and Pina are talking.
About children and about what it's like to be a soldier's wife.
She's wonderful.
Pina - the way she goes everywhere with you.
You're very lucky, you know.
And how do you like being a married man? And a father.
What do you think of your little boy?.
I don't like him very much.
I think he's horrid.
Oh, Claudius! What do you think of my wife? She's taller than me.
I know.
She's taller than me.
No, it's not funny.
How could anybody grow that tall?.
I must admit, it's a bit of an ordeal Her face is not unpleasant.
I rarely sea her face.
I never get up that far! Oh, Claudius! Dear brother.
It is good to sea you again.
I wish I could have come with you.
What was it like? The scene in the Teutoberg forest was terrible when we came on it.
No one had bean buried.
Bodies strewn around, horribly mutilated.
They're a savage lot, those Germans.
But we avenged them.
They'll be quiet for a long time to come.
Tell me about Postumus.
You didn't say much in your letters.
I was afraid to say too much.
Letters get intercepted and read by certain parties.
Come, you sea plots everywhere.
Who would dare to open your mail?.
Grandmother.
She opens everybody's.
- Livia?! - Sh! How else do you think she knows everything? Does Augustus know that she does that?.
I don't know what Augustus knows, but she knows everything.
- Postumus thinks - Thinks what?.
That night he was arrested, he broke away and came to sea me in my room.
He wasn't trying to escape, but he wanted me to know the truth so I could tell you.
What did he tell you? That he didn't force Livilla.
She invited him into her room - as she'd often done before when Castor was out gambling or Anyway, when he got there, she started to scream.
The guards rushed in and she accused him of trying to r-rape her.
- Did you believe him? - Yes.
I'd believe Postumus before I'd believe Livilla.
But, Claudius, it's an age-old excuse that men have often used.
"She led me on.
She wanted me to.
" I've thought of that too.
One does, even about one's friends.
But I believe him.
- But why would she do such a thing? - I asked him the same thing.
He said L-Livia had put her up to it.
Ah, our grandmother again.
Between reading letters and arranging rapes, when does she aver sleep? If you'll listen, I'll tell you what Postumus thinks of her.
It will stand the hairs up on your head.
He believes that she has systematically destroyed his mother, his brothers and possibly his father, that she poisoned Julia's first husband and had a hand in our father's death.
He believes that she poisoned our grandfather, and she will stop at nothing to ensure Tiberius follows Augustus.
He believes she's mad.
And I said all that without s-s-stuttering.
Well.
nearly.
- Proof?.
- No.
Claudius, have you mentioned this to Augustus? No! He takes me for a big enough fool already.
It must come from you or no one.
- All right.
I'm listening.
- Not here.
(CHEERY WHISTLING) (STOPS WHISTLING) (RESUMES WHISTLING) If you prune any more of that, there'll be nothing left.
Are you now an expert on gardening? Is that something you've become? I'm only telling you.
The gardeners all complained last year.
- And whose garden is this? - Others use it.
Incredible! Everyone's an expert suddenly.
- How long have we bean married? - Don't you remember?.
50 years.
In all that time, you've never known one plant from another and suddenly you know all there is to know about pruning.
Wonderful! I think your brain's going soft.
Nobody can talk to you any more.
- Anyone can talk to me.
- No, they can't.
Anyone can talk to me any time - except you.
You don't talk to people.
You bully them.
This conversation's got ridiculous.
Wrong.
This conversation was always ridiculous.
Your melon's here.
(WHISTLING) Is it true you're going to Corsica? - Yes.
- When? Very soon.
- You never told me.
- No.
I don't know what's come over you.
You tell me nothing.
Well.
you get to know everything anyway.
Why are you going to Corsica? Because the Corsicans asked me to go.
What for?.
Piracy.
They've bean complaining for years.
They're losing business.
Couldn't you have asked one of the Consuls to go? Why should I? I know how you hate travelling by sea.
No.
It doesn't bother me.
Will you be stopping off anywhere on the way?.
- Such as where? - I don't know! You'll be passing the island of your grandson's banishment.
Which one is that?.
Planasia.
Had you forgotten? I hadn't thought about it.
Why should I stop off there? I thought you might take this opportunity of inspecting it.
- Have you tried this melon? - I don't want any! If you ate more fruit, you wouldn't get so many wrinkles.
- Would you like me to come? - What for?.
It's an arduous journey to make at your age, on your own.
- You might fall ill and die.
- The sea air will do me good.
Besides, Germanicus will be with me.
I'm sending him to France.
What a support that boy's become.
I sea.
- That's settled, then? - Yes.
(HE WHISTLES CHEERFULLY) - Double dealing? - No! - Pining after Postumus? - No! Then how does he know?.
Somebody's talked to him.
It wasn't me, I swear it! Why should I? Because you're tired of your husband and would like to sea Postumus back.
How?.
He'd never forgive me anyway! You're cleverer than that.
You'd tell him I forced you and shed a few tears.
I never met a man who could resist that.
If he knows something, it wasn't from me.
I swear it.
I swear it! All right.
I believe you.
Someone else, then.
Castor knows.
He guessed.
I never told him.
Yes, Castor knows.
That's why you got your black aye.
It didn't pass unnoticed, my dear.
If Castor knows, he'd keep it to himself.
He's got nothing to gain.
- It's someone else.
- My brother?.
- Germanicus wasn't here.
- I meant Claudius.
That fool?.
His brains are addled.
He seas nothing and he hears nothing.
Well.
perhaps I was wrong.
Perhaps we should just wait and sea.
(SOUND OF WAVES CRASHING) Well.
well.
well.
.
What have we here? Tourists? Have you come to sea the beast in his cage? Is the rock bare enough for you, Father?.
Does it conform to your notions of smallness? How thin you look.
How pale.
What did you expect?.
A fat, jolly man full of laughs and jokes? You must forgive me, Father.
It's bean four years since I saw a soul apart from the guards.
I wasn't prepared for visitors.
This is Quintus Fabius Maximus, an old friend.
I envy you, Quintus Fabius Maximus.
Envy me what?.
That you're an old friend of my father's.
You're better off than his adopted son.
Leave us.
They never told me it'd be like this.
I don't expect you aver asked! You don't find out what you don't want to know! - Don't say that.
- Did you come for a tour?.
That'll take ten minutes, as you once prophesied! Then wound me if you must.
I deserve it.
You have a knife.
I wouldn't blame you if you used it! Oh, it's tears now, is it?.
I never knew a man cry as easily as you do.
Yes, tears come easily to me.
I don't deny it.
You're wonderful.
wonderful! What's my role now?.
To feel sorry for you?! - Mistakes have bean made - Mistakes! Is that what you call them? You think tears will put them right?.
Well.
bravo! You still have tears to shed.
How many tears would you have left if you'd sat on this rock for four solid years? - Postumus - How many?.
! You've come to the wrong place to show your tears.
Even the stones weep here.
Now you've heard something, is that it?.
It's made you think, perhaps you were wrong, too hasty?.
Is that why you're here, to tell me it was a mistake? I don't want to hear it! Leave me alone! Go away and die but leave me alone! Postumus What have you done to me? Four years! What have you done with my life? Don't.
Please don't When those guards came in, I thought, "This is the end.
"He's sent them now to finish me off.
" - How could you think such a thing? - What else could I think? To die, that's nothing.
I'd have given my life for you, for Rome, a thousand times over.
But to die like a dog What can I say?.
What can I say?.
A day hasn't passed when I haven't thought of you.
And I of you.
But not fondly, Father, not fondly.
I know, I know, I know.
What could I do? There are such liars in the world, such cheats! And nowhere more, it seams, than among my own.
I've had to live this long to find that out.
They've made a fool of you.
There are places where they've made a god out of me, but my own family have made me a fool And Livia, it seams, more than anyone.
- She lied to you.
- Why?.
How did you find out?.
- Germanicus told me.
- He wasn't there.
Claudius told him, apparently.
What do you make of him, eh? He's a curious chap.
He's a bit of a fool Aren't we all?.
I've bean wrong about a lot of things.
Well.
I'm here to make amends.
It won't be long before you're in Rome.
- Can't I return with you now?.
- No.
Your banishment is permanent.
I must get that decree reversed.
That will take a bit of time.
The moment I set that in motion, it'll cause a few hearts to flutter and a few minds to get busy.
I want to wait until Tiberius is out of Rome.
I'd worry more about Livia if I were you.
When you've lived so long with a woman when she's bean more than a wife to you.
It's bean like having another right arm.
It's hard to believe such things.
Believe them, Father.
I do.
I do.
(KNOCKING) Come in.
Lady, the chief Vestal.
Camilla Pulchra.
You look well.
Lady, which is a blessing for Rome and for all of us.
And you, my dear, are as beautiful and serene as aver.
Come, let's sit down.
I envy you your serenity.
I envy all the Vestals.
I often wish I could have become one of them.
Rome would have bean the loser then.
And you retire next year?.
Yes.
It's 30 years since I took my vows.
I must say, I find it hard to believe.
You came to me some time ago to ask me to use my influence with Augustus to persuade the Senate to rebuild the House of the Vestals.
- That was a long time ago.
- My dear, I never forget anything.
My dream is to leave the House more beautiful than when I entered it.
The Senate has promised to find the money, but they never have.
Well.
I think it's time we did something.
- Have you spoken to your husband? - Many times.
It's bean my dream too to rebuild that house.
But, like all men, he makes promises and noises and does very little.
- But he also likes to surprise me.
- And has he? Well.
I think he has, but I'm not sure.
That's why I asked you here.
I have a feeling he's set aside a sum for it in his will Oh, that would be wonderful! Do you think he has? I asked him about it when he returned from Corsica.
"Wait and sea," he said with such a twinkle in his aye that it made me wonder if he'd come to you recently to make an alteration in his will But he did! He spent a whole morning locked in a room with it.
When he came out, he handed me two documents instead of one.
You sea, I was right.
Oh, this intuition of mine.
- Did he bring a witness? - Yes.
Fabius Maximus.
Oh, the artful one! He's just like a little boy.
He has to be so mysterious about it all He couldn't come out and say, "Livia, you shall have your house for the Vestals when I die.
" No.
He must tease me.
He must surprise me.
What a dear man he is.
You think then that the alteration is in respect of that?.
Well.
it seams likely.
Oh, what a pity we couldn't take it out and have a look at it.
Just you and me - two women together - in a tiny little conspiracy.
Yes, that would certainly set our minds at rest.
But it has his seal on.
Oh, but that's nothing.
I have the use of his seal I've had it for years.
How else do you think official documents get signed when he's away?.
Mmm? I hadn't thought of that.
But then, of course, that would be breaking my vows.
But in such a good cause.
And if we found the alteration were in respect of something else, why, I would feel bound to find that money myself.
Rome owes so much to the sanctity of the Vestals.
What do you think, my dear?.
Aaah! Oh, Montanus.
Oh, help me, Montanus.
If you'd lie still and let the cold compresses work.
Oh, the pain's in my belly, you fool! Not in my head.
Here, drink this.
It will ease the pain.
It's like a fire in there.
It's the ulcer again.
I warned you.
Too much work and too much worry.
- Will you follow an idiot?.
- Yes.
Eat only milk products and eggs.
And give up work for a while or I won't be responsible.
When you feel a little better, take a holiday.
Go to Capri or somewhere.
Paddle in the sea, get some fresh air.
I'll talk to the Lady Livia.
(SOUND OF AUGUSTUS MOANING) I've had premonitions.
Premonitions of death.
- We all have them.
- No, no, no.
This is serious.
Listen, old friend, let me tell you.
Two weeks after we came back from you know where, I was in Mars Field giving a libation.
A little ceremony.
You remember?.
I remember, but I wasn't there.
No? Well.
nearby, there's a temple built in memory of Marcus Agrippa.
- Yes, I know it.
- An eagle circled me five times, then flew off and settled on the "A" of Agrippa's name.
- Well.
Caesar - No, don't lie to me.
It's clear what it means.
It was telling me that my time had come and that I must give way to someone by the name of Agrippa.
- Postumus? - Who else? - Did you consult an augur?.
- No.
I don't need an augur.
Well.
you're not an expert on the interpretation of signs.
Then listen to this.
The following day, lightning melted the "C" on my name on a statue nearby.
It struck the "C" off "Caesar".
Do you follow?.
What does "C" mean? - A hundred.
- A hundred.
Exactly! Livia saw it.
She went to an augur to find out what it meant.
She wouldn't tell me, but I forced it out of her.
It means that I have only a hundred days to live.
I shall die in a hundred days.
Or weeks.
Eh? Why shouldn't it be weeks? Or months? Why shouldn't it mean that you'll live to be a hundred? - Do you think so? - Why not?.
Perhaps she went to the wrong augur.
Perhaps he looked at the wrong book.
G-G-Good morning, Grandmother.
Mother and I would like to know if there's any ch-change in Augustus' health.
He's improving, which is more than I can say for you.
Tha-thank you, Grandmother.
It's a gr-great relief.
Yes.
Well.
thank you.
Is it true? Is it true that you've written a book about religious changes during the reign of Augustus? Y-y-yes, Grandmother.
You intend to give a public reading of it?.
- Yes, Grandmother.
- You'll do no such thing.
N-no, Grandmother.
It wasn't my idea.
Germanicus suggested it before he left.
You won't make a laughing stock of my family.
I'm b-b-better when I'm rehearsed.
So is a trained monkey, but he still looks and sounds like a monkey.
Yes, Grandmother.
If your head doesn't stop twitching, I'll have it off and stuck on a pole.
That'll fix it.
Th-th-thank you, Grandmother.
Oh, I beg your Oh.
I'm I beg your pardon.
Leave it alone! That grandson of yours could wreck the empire just by strolling through it.
Augustus is improving.
Are you drinking because he nearly died or because he didn't?.
- Sarcastic, aren't we? - I was just wondering.
I never know whether I read you right.
Is something wrong? He's altered his will What's the matter - cat got your tongue? That took your breath away, didn't it?.
- How do you know?.
- I make it my business to know.
- In whose favour?.
- Whose do you think? - Germanicus? - Ha! Trust you to get it wrong.
I must have bean nodding when I gave birth to you.
I sometimes wonder that you aver did anything so natural as giving birth.
In whose favour has he altered his will?.
Postumus.
Whose do you think? He took a trip to Corsica.
Didn't it occur to you he may visit your stepson? - Why should he? - He's changed his mind about him.
What could have caused him to change it?.
What does he know now that he didn't know then? What could he know?.
What is there to know?.
He's a senile old man.
How do I know why he changed his mind? But he has, and so much the worse for you, my baby, if I can't change it back again.
Well.
don't bother on my account! I'm sick of it! The gods know I've done my best! He never liked me.
Never! Thirty years I've run his errands for him! I've fought on his bloody frontiers, collected his taxes! He's never once put his hand on mine and said, "Thank you.
"What would I have done without you?" Now he sends me off to Illyricum without a farewell dinner.
Not even a goodbye.
Just get on your horse and ride! Well.
damn him! I retired before and I can retire again! Let his precious grandson run his empire for him.
I'm sick to death of it! - When do you leave? - Very soon.
I wouldn't travel too fast, if I were you.
Why not?.
Well.
you won't have so far to come back if anything happens to him.
I was just going to sea your mother.
I've heard she's not very well I wanted a word, but I'm dragging you away from your work.
- N-no, really.
- I'll only stay a minute.
Are you b-better now?.
Well.
you know, I think so.
Well.
shall we sit down for a moment?.
P-please.
They put me on this diet, you know, but I cured myself.
You know how?.
I refused to eat.
Oh, a little milk and fruit.
I got myself this cow and I milked it myself.
The fruit I picked from the garden, so it was untouched by human hand, except my own.
You never know what gets into food.
The slaves are so careless.
Anyway, I'm still here.
Yes.
I'm going away for a little holiday.
First to Capri and then to Nola.
I'm a bit tired.
What a pleasant garden this is.
I've never bean here before.
Claudius, do you bear me any ill will?.
Ill will?.
Why should I? Oh, we can be so wrong about people.
I was wrong about you.
We judge too much on appearances.
I mean, your appearance is against you.
You know that, don't you? You give everybody the impression you're a bit of a fool But you're not such a fool.
are you? I hope n-not.
Germanicus told me all about you.
He said that you were loyal to three things - to your friends, to Rome and to the truth.
That's a wonderful thing to say of a person.
I'd be proud if he said that of me.
My brother worships you.
- No? Do you think so? - Yes.
He's often told me.
Well.
well He's a great man, you know.
A fine Roman in the best tradition - even though he is a bit of a republican.
What did you think? I didn't know?.
I'm a republican myself at heart.
You know that, don't you? It was never my intention to rule for so long, butI don't know, things just didn't work out.
I kept wanting to retire.
Your father wanted me to retire.
I don't know.
It just never happened.
So many things turn out different from the way you hoped.
I went to Corsica, you know, and I paid a visit to a certain island and I saw a certain person.
None of that would have happened but for you.
Germanicus told me.
Anyway, when I got back, I paid a visit to the Vestal Virgins and I made some alterations to a certain document there.
No one knows about that - not even your grandmother - so not a word.
Oh, you can tr-trust me.
Yes.
I sea now that I can.
When I get back, we'll talk again.
We'll talk many times, eh? I've found another friend.
Even at my age, a man finds he has friends he never even dreamed of.
(HAPPY SHOUTING) What luck, Livia! I've thrown Venus three times in a row! Come on, pay up, all of you! Oh, what luck, Livia! You never saw such a Come and play.
I'm winning a fortune.
- Don't you think it's time for bed? - Certainly not.
We'll start again.
Odds or evens? - Odds! Odds! - Evens! Junius, you're not batting.
Caesar, I have no money.
It's gone.
Really?.
Come on, have some of mine.
- But you gave us all the money.
- It's only a game.
But if we win, we keep it and if we lose, you give it back.
Who's complaining? Come on, make your bet.
- Montanus, have you .
- Odds, Caesar.
You'll be sorry.
I've bean throwing evens all night.
- Evens! - Odds! Odds! Ha! Ha! What did I tell you? Come on, pay up.
Who bet odds? Come on, don't slink away.
I saw you! Oh, what an evening.
Evens, collect your winnings.
Odds, pay up.
- What's the matter?.
- I feel sick.
(HE RETCHES) Take me to my room.
No food! Do you hear?.
I'll eat figs from the garden, nothing else.
Nothing! And I'll pick them myself.
Are you mad? Figs from the garden? Aren't your bowels loose enough already? I must give you some medicine No! Curse it! Nothing that's bean touched by human hand, do you hear?.
Not even Livia's.
Nothing.
Nothing.
It's a very bad attack.
He'll eat no prepared food, none.
Those are his instructions.
Only figs from the tree.
Perhaps he's right, I don't know.
- He cured himself before.
- Did he give any reason? None.
It mustn't be touched by human hand, not even by yours.
Perhaps he's right after all No matter how many times one tells them, the kitchen staff never wash their hands after using the lavatory.
He's too ill to go to Rome.
He'll have to stay here in Nola, for a few days.
Are you feeling better?.
There's a delegation here from Rome.
They're waiting to sea you.
Well.
you're a fine one.
You made yourself worse with all those figs.
I never heard anything so ridiculous.
I only came on this journey to look after you, and you won't let me or anyone else cook for you.
It's very embarrassing, you know.
People might think we were trying to poison you.
I sent for Tiberius.
Fortunately, he wasn't too far away.
He'll be here soon.
Well.
I thought you might want to sea him.
And he'll do everything that has to be done.
Hasn't he always? Of courseyou two haven't always seen aye to aye.
But that hasn't been entirely his fault, you know that, don't you? You were always inclined to favour one over the other.
I've often spoken to you about it.
You made fish of one and foul of the other so often that no one knew where he was or what he was.
You should have listened to me more.
You should have.
You know that, don't you? I've bean right more often than you have, you know.
But because I was a woman, you pushed me into the background.
Oh, yesyes, you did.
And all I aver wanted was for you and for Rome.
Nothing I aver did was for myself.
Nothing.
Only for youand for Rome.
As a Claudian should.
Oh, yes, my dear.
I'm a Claudian.
I think you are apt to forget that at times.
But I never did.
No.
Never.
No.
(KNOCKING, DOOR OPENS) How is he? He's dead.
Augustus is dead.
The earth will shake.
I must go and sea the senators and the consuls from Rome.
Stay with him till I return.
By the way don't touch the figs.
Augustus has fallen into a deep sleep.
He willed himself to stay awake until my son arrived and then, comforted by his return, he dozed off.
There's no point in your waiting here.
Come back again tomorrow.
Between now and then, I will post bulletins on the door.
- You are Colonel Sejanus? - Yes, Lady.
The son of the Commander of the Guard? Yes, Lady.
Your father has high regard for you.
I hope you won't find it misplaced.
- You know why you're here? - Yes.
I'll leave at once.
- Good.
- Lady.
Weight it with stones.
We'll bury it at sea.
- Are you Fabius Maximus? - Yes.
What's the message? It's here.
Let the will be read.
"This is the last will and testament of Augustus Caesar, "formerly Gaius Octavius of the family of Julius, "made on the 3rd April "in the year of the consuls Lucius Plancus and Gaius Scillius.
"For as much as a sinister fate has bereft me of my sons, "Gaius and Lucius, "it is now my will that Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar "become my heir in the first range of two-thirds of my estate, "and in the remaining third of the first range, "it is my will that my beloved wife Livia shall become my heir" Come in.
".
.
and in recognition of her life-long service "shall if the Senate permit adopt the name of" - What do you want?.
- M-m-m Spit it out, boy! M-m-mother said I might come and offer my ccc Condolences? Condolences.
Yes, Grandmother.
It's a t-terrible tragedy.
Have you bean in the Senate? On the steps.
I'm not allowed in the Senate.
No, neither am I.
They won't allow me in because I'm a woman and you because you're a fool It's strange when you think of it.
It's full of nothing but old women and fools! They've read the will That's what they think.
Pardon? Where have they got to? They asked Uncle T-Tiberius to take Augustus' place, but he refused.
And I'll bet they asked him again, and I'll bet that he said yes.
- Yes, he did.
- Well.
what are they doing now?.
Debating whether to make Augustus a god.
Debating, are they?.
What do you think? I think they should.
I think it was f-f-foretold.
Really, now?.
And who foretold it?.
J-J-J-Jove.
Jove, eh? A hundred days ago, he melted the "C" on one of Augustus' statues.
And what does that mean, idiot head? If you strike out the letter "C" from "Caesar", the word "Aesar" is left, and in Etruscan, Aesar means "god".
Deciphered some Etruscan now, have we? Yes, Grandmother.
I've been studying it.
Oh, you fool If Jove wanted to talk to us, don't you think he'd talk to us in Latin, not in Etruscan? What'd be the point of that?.
Hadn't thought of that, had you? All the same, I'd drop a note to Tiberius, if I were you.
He could use all the arguments he could get.
Will they make Augustus a g-g-god? Oh, yes.
He is a god.
And so shall I be one day, I prophesy.
And here's another prophecy.
If Jove aver melts the "C" off your name, what's left will turn out to mean "jackass".
Bye-bye, Clau-Clau.
All right.
You can go now.
You wicked woman! Wickedness! Here, what's this? Eh? Augustus' will! You stole it! His last will! (HER LAUGHTER ECHOES) Poison is queen! Poison is queen! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! (SILENCE)