I, Claudius (1976) s01e08 Episode Script

Zeus, By Jove!

- Part VII - ' Zeus, By Jove! ' I found it in that box.
In there.
The box was in my nephew Caligula's bedroom.
This once belonged to his father, Germanicus.
I said I would tell everything, and I shall I shall hide nothing.
Nothing! And if what comes next may seem incredible believe it.
Believe it! Of the last five years of Tiberius' reign, the less said the better.
He remained at Capri, entirely given up to perversions, until at last, when people began to think he would never die, he suffered a massive stroke.
He had named Caligula his principal heir and Gemellus, who was his grandson and still a boy,, his second heir, in case Caligula should die before him.
- He's dead.
- Really?.
Get me his ring.
Let us tell the world, that the world has a new Emperor.
Senators, gentlemen our beloved Emperor, Tiberius Claudius, is dead.
I just left his room having closed, those tired old eyes with this hand.
Before he died, he took from his finger this ring his own seal.
and placed it on my finger.
And he said, "I die in peace, little Gaius, "knowing that you rule in my place.
" Those were his last words.
I wept.
I feel to my knees and wept.
Gentlemen, I stand before you now as your Emperor.
- Master! - Long live Rome! Master! He's alive again! He's alive again.
He's calling for his supper and he wants his ring back.
- Take it! I don't want it! - Wait a minute! Gentlemen, I'm sure there's been some sort of a mistake.
This stupid solve saw the wind stirring the clothes on the bed.
- No.
He's asking for beef cutlets! - Quiet! Slave, I'll make a cutlet of you! He's out of his wits.
Can't you see? You'd better go and look for yourself.
I suggest that you all remain here until the matter's sorted out.
And I want a beef I told you he was dead.
Typical! He wanted to see what we'd do if we thought he was dead.
I shan't forget this, Macro.
I really shan't.
Gentlemen, Tiberius Claudius is definitely dead.
No question of it.
When I entered his room, he was lying peacefully in his bed.
We shall take the corpse to Rome and give him a magnificent funeral! - Hail Caesar! - Hail Caesar! Gentlemen! We are at the dawn of a new golden age.
A son of Germanicus has come before us.
Let us put ourselves in his hands and vote him supreme power.
Let us cry, "Rome is saved!" Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar! Hail.
Caesar! Herod Agrippa! Oh, Herod! I was wondering the other day where you were and what you were doing.
If I wasn't trying to borrow money, I was thinking of you! Did you arrive together?.
I went straight to Capua.
I knew he was living there.
I found him leaving for Rome and intending to call on you on his way.
Nothing could have pleased me better.
Sit down.
You remember my grandson, Gemellus? - He's grown.
- Mmm.
He never stops eating.
It's not good for you to eat all that p-pastry.
It clogs the chest.
If I'm scolded, I'll go inside.
He's given himself such airs since Tiberius died.
- He thinks he already rules.
- I do.
I was made ruler with Caligula.
Quiet! The Senate have set that aside.
You're much too young.
People are not made emperors to have the run of baker's shops.
I can't see it's any worse to eat too much pastry than it is to drink too much wine.
And a lot of grown-ups do that.
He eats for comfort.
Livilla ignored him.
She had other interests.
- I wrote to you about Livilla.
- Yes.
Let's not talk of it.
She's dead, and at my hands.
I'd do it again.
perhaps things will improve now that Caligula is in command.
Let's hope so.
I like all the titles you have for me, as does my sister, Drusilla.
I shall probably use them all What about the Consulship, Lentulus? Your term is up.
Have you chosen the Consul for the next term? The choice is obvious to us.
The Senate begs you to accept the next term and to choose a colleague to share it.
I hereby proclaim that my first act as Consul will be to collect all criminal dossiers collected by Sejanus and have them burnt in the marketplace! And, in memory of my dear mother, Agrippina, there will be a new annual festival of horse racing and sword fighting.
In future, September will be known as "Germanicus" after my father, as August was after my great my great grandfather.
And now I have a headache.
This audience is at an end.
- Is your head bad again? - Yes.
Come to my room and I'll soothe it for you.
Lentulus here is my chosen colleague to share the Consulship with me.
- Gemellus.
An excellent choice.
- No, no! Not Gemellus.
Not him.
- My Uncle Claudius.
- Your Uncle Claudius? Who else should share it but my father's beloved brother?.
Uncle, I appoint you my colleague as Consul for the first term.
- M-m-me? A C-Consul?.
- Yes.
We'll rule together.
B-but I've forgotten all the r-rules and p-procedures.
I'll think of everything and you can do everything.
B-b-b Uncle, there's a galloping in my head and you're making it worse! The matter is closed.
- What is the matter with him? - The matter?.
- He keeps clearing his throat.
- He's had a v-very bad cough.
Can't he get rid of it?.
It's very irritating.
he's taking a cough mixture.
I see.
let's hope it clears up soon.
I have a weak chest.
It's not my fault.
But it's your chest! Is that your own hair?.
- Pardon? - Is it your own hair or a wig? M-my own.
Why have you got so much? I find that extremely irritating.
You're much older than I am.
Uncle, I've arranged a suite of rooms for you in the palace.
You can come and live with me and my sisters.
You'll like that.
The whole family will be together.
I'm very fond of my family generally speaking.
Uncle, your first official duty as Consul will be to have two statues made of my late brothers, Drusus and Nero.
They'll be set up and consecrated in the marketplace.
The ceremony will take place in early December.
I know it'll cost a great deal of money, but there's plenty of money.
Tiberius left 27 million gold pieces.
M-may I ask how much is l-left?.
Lentulus, how much is left?.
Between eight and nine, Caesar.
- Is that all?.
- He left a lot of debts.
That goody skinflint! He owed money and left me to pay for it all! I should have killed him when I had the chance! Oh, my headache's getting worse.
Galloping inside it.
Pounding of hooves.
- Come to my room.
- It's in my head.
What was I saying? You should have k-killed him when you had the chance.
Many times I had the chance and thought of doing it.
Shall I take G-Gemellus to his room? No.
I'm about to tell you a story.
Let him hear.
This will become, I'm sure, an historic anecdote.
I want you to write it down later, Uncle.
- Will you stop coughing?! - It's very difficult.
try! Lentulus, how much is left?.
Of what?.
Of Tiberius' fortune.
Between eight and nine million, Caesar.
- Is that all?.
- He also left a lot of debts.
We've had this conversation before, what's the matter with you? I know what I was about to say.
I was going to tell you a story.
It happened three, four years ago in Capri when I was nothing but an innocent young boy, shocked and shamed by the depravity to which the Emperor had fallen.
More and more, in my precocious wisdom, I realised that the fate of Rome might rely on a single knife stroke.
A knife in my hand.
And the thought tormented me.
I began to see it as my inescapable destiny.
"But why me?" I said.
"Why me, who never had a single violent thought in his life? "Why should this onerous duty be thrust upon me?" Yet, one night, sleepless as usual with grief at the fate of my dear mother and my dear brothers I decided, come what might that I would be avenged, at last, upon their murderer.
So I took a knife that belonged to my father, Germanicus, and I went into the Emperor's room where he lay tossing and groaning in a nightmare of guilt.
There was a galloping in my head and a pounding Yes.
Yes, I remember.
That was the first time I heard it.
I lifted the dagger in order to strike when a divine voice sounded in my ear.
"Great grandson, stop! "Hold your hand.
To kill him would be impious!" I froze.
I turned to see if I could find the owner of the voice, but there was no one there besides the Emperor and myself.
And yet I felt the presence of the Divine Augustus.
"Oh, God Augustus!" I cried.
"He killed my mother and my brothers, your descendants.
"Should I not avenge them "even at the risk of being shunned by all men as a parricide?" Augustus answered.
"Oh, magnanimous son, who art to be Emperor hereafter, "there is no need to do what you would do.
"By my orders, "the Furies nightly avenge your dear ones while he sleeps.
(HOOFBEATS) "Leave them to their work and him to the torments of his dreams "and the torments to come in the hereafter.
"He will suffer eternal agonies, I swear, "while youwhile you, my son "whileafter a glorious reign "will enter the bosom of Augustus.
" I threw the dagger aside.
Father! Father! (HOOFBEATS) Help me! Help me! Stop it! STOP IT! Stop it! Stop it! Stop! The statues must be ready by the end of N-November.
- I said I'd do my best - I can take the work elsewhere! You'd lose time.
We've already started.
- You haven't started them! - I promise we'll start tomorrow.
The way the Emperor is, he won't be ready for the ceremony.
Never mind the Emperor, that's his business.
You just make sure those statues are r-ready! The Emperor awoke this morning, but then relapsed into a coma.
That's all I can tell you.
I suggest that you return to your homes.
Everything that can be done is being done.
We pray for him hourly.
Tell him that if he wakes.
I shall I've offered my own life in place of his if the gods will spare him.
If anything happens to him, it would be the worst calamity to befall Rome since the death of Germanicus.
Your prayers will help him, I'm sure.
Uncle Claudius, come quickly! He's awake and he wants to see you.
- What for?.
- I don't know.
For heaven's sake, humour him.
He'll kill you if you don't say what he wants.
- What does he want me to say?.
- I don't know! But he just tried to kill me.
He said I didn't love him.
He made me swear over and over again that I did! Oh, do go, please! Hail C-Caesar.
What a j-j-joy to see you alive and to hear your voice again.
D-dare I hope that you're better?.
I've never really bean ill Oh.
I've bean undergoing a metamorphosis.
Was it p-p-painful?.
It was like a birth in which the mother delivers herself.
Oh, yes.
Oh, that m-must have bean p-painful M-may I enquire what is the character of this g-glorious change which has come over you? Isn't it obvious? Y-you've b-become a g-g-god! Oh, my god.
Oh, let me worship you! Oh, how could I have bean so blind?! Well.
I am still in mortal disguise.
No, I should have seen it at once.
Your face shines, even in this light, like a l-lamp.
Does it?.
Get me that mirror.
It is bright, isn't it?.
I could r-read by it.
I always knew that this would happen.
I always knew I was divine.
Think of it.
When I was two, I put down a mutiny in my father's army and saved Rome.
That was prodigious.
It's like the stories they tell of M-Mercury as a child, or Hercules who s-s-strangled snakes in his cradle.
Only Mercury only stole a few oxen, whereas by the age of ten, I'd already killed my father.
- You didn't know that, did you? - N-n-no Divinity.
Even Jove didn't do that.
He merely banished the old man.
Why, if you d-don't mind my asking, d-did you do that?.
he stood in my way.
Me - a young god! He tried to discipline me.
So I frightened him to death in Antioch.
So it was you who did all that?.
It's incredible.
No, not at all Not for a god.
It was very simple.
Not only did I kill my natural father, I also killed my adoptive father, Tiberius.
Jove never did that! No.
I've never read that he did that.
And you're a very well-read man.
And whereas Jove only slept with one of his sisters, I've slept with all three of mine - all had a god in their beds.
Martina told me it was right for a god.
Oh, you knew Martina well?.
Oh, yes, yes.
Very well A very wise woman.
In Egypt, she taught me about the gods - especially the Greek ones.
She said that I was more like Zeus than Jove.
Jove was just a pale Roman copy of Zeus.
Zeus married his sister, didn't he? - Yes.
- What was her name? - Hera.
- Hera.
That's it.
And she became pregnant by him.
That was Metis.
And fearing that the child would become stronger than himself and r-rule the heavens, he took the child from her body and swallowed it whole, and Athena sprang from his head.
Yes, something like that.
I never used to believe that sort of story but, of course, now I can see that they're true.
now you understand why I have always bean divine.
Drusilla is divine too.
I shall announce it at the same time I announce my own divinity.
Oh, this is the most glorious hour of my life! Will you allow me to retire and s-sacrifice to you at once? The d-divine air you exhale is too strong for me.
I'm fainting, D-Divinity.
Go in peace.
I was thinking of killing you, but I've changed my mind.
Send Drusilla to me.
He wants to see you.
He's become a god.
Oh, you're a god too.
We're not.
A god? Which one? He thinks he's Zeus! - That sounds bad for us mortals.
- Perhaps not.
When he announces his divinity, they'll all see he's mad.
We'll have the Republic back.
My friend, this could be the b-best thing that ever happened to us.
The Emperor is coming.
There is something you ought to know before he arrives, so you won't be taken totally by surprise.
We are privileged to be living during the most astonishing advent.
The Emperor has undergone a transformation - a metamorphosis.
He has become a god.
(SOME LAUGHTER) That is unusual.
to say the least.
But that's the nature of miracles - to be unusual If it's the nature of some people not to believe in them well.
the more fool them.
The Emperor doesn't want to make too much of it.
He doesn't want any public announcements.
He wants us all to behave normally.
Although he is now a god, he is still the same lovable young man.
I can attest to that.
And to enable his relationships to continue as they always were, he has decided, for convenience, to retain his mortal form.
By the way, his sister Drusilla's become a goddess.
Any questions? Well.
of course, it is unusual.
but, as Sertorius Macro says that is the nature of miracles.
Why, one must ask oneself, are gods made only after death? Sooner or later, a man was bound to be reborn a god in our very midst.
If we worship the Divine Augustus after his death, doesn't it make sense to worship his great-grandson while he's alive? I think we should count ourselves fortunate to be living at this time.
Gentlemen, posterity will envy us.
Posterity will call you an ass, you idiot.
The Emperor! (TRUMPET FANFARE) My sister and I are pleased to admit you into our presence again.
- Your recovery is a miracle.
- You prayed for it, Lentulus.
Night and day.
But our prayers are not always heard.
Yes, but yours were very special You offered your life to the gods in place of mine.
That was noble.
It's true.
I did.
- What are you going to do about it?.
- Do about it?.
What do you mean? Well.
I'm still here and so are you, but we oughtn't both to be here.
Should we not give the gods the things we promise them? You're in danger of perjury.
Think about it.
But not too long.
The gods won't wait forever.
I know them well We will walk to the forum and show ourselves to the people of Rome.
Still coughing? We must do something about that.
- You haven't forgotten my statues? - No.
- Herod, you're back.
- To bring you my congratulations.
Come, walk with me a while.
I want to talk to you.
There's no one in all Rome man enough to strike him down like a dog?! It's v-very difficult, Mother.
There are always guards.
Anyway, I've never killed anyone before.
Besides, everyone believes this madness can't last.
Either he'll recover his senses or he'll die.
- Couldn't you poison his food? - Mother! What am I, an assassin? - A living god among us! - And a goddess.
I saw that coming a long time ago.
To take a sister for a wife! They will both rot in hell for it.
- I feel sorry for her.
- You would! She's terrified of him, so she p-plays up to him! - I don't blame her.
- I'd kill myself first! No one wants to die, Mother.
I saw Lentulus' face when it dawned on him that the god wasn't joking.
He waited hoping Caligula would forget it, but he didn't.
He sent Macro with some guards to watch him while he opened his veins.
He got what he deserved! You're all a pack of shameless cowards! When Germanicus died, there died the last of the Romans.
It's good to get away from Rome.
You're fortunate you don't have to live in the palace.
- What goes on there at night - I have heard enough! - Has he any money left?.
- No, not much.
He gave a charioteer 20,000 gold pieces the other day just for w.
winning a race.
When the money runs out, you'd all better watch out.
I'll see you both at supper.
- She's very upset.
- Well.
what can I do? I've got a mad nephew, but I can't kill him.
What's the matter with us, Herod? These are the children of Germanicus.
How could it happen? You know what they say about the tree of the Claudians? It bears two kinds of fruit - the sweet and the bad.
They've certainly had a t-terrifying crop this season.
(CALIGULA) This isn't their house.
This is our house.
We shall spend most of our time here.
I'll build a bridge to connect it to the palace.
I'll hold my audiences here.
Yes! Look at him.
Jove! (BOTH LAUGH) - Does he look like a god? - An inferior god.
An inferior god.
Did you hear that?.
You're not important enough for this temple.
I beg your pardon? Be careful what you say to me or I'll have your face smashed in! Well.
speak up! I can't hear you.
for now you may address me as Zeus, for in power he is the nearest who approaches me.
You were created by the old Romans in his image, but you're nothing.
Nothing, do you hear me? And this is Hera out of whom the Romans created you! (DRUSILLA) We shall move you both to an annexe.
You've been here far too long.
This is the temple in which I have chosen to bear the child of Zeus! A child? Mine? The child of Zeus.
To rule the universe.
Tell her.
Tell her what it's like to be loved by Zeus.
Tell her.
It was like the sun bursting in my veins.
It was like a shooting star! It was as if all the lights in the universe blazed at once in my womb! And a new universe was born.
- But you promised they'd be ready! - Don't get excited.
I said I'd do my best, that's all They must be ready for the ceremony tomorrow.
- Nero's ready.
- One's no good, you idiot! - There's no need to be offensive.
- I'll have you thrown out of the city! The marble didn't arrive till last weak and my best sculptor's sick.
- The marble was here last time! - It was? There was a crack in it.
You used it for somebody else! I swear we never used it for anyone else.
- Take Nero.
Drusus will be a weak.
- You can keep it.
You've got me into a great deal of trouble.
Keep it?.
What am I going to do with a statue of Nero? You can stick it! And you know where you can stick it! I'll see you in the courts for breach of contract! You'll sue me? I'll sue you! I'll sue you for damages.
For misrepresentation.
For fraud.
You'll be hearing from my lawyers! (CRASH!) I'll charge you for that too! Caesar, there's something you should know.
- Can you hear it?.
- Hear what?.
Gemellus coughing.
Can't you hear it?.
Oh, what it is to have the senses of a god.
I can hear everything.
Even a leaf falling on the other side of the world.
Sometimes it's unbearable to hear so much.
Can't you hear anything? N-not a thing.
He was coughing all the way through dinner.
Why weren't you at dinner?.
I f-fell asleep.
He was coughing all the way through dinner.
Even from his room at the far side of the palace, I could hear him.
No one else could.
Not even Hera.
Hera? Oh, yes, Hera.
No, I don't think she would have heard him.
It's stopped.
Oh, I'm glad.
You wanted to tell me something? Y-yes.
It's about the s-statues.
Yes, I wanted to talk to you about that.
You've noticed too? Noticed what?.
that none of the statues of the gods in Rome look like me.
I can't have that.
I want you to collect the statues of the gods in Rome and replace their heads with one of my own.
- Your own? - Yes.
And Hera's too.
You can put her head on the statue of Venus.
Isn't she beautiful?.
And she's pregnant.
She carries my child in her womb.
The thought torments me.
What could it be like? Could it be greater than Zeus himself?.
Could it rule the universe? The statues of N-Nero and D-Drusus w.
won't be ready for the ceremony.
The statues of your b-brothers won't be ready in time.
Won't be ready?.
! - It's not my fault - You've bungled it! You're an idiot! I was a fool to have trusted you! I've a good mind to have your throat cut.
In fact I'll do it now! No! No! No! - What is it?.
! - Who is it?.
- I've cured his cough.
- Oh, no.
Oh, no! And you're not Consul any more! You are dismissed! I'll find somebody else! - Take it away.
It looks horrible.
- Yes, Caesar.
Drusilla, wake up, please.
Please, Drusilla, my head! Please.
No one can be greater than Zeus.
Not even the child of Zeus.
There weren't many at the funeral.
were there? What did you expect?.
Caligula denounced him as a traitor.
All the same, he was Tiberius' grandson, and still only a boy.
How can people believe such nonsense? People will believe anything.
We're fortunate he didn't celebrate the funeral with games.
I want to speak to Claudius alone.
Of course.
I'll go.
Is there something wrong, or has Gemellus' funeral upset you? It was the funeral - Goodbye, Herod.
- Goodbye.
- Are you going away somewhere? - Yes.
At long last, I'm going to join your father.
- What do you mean? - I'm going to kill myself.
Don't start any nonsense.
- But you can't.
- Oh, yes, I can.
My life's my own.
It'll be a welcome release.
I've no wish to go on living in this place.
You don't have to pretend you'll miss me.
Of course I'll miss you.
You're my mother.
That's very dutiful.
considering I've never been very loving to you.
I'm sorry for that, but you've always been a disappointment to me.
- Oh, don't say that - You see? Crying at your age.
- Well.
why shouldn't I cry?.
- There's no need.
Keep your tears for yourself, you may need them.
I shan't.
- Don't do it, please.
- My mind is made up.
I don't want to stay here any more.
I was born into a world of people.
It's become a kennel of mad dogs.
I've seen my splendid son, Germanicus, murdered, and my grandsons, Drusus, Nero, Gemellus.
My grand-daughters are degenerate, and your sister, Livilla, died by my own hand.
That was the worst.
I should have died then myself.
W-wait a while.
Caligula's sick in his mind.
Sooner or later Rome is sick - sick to its heart.
He's just the rash she's come out in.
But he can't last f-forever.
And I daresay you'll survive him.
You'd survive the Great Flood, I know that now.
But I've no wish to.
I've stayed too long and it's good manners to know when to leave.
You'll find all my affairs in order.
Pay my debts and be good to my slaves - they've been very loyal I shall go down to Antium and do it.
Come in five hours, I shall be dead by then, but wait till Briseis confirms it in case you catch my dying breath.
I count on you to pay me the last rites.
Remember to cut off my hand for separate burial for this will be suicide.
It'll be just like you to forget.
And Claudius Claudius.
Please don't make a muddle of the valedictory.
You may kiss me.
Oh, Mother.
(HE SOBS) She's dead, Master.
You can go in.
How was it?.
Oh, so easy, Master.
When life so wants to escape, it takes but the touch of the knife on the vein to let it flow away.
She didn't cry out?.
Only at the end.
I heard her call to your father.
"Drusus, Drusus," she said.
"Forgive me, forgive me.
" Forgive me? Perhaps for keeping him waiting for so long.
I've taken her out of the bath.
She's covered with a sheet.
You can go and see her now.
I'll come in a m-minute.
Don't be sad, Master.
She wanted to go.
It was no effort.
Calm as you like, and brave.
she was Mark Antony's daughter and Octavia's.
You'd expect that.
I've cut off her hand for separate burial Why did you do it?.
She asked me to, Master.
Perhaps she thought it might slip your mind.
Zeus! Zeus! My husband! Where are you? Oh, you're not Zeus.
You're not my husband, Zeus.
You're just my silly old Uncle C-C-Claudius.
It was your grandmother's funeral today.
Couldn't you have attended? Gods don't attend funerals.
You're drunk.
My husband found this wonderful potion which we take.
It makes you feel as if you're riding through the air! Have you seen him - my husband? He's hiding.
Do you mean your b-brother?.
My brother.
My divine potent brother.
Do you know he's to be a father?.
Hera is with child by Zeus.
Or Metis or Diana.
Sometimes I'm one, sometimes I'm the other.
He gets a bit confused.
Why do you play up to him like this? Why do you? You play the clown, I play the goddess.
You're disgusting! You wouldn't dare say that to him.
You're afraid.
we're all afraid - even he is.
Do you know what he's afraid of?.
He's afraid it will be more powerful than he is and rule the heavens.
Now I have something he's afraid of.
Zeus! Zeus! Where are you? Zeus! Zeus, my treasure? Are you in there? Zeus! Ah! Oh, you frightened me.
Oh, it's magnificent.
It'll tickle a bit.
Why are you hiding in here? I wanted you to find me in here.
You see, I've altered my whole room.
We gods like to live on mountain tops and while I live in this palace, this reminds me of my real home.
And what's this? A chariot to draw you up to the clouds.
Drink this.
Oh, I think I've drunk enough.
Is it the same? It's the same.
We gods drink it before we perform a miracle.
Drink it.
You know I love you? More than anything in the whole world? Let me show you how you'll be drawn up into Olympus.
You see Golden bracelets to help you.
To help you ride.
Shall we ride together?.
Who am I? Zeus, Lord of Heaven, my husband.
- Who are you? - The Queen of Heaven, your wife.
- Do you trust me? - Oh, utterly, my lover, my lord.
- There'll be no pain, I promise.
- Pain? Why, what do you want to do, my angel?.
You know I can resist you nothing.
What are you doing? What do you want to do? Oh, tell the Queen of Heaven what her lord and master wants.
I must draw the child from the Queen of Heaven's womb and swallow it whole, so a new child may grow out of the head of Zeus.
Oh, yes, darling.
Draw it out.
Let Zeus take the child and Oh, let's go to bed.
Your queen's very sleepy.
What's that?.
What are you going to do? There'll be no pain, I know it.
Pain? But why should? (HOOFBEATS) Caligula? We are immortal gods! (BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAMING) (BANGING) (CLAUDIUS) Open the door! (SCREAMING STOPS) (BOLT CLICKS) Don't go in there.
go in there.