I, Claudius (1976) s01e09 Episode Script

Hail Who?

- Part VII - ' Hail Who? ' It's from Herod.
- What does he say?.
- Oh, it's written from J-Jerusalem.
Read it to me.
His letters are so amusing.
"My dear old friend, "what is all this I hear about you living in three rooms "in the p-poor quarter of town? "Is it serious? "Why did you not write to me? "Is it that absurd p-pride of yours? "Well.
I shall attend to that shortly.
"Meanwhile, knowing how loath you are to accept money "and being the only p-practical friend you ever had, "I enclose a little p-p-present for you.
"Please make proper use of it.
Herod.
" - What is it?.
It seems very small - Well.
I don't know.
I don't think that's very generous.
Venus! Oh, Claudius, I think your luck is changing.
I'm sure it's an omen! Those dice are crooked.
You can't possibly use them! Oh, dear Herod! How I miss him.
- Master, have you seen this? - What?.
- It was on the door of the temple.
- What is it?.
It's advertising a brothel in the palace! They're all over the city.
A brothel?.
In the palace? But who is to serve in it?.
His sisters, his cousins, senators and their wives.
- You knew about it?.
- Yes.
Why didn't you tell me? He wants you there? He wants me to take the m-money on the door.
Oh, Claudius.
The monster.
The little monster.
Forcing the nobility into prostitution.
And in the palace! Even Calpurnia wouldn't serve there, and it's her profession! Briseis, that is not her profession any more! My dear, that was and is my profession.
I'm a prostitute and I'm not ashamed of it.
- Claudius, she's terrified.
- There's nothing you can do.
Claudius, listen.
She's given birth six weeks ago.
- I'm afraid of what she'll do.
- There are no exceptions.
There must be a room to put her in.
Please! Do you want my throat cut along with yours?! You've paid, go in! Enjoy yourself.
- Come, it's not important.
- No.
Do you want the child left without a mother?.
Come on.
Ah, another customer.
And we were just running out of men.
Real men.
Sabinus, isn't it?.
And I see you've brought your pretty wife.
My dear, you'll make a fortune in there tonight.
You'd better, anyway.
The Emperor has just raised his commission.
- Shall we go? - Ah, reinforcements.
Marcus Vinicius, the Emperor's brother-in-law and your first customer.
Make him pay through the nose, my dear - you're worth it.
Come.
- What are you doing? - Chucking you out! - But you've no right! - That's what I'm here for.
- Why?.
- For creating a disturbance.
- She was creating the disturbance! - Out! See him off the premises.
- Go home.
- But the Emperor? I'll tell him I threw you out for indecent behaviour.
- You're a good man, Claudius.
- Oh.
Claudius? We must help him, the Emperor.
- He's your husband.
You help him! - Claudius.
He's sick.
He needs good people around him.
He's killed them all! What are you doing here in your condition? He told me to come.
He likes me to be with him.
Has he shown you, naked, to his G-German guards lately?.
Oh, I'm sorry, Caesonia.
It's not for me to criticise.
I bleat with the rest of them whenever he appears.
There are no lions among us any more.
What are you doing? Let me go! (SILENCE FALLS) "Vulcan, with awkward grace his office plies, "while unextinguished laughter shakes the skies.
" Homer.
For "Vulcan" read "Old Uncle Claudius.
" Oh "Then, from his anvil.
the lame craftsman rose "Widewith distorted legs, oblique he goes.
" Oh, bravo! Henceforth, Uncle, you shall be Vulcan.
While I Oh, what am I but Ulysses returning home to witness the shame and degradation of his household.
Cassius.
Did you ever see a sight as surd and degrading as this? Shall I arrest them? No.
Let them indulge themselves a while longer.
Soon, I promise, I shall flush this savage into the Tiber forever.
Meanwhile, Jove must cleanse himself in battle.
I have sworn to fight a war against the Germans that will end in their annihilation.
I shall bring back booty to Rome, fill her coffers, enrich her purse.
Cassius, order the detachments and raise the levies! I go to forge, in the white-hot fires of war, a new and tempered spirit of Rome that will last a thousand years! There's a good girl (KNOCKING) Claudius! I brought a little g-gift for the baby.
Oh, Claudius.
That's lovely.
- Show it to her.
- How is she? Come and see.
Ah, there.
She's very pretty.
Yes She looks just like you.
Come and sit down.
So, how is Calpurnia? She's well She sends her felicitations.
I'm going to see the Emperor in Germany.
I'll be able to report that you're both looking well - Why are you going to Germany?.
- Haven't you heard? - You know they tell me nothing.
- I'm not sure I should tell you.
Oh, I suppose you'll hear about it soon enough.
Well.
he has informed the Senate by letter that he has uncovered a vast conspiracy in the army of the Rhine.
Six corps commanders and the army commander himself, Gaetulicus, have been executed.
More executions are still taking place.
Do you think there was a conspiracy?.
Who knows? Would it surprise you? But Gaetulicus? No.
He was my father's old friend, my brother's corps commander, a soldier of iron loyalties.
- No.
That's not possible.
- Why are you going, then? The Senate is sending me, and two ex-Consuls, to congratulate him on the s-suppression of the mutiny.
As I said, the only lions left in Rome are in the arena.
I'm also to strip Livia's apartments of their valuables and send them to him by road.
He stresses by road.
Apparently, he has a quarrel with Neptune and fears a boat will sink.
- What does he want them for?.
- To auction to the provincials.
He's auctioning everything at the moment.
He has a gift for it.
Claudius, what am I doing here? Why did he choose me for a wife? I'm ten years older than he is, not pretty.
I was born the daughter of a night-watchman, I married a baker.
What does he see in me? Perhaps that you, alone among everyone truly l-love him.
Yes, I do love him.
I can't explain why.
I know he does terrible things.
I'll tell you something.
He is more afraid than any of us.
Cassius! I've just bean talking to that river god.
He threatened to drown me.
- Does he know who you are? - He does now.
I've just given him a severe reprimand.
Well.
the river's going down, isn't it?.
Yes, Caesar.
Your uncle is here with Marcus Vinicius and Asprenas.
Let them in.
Hail Caesar.
Lord of the Heavens, the Senate and the people of Where are my carts? C-carts? The carts with the valuables in them.
Oh, heaven bless Your Majesty, they're coming by road.
They'll be a few days.
We wanted to get here quick, so we came by water.
Oh, then back by water you go! - Throw him in the river! - Oh, merciful god! How dare you arrive without my carts?! You said they should come by road! Take him onto the bridge and throw him off! Prostrate yourselves in the presence of Jove! (SPLASH!) How dare the Senate send that idiot to congratulate me! I'll have their throats cut.
He's not worthy.
The man's an imbecile! I save Rome from a conspiracy and they send that clapped-out crippled old clown to felicitate me? Is that the respect that they give their Emperor?.
! What's going on there? More plots, more conspiracies.
I'll set my German guards on them when I get back.
I'll burn the place down! It never was any use! Yes.
I should have done that a long time ago.
I should have had his throat cut before.
He makes a mess of everything! He couldn't even order my brothers' statues on time.
Merciful god, we only came by see to bring our congratulations sooner.
I wanted carts, not congratulations! Up! Up! Up! Up! Up! Did I not tell you that I've had a quarrel with Neptune? He plagues me all the time with his see noises, stirs the river gods up against me and makes war on me.
How dare you ride with him! Perhaps Yes.
Perhaps you plotted with him.
No, merciful god! Yes, you and that imbecile uncle of mine plotted with him.
- No, highest one - What did you talk about, then? You and Neptune? What did you say to one another?.
Nothing, we swear! Mere mortals can't talk to a god! Perhaps he appeared to you in mortal guise as I do.
What did he look like? We never saw him.
Oh, please believe me.
He wouldn't plot with us.
Perhaps you're right.
But I shall kill you just the same.
Down! Cassius, give me your sword.
Oh, please! In the name of your wife, my sister How dare you mention that whore to me?! But what have we done? I'll show the Senate what I think of their envoys! I'll send you back in pieces.
I wish I'd done the same with my uncle.
Never mind, they'll get the message.
No! (CALIGULA LAUGHS) And where have you bean, my dear, dear Vulcan? Oh "I felt the Thunderer's might, "Hurled headlong down from the ethereal height, "Breathless I fell.
in giddy motions lost.
"The Sinthians raised me on the Lemnian coast.
" For "Lemnian" read "Rhenian".
By Jove! - which is always to say "by myself" - this fellow knows his Homer.
Please, Claudius, beseech the Emperor to save our lives.
"Be silent and obey! "Dear as you are, if Jove his arm extend "I can but grieve, unable to defend.
" Look, if the next two lines are apt, then they're saved.
If not, I'll have their throats cut.
Oh, what Oh! "What soul so daring in your aid to move, "Or lift his arm against the might of Jove?" For "Jove" read "C-C" Me! Oh, he's got a line for everything.
Get up.
You're saved by Claudius' ready tongue.
Come into the other room.
I'll give you a blanket.
Oh, Cassius.
What is the watchword for tonight, Caesar?.
Oh.
The watchword for tonight?.
Let me see.
What about "Give us a kiss"? It could have bean just now.
It could happen tomorrow or the next day to you or to me.
But do not doubt it will happen one day.
Did that surprise you - the watchword that I gave to Cassius? Oh, I t-thought it was a j-j-joke.
It was, but it's my joke, not his.
I do it to annoy him.
When he addresses a commander of the guard, he has to say "Give us a kiss"! Yesterday, I gave him "Touch me, Titus"! Why, m-may I ask, d-do you do that?.
- Because he's a cry-baby.
- Cassius? I thought he was the b-bravest soldier in the army.
So did I, but he's not.
I had him torture Gaetulicus to get some information out of him, and we got no information and he died under torture, and one of the guards told me that Cassius wept.
I was going to give him Macro's command, but I didn't after that.
How many hours a night do you sleep? Sleep? Oh, eight or n-nine, I suppose.
Well.
I sleep barely three! Do g-g-gods need more? Do you think I'm mad? M-m-mad? Yes.
Sometimes I think that I'm going mad.
Do you? Be honest with me, has that thought ever crossed your mind? Never.
N-never.
Why, the idea is preposterous! You set the standard of s-sanity for the whole world.
Then why is there all this galloping in my head? And why do I sleep so little? Well.
it's your mortal disguise.
You see, a physical body is a great strain if you're not used to it which a god isn't.
Um, err And that explains too, I think the three hours sleep.
You see, undisguised gods never sleep at all Yes, you're probably right.
But if I'm a god, which of course I am, why didn't I think of that?.
Anyway, whatever the reason, it's very hard to be a god.
Oh, you do know that I am that all-powerful god whose coming the Jews have prophesied for centuries? Oh, yes, you told me.
I feel very p-privileged to receive that information - especially as the Jews, apparently, don't know it.
But it's prophesied that he'll die young and hated by his own people.
No, I can't believe that.
Not hated.
It's incredible, isn't it?.
It must be true.
Uncle, I want you to come with us on this expedition.
When we've auctioned the stuff in the carts When they arrive! We shall cross the Rhine, defeat the Germans and march towards the sea.
I shall do battle with my old enemy Neptune, and what triumphs I shall have when we return to Rome.
Now leave me.
I have a headache.
(FANFARE) Your Emperor is amongst you once again.
All his wars successfully concluded and the victorious armies brought back to Rome.
He had thought, in his divine innocence that the roads might be lined with cheering crowds.
He had thought that the streets might be strewn with flowers.
He had thought that messages would tell him of triumphs to be awarded.
What did he find? This conqueror of the Germans, this victor over the mighty Neptune? The streets empty of crowds and flowers, no triumphs awarded, no Games, no celebrations but three miserable old ex-Consuls waiting at the gates to great him and a room full of cowardly stay-at-home senators, who spent all their time at the theatre and at the baths, while he has spent six months living no better than a private soldier! Yes, your Emperor has returned but with this in his hand! But, Jove, you ordered no triumphs.
Well.
of course I ordered no triumphs! Would I order triumphs for myself?.
But you ordered us not to order any.
Yes, and you took me at my word, didn't you? Typical! It didn't occur to you that I might be leaving it up to you for your love to show itself freely?.
It didn't occur to you that it might be my natural humility speaking? "I ordered you not to celebrate.
" But you ordered celebrations for the anniversary of Actium, didn't you? Celebrated the defeat of my great-grandfather Mark Antony! How many bottles of wine did you open toasting his murder while I was doing battle with the sea? Show them our booty! Show them the plunder we gathered from old Neptune.
Sea-shells? Yes.
Spoils of the sea.
Loot from old Neptune.
He won't take me on again in a hurry.
Jove, while you were away, we built a new temple to you on Palatine Hill That won't save you! Down on your knees, all of you! Bend your heads.
I shall saver each one at the nock! Merciful god! Would you spoil the great day of your return by spilling blood? When they write the history of this day should they have to mix it with the death of these fools? Claudius is right, my Lord.
My husband.
Think of your little daughter.
When she is older, she will read the account of your return.
Must these fools intrude on such a glorious page of history?.
Your soft words have appeased my wrath.
As we know, prayer can soften the hearts of gods.
You may go.
I shall inspect the temple in the morning.
How right you were, Jove, to want to punish them for celebrating the battle of Actium.
Marcus, I had them both ways.
If they hadn't, they would have insulted Augustus, my grandfather, who won the battle.
And Agrippa too, who was your other grandfather Marcus Vinicius, you are no longer my friend.
What have I said? You reminded him that Agrippa was his grandfather.
- But Agrippa was a great man! - Yes, but of very l-low birth.
Such men do not produce gods, Marcus.
Certainly not ones capable of d-defeating Neptune.
If you're no longer his friend, what can you be but his enemy?.
Go your own way, Cassius.
If we all go our own way, we shall all end by going the same way.
(LOUD KNOCKING) Yes.
I'm coming! Yes, yes! I'm coming, I'm coming, I'm coming.
Oh, Claudius, don't go.
They could be assassins.
Who are you? What do you want?.
- You're wanted at the palace! - Is that you, Cassius? - Yes.
Hurry up.
- W-what's the matter?.
My orders are to fetch you at once.
Marcus Vinicius and Asprenas too.
Never mind about dressing.
Throw on a cloak.
How long? How long have we been sitting here, do you think? About t-t-two hours.
It must be nearly light.
What do you think he's going to do with us? I don't know.
I j-just hope it's q-quick, that's all Claudius, I'm sorry I've made fun of you.
- It doesn't m-matter now.
- Will you give me your hand? Thank you, that's a great comfort to me.
(CYMBALS CRASH) (SOFT SENSUOUS MUSIC PLAYS) Whenever the God of Night sleeps on The rosy-fingered goddess, Dawn Tiptoes on his domain And then she flits across the skies from star to star about She lightens darkness where she flies and blows Night's candles out Raging on her heels Night treads And tries to hold her fast And bring her loveliness to bed and ravish her at last And every night he once contrives to win a single kiss To win a single kiss Before the morning sun arrives To rob him of his bliss And now she turns and lightly treads On pillows everywhere She must awaken from their beds The secret lovers there But loath to part they linger there She urges them away Oh, Dawn, of goddesses most fair We worship you each day We worship you each day! Oh, god of gods! Never have I witnessed a dance that gave me such p-profound s-spiritual joy! Oh.
Did you like it?.
It was indesc-ccribable.
Well.
it was only a rehearsal Oh.
W-whatever will the f-finished performance be like? Get up.
Come here.
What did you think of the girl?.
Oh, b-beautiful You old lecher! Bring the girl back! I'm going to marry her to you tomorrow! T-t-to me? Mmm.
I think it'd be very funny.
All that loveliness married to a silly crippled old fool like you.
What on earth would you do with it?.
Oh, Messalina, come here.
I'm going to marry you to Uncle Claudius! And you can both come and live in the palace.
Thank you, Caesar.
And now I must away to shed more light.
Oh, Cassius! Oh, yes.
The watchword for tonight.
"Bottoms up!" I give you another watchword - "Liberty.
" I'm s-s-sorry.
Don't you want to marry me? Well.
.
it's j-just that I'm so much older than you.
I'd be very happy to be married to you.
To tell you the truth, I was terrified when he brought me here.
I thought he was going to I'd feel safe being married to you.
Do you think you could ever love me? I think I'm in l-l-love with you already.
Well.
if I'm to be married tomorrow, I must go home and get ready.
Goodbye, Claudius.
G-g-g g-goodbye.
Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus, his family and friends.
Welcome, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus, to you and your family and your friends.
I thank you, V-Valeria Messalina, for my family and my friends.
And I thank you for m-myself.
The noble senator Incitatus.
You know everybody, don't you? Well.
find yourself a place.
He's never been to a wedding before.
His life has really opened up since I made him a senator.
Well.
let the auspices be taken.
Kill him.
We've talked enough.
I say kill him.
It's risky.
You can't kill a man without taking a risk.
But those German guards never leave him.
There's always a way.
Are you with us? Or will you wait till he offers you poisoned fruit or has your throat cut at dinner?.
It's all right for you, you're a soldier.
Yes.
You can leave the killing to me.
But will you help? He's right, Marcus.
The longer we leave it, the more certain it is we shan't survive.
All right.
But when and where? Tomorrow is the final day of the Games.
Let's do it then.
Where? There's a covered way at the rear of the Imperial box.
It's an exit you must persuade him to use.
- How?.
- Find a reason.
Tell him there are crowds out front and they'll delay his meal He'll have his German guards with him.
Yes.
Now, here's the tricky part.
Sabinus and I will be waiting outside.
You'll be in the box with Caligula and a few friends.
Normally, he would lead the way out, followed by his friends and then the guards.
The staircase down to the covered way is narrow.
You must be sure to be behind Caligula.
As he steps into the covered way, you must stumble or something - anything to give us time to slam the gates and separate Caligula from the guards.
That's all you have to do.
And then what?.
We call on the Senate to declare a Republic and put an end to this madness.
Who dies with Caligula? The whole Imperial family.
Caesonia, the child, the two sisters and dear old Uncle Claudius and his new wife.
- No, I don't want that.
- We must! Whatever they think of Caligula, they have to remove his assassins.
None of us would be safe afterwards.
It's Caligula alone or not at all All right.
Just Caligula.
Liberty and the Republic.
I don't like it.
It's dangerous to leave the others alive.
We shan't.
I'll see to that, don't worry.
If they're in for Caligula, they're in for the lot.
(LOW ROARING OF CROWD) Oh, damn! I've lost all my money! I'm not playing any more.
Here, Lord, let me lend you some.
Lend? I hate running up debts.
- Well.
have half of my - Accepted.
Why am I so unlucky today! Unless of course it's your dice I'm playing with.
My dice? Why should my dice be different from any other?.
A dice is a very personal thing.
One man's dice may be lucky for him, but not for his friend.
Here, Lord, try these.
They were sent to me by Herod.
He claims they once belonged to Alexander the G-Great.
Really?.
I'd no idea that Alexander played dice.
He had many things in common with you, Lord.
(CROWD ROARS) What is it?.
He's got the Thracian down.
The crowd want him spared, they've turned their thumbs up.
The Thracian.
(BOOING) If they only had one neck, I'd hack it through.
That Thracian's lost me a lot of money over the last year.
Alexander, you say?.
Well.
let's see.
By Jove - which is always to say "by myself" - that looks promising.
Pay up, everybody.
I'm indebted to you, Uncle.
You've changed my luck.
Some dice are fit only for gods to throw.
What about some food? Is Caesar hungry?.
No.
Oh, I see what you mean! These dice were made for me.
Pay up again.
You did me a lot of harm with those dice, Marcus.
- I'm raising the stakes to 3,000.
- I've r-run out of money, Lord.
That doesn't matter.
Your new wife's got plenty.
Pay up.
I've posted guards at both ends and told them to prevent anyone coming through here.
They'll be out soon.
I've dismissed the palace guards.
They're all at the Games.
Will you strike the first blow?.
Jove himself couldn't stop me.
I can see you don't want to play any more.
You only like playing when you're winning.
Shall we watch the Games for a while? What about a swim and some food? I don't feel very hungry today.
I've had a wonderful morning, Uncle.
Is there a favour I could grant you? Oh, Lord, please, regard it as a small return for the g-great happiness you've given me with my new wife.
Happiness? She wasn't supposed to make you happy, nor you her.
- It was meant to be a joke! - Oh, no, no.
You misunderstand me.
I'm so clumsy at expressing myself.
No.
What I meant was my happiness comes from contemplating yours.
To be the cause of s-so much merriment is the source of d-deepest satisfaction to me.
Where are you going, Marcus? To tell the truth, Lord, nature calls.
Something I ate last night.
Don't look at me.
If I doctor your food, you'll know straight away! That's odd.
He wanted to eat a moment ago.
His behaviour's very strange lately.
- Strange? - Well.
nervous.
Why is he nervous? We're all nervous in your presence, Lord.
I have never been able to understand.
Excuse me.
Thank you.
He doesn't want to eat.
We'll have to put it off.
- Then I'll kill him where he sits! - They'll cut you down.
What's that to me? But I'll call on you for help before they do.
No, wait! I'll tell him his Greek ballet have arrived.
He'll come out for that.
Anything.
But get him out here! Lord, Cassius informs me your Greek ballet is here.
- Greek ballet?.
Where are they?.
- Waiting outside to great you.
Bring them in.
Just the boys.
The girls can wait.
They have prepared a dance in your honour which they wish to perform.
Oh.
Well.
in that case, we mustn't disappoint them.
Shall we see what they've prepared? Lord, they're at the rear.
The front is too full of people.
Well.
if they're as good as people say they are, I might let them dance with me.
What's this? (CASSIUS) The watchword, butcher, is "Liberty!" (POUNDING ON DOOR) I'm a god! I'm a god! You can't kill me! Drusilla! I'm dying! Drusilla! Finish him! This is from our wives, Jove.
You fools! You've let them kill him! Your Emperor! After them! Oh, Cassius.
What's happened? Where has everybody gone? No! (CAESONIA SCREAMS) (INDISTINCT SHOUTING) There's some stuff in here.
Hurry up, lads! Take what you can.
Let's get out before the Germans come.
Get anything you can take.
Chock it's got gold in it.
- Hay, Sergeant.
- Yes? Here's one of them.
It's one of the assassins! N-no! Don't kill me, s-sir, I b-beg you! I had nothing to do with it! You bastard.
Kill our Emperor, would you? Put us all out of work? Wait, Gratus, that's not an assassin.
It's the Emperor's uncle, Germanicus' brother.
He's harmless.
Leave him alone.
Come on, sir.
We won't harm you.
Thank you.
You see, the lads are a bit angry, sir.
No Emperor, no Praetorian Guard, and it's back to the army for us.
I m-must go and f-find my wife.
Of course.
Gratus, go with this gentlemen! Why can't we have him for an Emperor?.
Old Claudius?! Don't be stupid, lad.
He's a simpleton.
He's He's better than nothing.
No, no! I don't want to be Emperor! I want a Republic! You a member of the Imperial family, sir?.
Don't make me laugh! Hay, lads! We've found an Emperor! No! Das ist eine! Darre Totung! Wait a minute! Just a minute, Herman.
That's our new Emperor.
Kaiser! Emperor! Ja? Ja! Lift him up, lads! Long live the Emperor Claudius! No! Put me down! Put me down! Don't worry, sir, you'll get used to it.
It's not such a bad life.
Put this on him.
Put me down! I don't want to be an Emperor! I w.
.
want a Republic.
Don't say that in front of the Germans - they'll slit your throat.
Come on, smile.
Smile.
That's it, that's it.
Look happy.
Long live the Emperor! (ALL) Long live the Emperor! Long live the Emperor! Long live the Emperor! Long live the Emperor! Long live the Emperor! Long live the Emperor! Long live the Emperor! Long live the Emperor!