A history lesson: Patrick Stewart with hair!

Patrick Stewart, with hair, in I Claudius
Before he baldly went where no man has gone before – Patrick Stewart with hair, in "Clavdivs"

We’ve been having a bit of a video history lesson in the last few days. We’re slowly but surely working our way through the mammoth epic "I, Claudius", better known to anyone who’s seen it as "Clavdivs".

It’s a double history lesson. Not only do we get to see the (probably slightly dramatised/exaggerated) history of the extended Roman imperial families, but we also get to see various actors and actresses from British 70’s TV in different roles. Prime example would have to be Patrick Stewart, long before he "baldly went where no man has gone before", with hair, really quite appalling hair, as the dastardly Serjanus.

Through the programme, I kept noticing familiar faces, then pondering for a few minutes until I could remember where they were from… the husband
from that family who live next to George & Mildred… the gay bloke from Allo Allo… the bloke who became Inspector Wexford… all major megastars, of course.

But then, there’s also John Hurt as Caligula, looking physically healthier than his Elephant Man or Alien roles, but definitely a few snags short of a barbeque. How else would you describe someone who murders his father, marries his sister, decides that he and she are both gods, then after she becomes pregnant… ah, but that would be telling for anybody who hasn’t seen it yet… and besides, this is a family column.

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