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benbess

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Too bad the budget for shows like this and I Claudius couldn't have been stretched to cover the cost of 35mm film. Sigh. I think the wonderful BBC production of Pride and Prejudice from the 1990s was filmed 16mm, but it was done so well it looks almost like 35mm. Another BBC/Masterpiece Theater show that was probably videotaped that I loved was To Serve Them All My Days from 1981. Here's a DVD cover for that, as well as some great costumes for the movie that actually is the topic for this thread.

to-serve-them-all-my-days-e1633218989912.jpeg



bette.jpg
errol.jpeg
 

David_B_K

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Yes, I, Claudius was appointment television for much of the country when it aired here. I can remember talking about it for weeks at work on Monday after each Sunday airing. Another masterpiece that I've watched through many, many times.

I was a drama student in college when I, Claudius aired and everybody was watching it. It was basically a lesson on great acting. I'm not really bothered by the video-taped look of these shows. I see them as televised plays more than films.

Another interesting series to check out is The Caesars. It was a Granada series and aired in 1968, shot in black and white. It is interesting to see the changes in the story from one version to the other. I thought Robert Graves got just a bit carried away with Livia's poisoning in I, Claudius. I get that she wanted her son to become Emperor, but would she really poison the other son (Claudius' father), just to promote Tiberius? Particularly in a world in which death could arrive very quickly due to war, illness, etc.?

An interesting plot change is in the story of Postumous Agrippa, a potential heir to Augustus. He was played by John Castle in I, Claudius. He shown to be framed for attempting to rape Claudius' sister and is exiled. Augustus visits him in exile, and tells him he was wrong and that he will pardon him and possibly name him as heir. After Augustus' death, Postumus is killed, presumably on Livia's orders.

In The Caesars, Augustus visits Postumus on his island and finds him to be a sniveling narcissist who plans to exact revenge on all who displease him. After Augustus' death, we find that the order to kill Postumus was given by Augustus after finding out what a cruel tyrant Postumus would have been. Interesting to see how to writers handled the same historical story that has a lot of room for interpretation.
 

BobO'Link

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Howie
That videotape/16mm hybrid was standard practice for UK TV right up until BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, I believe
They did *every* program that way. I often find the practice a bit distracting with BBC product as the production styles (shot composition/framing/staging) changed with that switch from videotape to film. You had that interior material that's quite "stagy" (full of tracking shots and that do-the-entire-scene-in-one-take "live" look/sound with its associated studio noise [AC/cameras/etc.]) and then that jolt to the more film-like production for outside material.
 

marcco00

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Jan 14, 2010
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marc
yes good old PBS stations..... i grew up watching all their programs on the weekends and learned sooo much from them.
to think there was a time before cable!
 

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