John Hurt has not aged well. Sian Phillips on the other hand will always look a lot younger than Livia gets to be, which may not be quite the compliment it was meant to be.
The odd one, for a while, was Livilla, Claudius' evil sister, because she seemed terribly familiar
but not from anything recent. And then I realized that she was Patricia Quinn and the reason she was so familiar was that she was also, at almost the same time, in The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Magenta, and sings 'Science Fiction Double Feature'. And all the sex between Livilla and Sejanus means that we know exactly what RHPS/TNG crossover hetfic would look like, which is a troubling thought.
I've been thinking about my soft spot for bad girls and mad girls and very occasionally boys...
i) Even when she is a crone, Livia as played by Sian Phillips is one of the most sexual women I have ever seen on television, all the more so because she does not especially realize it. She is so totally obsessed with her version of reality that she is mad and focussed at the same time and I find that kind of intensity scarily attractive. You just don't eat and drink anything she knows about, and you're fine.
ii) I may have mostly written about Cordelia, but actually I never really found Charisma attractive until the last episode of Season 2 of Veronica Mars, when Kendall has got her pile and suddenly isn't showing any skin at all. Again, it's focus.
iii) Presumably Drusilla in BTVS got her name from Caligula's sister. Juliet Landau's accent is one of the most bizarre things ever - I have always thought it based on Janet Street-Porter, myself. It's the skinny Goth surrealist look, and again, the sense of someone close to being utterly deadly.
iv) A token moment of heterosexual attraction while we are on the subject of the Jossverse - late mad unshaven sticking knives in people Wesley. Contemplate the hotness. What is the opposite of 'scrubs up nicely'? Scruffs up nicely.
v) Coming in from nowhere fast, Nicki in Big Love with her obsessive religiosity, her preparedness to, at the last moment, get herself up in non-polygamist drag for the sake of the family, and her strange mad eyes.
vi) Emma Frost, more for the sharp tongue and intelligence than the bizarre fetish outfits. She is obviously a very powerful telekinetic as well as a telepath and were-diamond because how else but through constant mind control do those clother stay up?
More of this anon. when I calm down from the contemplation.
The influence of the Caligula bits of I, Claudius on B5 is obvious - the mad emperor has the same weird whimsy. When Agrippina tells Tiberius that Sejanus squats on his shoulder like a big black spider, I found myself thinking, that Omigod, JMS was thinking of that when he devised Londo's eventual fate.
I will post more on the terror plot etc. later when we know more and it is clearer how much is true, how much convenient. (My guess to both is, quite a lot.)
In the meantime, some thoughts.
When the police talk about finding 'martyrdom videos', do they mean that some of those arrested had already recorded their statements, or do they mean that they were collecting other people's pre-suicide bombing videos. I don't know which is the creepier thought.
I was thinking about the Forest Gate cockup the other day and realized that, quite possibly, it was less of a blunder than we tend to think. The organs of the state were monitoring the family because of the elder brother's wearing a suicide vest on a demo. Were they tapping their internet traffic? And was the raid brought about by the volume of encrypted material? And does this have anything to do with the subsequent rearrest of one of the brothers on child pornography charges? I hate to let the security services off the hook, and that would still be a messup, but...