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Spartacus

Spartacus is a drama about a Thracian soldier imprisoned by the Roman Republic around the turn of the 1st century BC. He is sold into slavery and trained to be a gladiator in the city of Capua. STARZ 2010-???

Seasons

Season Overview #Episodes Score Viewer
score
Season 2 2011 6 62 -
Season 3 2012 10 58 57
Season 4 2013 10 60 70

Top episodes

Season
» Episode
Episode Overview Score Viewer score
Season 4
» Episode 10
Victory Spartacus spreads confusion to try and throw Pompey...
Spartacus spreads confusion to try and throw Pompey off his scent. He also prepares for the final battle, sending the women and children toward the Alps. Meanwhile Crassus finds out the truth about Tiberius and Kore and forgives her. Spartacus asks Gannicus to lead a part of the army. Crassus asks Spartacus for a private conversation before the battle. The battle sees almost all the rebels fall. Spartacus nearly kills Crassus but lives long enough to die a free man. Gannicus joins Kore on the cross. Agron and Nassir lead what remains of the rebels out of Italy.
78 83
Season 2
» Episode 6
The Bitter End Batiatus and Solonius lure Tullius and Vettius into...
Batiatus and Solonius lure Tullius and Vettius into an ambush. Batiatus kills Tullius and walls him up in the new arena while Solonius tells Vettius what to tell the rest of Capua. At the opening of the new arena Vettius announces that he is passing his gladiators to Solonius only. Batiatus' men are thus pitted against Solonius' in the final battle. Ashur kills Dagan and threatens to do the same to Gannicus so Crixus wounds him. Gannicus survives and Solonius cunningly suggests he be freed in order to keep him from Batiatus. Gannicus leaves the ludus as Batiatus and Lucretia prepare to invest in Crixus.
69 -
Season 4
» Episode 6
Spoils of War Crassus' men occupy the city as Spartacus pushes...
Crassus' men occupy the city as Spartacus pushes his people out of the north gate. Gannicus and Donar agree to create a distraction and find Sibyl as they set fire to the city. Donar is captured and he and the remaining slaves are prepared for the Carnificina in honour of Caesar's victory. Laeta is restored to her former beauty but then handed to Heracleo as part of the deal he struck. She is branded as his slave but Gannicus and Sibyl free her. Meanwhile Tiberius threatens Kore so that she won't reveal what happened to Crassus. Caesar teases Tiberius about his diminished status and at the Carnificina Tiberius attempts to embarrass him by setting Donar free. Gannicus and his two charges make it safely to the snowy ridge only to find that Crassus has built a wall to trap the rebels there.
69 -
Season 3
» Episode 4
Empty Hands Ilithyia suggests a celebration in the villa. Crixus,...
Ilithyia suggests a celebration in the villa. Crixus, Rhaskos, Oenomaus and another gladiator are paraded before the guests. Ilithyia manoeuvres to get her father to dissolve her marriage to Glaber so she can be with Varinius. Lucretia sleeps with Senator Albinius to push him toward that end. In the forest Spartacus leads what's left of Crixus' men toward Vesuvius. They die off one by one and Nassir is badly wounded.
68 -
Season 4
» Episode 1
Enemies of Rome After defeating Glaber and liberating slaves from the...
After defeating Glaber and liberating slaves from the mines the rebel army has grown into the thousands. They defeat a Roman army under commanders Cassinius and Furius but cannot capture them. Spartacus is wary of Gannicus’ lengthy celebrations while the common man in the camp begins to feel distant from their Godlike leader. Senator Metellus is sent to ask Marcus Crassus to raise ten thousand men to fight Spartacus. Crassus agrees to fight under Cassinius and Furius but his messenger is captured giving away their location. Spartacus takes the heads of both men while Crassus continues training with a former gladiator Hilarus.
68 69

Credit STARZ

NOW SHOWING

USA: STARZ
UK: Sky One

ORIGINS

The Spartacus franchise was clearly designed to provide the STARZ network with original programming that would instantly be recognisable to the average viewer. STARZ secured serious production experience in Sam Raimi (Hercules, Xena) and Stephen S DeKnight (Buffy, Angel) and copied the visual style of the movie 300 to further set the show apart.

CONTENT

The show debuted to over a million viewers which for a subscription network was a solid number. Critical opinion was clearly mixed though and the graphic sex and violence was never going to be everyone's tastes. Before season one had aired STARZ commissioned a second. However production had to be delayed when star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with early-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Due to the delay, STARZ produced a six-episode prequel series, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Pre-production of season 2 began following the announcement that Whitfield was cancer free, however his cancer recurred so STARZ replaced Whitfield (with his consent) with Liam McIntyre. Andy Whitfield died on September 11, 2011.

THETVCRITIC

As a fan of both Roman history and non-procedural television shows I was more than willing to give Spartacus: Blood and Sand the benefit of the doubt. And it needed it. A 300 inspired opening episode was deeply uninspiring and it wasn't until the fourth episode that I began to think that the show had any potential. However from then on I was both surprised and delighted with what I saw.

I blogged about the increasingly impressive first season (you can find those reviews in the Blogs section) and then gave full reviews and a podcast to Gods of the Arena. For simplicity's sake I call the whole show Spartacus and therefore count Gods of the Arena as the show's second season.

There was a natural structure and tension on the show when slaves and masters lived under the same roof. Spartacus now faces a significant uphill battle. First it must overcome the Prison Break dilemma of keeping the show as strong now that the gladiators are on the loose. Second it must replace John Hannah's Batiatus, arguably the show's best character. And third, Liam McIntyre has to step into the role vacated by the sad death of Andy Whitfield.

LINKS

Jupitersrooster.com

Jupiters Rooster is a Spartacus podcast hosted by Roberto and John which I enjoy a lot. They cover every episode of the show and have even explored the movies and related animated series.

November 2011

Podcast

Open the Spartacus podcast in iTunes or in your favourite RSS reader:

Latest Epiosodes

  • Podcast Icon
    The TV Critic.org - Spartacus, Season 3, Episode 10: Wrath of the Gods

    Spartacus, Season 3, Episode 10, Wrath of the Gods

    06/04/2012 - 43:52 min

  • Podcast Icon
    The TV Critic.org - Spartacus, Season 3, Episode 9: Monsters

    Spartacus, Season 3, Episode 9, Monsters

    29/03/2012 - 51:11 min

  • Podcast Icon
    The TV Critic.org - Spartacus, Season 3, Episode 8: Balance

    Spartacus, Season 3, Episode 08, Balance

    20/03/2012 - 37:39 min

  • Podcast Icon
    The TV Critic.org - Spartacus, Season 3, Episode 7: Sacramentum

    Spartacus, Season 3, Episode 07, Sacramentum,

    14/03/2012 - 40:39 min

  • Podcast Icon
    The TV Critic.org - Spartacus, Season 3, Episode 6: Chosen Path

    Spartacus, Season 3, Episode 06, Chosen Path

    07/03/2012 - 38:10 min