Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Spartacus Is back!

This Friday marks the premiere of the final season of Starz’s fantastic series Spartacus. As I’ve mentioned before, I'm a big fan of the series, ranking it just behind HBO’s Game of Thrones in terms of quality. Here’s a description of the upcoming season, aptly titled Spartacus: War of the Damned, from Starz’s website:

Gaius Claudius Glaber is dead. Many months have passed since his defeat, and the rebel army, led by Spartacus and his generals Crixus, Gannicus and Agron, continue to amass victories over Rome. With the rebel numbers swelling to thousands of freed slaves, it has become a force that has started to challenge even the mighty armies of Rome. ...
The Roman Senate turns to its wealthiest citizen, Marcus Crassus, for aid. A powerful, strategic politician, he respects his opponent and refuses to make the same mistakes Glaber and his predecessors have. With a young and fiercely competitive Julius Caesar as an ally, Crassus is determined to crush Spartacus and his rebellion.
The epic conclusion of a legendary journey, Spartacus: War of the Damned will unleash a battle unlike anything ever seen before.
My favorite season was the first, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, starring Andy Whitfield as Spartacus. The series has never been the same since he tragically died of cancer after season one, but the producers did their best to maintain the overall quality of the series, including the unexpected prequel-season, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.

The past season, Spartacus: Vengeance, covered the portion of Spartacus’ slave rebellion that takes place after the Capuan revolt (the topic of season one, Spartacus: Blood and Sand) up through the slaves’ refuge on Mount Vesuvius, and ending in a spectacular battle with the Glaber. This battle was the first of many famous battles fought by Spartacus and his army during what historians call the Third Servile War.

Presumably, this last season will cover the remainder of Spartacus’ battles against the Romans. I still can't fathom how the producers are going to cram all of this into one season unless they cut out big chunks of history. But I’m looking forward to it, however it may unfold!

Want more Spartacus? You can read my review of Ben Kane's new novel here.


T.L. Bodine said...

Every season of Spartacus that's passed, I've always finished the first episode thinking, "eeeeh, I don't know how they're going to pull this off. This is kind of lame." Then by the end of the season I am always completely sold.

All the same, I'm really curious to see how this goes. The greatest strength of Spartacus has always been in the quality of its villains, and with an entirely new cast of bad guys, I'm worried we won't get as much time to really connect with them as we had in the past.

Joseph Finley said...

T.L. -- I totally agree. The villains have carried the series, and Glaber and Batiatus will be hard to beat. The first episode devoted a lot of time to the character of Marcus Licinius Crassus. The character was pretty intense, and I think he's going to make a great villain for the final season.