Monday, January 23, 2012

Spartacus: Vengeance

I recently had the chance to see a sneak peek of "Spartacus: Vengeance" from the Starz network. This is a very different television series from its predecessor "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" and its sequel, "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena."

"Vengeance" is not just different for the obvious reason, Liam McIntyre replacing the late Andy Whitfield. McIntyre is a different Spartacus. This is not just a Darren Stevens type change out. He plays the character differently. In comparison to Whitfield, he seems smaller, softer, and tense, rather than intense. He also has compassion, and appears to care, and be more of a leader than Whitfield's predominantly loner from "Blood and Sand." While there's nothing lacking in McIntyre's performance, there still needs to be quite a bit of suspension of disbelief that McIntyre went through all that Whitfield did to get Spartacus to the place he is now.

And the place he is now is what the major difference in this cycle of the show as compared to the first two. The story has left the arena and the world of the gladiators, which was where much of the show's charm was in my opinion. Let's hope the characters, those that remain from the previous series, are enough to propel viewers along this new path.

Having freed himself and his allies from slavery in the house of Batiatus, Spartacus is now on the run and rampaging hit and run style against the Romans and the city of Capua. We see a brief glimpse of the arena, and I have to admit it's a highlight, but I wish there was more. I loved the first two series so I'm willing to give the new season, and Whitfield more than a fair chance.

"Spartacus: Vengeance" starts on Starz on January 27, 2012.

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  1. I didn't see the first series but I caught SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA on Netflix. Nothing wrong at all with gratuitous Lucy Lawless nudity.

    Seriously, tho...I was surprised at how much actual story and characterization going on in between the sex and gory violence.

  2. I would highly recommend the first series and this new one - especially if you like the story and characterization... and Lucy Lawless. Seriously, Spartacus is amazing television.