Friday, 14 January 2011

News Flashing | I Am Not Spartacus

Spartacus: Blood and Sand was one of my greatest guilty pleasures last year.

In fact... no. I take that back. It was only a guilty pleasure to begin with: after a couple of hours of daft action and borderline offensive sex, the untold origin story American cable network Starz proffered up during the Summer of 2010 really picked up. By the halfway point, right about the time my interest in most shows tends to sag, I was utterly gripped. And by the end - those of you who saw Blood and Sand will know what I'm talking about - there was simply no going back.

Except back is exactly where they've gone. See here:

"This house offers many pleasures," says Batiatus of the Ludus in which we watched Spartacus become the warrior history recognises him as. "With more yet to be presented," adds Xena of the coming prequel miniseries - equal parts, one presumes, an opportunity to spend a little more time with two of the most memorably treacherous characters television has seen in decades, and a chance to let lead actor Andy Whitfield recover from his treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Sadly, Whitfield's condition hasn't been so easily brushed under the rug, and the rising star has had to give up the role that helped make him. Hollywood waits for no man, not even a leading man, it seems, so in a couple of weeks we'll be hearing all about our new Spartacus - delete as appropriate two of the following: Canadian actor Stephen Amell, British player Aiden Turner and Aussie contender Liam McIntyre. "Hmm" with me.

For the very moment, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena will act as a fine measure as to whether the show-runners of Blood and Sand can capture the impact and the intrigue of that series without him. As to that, the above trailer certainly leaves me hopeful.

Most of you lot will be able to judge for yourself come January 21st, when Gods of the Arena begins airing on Starz in the US. Who knows when (or indeed where) we'll see it here in blasted, behind-the-times Blighty.

I hate you all. :/

1 comment:

  1. I started watching that show on Netflix, but then it was taken off of streaming and I stopped. When they added it back a few weeks ago, I started watching it again. Andy Whitfield is the biggest reason for watching the show, and he makes the rest of the actors look like...cartoon caricatures. The guy is good, and it sucks that he should hit such a bad patch of luck. I hope he comes out of this in good health and ready to move on to something that better deserves his talents.

    As far as the show goes, I think it is a weak pretender to the HBO show 'Rome'. I don't like the 300-like style they've gone for. The violence is comic bookish and seems to fly in the face of the realism they seem to otherwise be striving for.

    Not sure if I'll watch the second season.

    The Sound and Fury of Kristopher A. Denby