Contains Violence, Offensive Language & Sex Scenes
Some legends are written in blood. Betrayed by the Romans, forced into slavery- reborn as a Gladiator. He is Spartacus!
Spanning 13 parts, Spartacus: Blood and Sand is a gladiatorial affair with a primeval lust for Rockstar driven action.
In your face is where it kicks off from, and where it stays. From the portrayal of the arena battles, the flesh on offer and the manipulative scheming, there's no time wasting as the story powers ahead.
I first saw an episode of this on one of the 'free to air' B channels. I loved it straight away. Then when I saw the uncut version I was even more impressed. This is a quality program with attention to both sound and visual quality. On top of that there is action and nudity galore, and what's even better, is it has a great story line!! I couldn't be more impressed with this find. It felt like unearthing a treasure.... I guess I'm a little debauched as the series does seem to explore this early theme in man's quest for power.... Every sun casts shadows, so if there was to be anything negative said about it, some of the computer generated graphics are obvious, but in context of things like beheadings etc, very believable and apt! How else can you see a sword plunge into flesh? Thank God we don't live under barbaric circumstances today, though in my fantasies, there are a few heads in my life I'd like to see roll... maybe that's why I like it so much?
In my opinion the media undersold this series when it was showing on television. They tended to focus on the graphic side of the series, and while this wasn't a bad thing, it did neglect the important issue of there being a very compelling story to be told.
The characters throughout the series are very well played, John Hannah and Andy Whitfield are very convincing.
The cinematography is similar to that of the movie '300' and on the whole works well to create a very distinctive atmosphere that enhances the overall experience.
This story will drag you in and before you know it you will have polished off the entire season very quickly.
I totally agree with the above. I absolutely loved this show right from the start. John Hannah has always been a favourite & Lucy Lawless has outdone herself in this role - she is really fabulous and must say I cannot fault any of the actors, they are all so good. Well it is such a sight for the eyes with all the totally buffed gladiators, and so good to see all the New Zealand and Aussie actors. I haven't so looked forward to what was going to be on the next episode in any series for a long time and must have seen most of the episodes twice or more as I don't know what channel I first saw it but then I am now watching on GO! channel and of course having Pay TV have recorded it too. I don't know how they are going to continue on with the story to keep it fresh now though but here's hoping! Well like all goodstuff we like they wil probably Axe it! Like 'Firefly' - that was a great show. Loved it because it was like a western cowboy thingy in Space. It too had great Actors in every role - all with little querks which made it all the more entertaining without having to put in all the big sci-fi effects that become most boring when you don't have a good story line that continues on - just like the really good old soaps!! Wow I bet you like that. Well lets's pray Spartacus B&S becomes a big hit so they don't take it off air - anyway will just get the DVD's to keep so can watch over & over again. Cheers
For me the pilot was something of a mix between the graphic violence of 300(it even includes somewhat similar battle sequences), the sex of 300, the idea of Gladiator and a bit of Rome. I almost stopped watching it and I'm glad I didn't do it. People would see the first episode and dismiss it as "gore and sex" time-wasting perversity. And they would be mistaken. The plot, filled with at first glance one-dimensional characters, is so varied, so deep, full of plot twists and unpredictable outcomes that you may find yourself glued to the screen.The sex is still there, the sexy images as well(muscular men and beautiful women), but the characters have gained so much depth and perspective, that you can't say someone is just white or black(with two exceptions). There are so many shades of gray in between, that most of the times even if you want to hate a character for plotting against the protagonist, you find yourself siding with him on another level. The protagonist is not a saint, the "bad guys" show they can love and cherish, and you see the other side of mighty Rome, the one not shown in "Rome". This show, even after the less than spectacular pilot, can be and for the moment is great and it's not the gore or sex that make it so.
In 300, Rome and even Gladiator, to which Spartacus: Blood and Sand is usually compared, the main characters are free men and women, people who act on their generally free will(yes, even in Gladiator). This show is different. Spartacus: Blood and Sand displays the Roman world through the eyes of the downtrodden, the helpless and the people without rights - the enslaved, THE underdogs, who eventually tried to defy the might of Rome, who lost and lost in an epic and tragic way and in their fall still achieved greatness and immortality. Among the nudity, spilling blood and duel sequences, Spartacus: Blood and Sand shows the viewer why freedom is such a cherished thing, what happens when we lose it and why people throughout time have risen to regain it and died pursuing it or defending it.
Some people mock the characters for being "one-dimensional" and demand more complexity. Others have voiced their contempt of the less than accurate representation of "the complex social system of Rome". Spartacus: Blood and Sand does not seek to represent the social system. For the people at the bottom of the ladder it was irrelevant whether Sulla was killing senators or Pompeus was gaining power. As for the one-dimensional characters, let me pound the obvious and say this - when you have to kill a friend at the command of your master, or be killed as well, there's no possibility for inner struggle or soul searching. You can't really disobey your master when humiliation, rape, torture and death lie just a whim away.
It's early to say definitely whether Spartacus: Blood and Sand will be a great TV show. It certainly is for now and gets better and better. Unless the creators manage to screw up gigantically, which they have avoided so far, this child of Starz can become epic.I've been looking very forward to the Starz original series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand." And I'm happy to say that if you were looking forward to it, you're in for a wild ride.
They tell you right in the front of this show that this is meant to be an intense depiction of Rome. And it is to a certain point. There is definitely a ton of blood, language, and sexuality (one of the female characters is fully naked), but it is all there for a reason and it defines the characters, shows you who they are.
Many won't like this the same way they didn't like 300. And I can say that no one will be able to watch this without thinking about 300, and that's the biggest flaw. It has a speed up slow motion and blood flowing everywhere. It is one of the most graphic TV shows I've ever seen.
However, if you liked 300 (which I did) and you see the slow motion as a way to rise the intensity and that the graphic violence/sexual content is meant to connect with the characters towards some degree, you will enjoy this show. But it's not only a story full of blood and gore and sex and nudity; it also has a lot of character to it and a lot of substance.
Andy Whitfield is brilliant as "Spartacus." He drives the character and makes you feel for him. His acting is perfect. In fact, all the actors are incredible, including Lucy Lawless, Craig Parker, and John Hannah.
The battle scenes in this show are outstanding. Again, very bloody, 300 style battles, but still entertaining. The gladiator fights are well shot and very gritty.
I know it's television and the visuals aren't always the best, best the visuals in this show are gorgeous. There was one moment where it looked like a video game, but only for a second.
it's not only a story full of blood and gore and sex and nudity; it also has a lot of character to it and a lot of substance.
So if you like sword and sandal epics and you don't mind gore and nudity, Spartacus: Blood and Sand is the show for you. I personally thought it was a fun, kick ass, macho show, and while it does have a little too much sex and reminds me a lot about 300, it'll definitely keep my attention for the next episode.
Like the gladiatorial games it draws from, 'Spartacus - Blood on the Sand' is a big, dumb, fun spectacle of violence, gore and sexy naked bodies.
That's why it's such fun.
Both '300' or 'Gladiator' are often over-rated; like 'Spartacus BotS' they are also "fun" movies that weren't brain-dead yet didn't require much more than just simply sitting back and enjoying them. While I rank 'Rome' VERY highly, it was more of a period drama ala 'I, Claudius' than an action series (heck, the ONE big flaw with 'Rome' was the tendency to build up a battle then NOT show it!) and boasted a far higher budget and attempt at realism.
'Spartacus BotS' definitely has its roots in the Raimi & Tapert school of "fun", though... unlike some shows (even many excellent ones) the episodes is extremely well-paced, never feeling overlong yet a lot happens in each; each one almost feels like a mini-movie, and while we are left wanting more, there are so far none of the forced "cliffhangers" shows like 'Lost' and '24' make us suffer through over and over again.
On the casting front, I'm very glad (and not just for the obvious reasons) that Lucy Lawless was so up for this, as she really has fun with her (admittedly Attia-like) role, also proving to mainstream audiences that Xena was not just a "fluke", while John Hannah lends weight to proceedings and Viva Bianca really "gets" what this is about and provides an enormous addition to the sense of fun and enjoyment as she plays the kind of spoiled rich girl that crosses genres. Special note to Craig Parker too, who was woefully underused in 'Legend of the Seeker' (playing perhaps the most neutered villain of all-time), here obviously relishing being the "big bad" and being a right bastard we love to hate. In fact, fans of Australian and New Zealand made shows will recognize a lot of the cast, and its great to see cameos by some old RenPics favorites.
While the overuse of CGI gets annoying (it reminds my of late 90's "movie" video games like 'Wing Commander III' when ALL the sets were green screens!) I'd prefer that to NO scope or action (even 'Rome' - though for their own reasons - never went the "huge scale" path with massive Colosseum events or field battles).
Spartacus (played by Andy Whitfield with just the right mix of determination and self-pity) gets on my nerves a bit for being such a blatant idiot at times, making both typical "movie mistakes" ("let the bad guy live") and very human ones. But it is very nice, on the other hand, to have a "heroic" series/character who is still very flawed and (thankfully) far from the best fighter in the show.
'Spartacus BotS' took a while to get going, and the pilot definitely visually and stylistically feels more '300' than perhaps it should, but once we get to the training school, we're in much more solid territory.
It isn't original... those who've played the PS2 game 'Colosseum - Road to Freedom' will find a lot of similarities, as will fans of 'Gladiator' of course. But this is something to expect in a genre that is both based in history and has a fairly narrow list of (decent) fellow entries.
For what I understand to be a "startup" network's first big show, I think it succeeds wonderfully, and I am looking forward to where we will be taken next. So long as they keep things entertaining, bloody and sexy yet refrain from going so far as to be TOO gratuitous, I think it will be a big hit.