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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Spartacus: Blood and Sand [Television Series]

Spartacus: Blood and Sand is without doubt the best thing to come out of 2010 in terms of television. Billed as the most violent and smuttiest show of the year i couldnt resist giving this series a watch especially as i was looking for something to fill the void left since finishing the first series of Game of Thrones (Which i shall review in due course). The show follows Sparticus a Thrascian who is betrayed by the Romans and captured, snatched away from his loving wife and winding up in the house of Batiatus training to be a gladiator, freed only when he has proven himself worthy of such.

The show has received very mixed reviews across the globe with some slamming it as distastefull and over the top, but i say its exactly what we need no television, i honestly dont think i've ever really enjoyed films and tv shows based upon the romans (i.e. Rome) with the film gladiator obviously being the exception. But this is exactly what i wanted too watch. What red blooded male doesnt want too sit through an hour of slow motion fight scenes with decapitations and gnarly deaths, and when we arent seeing epic gladitorial scenes its pretty much soft core porn. Although this as interesting as it may be was used a little too frequently for my liking and most people i've spoken too or read reviews on and left me thinking 'More sex? Jeez.' I'm not quite sure what made them all so sexually charged but my god they loved to screw. 

Of course the series isnt just about that mindless violence and sex, there is a pretty darn good plot behind it too. Not only are we following the trials and tribulations of our hero Spartacus who vows to escape the House of Batiatus any means nesscercary to be reunited with his wife, we follow fellow gladiator and bitter rival of Spartacus Crixus (who goes on to getting his own series in the shows prequel in series 2) and of course the cunning and sly Batiatus and his equally nasty wife Lucretia. We follow their quest for domination upon the city trying to gain access to a high seated political place, with like Sparticus the pair will go to no limits to get what they want, even if it means murder.

The cast in this show are absolutely brillaint with great acting from the likes of Andy Whitfield (Spartacus), John Hannah (Batiatus), Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), Peter Mensah (Doctore) (Although for an even better performance from Mensah, see series 2) and Nick Tarabay (Ashur). Of course there are coutnless other actors who deserve plaudit for the part they played in this series but i cant give them ALL praise personally.

Finally, a short word for Andy Whitfield who as many fans of the series know was suffering with cancer and was unable to continue filming for the series after series 1 and was on temp leave until he could return after he had fought his illness. Sadly passed away after his battle with Cancer on September 11th 2011. Chris Albrecht, president and chief executive of Starz, said in a statement, “The man who played a champion on-screen was also a champion in his own life.” Mr. Whitfield faced cancer with “courage, strength and grace,” he said. In addition to his wife, Mr. Whitfield is survived by two children and a sister. In her statement, his wife described him as “our beautiful young warrior.” She said he died in her arms.

Overall Grade: A+

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