Review: Spartacus – Vengeance

Spartacus: Vengeance is the direct sequel to Spartacus: Blood & Sand and is the third in the Spartacus series. Following the unfortunate death of the original Spartacus (Andy Whitfield), Liam McIntyre was cast in the role for this series.

Spartacus is an action packed – special effects laden – period drama, set in Ancient Rome. It can also be labelled as a costume drama, however, in many cases, should be described as costume-less. There are many raunchy scenes which can be very appealing (if you like that sort of thing) and it certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Explicit sex, over-the-top SFX (there’s a lot of blood/severed heads flying about) and original character dialect are the three main trademarks that separate Spartacus from any other mainstream TV series that I can think of. By original character dialect, I am referring to the fact that the characters seem to speak using words and a tone that befits the time period and their specific personality. To add, the sound is top notch. This, coupled with the visuals, sucks you into the world of Spartacus with a lot of success. The only minor problem is the quite unrealistic way in which Spartacus and his rebels survived against the Roman threat.

It takes a while to become accustomed to the new characters in this series. The first couple of episodes were below the standard that the previous two seasons had set, yet it gradually gathers pace until the dramatic finale, which may just have you on the edge of your seat. Furthermore, the introduction of former characters throughout Spartacus: Vengeance is appealing. There are various twists which keep the viewer coming back. They largely affect the storyline and its characters.

Even though Spartacus is primarily an action packed TV show, it still relies heavily on character development. The series never gets tiresome, with every episode an enjoyable experience. I would say it is better to experience the first two series, as you will have a greater understanding of the story, but this isn’t essential. At key moments, flashbacks are at hand to remind of important story lines from the past.

The Spartacus Facebook page has already announced plans for another series – which will cast Todd Lasance as a young Julius Caesar. This certainly is a mouth-watering prospect for fans. If the series maintains it unique style, I certainly will be watching.

 

Dale Murray