Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yet More Spartacus...

It's still juicy. Episode 5 was great, although the name was a tad misleading overall and the opening dream sequence made me feel cheated because it would have been very fitting. Nevermind.

What I do worry about though is the next series and how they'll manage to portray the landscapes required for the Servile War instigated by Spartacus. The set at the moment is incredibly small and there is a large amount of CGI involved. Move into the fields of Italy and following a roving army means it becomes significantly more difficult.

How shall the Roman armies be depicted? How will the battles and landscapes be done? How will the show handle being without a certain bloody fantastic John Hannah? What form will the character of Crassus take? (decadent miscreant, no doubt).

Another point it that the Ludus presents such an interesting setting for the series, and I can't help but wonder once it's been removed if the show will lack a certain anchor point which has served it well.

All that said, they have created a rather captivating show and I have no doubt they'll manage to script a second series filled with as much sex and violence as series one and the current mini series. I'm already excited about it and Gods of War hasn't even finished!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spartacus: Gods of War.

So, Spartacus returned to our screens a couple weeks back (I've seen the two thirds of the mini series that have been broadcast already) in the form of a 6 episode mini series that serves as a prequel (prelude?) to the first series, Blood and Sand.

The mini series was initially meant to plug the gap opened up by Spartacus getting cancer (not the real Spartacus) and needing time to recover before season two (scheduled to get going in Autumn this year). As it turns out, his cancer has returned and Spartacus has been recast. That's all by-the-by, though, but I sincerely hope he gets better for good.

Anyway. Gods of War has been epic thus far. Most folks felt Blood and Sand took a while to find its feet, but I think GoW (from now on, to save my weary fingers) hit its stride right from the off. It's a frothing affair sticky from blood and sweaty from the sordid sex. John Hannah (SPOILER: brutally killed at the end of the first series) is a raving lunatic once again, and his role basically makes the show. He roves around the place ruthlessly scheming and plotting, and the show takes the interesting angle of having his father come back to take control of the Ludus, which has - so far- transpired to be an excellent story line.

As a kind of origin story for the Ludus seen in the first series, it's worked really well. As always with prequels, the force of what's going on comes from the fact that we know what comes next. The various characters are seen before their *current* form and it's interesting to see why they are the way they are (which in most cases is totally understandable given what's gone on so far).

Bugbears: every important Roman is depicted as the worst kind of pervert, and they cast the creepiest looking actors to portray important politicians, so much so that it's hard to watch them. One particular actor in episode three had such a vulgar way about him that I practically knew he'd be examining slave girl hymens before the episode was over. This is, of course, the nature of the show, and so it's hardly surprising.

Can't wait for the rest of the mini series and season two later this year.