The stakes are high and the odds are against Spartacus and the slaves he helped free from the looming shadow of Batiatus and his Ludus.
This is a new Spartacus. Different from both Blood and Sand, and the prequel Gods of the Arena. Obviously the biggest, and perhaps saddest difference is the loss of the man who gave Spartacus life, Andy Whitfield, who died of cancer this past September.
But Liam McIntyre is not bad. He brings himself to the part, and therefore a fresh perspective, while still honoring those parts of Spartacus that Whitfield had created. I want him to be just as much the Thracian warrior that Whitfield was, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that something is missing. Something in his air, or that twinkle in his eye that Whitfield had even while bloodying up the competition. But stepping in to replace Whitfield cannot have been easy, and in fairness to McIntyre, he is a worthy successor. He should be fun to watch.
And though it’s also sad that the awesomely evil villain, Batiatus, played by John Hannah (above) has been laid to rest by Spartacus, I suspect we will get to see more of Gaius Claudius Glaber this season. After all, it’s his blood that Spartacus thirsts for, having been the man who condemned the Gladiator and his wife to slavery.
As I stated yesterday, I did have a hard time getting into the first episode of the season, but losing both of the shows major players would leave a gap in any good show. Without Whitfield or Hannah, I think the show is going to need a bit of time to start to recapture some of it’s former glory. There is still a lot to love, and a very surprising twist half-way through the episode that makes the show start to feel okay again.
I would say that this is a show to keep on watching. It’s not what it used to be, but I don’t think anyone really thought it could be right away. The story is still there, and the promise of a massive slave army should keep our interests. I also have some theories about the future of Oenomaus, but I will keep those to myself for now in an effort to avoid spoilers.
What are your thoughts on the new season of Spartacus? What are your Feelings on Liam McIntyre? Is Glaber villain enough to fill the shoes of Batiatus?
In one last note, I want to say that the final moment of the show was extremely touching. I got chills and my eyes felt a bit teary as Starz honored it’s fallen warrior. It was a beautiful moment, and I hope Whitfield’s family knows what he meant to so many.