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August 02 2009

How TV's new Spartacus will 'bend' history. SciFi Wire interview with Stephen DeKnight about their new show Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

SciFi Wire interview with Rob Tapert and Steven DeKnight about their upcoming one-hour drama for Starz, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which stars Andy Whitfield and sci-fi icon Lucy Lawless in a retelling of the sword-and-sandals tale.

After watching the trailer for this, I signed off. I may be swayed, but after it talking about how shocking and gore-fantastic it will be, I was just like, eh?

Mind, I didn't watch Rome, 300, Xena or any of that. Not that I specifically went out of my way to avoid gladiator stories, I just missed them, y'know. Hope Steven DeKnight does well, I quite like some of his stuff.
Those two (Tapert and DeKnight) were involved with my two favourite shows (Xena and Buffy), so I do have high hopes. I also watched (and liked) Rome, though not 300.

I don't care too much about gore, but hope it won't overshadow the interesting aspects of the story.
Rob Tapert and Steven DeKnight and Lucy Lawless?

I'm so there.
Finally watched the trailer for this and you can really see the '300' style he talks about. Could be cool, I don't mind some blood and guts if you're telling a violent story.

Lucy Lawless and John Hannah are always good value too.

(and historically they can and should 'bend' it for the story within reason but I hope they get the chance to show one of the bigger questions re: Spartacus i.e. why did he turn back when he got to the Alps ? That could be a very interesting character moment)
I'm wondering (in the event that they do stick to the traditional ending of Spartacus being killed by the Romans) how the ending of the story will affect reception by the networks (and audiences). They wouldn't be the first show to get the axe because of having a dark or even depressing tone (Carnivale, anyone?).
I can't remember... isn't this show Bravo or A&E? That just seems like the kind of thing these networks might actually be going for as a niche.

And lest we forget, Xena doesn't exactly live happily ever after so it's not like Tapert is known for only providing happy final episodes. And if I'm spoiling anyone at this point, I'm sorry. :)

[ edited by azzers on 2009-08-02 23:50 ]
The trailer actually heightened my interest for the series. Because it wasn't Rome. Rome is pretty much 22 episodes of TV perfection, as far as I'm concerned. And so, any series set in that environment was almost certainly doomed to come off badly in comparison.

This, however, looks more like 300: The Series. I mean, FFS, they've even got the recipient of the "THIS! IS! SPARTA!"-Kick in there. Which means, at least, that it's stepped out of that particular shadow. Yes, the violence and sex has been played up very heavily in the ads and interviews, and the trailer is basically all style; but if there's a bit of substance in there, come January, I'll probably be watching.

I mean, who doesn't like some flying limbs on their screens from time to time?

Also, with a Whedon alum on the staff, let's just hope the dialogue doesn't mirror 300 as closely as the visuals do...
"Only the hard. Only the strong." Ech.

@azzers, it's on Starz.
Was Rome that good? I haven't seen it.
Rome was very good. You ought to give it a watch.
@Winther - couldn't remember and didn't feel like researching. I guess my point was, it was on a network that could probably get away with it.
Rome was an excellent series. The cast was fantastic. But I hear HBO cancelled because it was very expensive to produce. And that is too bad.

I was willing to give the new Spartacus a chance because of Lucy Lawless. But I saw the preview and I think I will pass. Just not big on that kind of blood and gore. Yes, I'm one of about 10 people that didn't like 300.
I wasn't 100% sold on '300' myself but not because of the blood and gore.

I'm wondering (in the event that they do stick to the traditional ending of Spartacus being killed by the Romans) how the ending of the story will affect reception by the networks (and audiences).

It's a cable thing though isn't it ? So a dark ending wouldn't be as out of place (and most people may be hazy on the details but surely everyone who's heard of Spartacus already knows that he lost ?). Besides, they could spin it so that it's not that dark - a warrior dying a warrior's death doesn't need to be depressing (in fiction I mean).

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