Spartacus: War of the Damned
The third series of the bloody drama has questionable accuracy but a solid storyline
The goriest, nudiest show on television, Spartacus is set in the world of Roman gladiatorial combat. Packed to the gunnels with blood, guts and sex, it would be easy to dismiss this show as crass and relentlessly macho. But the blood and boobs are so frequent you’ll soon become immune to the rampant carnage and underneath you’ll find a solid story of redemption and revenge.
This third series (fourth if you include prequel Gods of the Arena) takes us beyond the coliseum as Spartacus (now played by Liam McIntyre after the sad and untimely death of Andy Whitfield) leads an army of slaves to strike at the very heart of the Roman Empire. Crassus (Simon Merrells), with a little help from a young Julius Ceaser (Todd Lasance), is the man tasked by the Roman Senate with bringing this rebel to ‘justice’.
Spartacus doesn’t attempt historical accuracy, but portrays a world where life and death balance on a knife edge and all disputes are settled in combat. This final season is more epic in scope and while it lacks the tight narrative structure of previous series, War of the Damned is a suitably violent end to Spartacus’ bloody quest for freedom. The final two episodes in particular are thrilling, exciting and surprisingly emotional. A fittingly finale for these fictional heroes of ancient Rome.