Syfy’s “Spartacus” could be an even bloodier, sexier “Game of Thrones”

The Starz Original will hopefully find a new audience among the cable network's other successful scripted fare

Topics: TV, syfy, spartacus, Game of Thrones,

Syfy's "Spartacus" could be an even bloodier, sexier "Game of Thrones"Liam McIntyre in "Spartacus"

Before “Game of Thrones” had everyone practicing their parries and thrusts, “Spartacus” was my fix for swords, sandals and salaciousness. The Starz Original series boasted no dragons, but there was easily as much sex, violence and — yes, I’ll say it — well-scripted intrigue in the sandy city of Capua as in King’s Landing. Well, OK, the show wasn’t quite as well written as “Game of Thrones” and there was considerably more violence, if you can believe it. But the greatest disparity between “Game of Thrones” and “Spartacus” might be in profile. On Starz, “Spartacus” simply did not attract the audience and media attention that “Thrones” has, which is a shame in light of consistently strong performances from John Hannah and Lucy Lawless. As the current season of “Game of Thrones” nears its end, the Syfy network has announced its acquisition of all three seasons of “Spartacus” plus the six-part prequel “Gods of the Arena.” Those left craving dismemberment and often discomfiting eruptions of graphic sex, now have something else to anticipate.

For all its heightened carnal behavior, one of the elements that most appealed to me about the “Spartacus” franchise was its unapologetically computer-generated setting. (Think Zack Snyder’s “300″ on a weekly basis.) The vivid, oversaturated vistas, the melodramatic sprays and splatters of finely rendered blood — fake as it all may be, it was an exercise in committed world-building, and as such it became quite engrossing, even convincing, after a few episodes. It always kind or reminded me of watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid — albeit the kind my parents could have gone to jail for letting me sit through. While I imagine HBO struggles — or just pays out the ass — to secure exotic, real-world locales for “Game of Thrones,” a show like “Spartacus” has infinite options for locations. Those options being relatively inexpensive, my not-so-secret hope is that Syfy intends not only to rebroadcast the program, but to make many more episodes to satiate the bloodthirsty.

Neil Drumming

Neil Drumming is a staff writer for Salon. Follow him on Twitter @Neil_Salon.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...