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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly brilliant!
I seriously considered not watching this, since I thought a series of Spartacus without Spartacus would be pointless, although I am so glad I did. The story line is just perfect, and as with the first series there are so many clever twists etc. Its fascinating seeing how the house of Batiatus got to where it was in blood and sand, and this mini series renders new meaning...
Published on 14 Mar 2011 by D. Turner

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Boring story interspersed with slo-mo unnecessarily graphic violence and some porn.
Published 3 months ago by J. Harper


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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly brilliant!, 14 Mar 2011
By 
D. Turner (england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I seriously considered not watching this, since I thought a series of Spartacus without Spartacus would be pointless, although I am so glad I did. The story line is just perfect, and as with the first series there are so many clever twists etc. Its fascinating seeing how the house of Batiatus got to where it was in blood and sand, and this mini series renders new meaning and shines light onto the blood and sand series. The acting, cast, storyline and everything is spot on. If you loved blood and sand and are doubtful about this because it doesn't have spartacus in, then don't be! give it a watch.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality stuff again, 27 Feb 2011
This review is from: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
While the character who plays Spartacus fights illness the producers have created a 6 episode prequel mini series.

Despite its short length Gods of the Arena does an outstanding job of explaining many of the pre stories of Season 1 while injecting all the manoeuvring for favour, violence and sex that marked the series out as so exceptional.

The acting, characterisation, plot and dialogue has all the skill and conviction of a Shakespearian production. Graphically impressive the photography and direction capture the essence of the era beautifully.

As good as all the components are this is a series about gladiators and the real stars are the fight scenes - choreographed, performed and CGI'd into a heavily stylised brutal reality they are fully immersive and leave little to the imagination

Buy it, and if you haven't seen season 1 yet, buy that first to appreciate the character stories in full.
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93 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular television, 4 April 2011
By 
Beanie Luck (Cotswolds) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I had watched Spartacus blood and sand and loved it.

I have always been fascinated with Ancient Rome and i thought this series was in fact spectacular to watch.

It follows of rise of Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Batiatus played by John Hannah and explains how he became the Dominus of his house and Gladitorial school following the death of his father.

This series also follows the rise of Crixus who you were introduced too in Spartacus: Blood And Sand Season 1 [DVD] [2010] i found it quite interesting to watch this season as Crixus was a nobody and had to fight very hard to earn his place as Champion of the house.

It also goes into detail about how he came to be the lover of the Lucretia, Domina of the house played by Lucy Lawless.

Most importantly however it details the story of Gannicus, who was not only the Champion of the house before Crixus and earns his freedom, but goes onto become one of Spartacus's most loyal generals in the slave rebellion, this by the way is historical fact, you can read about it here:

[...]

This season is short at only 6 episodes but at an hour each it really is worth the money.

Its authentic, violent, bloody and at times extremely brutal, and very very graphically sexual, so i would not recommend it for kids viewing even for historical purposes.

Personally i would highly recommend it but make sure that you buy the 1st season as well, ive included the link at the top of the page.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOW ALL CAME TO BE, 10 Oct 2011
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Season 1 was a stunner. This prequel does it proud. An illustrious new arena is being constructed, Batiatus determined his gladiators shall be its stars - one in the eye for the disapproving father who never saw his son amounting to much. Ruthlessly Batiatus pursues his ambition. Woe betide any who stand in his way - those he does not despatch, his wife Lucretia will.

Backed by an impressive cast, John Hannah shines as Batiatus. Charismatic Gannicus is the champion who preceded Crixus. How the change came about is unexpected - partly the result of a love triangle, which sheds a new light on Peter Mensah's future gladiator trainer role. Throughout here is a performance many may find particularly moving.)

The show is not for the fainthearted - swearing, sex and gore again much in evidence. Nobody is left in any doubt about the violence of the times - especially in the arena where so much blood gushes and severed limbs fly. (The show is twenty five percent special effects and they are tremendous.)

Six episodes (the last one extended and many with moments not shown on television). Commentaries accompany them all and contain interesting anecdotes. For example, the funeral pyre set off the studio's sprinkler system - many problems resulting. There is also admission that the quest for authenticity does not extend to the teeth - practically everybody sporting fine examples of modern dentistry. In fact we are told that most gladiators would have had no teeth at all.

This prequel was a stopgap so Andy Whitfield could recover from serious illness and return as Spartacus. Sadly this was not to be. His memory lives on, and so does the show. Excitement grows about the sequel. How can it surpass what has gone before?

Although I usually prefer far tamer fare, the series gripped and would not let go. Recommended.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ave, Caesar, morituri te salutant, 31 Mar 2011
This review is from: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This was a six episode prequel to the first season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand and it was really good but I forgot it was only going to be six episodes so I'm a little sad it's finished. There seemed to be a lot more swearing and sex and naked people in it than Blood and Sand, if that is even possible. (Mum was a bit shocked at the naked people and how much swearing John Hannah did!) It was good though as we get to see how Crixus started as a gladiator, what a snivelling, devious little weasel Asher is and how the bad blood between him and Crixus gets started. Also how Oenomaus becomes the Doctore. 4.5/5
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, 11 April 2011
This review is from: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, is a six-episode prequel series to Spartacus: Blood and Sand. It was commissioned because Andy Whitfield who brilliantly played Spartacus was diagnosed with early-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma after the end of the first series.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand is a Starz television series that premiered on January 22, 2010. The series is inspired by the historical figure of Spartacus (played by Andy Whitfield), a Thracian gladiator who from 73 to 71 BC led a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. Executive producers Steven S. DeKnight and Robert Tapert focused on structuring the events of Spartacus' obscure early life leading up to the beginning of historical records. The show has been rated TV-MA for graphic violence, strong sexual content, and coarse language.

The show was initially renewed for a second season but production was delayed due to Andy Whitfield's illness. Due to the delay, Starz produced a six-episode prequel series, entitled Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Pre-production of season 2 began following the announcement that Whitfield was cancer free, however his cancer recurred. Starz has since replaced Whitfield with actor Liam McIntyre, who will play Spartacus for season two.

A great shame about Andy Whitfield and I wish him a full and speedy recovery.

Both series are superb and im my opinion one of the best series I have ever seen on TV. Enjoy!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for Spartacus: Blood and Sand fans, 4 May 2011
By 
Cheryl M-M (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This series was created due to Andy Whitfield/Spartacus becoming ill and unable to film the next season of Spartacus. This story tells us how the house of Batiatus, the roman who eventually buys Spartacus, propels his gladiators to the main events arena in Capua. The six part series tells the story of Crixus (who becomes a champion) and the champion who teaches him to be one. I was surprised in both this series and Spartacus by the choice of Lucy Lawless for the female lead, but it was a pleasant surprise ( except for the accent now and again). John Hannah excells in both this series and Spartacus, so much so that you can't tell whether he really is the psycho he portrays. I highly recommend this 6 part series.
Spartacus - Gods Of The Arena [DVD]
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 2 May 2011
This review is from: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
After watching the first episode, became instantly hooked on one of the best things i've watched in a long time. Keeps you interested throughout with many plot twists and turns, well worth the money.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the gods favourite series!, 26 Feb 2011
By 
Jason Fortune (ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
this 6 episode collection is set BEFORE spartacus blood and sand happens, i had my doubts about it but i was very wrong, if you liked spartacus blood and sand you will love this!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see...., 7 Jun 2011
By 
Bof (Moray, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Possibly the best thing I've seen to hit the small screen and it would contend with any of the film greats.
Like other reviewer's I was dubious as to whether this would be any good 'here we go trying to squeeze some extra cash off the back of Spartacus etc' but oh how I was wrong.
I can only reiterate what everyone else has said and maybe go as far to say - If you loved Spartacus you may even love this more.
And for those who are holding off from this show (and Spartacus) because they think it's just muscle bound gore and sex you are wrong. It has brilliant actors carrying fantastic plots and character depth from episode to episode, albeit to the backdrop of muscle bound gore and sex! Lets face it though that is a fair reflection of the upper class Roman lifestyle.
And for those that saw the first episode of Spartacus and were turned off by the imitation '300' you should have stuck with it. The format soon changed to become more palatable to the eye.
Enjoy every minute.
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