Starz’ Spartacus: Vengeance [Fridays, 10/9C] continues to draw the net’s largest audience ever, and part of the reason is the action. While many of the show’s gladiator characters only fought because they had to, Dustin Clare’s Gannicus seemed to enjoy the matches as much as the adulation. Things have changed for the former Champion of Capua, as we see in tonight’s episode.
Recently, Clare spoke with a group of journalists/bloggers about his return to the show.
In a rare confluence of events – a star’s illness; an open timeslot; fans clamoring for more backstory, and an idea intended for a postponed second season – Spartacus: Gods of the Arena was born. The six-episode prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand fills in the background history of Batiatus and Lucretia and how their ludus [gladiator training facility] came to a certain level of prominence before the arrival of the famed Thracian gladiator.
On Monday, I had the opportunity to take part in a conference call with series creator/showrunner/writer Steven S. DeKnight and stars Dustin Clare [Gannicus future champion of Capua], Manu Bennett [Crixus, here new to the ludus] and Jaime Murray [Lucretia’s old friend and fellow partier, Gaia].
Note: for some reason, this call had a lot of weirdness, technically – dropouts, cutoffs, static – so the transcript isn’t perfect. It was still a fun call, though.