After a tonally confused beginning and terrific middle episode filled with all kinds of invention, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies brings Peter Jackson’s six-movie Tolkien binge to close with a rousing mid-point finale that both wraps up the story and sets the stage for the Lord of the Rings trilogy quite nicely.
The long-awaited second season of Spartacus – Spartacus: Vengeance [Starz, Fridays, 10/9C] – finds two former champions of Capua struggling between the demands of promised leadership and personal quests: Spartacus to avenge his wife; Crixus to find his lost love.
This week, Starz premieres the long awaited second season of the Spartacus saga, Spartacus: Vengeance [Fridays, 10/9C]. Monday, four of the series’ regulars – Manu Bennett [Crixus], Nick Tarabay [Ashur], Craig Parker [Glaber] and Dan Feuerrielgel [Agron] spoke with a group of journalists/bloggers about what’s coming up.
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.