The character of Spartacus has been told several times throughout film history. This Starz television series filmed in New Zealand is like none other. More than your typical sword and sand tale it has been done in a sex-filled, graphic novel kind of way that it certainly isn’t your typical historical adventure. The story of the greatest gladiator from Roman lore has nary a dull moment. If the gladiators aren’t providing gore and violence in the arenas then they are fighting for position amongst themselves during training. There is also plenty of debauchery, battling for position and backstabbing amongst the elite to entertain as well. Throughout the first season Spartacus (played by Andy Whitfield) grows from a Thracian warrior to a Roman slave and then into a legend.
Episode 1: The Red Serpent: It is agreed that the Thracians, who are Greeks, will partner with the Romans to take on the Getae. Sura (played by Erin Cummings) does not want her husband (played by Andy Whitfield) to go to war. He promises her it will be his last time. The Thracian warrior realizes that the Roman leader Claudius Glaber (played by Craig Parker) is out for his own personal glory and not what they agreed upon.
Episode 2: Sacramentum Gadiatorum: Due to his victory in the arena the Thracian warrior has been granted life and renamed after Thracian king Spartacus. Quintas Batiatus (played by John Hannah) purchases him to train as a gladiator. Batiatus and his wife Lucretia (played by Lucy Lawless) have a lot riding on Spartacus winning as they’re broke.
Episode 3: Legends: Spartacus is now a gladiator – part of the brotherhood, but he’s not fighting for them; he is fighting for Sura. Batiatus is hoping that his gladiators will win him business at the year’s Vulcanalia. Lucretia has a particular interest in one of the gladiators – the champion of Capua, Crixus (played by Manu Bennett).
Episode 4: The Thing in the Pit: Spartacus’ defeat against Crixus makes things difficult in his search for Sura. Batiatus sends Spartacus to fight in the Pits of the underworld to earn him money. The Pits are the last hope – a place of fighting without rules.
Episode 5: Shadow Games: Their fortune might be changing when the Magistrate Calavius (played by John Bach) arrives at the ludus to select gladiators for the upcoming games. The continuing drought is pushing everyone to the edge. Crixus and Spartacus are selected to fight as one against Theokoles (played by Reuben de Jong) – the Shadow of Death.
Episode 6: Delicate Things: The rain falls right after Spartacus and Crixus’ victory. Spartacus is the new Champion of Capua. Crixus was gravely injured. Batiatus has located Sura and has made arrangements to have her brought back to the ludus.
Episode 7: Great and Unfortunate Things: Spartacus is recovering from Sura’s death. Batiatus has secretly arranged for Sura’s death and dreams of the fortune Spartacus will bring him. Crixus is conscious and seems on the road to recovery.
Episode 8: Mark of Brotherhood: Spartacus seems to have accepted his role and truly is the Champion of Capua. Batiatus outbids Solonius (played by Craig Walsh-Wrightson) on a new crop of slaves to train as gladiators. Ilithyia (playd by Viva Bianca) buys her own gladiator from amongst the new group, a Gaul.
Episode 9: Whore: Crixus returns to Lucretia’s bed while a noble woman Licinia (played by Brooke Harman) wishes to lie with Spartacus. Ashur (played by Nick E. Tarabay) brings news back to Varro (played by Jai Courtney) that his wife and child might be dead. Crixus is looking to regain his title as Champion of Capua.
Episode 10: Party Favors: Spartacus continues his winning ways in the arena with crowds going wild. Batiatus gets the Magistrate Calavius to agree to hold the birthday of his 15-year-old son (played by Lliam Powell) at the ludus. Varro’s wife is brought to the ludus – alive. Ilithyia is still recovering at the ludus not ready t return to Rome.
Episode 11: Old Wounds: Spartacus has to deal with the death of his best friend Varro and the fact that it was at his hand. Batiatus is furious and wants revenge upon the Magistrate Calavius. The game of Pompeii are on the horizon, but Spartacus is in no shape to fight.
Episode 12: Revelations: Spartacus has recovered and returns to the arena after having learnt the truth behind Sura’s death. Batiatus has completed his plan for killing the Magistrate Calavius and setting up Solonius. Crixus has returned to his fighting glory.
Episode 13: Kill Them All (Enhanced Version): The house of Batiatus has gained the patronage of Glaber. Ilithyia has been ordered by her husband, after learning of her hand in the death of Licinia, to remain at the ludus. Batiatus believes that a political position is within his grasp and he will leave the running of the ludus in Doctore’s (played by Peter Mensah) hands – after he frees him. Spartacus plans a slave revolt.
Special Features: Spartacus Blood and Sand – Behind the Scenes, Spartacus: Battle Royale, Gladiator Boot Camp, Grime + Punishment, Andy Gets Plastered, Legend Re-Imagined, Oh, Those Randy Romans, Shooting Green: The Shadow of Death, Exposing Your Ludus, Spartacus “Vengeance” Trailer