After the success of the 2010 series Spartacus: Blood and Sand it came as no surprise that a new season would follow. Sadly lead actor Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and began treatment, thus delaying the second season. Instead of just immediately recasting him, STRZ produced a prequel series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena while he completed his treatment. Sadly, he passed on and they were forced to recast the lead role of Spartacus with Liam McIntyre for the second season Spartacus: Vengeance in 2012.
Spartacus: Vengeance picks up after the events of the first season with gladiators leading a rebellion against the Roman Republic leading to an all-out war as the once slaves become an army. This season of the show took the majority of the action outside of the arena and out into the world as the gladiators fought for their freedom and vengeance. Despite the change of locale and the direction of the series it maintained all the elements that made it such a great show. The characters all continue to stab each other in the back and maintain their unlikability that makes them fun to watch, while the gladiators all begin to develop more as people giving those more to do than just fight and survive in the camp. Some of these actors are clearly getting more chances to showcase their skills both in battle and acting as they some are given relationships to deal with thus giving those more to loose and adding a new depth to their struggles. The action and gore is maintained using the same stylized look and feel to deliver some great battle sequences.
Newcomer Liam McIntyre steps into the role flawlessly changing little about the character as though he was attempting to channel Whitfiled, yet still brought something of his own to the character. The show runners did a great job with this casting as he even resembles Whitfiled a bit making it easier to transition and accept him as the new Spartacus. This season also featured most of the same cast, at least the ones that survived as well as the addition of Dustin Clare who portrayed Gannicus in the prequel series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. This brilliant second season from Anchor Bay Entertainment is available on Blu-ray and DVD and features a beautiful high-def transfer of all 10 episodes, commentary, and numerous behind the scenes featurettes, bloopers, extended episodes, and a teaser of the upcoming third and final season Spartacus: War of the Damned.
This great collection is available now and don’t forget to pick up the other great additions to this unique series including the prequel series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and season one Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
Be sure to be on the lookout for the third and final season Spartacus: War of the Damned when it premieres on January 25th on STARZ.