When the new season of Spartacus — Spartacus: Vengeance — starts its new season, we find many things the same and a lot of things changed. The big change this season is Australian Actor Liam McIntyre takes over the role of Spartacus. The late Andy Whitfield liked his performance so much that he gave his blessing before his unfortunate death. Knowing the history behind the cast change colors my opinion a bit.
There’s no denying McIntyre brings a different presence to Spartacus. It feels like when daytime Soaps would replace a beloved character without warning or notice, just takes awhile for them to grow on you.
At first blush he seems too small for the part, and he doesn’t have the same intensity level or guttural growl Whitfield had. The comparison probably isn’t fair because it will just take getting used a new person. McIntyre does not play the role differently he just is different. Its like when daytime Soaps would replace a beloved character without warning or notice, it just takes awhile for them to grow on you.
Other than McIntyre there’s a new addition to the cast Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Naevia, Lucretia’s (Lucy Lawless) former Slave who was banished and is Crixus’ (Manu Bennett) lost love. Speaking of Lucretia her survival of the massacre gives her cult like status amongst the people of Rome. It’ll be interesting to see how she uses this to her own advantage in gaining back her “lost” power.
Spartacus: Vengeance starts off with Spartacus dealing with being a leader of the slave rebellion. He has to temper his thirst for vengeance with doing the right thing by the people he leads. Glaber (Craig Parker) is tasked with capturing Spartacus at all costs. Ashur (Nick E. Tarabay) is slippery and traitorous as ever cutting deals with whomever he wants to save his own hide.
The Producing Team of Steven DeKnight (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Rob Tapert (The Grudge, Xena: Warrior Princess) and Sam Raimi must save a fortune on wardrobes since the cast spends half the time naked and put that money towards the buckets and buckets of blood that gets spilled. This show is not for the weak of heart, as it revels in unbridled, raw violence.