Starz‘s Spartacus: Blood and Sand is an example of a TV series that started out on rocky footing, in the shadow of HBO’s Rome, yet after a few episodes it found its rhythm, each episode as good if not better than the last. Multiple story lines were developed as were characters and the blood always flowed as fluently as the spice Melange on Arrakis. Find Spartacus: Blood and Sand episode reviews and Spartacus: Blood and Sand hi-res photos here. I liked the animated title screens on the DVDs but the actual packaging for the set is not for the true collector. Believe it of not the DVDs are contained within cardboard sleeves in a booklet. WTF? Dust and dirt is bound to eventually get into the sleeves creating micro-scratches on the disc as they are removed and placed back into the sleeves. Whose bright idea was this? Every time you take out and replace the DVD, you will eventually be degrading your investment in Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
Spartacus: Blood and Sand Behind-the-Scenes
This was the longest of the featurettes which includes the main producer of the series and its main writer. They spoke of the background of the main characters in the series and the evolution of the series on Starz and what Starz wanted of them.
Spartacus: Battle Royale
A combat highlight reel in chronological order.
Gladiator Boot Camp
Six weeks of weight lifting, endurance training, swordplay school is what all fighters on the series had to endure. What I was surprised about with the extras is that some of the footage shown on the internet to advertise the first season series before and after it was completed was not included on the DVD. Erin Cummings attended the Gladiator Boot Camp to cut weight, was shown in footage before the series yet is not seen there on the DVD.
Grime and Punishment
Andy Gets Plastered
The prop people make molds of Any Whitfield’s head and hand for use on the series.
The past of Spartacus is discussed. Conflicting reports. One says he was a slave, another part of the Roman army in some capacity.
Oh, Those Randy Romans
The sexual aspects of the series are discussed, various actors and actresses give their take on it.
Shooting Green: The Shadow of Death
All of the series is shot on stages and/or in front of green screens. The tech of this modus operandi is discussed and what it has done for the series. What killed Rome – cost – comes to mind.
Exposing Your Ludus
Comedy baby. The cast cuts lose and has fun in front of the camera.
Spartacus “Vengeance” Trailer
The disc package of disc is a joke. A very bad decision. That withstanding, the show is presented in good fashion with a widescreen presentation 1.78:1. Lovers of the show won’t be disappointed, collectors will. Hopefully the blu-ray has non-deleterious packaging but it looks exactly the same.