There are lots of swords in the trailer for Spartacus: Vengeance, some of them in slow motion. There are bodies bumping and grinding, plenty of washed out scenery, bunches of Braveheart-styled dialogue about freedom and, in case you forgot, Lucy Lawless. And the blood? There is lots of blood. It looks like a ripping time, sure to be entertaining in a dependable way upon its January 27 premiere.
Vengeance follows last year’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand, a hit for Starz partially in thanks to the gratuitous gore and sex that filled almost every episode. There was a story in there too, about slave rebellion and destiny and all that, but as was the case with other gladiator-styled action fests like 300 and Immortals, all it takes is a bunch of jacked dudes with swords to get it popping.
Production on a second season was delayed, however, by the tragic death of Andy Whitfield due to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Whitfield played the titular Spartacus, so replacing him was no short order. Newcomer Liam McIntyre seems to replicate Whitfield’s buzz cut/square jaw reasonably well, so there you go. The trailer opens up with a line that feels referential to Whitfield’s passing: "We have all suffered losses of those close to us" before getting into the goods. Not too many shows replace their lead actors after just a season (or at all), so it’ll be intriguing if they can pull it off.