• Network: Starz
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 21, 2011
  • Season #: 1
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 126 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 126

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  1. Jan 24, 2011
    10
    I have to admit, when the Celtic gladiator came out all smiles and joking around, I thought Damn, I hope this isnt "the replacement" for Spartacus. However by the middle of the show I thought his character was fantastic! If you liked the first season, this prequel will impress you too! It has a lot of potential.

    In the end I think 'Gods of the Arena' is going to be pulling off
    another 10/10 Im very impressed ;-) Expand
  2. Feb 22, 2011
    10
    Do not be dissuaded by the promotional material for this show depicting lots of flashy sex and violence. This is no '300' clone. Beneath the veneer lies a show with profound depth and character development, and one of the best plots I have ever seen on any screen. This speaks even more to the original Spartacus season, which literally had me and my friends on the edge of our seats. Give it four episodes to work out its identity and the story will catch you like a fish on a hook. Watch it with your friends. Me and my buddies have been doing a weekly Spartacus night for months with no girls allowed. Highest Marks! GO out of your way to watch this! Expand
  3. Feb 18, 2011
    10
    Started watching the series when Blood and Sand came out. I must admit I've watched every episode of season 1 at least a dozen times. this show is fantastic. especially if you play any online gladiator games like Gladiatus. Was skeptical of season 2, and didn't really think the show would continue with main character Spartacus' actor having lymphoma. But the show has outdone itself. All the intrigue and vicious maneuvering for advancement, more self indulgent debaucherous behavior than I thought possible, and bloodcurdling arena fights.....the show is better than Rome miniseries, which I am also extremely fond of. If you like this miniseries, you will also like the online game Gladiatus, which you can play for free. click link to play the game. http://s4.gladiatus.us/game/c.php?uid=82727 Expand
  4. Jan 30, 2011
    10
    I did not voice my opinion in regards to the 1st season of this show but I would have given that a 10 as well. I can completely understand if the graphic nature can turn some viewers off immediately but it is quite close-minded to heap negative reviews upon it simply because of that. given the opportunity, the show will engross you in the character's plights due to the poignant plot material and the excellent script which sucks you into a Roman villa/arena/marketplace very well - no delivery truly feels forced for historical accuracy. Simply achieves it. Does not detach the listener with overuse of terms and lingo from the period. The storyline stems completely from the monumental gap between the noble class and commoner. No middle class existed which is a parallel to many contemporary issues. The fight to keep some spark of happiness in a life without freedom of choice, to be commanded to fight and die, or to give your body to strangers. Somehow the characters in this show keep a will to survive that is stronger than any of the evils they endure and it is a beautiful thing to see... of course that is if you can see past the fighting the scr*wing and swearing long enough to see beyond that rough appearance. I wish Andy Whitfield a swift recovery and he will be missed from the show for the duration of his absence. Expand
  5. Feb 21, 2011
    9
    Behind all that sex and violence are characters that you will grow to care about. And they actually put in a good story to boot. Batiatus and Lucretia stand out here the most as the best onscreen couple you'll ever see.
  6. Sep 6, 2013
    9
    Acting as a prequel to "Blood and Sand", this mini-series takes Starz "Spartacus" series to new heights. It shows off more impressive blood and gore effects, darker and sicker moments, and an excellent tale. It may only consist of six episodes but it's hard to ask for a better prequel. Watching moments unfold like the rise of Crixus and Oenomaus becoming doctore is awesome, and helps pull you into the fact that this is a prequel. It also adds new characters, all of whom fates are revealed, that are used to great effect to help deepen the narrative. The fact that no minor detail is overlooked is amazing. Everything you would expect this prequel to explain is here. Considering that this takes place before Spartacus' arrival the focus here is more on the schemes of Batiatus and Lucretia, but it still has some of the best and brutal action scenes around. All in all if you're a fan of the previous "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" then you will enjoy "Gods of the Arena". It's just as fantastic and adds even more depth to the events of "Blood and Sand". It's not only a fantastic prequel, but is able to stand on its own to feet as a fantastic show thanks to its excellently written plot and bone crushing action. Overall, I don't think I could have been more impressed. Expand
  7. Feb 5, 2011
    10
    The 'Spartacus' series takes place in a time when gore and sex were the ultimate forms of entertainment. It seems strange, then, that the critics' main complaint regarding the show appears to be its violent and sexual content. Personally, I find such aspects fitting, not gratuitous. To be sure, the violence and sex is (relatively) graphic, but nothing a Starz audience shouldn't be able to handle.

    The plot is engaging; the characters are sufficiently multi-dimensional. At the end of the day, the show strikes a balance between campiness and honesty that is rather impressive. I would recommend this show not only to those who enjoy their TV with a healthy dose of blood and sex, but to anyone who appreciates well-written action, with a little political scheming thrown in for good measure. I would not recommend it to the squeamish, stuffy, or anyone else too high-brow to enjoy a show with the above characteristics.

    Grade: A-
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  8. Feb 10, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Ok! I watched all the three episode and I can't wait to watched for the next episode, so far it's really addicting. I thought the series will be less interesting when I watched the trailer that this season is all about the house of batiatus, but it turns out to be good. Expand
  9. Feb 13, 2011
    10
    Absolutely the best TV serious in the history of mankind. This is the perfect combination of fighting in the arena, training, corruption, sex, and scandals. Please note, that if you don't like the following you will not like Spartacus: Blood,Sex,Gore,Extreme violence, and LOTS of adult language. Don't waste your time then, because Spartacus is the best.
  10. Feb 19, 2011
    9
    This is bold, well written, for the most part well acted and visually stunning television for a long time, in a desert of crap and bland ("Better with Your" gets a higher metacritic rating...Really???) its nice to see a program that challenges the viewer as well as shocks and hey lets face it, sexy as hell and has the story to back up its use of adult content unlike the sick murder shows that are almost pornographic in it depiction of murder and it abused victims. Fight the bland and the oh so constant predictable American TV and enjoy a sinful pleasure. Expand
  11. May 7, 2011
    10
    Amazing show, can't be missed. It´s one of the few shows that can show violence, sex and plot together, in a balanced way. It took the first season a couple of episodes to get it right, but this season is proof of what the creators have learnt. Amazingly coreographed battles, sex scenes, and well-thought storylines that continue in Blood and Sand, make this show a must-watch to anybody with the free time, and desire to watch something that few channels dare show in today's world. Thats why I give it a 10.0 / 10 Expand
  12. Apr 22, 2011
    10
    These critics bash the show for nudity and violence, without getting to the heart f the show. This show is just plain awesome. I liked season 1 but this one is much, much better. The fighting scenes have been toned down here, so there is much more plot and story, which is excellent. I really feel like this is a great concept of what life may have been like. The love and passion between the top two characters makes me feel. I dunno about season 2 to be honest, because without the lunesta (sp?) I'm concerned about the ability to make a good show. I will watch and give it a chance, but the two best characters are dead from season 1. Another prequal perhaps ? Expand
  13. Jun 4, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is one of the best prequels I have ever seen. I was skeptic that they were going to do a prequel. I know Andy Whitfield had an illness and the main second sequel was delayed but I loved it.

    Now I couldn't imagine them NOT doing a Prequel for the Show. It explains Characters like Oenomaous who I thought was very one dimensional in the first season, and introduces new Characters like Gannicus, Vettius, Gaia and Tulius.

    What surprised me most was Manu Bennett performance as Crixus. They expanded Crixus a lot in this Season showing that he was not always **** arrogant or having an aggressive attitude but showing the opposite of him.

    The finale was great when Gannicus was freed as everyone was expecting to die in some way and he unveils himself as the new Spartacus to some people.
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  14. Jun 29, 2011
    10
    A fascinating prequel to Blood and Sand. Whilst the season was unfortunately only six episodes long, each episode told a fascinating story and left me anticipating both the next and the Sequels to Blood and Sand
  15. Aug 14, 2011
    10
    Outstanding Action Series! I did not think that they could actually improve on the quality of the first season, then they stepped-it-up to a level in the second that is totally addictive! I hope that the producers and directors keep going with similar productions well after the third season. We need at least 20 seasons of Gladiator dramas, in the "300" Graphic-Novel-Style format!!!
  16. Nov 5, 2011
    10
    When I first started watching blood and sand, I thought that maybe it wasn't that good, but as soon as I reached chapter 5, I realized that this is one of the best show I have ever seen, season 2 made me realize I'll be watching this show until the end.
  17. Nov 28, 2011
    10
    I remember when i started watching this thought please i hope it has the same dramatic feel to it as the first season. I tell you it didn't disappoint it was amazing, theres even more twists, betrayal and bloody and nakedness
  18. Jan 21, 2012
    10
    Look at the disparity between critic and user reviews! As of the time I'm writing this, all 20 user reviews are POSITIVE. An excellent idea by Starz to create a mini-series prequel to the first season of Spartacus: Blood & Sand, Gods of the Arena delivers intriguing backstories on the major characters while introducing a few new ones. I just hope Gannicus rejoins his gladiator brothers in Vengeance. Collapse
  19. Jun 22, 2012
    10
    the best show in the world, better than anything you've ever seen, the acting, the story, the action,
    the best,everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
  20. Oct 12, 2012
    10
    Gods of the Arena was a step up from Blood and Sand, the CGI was more refined and the introduction of Gannicus was much appreciated. Yes there is explicit violence and sex but its essentially a Roman slave house, what do you expect?
  21. Sep 2, 2013
    10
    All I can say is that those who are and a lot of people loved "Blood and Sand" series, they absolutely will not csalódni.A author also threw in a large shovel all téren.Csak I recommend one of the best shows I've ever seen.
  22. Jan 13, 2014
    9
    the prequel to blood and sand, gods of the arena was a very dark and emotional prequel that i felt gave great insight into how batiatus rose to where he was and how crixius became champion it definitely explains alot up to blood and sand. the acting was great just as in all other seasons. the fight scene were great as well.
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 21, 2011
    67
    Starz's Spartacus - Gods of the Arena is endlessly creative when it comes to all things stabby. It seems to have a bottomless bucket of fake blood in its production budget.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 21, 2011
    75
    It's obviously not for the squeamish, nor perhaps for the refined. But it's al-i-i-i-i-i-ve in so many ways. So what the hell, let's rock.
  3. Reviewed by: Ginia Bellafante
    Jan 20, 2011
    50
    The result is a production even more fantastically soapy than the first, visually elevated by an apocalyptic video-game look in which the orgiastic sex and violence are presented with a studied, syncopated choreography.