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

Universal acclaim- based on 138 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 138

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  1. Sep 22, 2014
    I didn't think a prequel mini-series could live up to the high standard set by Spartacus: Blood and Sand and boy was I wrong. While I don't think the plot developed as well or the story was quite as riveting, this 6 episode season was absolutely fantastic. The budget seemed substantially higher and you could tell in the special effects... especially the blood spatter. It looked so much more realistic and less campy than the first season. That's about the only element of improvement, though the rest of the show was also fantastic. My favorite aspect is hands down the fact that the show starts so distant from where Blood and Sand begins but as the episodes come and go, you can slowly see the setting conform to where you expect it, with Gods of the Arena ending exactly where you can see a smooth transition into the original season. Yes, this show lacked a protagonist of Spartacus' character but Gannicus slowly grows on you. I honestly didn't care for the character at all in the first couple of episodes as he felt too comical and not very genuine but by the end of the season you're rooting for him in the arena and out of it. Overall, great show. Expand
  2. Jan 13, 2014
    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.
  3. Sep 6, 2013
    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
  4. Sep 2, 2013
    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.
  5. Oct 12, 2012
    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?
  6. Jun 22, 2012
    the best show in the world, better than anything you've ever seen, the acting, the story, the action,
    the best,everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
  7. Jan 21, 2012
    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. Expand
  8. Jan 8, 2012
    Still adore show and characters...it kept its same sensational exaggerations...but Jupiters C*ck! prequel wasn't about Spartacus . Replacement was Fabio with Superego worse than Crixus. House of Batiatus rule
  9. Nov 28, 2011
    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
  10. Nov 5, 2011
    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.
  11. Aug 14, 2011
    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!!!
  12. Jun 29, 2011
    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
  13. Jun 4, 2011
    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.
  14. May 7, 2011
    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
  15. Apr 22, 2011
    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
  16. Feb 22, 2011
    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
  17. Feb 21, 2011
    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.
  18. Feb 19, 2011
    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
  19. Feb 18, 2011
    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 Collapse
  20. Feb 13, 2011
    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.
  21. Feb 11, 2011
    The villains are delightfully evil, the women exude lust, and the gladiators are vicious killing machines in this prequel to " Blood And Sand ". The acting though is sub-par with the exception of Lucy Lawless as Lucretia and her husband who was killed off at the end of " Blood And Sand ". The show really misses the Spartacus character , who will mot certainly return in any new installments. The actor is recovering from non- Hodgkins lymphoma. Like many of you, I find this a guilty pleasure and taken for what it is, it's good entertainment. Expand
  22. Feb 10, 2011
    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
  23. Feb 5, 2011
    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-
  24. Jan 30, 2011
    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
  25. Jan 29, 2011
    Gods of the Arena is really as interesting as the first season, showing us sides of the characters we didnt knew through their past, its more then a way to wait for the second season!
  26. Jan 24, 2011
    I won't lie; this show is the ultimate guilty pleasure. Beautiful women, even more beautiful men (all wearing as little as possible), impossibly hot sex, gravity-defying fight choreography, arterial blood spurting like the fountains of Bellagio: what's not to like? Well, the dialog is not to like. Yes, it's true that Latin lacked definite and indefinite articles, but randomly removing them from English speech makes conversations sound so stilted that it's a wonder the actors get through their lines, especially when they have to mix in profanity. I'll bet it's easier to run up a wall and dive into someone's shoulder with a gladius than it is to utter "Only my Gannicus could win contest f*cking blindfolded" or "Words fall from your mouth as sh*t from *ss." But, aside from dialog, Starz has the exuberant artifice of the series exactly right: heroes and villains engaged in action-packed melodrama, no justification, no apologies. And the hero of this prequel, played by Dustin Clare, is a treat. I like Andy Whitfield's Spartacus, of course, but it's fun to watch someone enjoying himself in the arena after all that suffering and rage. Extra points for finally showing a Gaul who keeps his long hair. Expand
  27. Jan 24, 2011
    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
  28. Jan 22, 2011
    After seeing the first episode I have to say that I'm going to like it as much as the first season. I don't get the critics poor reviews, they seem to focus on the sex and violence well guess what we are looking into our past when we enjoyed watching people fight to the death. Historically it may not be totally accurate, but I think they do a great job of giving us a sense of what middle class life was like at the time. Expand

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
    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
    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
    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.