Starz's historical epic "Spartacus" is on its bloody way out. After two seasons and a prequel series, the successful drama will air its third and final season in 2013.
The third season will be subtitled "War of the Damned," a title which should instill equal parts dread and excitement in the hearts of fans. And under creator Steven S. DeKnight's leadership, we can expect a bloody and heroic end for our fine heroes (heavy emphasis on the "bloody"). In a statement to the press, DeKnight stated that “This season is bigger than anything we’ve attempted . . . The scope and scale is just amazing. We’re dealing with massive battles between thousands of people. We hope to leave people feeling satisfied.”
In an official statement, CEO Chris Albrecht noted that "Steven DeKnight, Rob Tapert, Josh Donen and Sam Raimi have made one of the most groundbreaking shows we have ever seen. We are in agreement with our partners in the decision to conclude the story after ‘War of the Damned,’ as we believe it is the best way to maintain the integrity of the series and secure its legacy. While everyone may know the fate of Spartacus, we believe this will be a spectacular season that will startle, amaze and honor the legions of fans.”
Leaving people satisfied seems to be the key. DeKnight seems anxious not to let his show wear out its welcome. Whether this decision was mostly made by the network or by DeKnight and his creative team doesn't seem to matter at this point. DeKnight seems confident that this is the right time for the story to end. In an interview with Maureen Ryan, DeKnight stated, "If you look at the scraps of information [in the historical record], it seems like Spartacus and the rebels never had a clear plan once they broke out. The rebellion started rolling and they went north, they went south, they went east, they went west, they went back north, they split up, they came back together. It was a really chaotic, contentious rebellion. And on the Roman side, Roman senator after Roman senator went after Spartacus, got defeated, went after Spartacus, got defeated. So we thought, why not condense the best elements of the story, condense some characters, condense events and just give 10 of the best rip-roaring episodes we could to bring the tale of "Spartacus" to a conclusion?"
As sad as I will be to see the show end, and as much as I'll miss its unique blend of gore, blunt sexuality, and intelligent writing, I know the same team who brought us "Blood and Sand," "Gods of the Arena," and "Vengeance" will deliver again. Most likely in great bloody, sexy, epic fashion.
"Spartacus: War of the Damned" is filming now, and will air in January 2013 on Starz.