The Starz historical action serial, Spartacus, based on the story of the leader of a roman slave rebellion, will be coming to an end soon, but the network claims the final season is going to be well worth it.
Ratings are clearly not a metric that networks like Starz use to measure success, so it’s hard to say how Spartacus has really been doing, but it’s certainly been well received by fans and critics alike during its two season run.
After the end of the second season, however, the network chose not to renew the show for a third season, citing creative differences with the writers and runners.
Those involved, however, did work out a deal which will wrap up the story for the fans. A short, third season, titled Spartacus: War of the Damned, will finish the story in ten episodes.
"It's a bit unheard of to end a show when it's doing better than ever. It's a bold move and we talked about it with Starz. How long do you run a show? Do you run it until you can squeeze every last bit of revenue out of it or do you end it on a high note? That was part of the decision to wrap up the show," said showrunner Steven S. DeKight.
"The idea of ending the show when you're on top and the audience still wants more instead of dragging it out until it starts to wane and you kind of limp to the finish line. I've always thought that five seasons was the perfect number; you've got enough time to tell a great story but there's not so much real estate that you start to get a little flabby in the middle. This is ending a season early. Spartacus is a bit of an unusual duck. We've always had an ending—it's written in history—so we knew where we were shooting for."
Of course, the conclusion is likely to significantly compress the scale of the actual rebellion recorded in the history books, which waged back and forth for nearly a generation, as each new Roman Senate tried in vain to recapture/reenslave Spartacus’s army.
The synopsis of the season is thus:
War of the Damned takes place following the defeat of Roman commander Gaius Claudius Glaber. Spartacus and his men have amassed major victories against the Romans after the Battle of Vesuvius. These victories have not only forged the legend of Spartacus, but have greatly increased the ranks of the rebellion slaves to more than 30,000. Rome is indeed beginning to tremble at the threat Spartacus now represents.
Starz also released this season preview, which features a few interviews, some behind-the-scenes type material, and even some finished shots of the upcoming conclusion, which is currently in production:
Spartacus: War of the Damned kicks off in January 2013 on Starz.