Spartacus is apparently going out big.
The story of Spartacus is ending on Starz, prompting the network to compress the timeline. The actual rebellion, recorded in the history books, waged back and forth for nearly a generation as each new Roman Senate tried in vain to recapture/reenslave Spartacus’ army. There is no time for that in the few episodes left to the show. The rebellion will have to be quick, violent, and very bloody.
There was a fear that the plotline of the show would simply be abandoned after it was cancelled following the second season, but this final season - technically a miniseries - will allow the show to come to a satisfying conclusion for the fans.
The War of the Damned trailer is very violent and bloody, so be careful where and with whom you watch it:
"It's a bit unheard of to end a show when it's doing better than ever," said showrunner Steven S. DeKight when the decision was made to cancell the show earlier this year. "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."
Ratings are clearly not a metric that networks like Starz use to measure success, so it’s difficult 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.
"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."
The synopsis 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.
Spartacus: War of the Damned will take three episodes to finish off the series. The first one airs January 25, 2013 at 9pm on Starz.