Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Season 1 Episode 1

The Red Serpent

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 22, 2010 on Starz
out of 10
User Rating
539 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


The Romans, at war with Greece, enlist the help of the Thracian Spartacus and his warriors to protect their lands and fight the barbaric Getae. But after the Romans break their agreement with him, Spartacus disobeys and is sentenced to die in the gladiator arena.

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  • Hejsan

    Good film
  • Bloody

    Watched it, liked it, the brutality, the bloody killings, unrated dialog and everything about it... moves away from the average television series we are fed.
  • Terrible show

    This is the first review I've written of a TV series. What prompted me to extend so much effort, go online and write more then a 100 words is the fact that this is probably one of the worst shows in the history of television and here's why:

    1) The show is a bad excuse for gratuitous and explicit sex scenes which add absolutely nothing to the plot (weak as it is) - and I'm certainly not a mormon (I loved HBO's Rome).

    2) More on that subject - the amount of orgies and naked women that appear on screen make it seem impossible for the Romans to have conquered the known world - who would have had the time? The producer of this show probably works for Hustler.

    3) The amount of gore is ridiculous, it makes 300 appear as innocent as Sponge Bob. There are fifteen minutes in which you just see blood flying around. The problem is, it doesn't look real, it looks plain silly. You want good gore - watch 300.

    These three points lead in to the following questions - what about the plot? Is the story just an excuse for more gore and naked women? They even have a part in the episode that has naked women swimming in red water which seems to combine both features. The Spartacus revolt was pretty well-documented and featured well-known and very interesting Romans like Crassus who had 6000 people crucified or Sulla who was a terrible dictator later on. Why did the writers feel that they had to create fictional characters who have dumb motives? The truth is much better then fiction! But what can one expect from Sam Raimi, the man who gave us Hercules and Xena; shows that are fit for viewing for ten year olds. He just took the concept that worked there, added gore and naked women and came up with this new formula. I'm thinking of taking this formula and trying it out on another show as well -

    Fiends (just like Friends but with a twist): A group of friends in NYC who like having bi-sexual swinger parties and cutting off homeless heads, all using the latest CGI. One of them could be an expert on dinosaurs (very kinky), one an accountant (even kinkier), one a chef and another an actor in a Gladiator movie...

    And I'll finish with the following quote from the show which is Pulitzer-worthy. The scene - Spartacus saying good bye to his wife before going off to war:

    "Keep this close to your thighs, the thought will warm us both". This actually chills me to the bone...moreless
  • A premiere that's half ridiculous and cringe-worthy and half entertaining-as-hell

    I'm confused about this show as I start watching it. The first half of the show felt painfully awkward and as if it were written by a seventh grade fantasy freak. There's a difference between good fiction on television and fan-fiction, and the beginning of the show, despite having copious amounts of sex, violence and nudity, fell somewhere in between. But once Spartacus was captured and began his life as a slave, that's when things kicked into high gear and when things became a little less TV-movie-ish and a little more interesting.

    First off, I have to say that the show (at least for me) rides almost completely on Andy Whitfield's shoulders. Sure, John Hannah is entertaining as a gladiator-owner who ends up buying Spartacus, but Whitfield is the heart and soul of the show and as long as he's in it, the show is worth watching. However, the show clearly doesn't care about how unrealistic it is about the time period. I'm not sure the swear words that the characters were saying were even in use back then, but I suppose we're just supposed to ignore it.

    I was expecting worse after some of the things I read about the show, but for me, it seems more like harmless fun. The fight scenes are spectacular and the plot seems to move at a pretty rapid-fire pace. If they can work on the writing a bit, perhaps I'd be willing to rate it a bit higher, but for now, I can do no higher than this. It's a show that has promise and has scenes that live up to the potential that the show has, and then completely ruins it with ridiculous ones.

    I'm sure the show will get better with time, but for me, it was a sort of shaky pilot.moreless
  • So many people look at the obvious and cant accept what is there for effect and purpose...

    So far i read the reviews about the naked women, the overuse of the blood and how Spartacus was this and Spartacus was that....Well let me clear something up for you. The man they are portraying in this show IS NOT Spartacus. He goes unnamed through the length of the Pilot episode...until he is Given the name Spartacus by the Councilor. Why that name??? Because Quintus is there, who appreciates the fighting form, the art and the strengths that lay behind it, Who dislikes the games being played by the other councilors, and the way they are misusing the Gladiatorial games. He see's something in this man, who has just defeated all odds, and first suggests sparing him and then speaks up and says that man fights like the Thracian King of Legend: Spartacus. Next the Blood. This is about the blood spilt in the sand of the Colosseum, and whilst some scenes do show a screen splashed full of blood much like Kill Bill did, it has its purpose and effect. The way in which they do it portrays the amount of death and carnage, and gives off the truthful nature of a battlefield. In a battle such as that you wont escape the blood, you will be soaked in it. There are a few too many slow motion punches, but they are pretty well played to portray the turning of events, and thoughts going through peoples minds. Think this is what i am going to do next whilst watching in real time...too late you have been knocked down and killed. Romans during that era were well known for Greed and Gluttony...hence the wine, the Greek waters carried to Rome, the pompous attitudes, and the Naked slaves- that's right slaves not just everyone, and the people who are being taken care of at home safe whilst others fight the war and farm the fields...that is what is portrayed with that.

    I liked the Show, and whilst I thought the Pilot would have more to it than it did, I believe it set the Plot, and the relationships between the characters quite well. I look forward to seeing more.moreless
Craig Parker

Craig Parker

Claudius Glaber

Guest Star

Kyle Rowling

Kyle Rowling


Guest Star

John Rawls

John Rawls


Guest Star

Viva Bianca

Viva Bianca


Recurring Role

Antonio Te Maioha

Antonio Te Maioha


Recurring Role

Craig Walsh Wrightson

Craig Walsh Wrightson


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Glaber: Align yourself with Rome, pledge your service to the auxiliary, and join us in our campaign.
      Spartacus: To what end? To what end!?
      : Victory.
      : And how is it to be measured? The Getae have raided our villages in the past, raped our women, and killed our children. Each time we have pushed them back, only to see them return.
      Thracian Elder: He speaks out of turn. Yet the truth falls from his mouth.
      Spartacus: If we are to align with Rome, the purpose must be clear. The Getae dead, all of them.
      : Dead, all of them.

    • Sura: The council has decided?
      Spartacus: We go to war.
      Sura: I've asked the gods to bless your sword.
      Spartacus: Once the Getae are wiped from our lands there will be no reason to ever pick it up again.
      : What would my husband do without it in his hands?
      : Grow crops, raise goats, make children.
      Sura: You would fight no more?
      Spartacus: Forever, to be by your side.
      (They kiss).
      Sura: How soon do you march?
      Spartacus: At first light.
      : Then come to bed. If one night is all we have left, I should make the most of it.

    • Spartacus: I woke expecting my wife beside me.
      : She rose early to pray, that her husband would stay with her.
      : I thought we were in agreement.
      : We were.
      : Were?
      Sura: The gods came to me last night, in my sleep.
      Spartacus: What did they show you?
      Sura: My husband on his knees, bowing before a great red serpent, the life draining from his veins.
      Spartacus: What meaning did you take from it?
      Sura: A warning. If you go to war you are destined for great and unfortunate things. Spartacus: (Holds her hands) The Getae worship the mountain wolf, they place no faith in snakes. It was just a dream.
      Sura: And if it isn't?
      : I gave my word, Sura. Blood and honor, it speaks to the man (Lifts her chin gently so she looks in his eyes) Nothing will keep me from returning to your arms. Not the Getae, not the Romans, not the gods themselves (They hug tightly)
      : The nights grow so cold. What am I to do without you in our bed?
      Spartacus: Lift your dress (He knees down, rips a purple strap from his clothes and ties it around her thigh. He stands up and they kiss) Keep me close to your thighs. The thought will warm us both.
      : Kill them all.
      : For you.

    • Drenis: We're the last to eat, the last to share the spoils, but always the first to be sent against those barbarian cunts!

    • Spartacus: We'll finish this discussion later.
      : And if we're dead?
      : Then my boot will find your arse in the afterlife.

    • Glaber: You overstep. Women are forbidden within the encampment.
      Iliythia: I was discreet.
      : Ha. You?
      Iliythia: Your man helped to whisk me through the sentries after I threatened to run naked through the camp screaming he laid his hands on the wife of the Legatus.

    • Spartacus: (referring to Glaber) Pompous, arrogant, Roman boy-lover.

    • Spartacus: I wish I had been a thousand men.
      Sura: You did what you could. You came back. For me. Knowing it could mean your life.
      : There is no life without you.

    • Glaber: (to Spartacus) The shadow of Rome is vast. And you, Thracian, will die under it.

    • Spartacus: We're at sea?
      Drenis: Upon the Adriatic, bound for Capua.
      Spartacus: Sura?
      Drenis: Your woman?
      Spartacus: The Romans took her.
      Drenis: Best to forget her then.

    • Glaber: (About Senator Albinius, Ilithya's father) I would have a word with him.
      Iliythia: It will take more than one to regain his favor. The Senate chamber is full of whispers over your... early return.
      Glaber: Cheers of the crowd will still their tongues.
      Iliythia: Cheers? How will you draw them, short of victory?
      : By giving them something few have ever seen: Thracian blood spilled in the arena. Win the hearts of the crowd...
      Iliythia: ...and the Senate will beg to follow.

    • Batiatus: Only two of my men have been retained to fight in tomorrow's games while Solonius secures half a dozen of his ill-trained simians. That man has fingers in all the proper arseholes.

    • Solonius: The Senator beckons. If I miss you at the games tomorrow, Lucretia.
      Lucretia: Well, it's unlikely. We've been invited to sit in the pulvinus.
      Solonius. The pulvinus? With the Senator? A great honor. I'll enjoy your company there (Takes his leave).
      Batiatus: I shall witness his heart on a day, parted from his chest.
      : And I shall grip the knife.

    • Byzo: (looking at the naked, dancing women) I've never beheld such sights.
      Drenis: Nor will you again.

    • Senator Albinius: (About Spartacus) What name does the man carry?
      : I never cared to ask.
      : The way he fights, like the legend of the Thracian king of old: Spartacus he was called.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      United Kingdom: May 25, 2010 on Bravo.
      Czech Republic: June 1, 2010 on HBO.
      Turkey: September 19, 2010 on CNBC-e.
      Slovakia: July 17, 2011 on Markiza.