Spartacus: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Review)

Spartacus The Complete SeriesIt is certainly fitting to find myself reviewing the Blu-ray set for Spartacus: The Complete Series.  Without this series I would have never met Why So Blu? creator Brian White, who has afforded me the opportunity to write for this site.  In a general sense, writing about Spartacus has been a huge boon for the site, as it is not only a great series, but one that has been responsible for several great reviews and lots of appreciation and opportunities going every which way.  This ‘Complete Series’ collection offers every season of the hit Starz series, along with a few new extra features.  If you have been a diehard fan, than this is a collection for you.  If you have still yet to dive into this stylish take on the legendary character, then you are in for a treat.


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As we have been covering Spartacus for the past years, we already have four comprehensive reviews of the series and each season’s accompanying Blu-ray.  Those can each be found here:

Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

Spartacus: Vengeance

Spartacus: War of the Damned

With that in mind, I do have some brief thoughts on the series, having recently gone over several episodes from each season.  The main thing I love bringing up is how caught off guard I was by the huge change in this series early in its run.  My initial thoughts on Spartacus: Blood and Sand were very apprehensive ones.  As is the case with most TV series, especially fairly ambitious ones, it often takes time for a series to find its voice.  With Spartacus, the series seemed to be merely something of a 300 knock-off, which happened to have the story of a historic character serving as the backdrop.  With that said, a few episodes in, series creator/showrunner Steven S. DeKnight managed to pull things together and really start letting the tricky intricacies of the series shine through.  Along with the hyper-stylized violence and sexuality that served as a series staple, the complexities of the characters began serving as a major drive of the series, putting Spartacus on the level of the great, but short-lived HBO series ROME.  By the end of the first season I was hooked, but unfortunately all the good faith in this series had unfortunate bad news to come with its future.

The breakout star of the series, Andy Whitfield, was well on his way to greater things, but tragedy struck, preventing him from following up the first season right away, only to then grow worse and eventually pass away.  Former Why So Blu? writer Gregg Senko wrote up a wonderful piece regarding this man, which encapsulated a lot of our thoughts regarding this unfortunate occurrence.  It was an incredibly sad state of affairs, but not one that stopped the series in its tracks.  Instead, Steven S. DeKnight carried on.  Having already put out the Gods of the Arena season, which served as a prequel season to Blood and Sand, in an attempt to, at the time, give Whitfield time to recover, while also allowing for more interesting stories about some key characters of the series that had been killed by the end of the initial season, we would then be on our way to Vengeance.

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It was a tough task to follow up the initial season of Spartacus, given the tragic loss of its lead star, but Liam McIntyre was the man chosen for the job.  While he was not the same as Andy Whitfield, he did his best, which started off a bit rocky, but certainly grew on me, as it seemed clearer and clearer that McIntrye simply needed some time to grow into such an iconic role.  While I would likely rank Vengeance at the bottom, as far as this series goes, that is far from saying it was a bad season, as Vengeance still delivered some of the best episodes of the series, let alone provided plenty of material for the other characters, beyond Spartacus, to work with and further strengthen the ensemble.

This now brings us to the final season of Spartacus, War of the Damned, which was pretty fantastic.  Not nearly as concerned with what Liam McIntrye was capable of, this final season delivered on everything that made Spartacus such a successful series, topping it all off with what I consider to be one of my favorite series finale episodes.  Quite the accomplishment for a series I was almost ready to write off completely during its initial weeks.  With just an end game in mind, Steven S. DeKnight and his team were able to plot out the last hurrahs for the remaining cast members that starred as heroes, while still providing a strong new cast of characters to serve as the opposition.  It was a success and that left Spartacus complete and Starz as a solid network open to graphic yet compelling new series, given the chance.

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I have had plenty of praise for this series over the years and given the tough task of explaining that it is far more than just sex and violence.  Spartacus is certainly a show that knows how to make the best of gratuitous levels of entertainment, but it also found a great way to back that up with strong writing and characters.  I followed along during its entire run and am happy to stand behind Spartacus.


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As these Blu-ray discs are identical to the ones previously released, as far as the individual episodes of each season are concerned, I will once again refer to our previous reviews of each season in regards to the quality of each episode’s video transfer:

Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

Spartacus: Vengeance

Spartacus: War of the Damned



As these Blu-ray discs are identical to the ones previously released, as far as the individual episodes of each season are concerned, I will once again refer to our previous reviews of each season in regards to the quality of each episode’s audio quality, but know this: Spartacus sounds amazing on Blu-ray:

Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

Spartacus: Vengeance

Spartacus: War of the Damned


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Each season of Spartacus has always been packed with extras that range from commentaries on multiple episodes to various featurettes, all presented in HD.  I will refer you to the already referenced links for details in regards to the extra features already available, while I will describe the bonus disc and new extras that have been included in this ‘Complete Series’ collection.  Before getting to that however, I will describe the packaging.  Spartacus: The Complete Series arrives in a box that opens up to reveal a small book housing all 13 discs.  It is a nice sturdy book with artwork and episode/content listings on each page, with a nice red bookmarker attached as well.

Features Include:

New Audio Commentaries – For the Blood and Sand season, 3 new commentary tracks have been recorded.  While not my favorite episodes, I can see why they were chosen.  These commentaries are located on the first two discs.

Disc 1: “Legends” with Writer/Creator/Executive Producer Steven S. DeKnight, Executive Producer Rob Tapert, and Actors Viva Bianca and Lucy Lawless

Disc 2: “Great and Unfortunate Things” with Rob Tapert and Actors John Hannah and Lucy Lawless and “Mark of the Brotherhood” with Steven S. DeKnight and Actors Manu Bennett, Viva Bianca, and Lucy Lawless

Disc 13: Bonus Features – The new bonus featurettes are all contained on the final disc in this set.

Spartacus Fan Favorites with Liam McIntyre (HD, 10:11) – Spartacus(b) hosts a top ten countdown of fan-favorite moments from the series.  I am not sure how this list was conducted, but it’s a nice greatest hits-style look at the show, despite its brevity.

Scoring a Hit: Composer Joseph LoDuca (HD, 3:12): The series’ composer discusses his work on the show and some of his methods. I was happy to hear him acknowledge that he first got started scoring The Evil Dead.

An Eye Full: Roger Murray (HD, 2:53): The series’ prosthetic & prop supervisor and the executive visual effects supervisor take a look back at the work done to bring out the more graphic moments of the series.

Spartacus: Paul Grinder (HD, 2:53): The series’ 2nd unit director goes over some of work on the show. Not sure why only so much time was given for each of these guys to look back at the series, but it is nice to see something.

The Last Word: John Hannah (HD, 8:03): Perhaps the best character of the series (or at least the best actor), John Hannah talks about how he got into this series, what interested him, favorite moments and other aspects of a role he truly enjoyed playing (which included shouting things about Jupiter).

UltraViolet copy of the series



One of my favorite television series of recent years and certainly one I will enjoy revisiting in the future, Spartacus is a violent, sexy, stylish ride through the story of the legendary warrior who went from a slave to a true leader.  This was a great show that I was happy to stick with and I will be happy to continue sharing my praises for it.  As far as this Blu-ray package is concerned, it is mainly for those wanting to find the whole series in one convenient package or the diehards (who would likely also enjoy the super deluxe limited edition packaging that comes at a higher price).  The show has always looked and sounded great on Blu-ray and obviously that has not changed here.  The new bonus disc and additional commentaries are a bit of a nice touch as well, though not enough to win over those who may be big fans, but not as willing to spend so much money for the same exact series again.  Regardless, this is a pretty cool set for a great series.

Order Your Copy Here:

Spartacus The Complete Series Spartacus The Complete Collection With Figurine


Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

1 Response to “Spartacus: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Gregg

    Great article for a great show! Thanks for the mention too.