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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Spartacus: War of the Damned - The Third Season'
(Liam McIntyre, Dustin Clare, Manu Bennett, Dan Feuerriegel, et al / 3-Disc Blu ray / NR / 2013 / Anchor Bay Entertainment)

Overview: Gaius Claudius Glaber is dead. Many months have passed since his defeat, and the rebel army, led by Spartacus and his generals Crixus, Gannicus and Agron, continue to amass victories over Rome. With the rebel numbers swelling to thousands of freed slaves, Spartacus is more determined than ever to bring down the entire Roman Republic.

Blu ray Verdict: As the tag line says, 'The epic conclusion of a legendary journey, Spartacus: War of the Damned will unleash a battle unlike anything ever seen before.' And boy, oh boy does it get unleashed!!

Premise: History will say that Spartacus is the story of a gladiator slave turned rebel leader. But for the sake of the series, I'll say it's the story of a free man, a warrior, turned into a gladiator who said he isn't going to take this shit any longer and became a rebel leader, then legendary hero.

When this series first debuted several years ago, I was a bit skeptical. The special effects didn't impress me from the trailers I'd seen, but still, I was going to give it a chance. After I watched the pilot, I was hooked! Addicted! Strung-out during season breaks and having all kinds of withdrawal symptoms until its return. This has got to be one of the greatest television shows ever written, acted, directed ... created.

There is something for everyone in this series. Do you love romance? Yeah, it has it. Tragic at times and even morbid, but romance is often blooming. If you love sex scenes, then you get that by the buckets. But if intrigue, action, blood, guts and battles are your cup of tea, then sit down for a full serving because this particular show glorifies in violence unlike any other.

If you don't know me by now, that's JUST my thing. I love when a show has everything I could ever hope for. The plot lines were always unpredictable, even when you knew the history of some of the characters, and that's not an easy feat on the part of the writers/creators. Each episode was action-packed and loaded with devilish schemes sure to keep any viewer thoroughly entertained.

Personally, I miss Batiatus terribly. IMO Batiatus was THE BEST character on the show by far and was lost way too soon, although what choice did they have? Ashur was a great villain. Loved hating him. Season 1 Crixus was a thing of deadly beauty with an impeccable badass character. His stare was like a laser. Missed that guy for the rest of the series. Loved Agron.

They should've kept his brother Duro, especially if the original Naevia was gonna leave. Never got into the new actress. Agron's boyfriend angle was a surprise, but it worked, too. Gannicus was just THE MAN. Could've been a Spartacus, if he cared enough. After Batiatus, none of the bad guys compared until Crassus and Caesar.

Crassus was an excellently casted and acted character in the final season. Superb master villain performance. His kid was suitably hatable. Julius Caesar is one of my all time heroes, so his portrayal at first concerned me, but I loved him quickly. Then THE scene with him and Little Crassus. HOW DISTURBING WAS THAT? And why to Caesar?

To refer to the stupid rumors about that him his enemies constantly threw around, that he'd given up, virginity, let's say to a king for ships and support as a young man. Caesar's enemies loved that rumor cuz it made them feel better about Caesar doing their wives.

Special Note: The main actor who portrayed Spartacus originally fell ill before they could continue onto the second season, so they created a prequel to give him time to heal. Unfortunately, Andy Whitfield passed away from cancer. Broke many fans hearts including Yours Truly. I do have to take my hat off to the creators for coming up with a fantastic prequel that gave us the amazing gladiator, Gannicus. Also, they found another wonderful actor to take up the torch and continue to blaze Spartacus' trail.

This final season is incredible to behold, especially on Blu ray. So do yourself a favor and sit back and watch back-to-back episodes at your leisure. Immerse yourself in this barbaric world of ancient Rome to your heart's content! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the special features of:

SPARTACUS: The Legend Retold
The Price of Being a Gladiator Featurette
A Bloody Farewell Adorning the Damned Featurette
The Mind Behind SPARTACUS
BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE: Extended Episodes and Audio Commentaries!