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Spartacus Season 3 War of the Damned – STARZ Final Spartacus Season
Update 7/2012: new promo images for Spartacus:War of the Damned.
In what I can only describe as the most surprising move in recent television history, STARZ has apparently okayed the decision to end its flagship original series, Spartacus, at the end of its third season. The news comes along with the reveal of the season’s subtitle, War of the Damned – which sounds so appropriately ominous – and it’s a strange situation to be in. Season 2, Vengeance, was a large hit for STARZ, taking in bigger numbers than previous seasons. So why would the network cancel the show that has been responsible for establishing its staying power in the realm of scripted television?
In an interview with IGN, executive producer and showrunner Steven DeKnight opened up why he decided to end the series at this time. He admits he originally planned a five to seven season arc for the show, but in the end he felt it would be best to cram as much awesome into a single, final season rather than stretch out the rest of the story over a few more seasons and run the risk of losing quality. This is an incredibly bold move filled with risk, especially for STARZ. The mere fact they’re backing this decision speaks wonders of their understanding of television. Most networks will let a popular series run itself into the ground. It takes a brave soul to decide to end things early, on a high note.
War of the Damned will have to move through a lot of story in order to reach its conclusion, the inevitable death of Spartacus. It will introduce new villains in Crassus and a young Julius Caesar. The goal of the final season is to explore the cost of war from a physical, financial, and emotional point of view. If you’re absolutely crushed over the end of such a terrific example of TV, don’t let yourself get too sad. DeKnight expressed interest in doing a spinoff, in the same vain as the prequel season, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Spartacus may meet his end, but there are other characters with stories to tell.