I first heard about Spartacus Blood and Sand from an article by Philippine Star columnist Scott Garceau. The review was not very flattering but it made me curious enough to try it out for a few episodes. Then I got hooked! A more detailed plot summary can be found here.
The cast is just perfect. Little known Australian actor, Andy Whitfield, plays the lead role of Spartacus. John Hannah, from The Mummy, plays Batiatus, the owner of the ludus or the gladiator training school where the whole story takes place. His insatiable thirst for power and political office is complemented by his equally power-hungry wife, Lucretia, played by New Zealand superstar Lucy Lawless of Xena: Warrior Princess fame. Manu Bennett, as the Gaul gladiator, Crixus, was perfect. The tension between him and Spartacus from the start up to the end; culminating to them joining forces was a bit expected, but provided the perfect ending.
A little trivia -- it seems that the series, as broadcasted in New Zealand, does not show any nude scenes of Lucy Lawless. They edited it all out. Actually, Spartacus is being shown on HBO already. I've never watched it on HBO though so I don't know how they managed to edit out all the nude scenes as there are just too many of them.
Unlike the other TV series I've followed, Flash Forward, Heroes, and Sarah Connor Chronicles, this one actually finished the season nicely. Even if they completed decide to not do a Season 2, the closure is already perfect. There are no plot lines left hanging. Season 2 should be a completely new storyline already.
Really looking forward to Season 2. According to news, the filming of Season 2 was delayed due to Andy Whitfield's health condition. During that time, Starz decided to do a 6-episode prequel. That should be great too!