Another Roman romp

How, in columnus, to speaketh in all decency of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena?

How to speaketh of the love between men, not to mention the love between women, wearing only what God provided, and higheth on opium?

Because all of this gous onus in Gods of the Arena.


And nobody could be more proudus than myself of the strong New Zealand component in this expletive-abundant Roman romp.

Because, though, of these nefarious activities, today's column is brought to you by The Wordsworth Book of Euphemism, by Judith S. Neaman and Carole G. Silver, two scholarly ladies who, one would hope, would keep away from the sort of Roman behaviours again about to hit The Box channel, from May 1.

I say again, because it is not the first time we have seen the orgy of naughtiness, the stylised sex and violence, the quite fabulous female nudity and the container loads of blood and gore that the Spartacus series pours on viewers.

The first series got our blood running last winter, and Gods of the Arena, the prequel, is about to begin.

Interestingly, according to Wikipedia at least, the opportunity to produce Gods of the Arena emerged when the second season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand was halted because of a lead actor's illness.

The producer expanded a single flashback into a six-part miniseries, and production began in New Zealand in August last year.

Gods of the Arena begins, quite literally, with huge amounts of blood, which explodes across the screen as stunning violence is done on and by very large men.

From there, we move quickly to a small version of the colosseum, where blood is most verily spilt.

And then - pay attention men - comes the sort of crowd shot one knows to expect in Spartacus.

A comely young lady for no obvious reason, but thank you anyway, reveals what the Wordsworth describes as her "Mae Wests", her "headlights", or her "thousand pities", the latter an obsolete rhyming slang term from the 19th century, similar to "Bristol cities".

Unlike episode one of the first series, the wonderful Lucy Lawless is unable to remain clothed in the first half hour of Spartacus, indulging in what Wordsworth describes as "discussing Uganda", a British euphemism the book does not adequately explain, but which is also described as "horizontal folk dancing".

Gods of the Arena again stars John Hannah as a sort of gladiatorial sports agent on the rise, with Lawless playing his wife Lucretia.

If you enjoy folk dancing, you will enjoy Gods of the Arena.

Watch. Then watch again.


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