Before stars Liam McIntyre and Manu Bennett join series creator Steven S. DeKnight at the Spartacus: War of the Damned panel during Comic-Con 2012, fans can check out a new behind the scenes featurette detailing the lengths the series will go to make its final season a memorable one.
No doubt the news that War of The Damned would see the series to its conclusion came as something of a surprise to many viewers who may have thought the triumph of Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) and his band of rebels over Gaius Claudius Glaber (Craig Parker) would lead to a gradual build up of Spartacus' army and the threat they pose to the Roman Empire.
That timeline has been shortened now, and according to Starz, the final season will see the rebellion is now more than a mere group of insurgents - it has become a full-fledged army of freed slaves, hell-bent on toppling the empire that would see them in chains.
As we saw in the first teaser for season 3, Spartacus was cutting a swath through some Roman soldiers, clad in some very fashionable armor and on horseback. A change of pace for someone normally clad in a loincloth and traveling on foot - therefore suggesting that some time will have passed between Spartacus: Vengeance and War of The Damned.
By the time War of The Damned premieres, Spartacus and his "rat pack" - as McIntyre calls them - of Crixus (Manu Bennett), Gannicus (Dustin Clare) and Agron (Dan Feuerriegel) find themselves leading an army more than 30,000 strong. As such, the now infamous Battle of Vesuvius, which concluded Spartacus: Vengeance, has been followed up with a series of stunning victories against the Romans. The effect of these triumphs has catapulted Spartacus into legend and caused the Roman Empire to seek some means by which they can outmatch this increasingly formidable opponent.
That need brings to the forefront Gaius Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance) and the man who will be facing Spartacus on the battlefield, Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells). With the final season bringing out the big guns in the form of Caesar and Crassus, it's only fitting that it also feature more of the bold, visually dynamic action the series made its name on.
In the above featurette, the cinematographers seem to be making full use of the studios where Spartacus is filmed - taking advantage of the fact that not a single frame of the series has been shot outdoors, they can easily set up things like the rail camera, which offers a birds eye view of action. Like Paul Grinder says, the series is "throwing the kitchen sink at the season, in terms of visual styles." With season 3 being the last time fans will get to see this version of Spartacus in action, it's nice to know the series plans to go out with a bang.
Spartacus: War of The Damned will premiere on Starz in January 2013.