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Sexed up Kiwi show Spartacus premiers in US

Friday 22 Jan 2010 10:00 p.m.

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By Ali Ikram

Spartacus: Blood and Sand certainly has plenty of blood, it's also has sand but the sand has to take a backseat to the sex, yes indeed the show is promising more breasts than a KFC catering pack

“There's always something going on in the sex scenes, it's not about the sex, business is being transacted somebody's being manipulated,” says Spartacus star Lucy Lawless.

“It would be silly to shy away from human nature; sex was a big part of roman life - there was no television.”

But even Lucy Lawless admits to finding the finished product shocking, in short it is being billed as the most explicit show ever to screen on conventional TV – orgies, beheadings and pubic wigs on set to cover actors modesty.

New Zealanders Craig Parker along with the suitably rippling Manu Bennett, and Lesley Anne Brandt also star in the show.

Filmed entirely in a studio in Auckland the visual style apes stylised sword and sandals epic, 300.

It tells the story of a Roman slave turned gladiator who is fighting his way to be reunited with his wife.

Andy Whitfield, who plays Spartacus, says the story offers a lot of freedom.

“What's good about the history of Spartacus is no one knows what really happened, so we've got a lot of leeway to tell a story and make it really meaty and really get into the characters,” he says.

But the show looks less about the actors getting into character, and more about the characters getting into each other - whether it's in the bedroom or the colosseum.

The salacious stories from the set certainly haven't hurt Spartacus, while the first of the 13 episodes filmed so far is yet to go to air - another season has already been commissioned.

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