When you hear the name ‘Spartacus,’ what comes to mind? Sex? A little bit of gore and slobber? Roman women who are hot and sultry? Or dripping-wet, hulking men with chiseled frames? All of these characteristics may only make up the skeleton of a hugely successful television show. The television series, which is based on the historical figure of Spartacus, a renown gladiator who rebelled against the powerful Roman Empire, has succeeded in engrossing and gluing us to our television screens. There are only a few things that have remained from the original – namely, the extremes in terms of sex, violence, and gore. The rest of the story has been changed and embellished. Explicit nudity is also possible, but to what extent is debatable.
‘Spartacus’ evolved and became even more powerful with each passing episode from Season 1 to Season 3, which was titled ‘Spartacus: Vengeance,’ and the finale Season 3, which was titled ‘Spartacus: War of the Damned.’ Although there was a pause due to the absence of a lead actor, the show ended up being exactly what we expected it to be. While the series does feature a lot of blood and gore, it also places a lot of emphasis on the political climate in Europe at the time.
These shows (and possibly even more) will rekindle your passion for shows like “Spartacus” if you enjoy equally enjoyable and thrilling television.
The following is a ranking of motion pictures similar to Spartacus that we think you’ll enjoy. Some of these shows, such as Spartacus, are available on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. We’ve made an effort to include series with plenty of action, blood, gore, sex, and thrills. You can rest easy knowing that you won’t be without your favorite television series again anytime soon. Let’s get this party started,
13. Merlin (2008-2012)
“Merlin’s Beard!” is a well-known expression. ‘Merlin’ tries to capture the charisma and mysticism of the venerable warlock in film form, and it succeeds right away. A tv show based on the life of Merlin tells the story of his adventures, where he has to take the reins and help protect a kingdom, save a prince, and restore the magic that once prevailed. This TV show has a lot in common with ‘Spartacus,’ including historical (though mostly fictional) depictions, magic, treacherous turns, and dragons. A series with potential, but a shaky cast.
12. The Borgias (2011-2013)
‘The Borgias,’ a show about the rise of the Borgia family to the papacy, their power struggle, and philosophical battles with both allies and nemeses, includes some steamy sex scenes among the plots and killings, but it’s more like ‘Game of Thrones,’ in a softer, more accommodating way, while its resemblance to ‘Spartacus,’ the more convincing. Even though ‘The Borgias’ was canceled after three seasons, its impact and cliffhanger from the third season remain. Also, Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo Borgia is a must-see.
11. The Last Kingdom (2015-Present)
“The Last Kingdom” could very well follow in the footsteps of “Game of Thrones” and “Vikings” after a near-successful second season run. Many of the characters in “The Last Kingdom” are eerily similar to legendary Vikings, including Uhtred, the Saxon rulers, and the Ragnars, and the plot revolves around slave trade, violence, revenge killings, political contests, and invasion. While ‘The Last Kingdom’ has the ability to be compared to ‘Game of Thrones,’ it has the potential to grow in an unprecedented way and become something much greater.
10. Marco Polo (2014-2016)
With a budget of over $10 million dollars, Netflix has produced an expensive series about a legendary Mongol conqueror, Kublai Khan, and the Italian explorer Marco Polo. The series centers on Polo as he serves Kublai Khan during a time of turmoil in the Mongol Empire, when the empire is threatened by war and he must deal with his own brother’s struggle for power. Marco Polo’s rise from prisoner to trusted Kublai Khan aide is depicted in the story, but it also highlights Marco Polo’s love interests, his inventiveness, and his resourcefulness when things go wrong. If you don’t mind brilliant production design, expensive setups, good visual cosmetics, and an average plot, this is a respectable effort. As a final thought, yes, the king does appear odd.
9. The Tudors (2007-2010)
‘The Tudors’ and ‘Spartacus’ have many similarities that can be drawn without much effort. A four-season series centered on England’s King Henry VIII in the 14th century, “The Tudors” chronicles the ups and downs of a King and his Kingdom during that time, from political unrest and corruption to war and disease to misery and death to death itself. All in all, the term ‘Tudors’ refers to a difficult period endured by the ancestors of the current British Monarch, Elizabeth I, beginning with. Although the story of ‘The Tudors’ is compelling, the scale is much smaller than what was expected of a series of this kind, which undermines it significantly. Also, keep an eye out for the seductive Natalie Dormer.
8. Da Vinci’s Demons (2013-2015)
After ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Under the Dome,’ the opening credits to ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ are among my favorite TV show openings. This David S. Goyer series, centered on genius inventor and philanthropist Leonardo da Vinci in 14th-century Italy, is worth watching for a few seasons. In the first episode, we meet a young Leonardo da Vinci and learn about his strange and unusual inventions, inner struggles, early failures, love interests, and quests to discover the Book of Leaves’ secrets. However, as the series progresses, cults and fantasy quests become more prevalent, but medieval Europe and Leonardo da Vinci’s hypothesized life and times remain charmingly depicted (even if fictionally).
7. Black Sails (2014-2017)
“Black Sails,” possibly the only worthwhile pirate-related TV series to date, focuses on a high-profile treasure hunt (as with any pirate-related representation), the struggle to keep it, with many other players, pirate ships and naval commands as well as hidden secrets coming to the fore. The series, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island,’ follows a former naval officer turned piratical pirate named Captain Flint. Throughout the story, there are numerous references to murder, assassinations, power changes, and a never-ending quest for treasure that revolve around Captain Flint.
6. Rome (2005-2007)
It has all the ingredients for a good historical television drama: Julius Caesar’s downfall, followed by the rise of an Octavian to the position of Augustus, the first Roman emperor. What I liked best about the show was how historically accurate it was, how well it depicted the fall of Rome, and how tragic the ending was. Although the road to ‘Rome’ is less traveled, it was certainly very promising when it was disguised as such.
5. Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014)
Many people consider ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ which won Golden Globes and Primetime Emmys, to be the most historically accurate television series ever made. The story is set in the 1920s in New Jersey and centers on Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, the treasurer and political figure of Atlantic City who is the brains behind all the corruption and is in contact with gangsters and criminals alike while appearing innocent and morally upright in public during the Prohibition Era in the 1920s and 1930s. An all-star cast, well-layered performances, the involvement of Martin Scorsese, a thrilling plot, bloodshed, a faultless screenplay, and an epic power struggle are the key ingredients in this critically and commercially successful project. More can be asked when we have a better version of ‘Spartacus,’ albeit a modern and engrossing one.
4. True Blood (2008-2014)
To be fair, the blood is splattered in a different pattern. As Sookie, Anna Paquin plays the vampire in this seven-season long TV series. In this world, vampires and synthetic blood is completely acceptable, and the Vampires have fast-forwarded to fight against their own rights instead of looking at humans or animals to prey on. While trying to make sense of the strange happenings around her, Sookie falls in love with a vampire, which changes the ecosystem even more. “True Blood” is today’s “Spartacus,” with plenty of steamy sequences, bordering on homophobic stereotypes, and a healthy dose of violence.
3. Vikings (2013-Present)
With Ragnar Lothbrok at the helm, ‘Vikings’ is mostly ‘Spartacus,’ sparing the geographical and mythological differences. Now to the touted series of the intimidating Norsemen (or rather, Norse Gods) of Scandinavia. ‘Vikings’ depicts the vastness of the Viking empire, the sieges of France and Britain, and the attacks on their adversaries, as well as the religious, social, and political inclinations of the Vikings and, most importantly, the valour and righteousness of the people of the dark ages, despite the fact that it contains many fictional additions and leaves little to the history or imagination of the viewers. Because of this, “Vikings” does not have as many explicit sexual depictions as, say, “Spartacus,” but it still has a relatable plot with plenty of feudal strife and plenty of blood splattered everywhere.
2. House of Cards (2013-Present)
‘House of Cards’ had the potential to be one of the greatest television shows of all time if it weren’t mired in controversy. When Congressman Frank Underwood became President of the United States, he had a chilling and edgy demeanor that had us all enraged and gritting our teeth in retaliation. It is revealed that Frank’s wife, Claire, shares his cunning, insatiable desire for power, and as the series progresses, Frank uses every trick in the book and resorts to becoming President of the United States, which he achieves in season three. Thrilling moments of suspense include murder, sexual advances, political betrayals, and a deep, dark undertone throughout this critically acclaimed series.
1. Game of Thrones (2011-Present)
This was a no-brainer: the best TV show of all time. No matter how popular a show may be, when it comes to coherence, dramatization, dialogues and other aspects of the show like music and storyline, there’s a clear winner. With each new episode, ‘Game of Thrones’ has not only raised the bar for other television shows, but it has also raised the bar for itself, and it has been sitting atop those new standards with an apparent ease. ‘Game of Thrones’ is the epitome of all power struggles leading to a single Iron Throne and numerous takers, with all the stories interwoven in such an intricate and impeccable manner that it would be impossible for one to choose a side at any juncture.
And that’s before we even get to the shocking deaths, breathtaking battle scenes, double standards, political implications, fantasy, gore, and character depths that we all know about (like “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Spoils of War”). There has always been more to ‘Game of Thrones’ than just a show on TV; it’s a phenomenon. And there’s a century-defining television series in the works. I’m crossing my fingers.