Starz apparently showed a fantastic trailer for Spartacus: Vengeance at Comic-Con yesterday, but that hasn't hit the internet yet. But we do have the briefer tease (above), which gives you an idea of the increased scale of production in season 2 (horse-riding sequences set against greenscreen will be achieved), plus our first look at Liam McIntyre (replacing Andy Whitfield as the eponymous Thracian warrior).
McIntyre, speaking at Comic-Con:
"It's a great privilege, a great honor, it's a great responsibility. I was a fan. I would have been sitting down there [in the audience]. All of a sudden, I find myself sitting up here. Everyone can agree Andy [Whitfield] was amazing. The best thing I can do is bust my ass and honor that legacy trying to make season 2 as amazingly as exciting as season 1. And that's all I can do."The Comic-Con panel, which included showrunner Steven S. DeKnight, also confirmed the return of Ashur and that the story will cleave close to how Stanley Kubrick's movie version ended.
SPARTACUS: VENGEANCE returns to Starz in January 2012.
Comic-Con also gave us a four-minute trailer for The Walking Dead's second season, which certainly looks promising. I didn't really like the first season, which fell flat for me after an entertaining feature-length pilot. Showrunner Frank Darabont has apparently recruited a team of writers who are actually fans of the comic-book now, so I hope that means there'll be more passion on display. Last year's was almost excruciatingly earnest and lacked a sense of pace, rhythm, and... well, enough zombies biting people.
I still have my doubts about The Walking Dead, though. I think there's an audience who will watch anything with zombies in it, those people number greatly, and there's no alternative for them on TV. This will be a hit whatever it does. But for me, I didn't really like any of the characters, and because I can't see a plausible solution for a zombie apocalypse, a TV series of this nature has a constant feeling of futility and depression. A zombie movie can be brilliant if depressing, but you're done with it in two-hours. The Walking Dead could be on-air for another five years or more. By the time Andrew Lincoln's blasting a corpse in the head for the sixtieth time, I'm just not sure I'll care, but we'll see if season 2 manages to change my mind. At least from the trailer it looks like the characters are on the move, instead of hanging around that tedious mountain camp.
THE WALKING DEAD returns to AMC on 16 October.