Saturday, 1 March 2008

Strike or Spartacus?

I made the mistake of watching the BBC’s story of “Spartacus” last night. A programme that reminded me somewhat of the 90’s Comic Strip production of “Strike” – see video – with Al Pacino in the starring role of Arthur Scargill.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it looked to me as if the whole attempt at portraying the epic gladiators and slaves struggle of 70BC was in fact a thinly disguised polemic for a contemporary class-war theme, populated with thick regionally accented extras and actors from East Enders and aimed directly at that enemy of the BBC, the political middle class. “What did the Romans ever do for us?”

As a bit of a history buff and given the example of “Gladiator” and “Rome” I wouldn’t have minded if the BBC had made even a small effort at keeping the script as historically accurate as possible but it did rather get carried away with its political message and Spartacus, more Geordie than Thracian, didn’t quite look the part of lean mean gladiator material.

Was I the only one that noticed and how does he BBC get away with it? One answer being that it can. Anyway, watch the clip from “Strike” and you will understand what I mean!