The transcript is from the live blog of the Spartacus Panel on TV Tango:
Reported by Barbara Davies. Caution if you are keeping spoiler free..you may want to avoid reading this - very minor spoilers.
10:48 For SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA, Andy Whitfield appears briefly in the prequel. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:48
10:49 SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA
Premieres January 2011 on Starz
In this six-part prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the story will focus on life in the gladiator school before Spartacus arrives as a Thracian slave. John Hannah returns as Batiatus, owner of the school, along with his wife Lucretia (Lucy Lawless). Other returning actors include Andy Whitfield (Spartacus), Peter Mensah (Doctore), Manu Bennett (Crixus), Antonio Te Maioha (Barca), Nick E. Tarabay (Ashur), and others.
Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator Saturday August 7, 2010 10:49
10:49 They showed a short clip. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:49
10:49 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: I feel like you got robbed. I bring no actors. They're all down in New Zealand filming. We just got through filming week 1. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:49
10:50 Q for Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: were you prepared for success of series? Saturday August 7, 2010 10:50
10:50 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: It's been phenomenal and shocking. You're never prepared for extreme success or failure. I wasn't prepared for VIVA LAUGHLIN. Thankfully, I wasn't up on stage, I was in the back [at the Beverly Hilton TCA a few years back]. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:50
10:52 Q about 2nd part of rebellion story.
Steven: I was planning episode 5, season 2. Once we found what was happening with Andy, I thought we should do a 2-hour episode and air it in January. It died. The people at Starz came and said "what about six hours?" Saturday August 7, 2010 10:52
10:53 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: We're thrilled to tell stories about things we visited briefly in season 1.
We start shooting Season 2 in November, after a one-week break after prequel.Q Saturday August 7, 2010 10:53
10:53 Q about Andy Saturday August 7, 2010 10:53
10:54 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: Andy looks better than I have at any time in my life. He's talking about bulking up bigger. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:54
10:54 Q about sex and violence. how did you approach it initially? Saturday August 7, 2010 10:54
10:55 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: It just seemed right for the world. If I was doing MAD MEN, I wouldn't go to these extremes.
We don't censor ourselves. If we think something is a good idea, we just throw it out there. It's very rare that we in the writer's room say "That's going to far." We've only done that once, and I can't tell you what it is.
We don't have to shy away from it. We can be a little more graphic. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:55
10:56 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: Our take on violence if more operatic. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:56
10:56 Q about DVD set: when out? extras? Saturday August 7, 2010 10:56
10:57 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: There isn't a ton of stuff on the cutting room floor. Especially in TV, where you don't overshoot too much
There are some things, mostly of a sexual nature, on the DVD. There's an extra shot in there [of the gladiator getting castrated] and in episode 6 of the orgy scene.
There's tons of commentary. Not every episode, but 9 or 10 out of 13. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:57
10:57 Q about killing off Lucy Lawless. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:57
10:59 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: I was thinking she was still twitching at the end of Season 1. John Hannah is harder to bring back.
The original plan for Lucy's character was for only one season. She was having so much fun, she wanted to come back. I said "Absolutely not, she has to die." I called him back and said "I have an idea." You'll love what we have for Season 2. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:59
10:59 Q about going outside more Saturday August 7, 2010 10:59
11:00 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: When you shoot in NZ, it becomes exponentially more expensive. [Plus, the look/feel is different]
We will continue shooting on green screen for the duration of the series. Saturday August 7, 2010 11:00
11:00 Q about doing prequel: did you pause? Saturday August 7, 2010 11:00
11:01 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: No really. If the prequel were telling information that we learn in Season 1, but the story fills in things for Season 2. In that way it all ties together. Saturday August 7, 2010 11:01
11:01 Q about circumventing life/death stakes and continuity.
11:02 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: It's pretty much the same thing we faced with S1 of SPARTACUS. We knew he was going to live, but you can still squeeze some mighty fine drama out it.
We have a way to mix it up. You're never 100% sure. Saturday August 7, 2010 11:02
11:02 That was the last question for that panel