More impressive for its physical scale than its emotional pitch, Robert Dornhelm's TV remake of the 1960 epic still packs a wallop. In 72 BC, Rome was riven with civil war. To finance its expanding empire, the emperor sanctioned the round-up and enslavement of peasants. One such unfortunate was Vassinia (Rhona Mitra), a shepherdess purchased by lecherous arena promoter Batiatus (Ian McNiece). In the Roman senate, the liberal Agrippa (Alan Bates) curbs the power of the patrician Crassius (Angus MacFadyen), whose wealth ensures his political clout. Spotted toiling in a mine, Spartacus (Goran Visnjic) makes the transition from slave laborer to fighter; although the food...