ImageActor Liam McIntyre in action mode as Spartacus

Betrayal, sword-fighting, romance, more sword-fighting, treachery and, yes, you guessed it, even more sword-fighting — just another day in the lives of the beefy, beautiful, cunning and often desperate characters in the upcoming STARZ cable TV series Spartacus: Vengeance.

Premiering Friday, January 27 at 10:00 p.m. EST/PST, Spartacus: Vengeance is the second season of and sequel to the popular Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which aired last year on STARZ. In its finale, "Kill Them All," Spartacus led a brutal rampage at the House of Batiatus that paved the way for a new and uncertain future for him and those around him.

Spartacus: Vengeance picks up just a few weeks after that massacre. Capua is in an uproar. The gladiators have escaped and formed an uneasy alliance. Spartacus wants revenge on the man responsible for killing his wife, but he will soon understand his life is about something greater than avenging Sura's death. His mission is to build an army, set free the slaves and topple the Roman Empire.

Spartacus: Vengeance stars Liam McIntyre, who takes over from Andy Whitfield in the title role of Spartacus (Whitfield was forced to leave the role due to illness), Lucy Lawless as Lucretia Batiatus, Peter Mensah as Oenomaus, Craig Parker as Glaber, Viva Bianca as Ilithyia, Manu Bennett as Crixus, Dustin Clare as Gannicus, Nick E. Tarabay as Ashur, Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Naevia and Katrina Law as Mina.

Last week, Liam McIntyre, Lucy Lawless, Viva Bianca and Peter Mensah (who joined the call later on) chatted on the phone with me and other journalists about their work on Spartacus: Vengeance. The following is an edited version of our Q & A (beware of minor spoilers). Enjoy!

Lucy, your character of Lucretia is crazy when the season starts and she comes upon Ilithyia, who's taking care of her. Lucretia doesn't really know that Ilithyia isn’t her friend and hates her. Does she find out Ilithyia’s bad side as the season progresses?

Lucy Lawless: Or does she find out mine? I don't want to give away too much. Needless to say, Lucretia and Ilithyia continue to have a very fraught relationship. My character has to work very hard to make Ilithyia care about her again, or at least need her, because Ilithyia just wants her dead.

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