Variety is reporting that the CW bought the rights to a Young Adult novel entitled “The Valiant” by Canadian writer Lesley Livingston. The book tells the story of a Celtic princess who winds up as one of the first female gladiators fighting for the edification of the Roman mob. The source material has some possibilities. However, we are talking about the CW, which perpetrated that Tudor-era mess “Reign.”

What is ‘The Valiant’ about?

The Valiant’ tells the story of Fallon, a princess living in Britannia during the time of Julius Caesar’s invasion. Her elder sister Sorcha is killed in battle against Caesar’s Roman legions.

Later, Fallon, at the point of being old and skilled enough to be part of her father’s war band, feels obliged to make a run for it to avoid an arranged marriage. She is captured by bandits and is sold into slavery. Fallon winds up in a gladiator school (Ludus) owned by none other than her greatest enemy, Caesar himself. Now, she has to fight for her life, honor, respect, and eventual freedom in the arena.

Will the CW mess this one up as well?

In fact, female gladiators did exist in Ancient Rome. The archeological evidence suggests that women fought in the arena as part of a novelty act, almost naked, wearing very little but a loin cloth. They were noted as existing in the time of Nero, a century or more from the latter days of Julius Caesar. That fact doesn’t necessarily mean that women didn’t fight during the later days of the Republic.

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The scenario of a show based on the life of a female gladiator sounds intriguing. However, the fact that the CW is developing the show should give one pause. “Reign” -- the network’s other historical series -- focused on a female protagonist and ignored history and events that actually happened. Making the hapless Mary Queen of Scots the heroine in a show that featured Elizabeth I as a villain did not just commit violence against history, but was insulting as well.

How will the series do?

Gladiators have always been a favorite for movie and TV audiences. The 1960 “Spartacus” and the near-pornographic Starz series of the same name were popular, as was the 2000 film “Gladiator” starring Russell Crowe. An attractive young woman in her own gladiator series might do well, though, the sex and violence of the time period is going to have to be toned down considerably. One hopes that the CW will do better in terms of historical accuracy, though.