Black Sails - Review of Pirate Adventure TV Series
In early 2014 American premium cable channel Starz debuted pirate-themed show Black Sails that had a goal to introduce viewers to the world that is represented in much harsher way than usual. Filled with large amount of violence, hard moral choices and realistic environments, Black Sails immediately managed to set itself apart from other pirate-themed media that can be seen on silver and TV screens.
The core concept of Black Sails was to tell the story that preceded events depicted in the extremely famous coming-of-age pirate-themed novel “Treasure Island”, written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson in 1883. Set two decades earlier, this TV series is focused on the life of the fictional 18th century pirate Captain Flint (performed by Toby Stephens) who has decided to stop running away from the authorities and form a “kingdom of pirates” that could freely roam the Caribbean seas. To achieve this he started plotting plan for taking control over pirate heaven New Providence located on the island of Nassau (modern day Bahamas), gathering support from several pirate crews, maintaining relationship with fictional characters such as John Silver, Billy Bones, Eleanor Guthrie, and ambitious mission to steal treasure from heavily guarded government sea fleet.
Several historical characters also appear in the show as part of the main cast. The most important of them are Charles Vane (English pirate who operated from New Providence in early 18th century), Jack Rackham (famous pirate also known under the name Calico Jack, here represented more as manipulative and resourceful spy than flat out pirate) and Anne Bonny (one of the most famous female pirates of all time). The third season of the show introduced another important historical figure, famous pirate captain Blackbeard that was acted by the British film and television actor Ray Stevenson.
Other historical pirates featured in the show are Benjamin Hornigold and Edward Low.