Black Sails (TV series)

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Black Sails
Teaser Poster for Black Sails.jpg
GenreDrama
Adventure
Created by
Directed byNeil Marshall
Sam Miller
Marc Munden
T.J. Scott
Starring
Composer(s)Bear McCreary[1]
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Nina Heyns
Brad Caleb Kane
Editor(s)Joe Hobeck
Paul Trejo
Location(s)Cape Town, South Africa
CinematographyLukus Ettlin
Jules O'Loughlin
Production company(s)Platinum Dunes
Quaker Moving Pictures
Film Afrika Worldwide
Broadcast
Original channelStarz
Original runJanuary 25, 2014 (2014-01-25)[2] – present
External links
Official website
 
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For the similarly themed TV series, see Crossbones.
Black Sails
Teaser Poster for Black Sails.jpg
GenreDrama
Adventure
Created by
Directed byNeil Marshall
Sam Miller
Marc Munden
T.J. Scott
Starring
Composer(s)Bear McCreary[1]
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Nina Heyns
Brad Caleb Kane
Editor(s)Joe Hobeck
Paul Trejo
Location(s)Cape Town, South Africa
CinematographyLukus Ettlin
Jules O'Loughlin
Production company(s)Platinum Dunes
Quaker Moving Pictures
Film Afrika Worldwide
Broadcast
Original channelStarz
Original runJanuary 25, 2014 (2014-01-25)[2] – present
External links
Official website

Black Sails is an American dramatic adventure television series created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine for Starz that debuted online for free on Youtube and other various streaming platform and video on demand services on January 18, 2014.[3] The debut on cable tv followed a week later on January 25, 2014.[2] Steinberg is executive producer, alongside Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, while Michael Angeli, Doris Egan, and Levine are co-executive producers. On July 26, 2013, Starz renewed the show for a ten-episode second season. The early renewal was based on the positive fan reaction to the show at the San Diego Comic-Con.[4] In France[5] and Germany the Premiere came out two weeks earlier on January 10, 2014, on the Pay TV Channel Starz. On January 17, 2014, Starz released the first episode on YouTube.[6]

Set on New Providence Island, the series is a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island.[7]

Plot[edit]

Set roughly two decades before the events of Treasure Island and during the Golden Age of Piracy,[8] the feared Captain Flint brings on a younger crew member as they fight for the survival of New Providence Island. According to the first episode, "In 1715, West Indies, the pirates of New Providence Island threaten maritime trade in the region. The laws of every civilized nation declare them hostis humani generis; enemies of all mankind. In response, the pirates adhere to a doctrine of their own....war against the world."

Real life pirates that are fictionalized in the show include Charles Vane, Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny and Benjamin Hornigold.

The plot focuses on the hunt of the Spanish treasure galleon Urca de Lima.

Production[edit]

Location: The series is filmed at Cape Town Film Studios in Cape Town, South Africa with local production company Film Afrika.[9][10]

Title Sequence: The opening credits sequence was made by Imaginary Forces and directors Michelle Dougherty and Karin Fong with the backing sea shanty inspired theme composed by Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead composer Bear McCreary. It features a period accurate instrument in the form of the Hurdy gurdy.[11]

Ship building: For the amount of detail that was added to the ships, it took over three hundred workers to build just one ship.[12]

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Supporting/recurring cast[edit]

  • Anthony Bishop as Singleton
  • Jannes Eiselen as Dufresne
  • Lawerance Joffe as Randell
  • Dylan Skews as Logan
  • Graham Weir as Captain Naft
  • Richard Wright-Firth as Muldoon
  • Andre Jacobs as De Groot
  • Patrick Lyster as Captain Benjamin Hornigold
  • Richard Antrobs as Phillip
  • Mark Elderkin as Pastor Lambrick
  • Neels Clasen as Hamund
  • Jeremy Crutchley as Morley
  • Quentin Hrog as Turk
  • Winston Chong as Joji
  • Langley Kirkwood as Captain Bryson
  • Dean McCoubrey as Hayes
  • Karl Thaning as O'Malley
  • Toni Caprari as Noonan
  • Lise Slabber as Idelle
  • Fiona Ramsey as Mrs. Mapleton
  • Graham Clarke as Captain Lilywhite
  • Richard Lukunku as Joshua
  • David Butler as Frasier
  • Jarrid Geduld as Crisp
  • Geoff Kukard as Froom
  • John Herbert as Captain Lawrence
  • Frans Hamman as Slade
  • Michael McCloud as Lars
  • Sibongile Mlambo as Eme
  • Alistair Moulton Black as Dr. Howell
  • Garth Collins as Albinus

Season 2 (2015) cast additions[edit]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedDVD and Blu-ray release date
Season premiereSeason finaleRegion 1Region 2Region 4
18January 25, 2014 (2014-01-25)March 15, 2014 (2014-03-15)TBASeptember 29, 2014 (2014-09-29)[17]TBA
2102015TBATBATBATBA

Reception[edit]

Black Sails has been met with mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the show holds a rating of 58% with the consensus rating being: "Black Sails boasts visual appeal, but the show's bland characters aren't strong enough to keep the show from being dragged down into its murky depths of aimless exposition".[18] On Metacritic the show has a score of 57 of 100, based on 27 reviews, "indicating mixed or average reviews".[19]

Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter said, "This ambitious pirate story is helped immensely by going beyond the pay cable freedoms that often bog down lesser shows in boobs, blood and sex. Black Sails steers itself out of that realm after a few episodes and makes a play for bigger, more complicated stories."[20] Robert Lloyd of The Los Angeles Times said, "Black Sails is a pirate treasure. The Starz series vividly depicts the daily life of pirates."[21] Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly said, "Not even a guilty pleasure, Black Sails is arrrrrr-estingly good.".[22] Tom Long of The Detroit times commented "Alliances are made and broken, power shifts go this way and that, blood is spilled, and wenches keep wenching. It’s oddly addictive, and the cast--made up mostly of British, Australian and Canadian actors--is as sharp as you’d expect from pay cable. "[23] While Stephanie Nett from Midnight Reverie Media commented "It lives up to the gritty, dirty hype and makes it even more bloody. Each and every character is made both likeable and hateable, neither heroes nor villains. The characters themselves are all extraordinarily well played. There are a few who stand out in my opinion. Toby Stephens, who plays Captain Flint, brings a gruff, sullen man to life. Zach McGowan gives, what I believe, is the most interesting performance playing Captain Charles Vane. And lastly, I can’t say enough about Sean Cameron Michael’s portrayal of Richard Guthrie who officially brought on the wow factor in episode four. His interactions with both Mr. Scott and Miranda Barlow are very telling of the man he is. [24]

Conversely, Brian Lowry of Variety said, "Black Sails never quite takes off, developing into a tired treasure hunt with indifferent casting and stock characters. Counting Michael Bay among its producers, this South Africa-lensed production might tempt adventure-seeking viewers to plunge into its crystal-blue waters, but despite some handsome aspects, the show ultimately proves as hollow as its CGI-rendered ships."[25] Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club said, "Black Sails is a handsome illusion at times, but it rarely finds its way beyond that."[26]

Accolades[edit]

Black Sails received four nominations for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music, Outstanding Main Title Design, Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series at the 66th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 15, 2013). "'Walking Dead' Composer to Score 'SHIELD,' 'Black Sails'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Black Sails: Starz Series Starts January 25th". TV Series Finale. November 20, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ Todd Spangler: Starz to Release Michael Bay’s ‘Black Sails’ Premiere Episode for Free on YouTube, iTunes, Amazon and More. Variety.com, 2014-1-13
  4. ^ Bibel, Sara (July 26, 2013). "'Black Sails' Renewed for Ten Episode Second Season by Starz Months Before Its Premiere – Updated". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Black Sails" (in French). February 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ YouTube "Black Sails Episode I". Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  7. ^ http://www.zap2it.com/blogs/black_sails_treasure_island_will_hopefully_connect_season_2_being_filmed-2014-01
  8. ^ http://www.zap2it.com/blogs/black_sails_treasure_island_will_hopefully_connect_season_2_being_filmed-2014-01
  9. ^ "Starz Embarks on an Early Renewal for Second Season Order of the Original Series "Black Sails"". Futon Critic. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  10. ^ The Location Guide
  11. ^ Hibberd, James. "'Black Sails': See the awesome opening credits with theme from 'Walking Dead' composer – EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Black Sails: Building the Behemoth". Starz. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h "Starz's 'Black Sails' Adds To Cast". Deadline.com. November 15, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 7, 2012). "Series 'Black Sails' & Pilot 'Trooper' Add To Casts". Deadline.com. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  15. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2575671/I-want-make-Hollywood-I-WONT-BEG-Rupert-Penry-Jones-life-America.html
  16. ^ http://diamondmanagement.co.uk/index.php/artists/bio/lars_arentz_hanson
  17. ^ "Black Sails: Season 1 [Blu-ray]". Amazon UK. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  18. ^ https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/black-sails/
  19. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/tv/black-sails
  20. ^ Goodman, Tim (January 21, 2014). "Black Sails: TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  21. ^ Lloyd, Robert (2014-01-25). "Review: 'Black Sails' is a pirate treasure". latimes.com. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  22. ^ "Black Sails TV Review | TV Reviews and News". EW.com. 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  23. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/tv/black-sails/critic-reviews
  24. ^ http://www.yourentertainmentcorner.com/are-we-there-yet-retrospective-black-sails-iv/
  25. ^ Lowry, Brian (January 23, 2014). "TV Review: ‘Black Sails’". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  26. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (January 23, 2014). "Black Sails is a tale of a bloodthirsty pirate bureaucracy". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 

External links[edit]