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
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes9 (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) – present
External links
Official website
 
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For other uses, see Black Sails (disambiguation).
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
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes9 (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) – present
External links
Official website

Black Sails is an American dramatic adventure television series set on New Providence Island and a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island.[1] The series was 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.[2] The debut on cable television followed a week later on January 25, 2014.[3] 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, which premiered on January 24, 2015. The early renewal was based on the positive fan reaction to the show at the San Diego Comic-Con.[4] In France and Germany, the premiere episode was released two weeks earlier on January 10, 2014, on the Pay TV Channel Starz.[5] On January 17, 2014, Starz released the first episode on YouTube.[6]

The series was renewed for a third season on October 12, 2014, before its second season had started airing.[7]

Plot[edit]

Set roughly two decades before the events of Treasure Island and during the Golden Age of Piracy,[1] 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 Anne Bonny, Benjamin Hornigold, Jack Rackham, Charles Vane, and Ned Low.

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

Production[edit]

The series is filmed at Cape Town Film Studios in Cape Town, South Africa, with local production company Film Afrika.[8][9]

The opening title 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.[10]

For the amount of detail that was added to the vessels, it took over 300 workers to build just one ship.[11]

Season 2 premiered on January 24, 2015, though the show was renewed for Season 3 on the October 11, 2014.[12]

Cast[edit]

Regular[edit]

ActorCharacterShip/LocationOccupationCountSeasons
12
Toby StephensJames FlintWalrusCaptain9Main
Hannah NewEleanor GuthrieNassauChief Fence and Supplier9Main
Luke ArnoldJohn SilverWalrusCook9Main
Jessica Parker KennedyMaxNassauProstitute9Main
Tom HopperWilliam "Bones" ManderlyWalrusBoatswain6Main
Zach McGowanCharles VaneRangerCaptain and Steward of the Fort9Main
Toby SchmitzJack RackhamRangerQuartermaster9Main
Clara PagetAnne BonnyRangerCrew Mate9Main
Mark RyanMr. GatesWalrusQuartermaster8Main
Hakeem Kae-KazimMr. ScottNassauAdviser to Eleanor Guthrie8Main
Sean Cameron MichaelRichard GuthrieNassauGovernor4Main
Louise BarnesMiranda BarlowNew ProvidenceResident6Main
Rupert Penry-JonesThomas HamiltonLondonOfficer in the Royal Navy1Main

Supporting and recurring[edit]

  • Anthony Bishop as Singleton
  • Jannes Eiselen as Dufresne (season 1)
    • Roland Reed [13] (season 2)
  • 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
  • Lars Arentz-Hansen as Colonel Rhett (season 2)[14]
  • Tadhg Murphy as Ned Low (season 2)
  • Brendan Murray as Meeks (season 2)

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
18January 25, 2014 (2014-01-25)March 15, 2014 (2014-03-15)
210[15]January 24, 2015 (2015-01-24)March 28, 2015 (2015-03-28)[16]

Reception[edit]

The first season of Black Sails received positive to mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the season holds a rating of 64%, based on 44 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's consensus reads, "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."[17] On Metacritic season one has a score of 58 of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[18]

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."[19] Robert Lloyd of The Los Angeles Times said, "Black Sails is a pirate treasure. The Starz series vividly depicts the daily life of pirates."[20] Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly said, "Not even a guilty pleasure, Black Sails is arrrrrr-estingly good.".[21] 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."[22]

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."[23] Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club said, "Black Sails is a handsome illusion at times, but it rarely finds its way beyond that."[24]

The second season of the show currently holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 5 reviews, with an average rating of 8.6/10.[25]

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.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Terri Schwartz (10 January 2014). "'Black Sails': 'Treasure Island' will hopefully connect, Season 2 being filmed - Zap2it - News & Features". Zap2it. 
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ "Black Sails: Starz Series Starts January 25th". TV Series Finale. November 20, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  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. ^ "Black Sails Renewed For Season 3 By Starz!". Seriable. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Starz Embarks on an Early Renewal for Second Season Order of the Original Series "Black Sails"". Futon Critic. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "South Africa's Cape Town Studios prepares for pirate miniseries Black Sails". 
  10. ^ Hibberd, James. "'Black Sails': See the awesome opening credits with theme from 'Walking Dead' composer – EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Black Sails: Building the Behemoth". Starz. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Black Sails Renewed for Season 3". IGN. 
  13. ^ "ROLAND REED". evelynbrink.co.za. 
  14. ^ "Arentz Hanson - Diamond Management - Artist Representation and Management". 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ "Black Sails - Episode Guide". Zap2It. Retrieved December 28, 2014. 
  17. ^ https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/black-sails/s01/
  18. ^ "Black Sails". Metacritic. 
  19. ^ Goodman, Tim (January 21, 2014). "Black Sails: TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  20. ^ Lloyd, Robert (2014-01-25). "Review: 'Black Sails' is a pirate treasure". latimes.com. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  21. ^ "Black Sails TV Review | TV Reviews and News". EW.com. 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  22. ^ "Critic Reviews for Black Sails Season 1 - Metacritic". Metacritic. 
  23. ^ Lowry, Brian (January 23, 2014). "TV Review: ‘Black Sails’". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  24. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (January 23, 2014). "Black Sails is a tale of a bloodthirsty pirate bureaucracy". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Black Sails: Season 2". rottentomatoes.com. 24 January 2015. 

External links[edit]