Tonight I was able to see a screening of the new STARZ TV series “Black Sails”. I’ve been eagerly watching the trailers on facebook and through a twist of luck I managed to see the pilot episode in a theater on the big screen!
My first impressions: This series requires “thinking” as it weaves a tale of intrigue. With a director behind it like Michael Bay you know you’re going to see some explosions (and you do!) but the detailed backstory and sub plots might be a bit much for your average viewer. Not as much action as you come to expect from Michael Bay but this isn’t a bad thing as the pilot sets up the characters and lets you know a lot has yet to be revealed.
Set in Nassau in 1715 (and the pirate city of Nassau looks amazing!)
Prequel to “Treasure Island” combining fictitious characters from the novel (Long John Silver, Billy Bones, Captain Flint) and real life pirates (Charles Vane, Calico Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny).
Vaporing when preparing for an attack.
At least a nod to real world history and some semblance of the workings of Nassau when it was a pirate haven.
The theme of intrigue and deception are focus of the series not just random acts of violence. There is a story here and it looks to be quite deep.
If you are a huge history buff and stickler for details this movie is going to kill you! The costuming is more fantastic than period. They play fast and loose with history.
Lots of nudity (while not bad it is more “in your face” nudity). The whores in Nassau tend to lie about in states of undress or draped over some rogue in a very public yet intimate display. When done in a tasteful manner it can enhance a period drama however here it is done very heavy handed.
Cursing, this might be common amid a society of pirates, but is again presented for shock value.
CGI ships are a little off (minor issue).
I liked the first episode and was glad to hear that STARZ picked up the second season already before airing the first season on TV. I can overlook the historical mistakes as long as they give me a good story. I don’t know if this series is going to generate the buzz that Game of Thrones does but that seems to be the direction/ feel they are taking this series (POTC by George R R Martin?). It looks to be more of a smart drama than an action show. Then again I really like pirates and it's hard to disappoint me.