Black Sails’ brings Jolly Roger to the small screen

Every time we turn on a television these days, some sort of paranormal drama is unfolding on the screen. Programs such as “Supernatural,” “True Blood” and “Teen Wolf” dominate the small screen, but one new show features new villains: pirates.

Starz’ original series “Black Sails,” which premiered Jan. 25, is a refreshing change.

This drama follows a young Long John Silver (Luke Arnold) in a prelude to the famed Robert Louis Stevenson novel “Treasure Island” and his rocky relationship with Captain Flint (Toby Stephens).

From the opening scenes, action is the dominating factor in “Black Sails.” A loud, bloody battle erupts between Flint’s pirate ship and an English trading ship that has no choice but to eventually surrender to the savage pirates.

Everything you would expect from a pirate drama can be found in “Black Sails,” including thievery, lost treasure, duels, mutiny and even a touch of 18th-century promiscuity. All of these elements are done in a creative and original way in this latest series.

One of the reasons “Black Sails” has so much potential to become a hit series is that it is a period drama, which takes viewers to another world, in this case the lawless open waters of the 18th century, where much of the lore of all things pirates come from. Audiences become enthralled with pirates because there is something to be said for the filthy, foul-mouthed sailors that were willing to fight and steal from colonial powers, yet still managed to keep honor among thieves.

Although just one episode has aired, Starz is confident enough in this series to have signed it for a second season, which is already begun production under the careful eye of executive producer Michael Bay (“Transformers,” “Armageddon”).

All of the reasons you fell in love with Jack Sparrow and “Pirates of the Caribbean” are present in “Black Sails,” although it is not nearly as light-hearted as the Disney franchise.

This particular pirate drama has a much heavier ambience, but it still delivers touches of dark humor.

“Black Sails” is a can’t-miss new drama and it can be seen on Starz Saturdays at 9 p.m.

Brett Montana can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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