For those of you who have felt that the end of “Spartacus” means the end of awesome things airing on Starz, “Black Sails” may be the show that manages to convince you otherwise. Premiering on Saturday, January 25, this may be the most-ambitious series coming on this winter … and also one of the most exciting.
Before we do anything else, let’s talk just about the mere scale of this project that the folks over at the network are hoping to get off of the ground. “Black Sails” is a pirate drama that is filmed near Cape Town, South Africa, and that alone cannot be cheap. Meanwhile, you are building pirate-ship sets developing costumes, swords, and other props, and then also accommodating for long days filming in high temperatures. This show, executive-produced by Michael Bay, is a very expensive experiment. Let’s just hope that it is one that makes us reasonably happier than the most-recent editions of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.
One of the first things that the video below teaches you is that compared to the Disney movies or any of the other pirate-related products that are out there, “Black Sails” is going to be a much darker story. Given that this is the network famous for “Spartacus,” it’s probably fair to expect a number of violent sequences and people taking their clothes off fairly often. There are historians in here that speak to how there is a greater sense of realism present, at least in that this is how many of these people lived in Nassau, which is the show’s setting.
When it comes to the characters, expect a mixture of both familiar faces from actual history, and then also some others that are drawn from more fictional accounts and pirate lore. From that standpoint, a good series comparison here could actually be “Boardwalk Empire” or to a lesser extent “Mad Men,” who do not rewrite history but do give you a sense of what it was like to live there.
We’re going to have more coverage of this show throughout the months ahead, so be sure to keep coming back for more. Also, sail over here if you want to get some weekly updates on all things TV sent straight to your email.