If you live in Cape Town and happened to travel along the N2 heading to Somerset West, you may have spotted a giant ship seemingly docked right on the side on the road, at least a good couple of km’s away from any ocean. No, you didn’t suddenly find yourself transported to the island on Lost, nor has some tik-kop decided that he’s Noah and he needs a vessel for the coming flood.
No, that was actually the set being used for Black Sails, the new Michael Bay produced TV series all about pirates, scurvy and plank walking. Oh and really hot wenches. All of which can be found in this first trailer recently released by Starz.
No, your eyes did not deceive you. That is indeed Toby Stephens, aka Gustav Graves from Die Another Day, that you just saw screaming about revenge. Oh, you didn’t actually recognize him, because your subconscious has erased Die Another Day from your memory? Either way, trust me, it’s him, and he’ll be playing Captain Flint. And if that name sounds familiar, it’s because Black Sails is actually being poised as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’ classic tale, Treasure Island. Only with more explosions. And did I mention the hot wenches?
I recently met somebody who actually filmed several scenes in the show, and based on what he tells me, not only is Michael Bay actually not a Nazi (Gee thanks, Megan Fox, that’s the last time I use you as a source!) but the show has quite a lot of promise to it. Starz has done some interesting things ever since exploding on to the TV network scene with the totally gratuitous Spartacus, and while that show may have turned into the bloodiest turd since the morning after Darryn ate all those chillies, their other recent efforts, like David S. Goyer’s Da Vinci’s Demons, have all been rather great.
In fact, based on what I can see in this trailer, it actually has a lot in common, tonally, with Da Vinci’s demons and that is definitely not a bad thing. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that Jonathan E. Steinberg, the man behind the cult favourite cancelled-then-revived-then-cancelled-again-then-revived-as-a-comic-book Jericho, is actually the showrunner on this one. Starz also roped in director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday, The Centurion) to helm the pilot episode, snippets of which was shown to the audience at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Reception was so overwhelmingly positive, that the network has already picked up the show for a full second season as well, so there shouldn’t be any worry from your side that the show will be sent to Davy Jones’ locker right as you start getting into it.
And besides, it’s pirates doing piratey things. This thing will probably be overflowing with fans.
Black Sails is set to air on US screens in January 2014, and hopefully we’ll see it hit local airwaves not too long thereafter.
Last Updated: October 15, 2013