Black Sails

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Jan 25, 2014 on Starz
out of 10
User Rating
63 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Whilst facing threats on all sides, including a possible mutiny, pirate Captain Flint hires a young sailor named John Silver, who comes across a highly sought after item.  Meanwhile, as the Royal Navy gets ever more powerful, Eleanor keeps order on New Providence.

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  • IT'S SHIT (Is that clever enough?)

    Far FAR too many characters. Totally unbelievable. Far too many Cliche's and this is my thoughts after the first 45mins. I was compelled to write my thoughts after seeing yet another vulgar portrayal of a liberated women - Captain Vain's female crew member with two swords who grabbed a mans dick and said 'I want to fuck' I mean seriously, what the hell is going on in these writers minds. They are certainly perverts but their totally flawed and twisted view of a strong women belongs in their own fantasy and not written down into a TV show. Why any actress would be happy to play such a disturbed portrayal of a women is beyond me. You know, this IS a huge cliche in mainstream television and I am sick to death of it. I might suffer one instance of this in a TV show, but the example I just gave was in fact the SECOND character to be written this way so far in Black Sail and as I said, it's only the first 45mins.

    I can only assume the high ratings so far is because of some protective love of the pirate genre which comes with all the jack sparrow costumes and adventures but mark my words, if this pilot is anything to go by, the show will start to unfold pretty darn quickly and people will start to turn off.

    Personally, I like shows for almost every genre and a show has to excel at being bad for me to write such a scathing review but I honestly thought it was awful.

    Also, I have a question... What is it with the PIRATE genre, was is it ALWAYS so hard to follow the plot?

    I lost count of the character introductions within just the first 10mins and after that I started to get bored as they attempted to make each new character was more crazy and outrageous as the last. Silly and childish really.

    Now I'm not saying a show such as this should be historically accurate in any shape or form but it has to be believable in at least one universe. Bob the builder was more believable than this.

    The whole show was filled with modern ideas of liberalism and equality that seemed ridiculous and pantomime-ish in a show such as this. However, the cherry on the cake was all this was wrapped around every conceivable stereotype the writers could muster. It literally started to get frustrating for me to watch which is the last thing a viewer should feel during a pilot episode.

    All in all, it was a desperate attempt to be like the Pirates of the Caribbean with similar characters, confusing plots, over acting and far too many dramatic scenes. It failed miserably and it even started to insult me with all of the stereotypical egomaniac alpha male and female characters. It was so badly done, I found the whole thing truly offensive to watch.

    Lucky for the show, doesn't let us vote below a score of 1 because I think that is far too generous for this pile of shite. Mind you, I take that back, I guess it does deserve a score of 1 because at least it will free up the 9pm slot on Saturday night to watch something else on a different channel.moreless
Anthony Bishop

Anthony Bishop


Guest Star

David Dukas

David Dukas

Captain Hume

Guest Star

Jeremy Crutchley

Jeremy Crutchley


Guest Star

Lawrence Joffe

Lawrence Joffe


Recurring Role

Jannes Eiselen

Jannes Eiselen


Recurring Role

Dylan Skews

Dylan Skews


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Gates: Let me see if I have this right. This is the fourth prize in a row from which the profits will barely exceed the expenses it took to win it. Singleton's out there trying to convince your crew to torture that poor bastard of a captain simply 'cause he hasn't worked out how to get them to do it to you. But all's well because you've discovered that the information we can't tell anybody we're looking for exists on a page...that we don't have.

    • Billy: (To John) Randall was the ship's boatswain before he got beaten to within an inch of his life while taking a prize. He lost his wits, but not our loyalty. We like Randall. You? We'll see.

    • Gates: (To Billy) You're a highly regarded member of this crew. And I can assure you the captain regards your input more than you know. (To Flint) Billy's going with you.
      Flint: Who's Billy?

    • Mr. Scott: (To Gates) You steal cargo at the edge of a sword. We sell that cargo to markets that will never have you. When you are strong, you are a necessary evil. When you are not strong, you are likely soon to be dead. But what you are not ever is a sound investment.

    • Max: (To Eleanor) The world is so full of surprises. Let it surprise you.

  • NOTES (9)

    • Captain Flint, John Silver and Billy Bones are all fictional characters created by Robert Louis Stevenson for his novel, Treasure Island.

      In the book, Flint's ship is named, The Walrus, as in this series.

      A much older Billy Bones appears at the beginning of the story, at the inn.  He is mostly remembered for singing, "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

    • In 1924, the American historian and novelist, Arthur D. Howden Smith, wrote a prequel to Treasure Island called Porto Bello Gold.  The story follows the fictional character of Robert Ormerod as he joins pirates Captain Flint, Long John Silver and Billy Bones.  Together they capture a Spanish galleon's treasure, which would eventually be recovered in Stevenson's book.

    • Nassau is the capital city of the Bahamas and is situated on New Providence, the most populated of the islands.  Due to it being near the Florida Strait, it was used as a base for pirates between 1715 and 1725, who plundered Spanish ships returning with gold and other treasures.

    • The ship that Flint is searching for, the Urca de Lima, was part of the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet. It sank in July 1715, off the coast of Florida, near Fort Pierce Inlet.  It is now an Underwater Archaeological Preserve and can be visited by the public.

      More information can be found here.

    • Charles Vane was an English pirate, who operated out of New Providence.  In 1715, he was one of the pirates, serving under Captain Henry Jennings, who attacked the survivors of the Urca de Lima and stole the gold and silver that they had salvaged.

      Although he is shown in this series as a Captain, he did not become one until Henry Jennings returned to England in 1718, to receive a royal pardon.

      He was captured in 1721 and hanged at Port Royal, Jamaica.

    • John 'Calico Jack' Rackham was a pirate between 1718 and 1720.  He initially served under Charles Vane, but later deposed him as Captain.

      He is best known for designing the Jolly Roger flag.

      In 1719, he took the royal pardon and met Anne Bonny, whom he took as a lover.  He returned to pirating in 1720, with her as part of his crew.

      He was captured in 1720 and hanged in Port Royal, Jamaica.

    • Anne Bonny is known as one of the few female pirates and served under Calico Jack Calico for several months during 1720.

      In 1715, she may have been living with her husband on New Providence Island.  It is known they arrived at some point between 1714 and 1718.

      She was captured in 1720, with Rackham and sentenced to be hanged.  However, as she was pregnant, she was granted a stay of execution until she gave birth.  However, her fate is unknown as there is no record of her execution or release.

    • Captain Hume is a historical figure whose ship was HMS Scarborough. He is best known for being defeated by 'Blackbeard'.

    • This episode won an 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series and Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role.