Black Sails - The best show since Game of Thrones?
I recently finished watching Black Sails and was really surprised how much I liked this show. Granted there aren't many pirate themed shows out there to compete with it.
Black Sails is a four season show designed to act as a prequel to the famous Treasure Island book written in 1882 by Robert Louis Stevenson. I liked the show so much I read Treasure Island over the next two or three days after finishing season 4.
At first I admit I didn't think I would like the show, it looked interesting but seems like they were just showing off sex and action for shits and giggles. Once the story started to build though, I was hooked, pun intended.
The show is mostly about Captain Flint, a famous pirate spoken of as legend in Treasure Island but the primarily focus of the Black Sails show. In my opinion, the show was more about John Silver (aka Long John Silver) than Captain Flint.
Like Game of Thrones, Black Sails had a massive $100 million budget to produce Hollywood box office movie quality in a weekly TV show. It wasn't long the budget was increased to $175 million dollars.
I love the story behind Black Sails, it is dark, gritty, and unexpected, something you rarely see these days. Characters have amazing detailed character arcs and you will grow attached to them over the course of the four seasons, many of which you will regretfully see come to a premature end.
Of all the sex, action, and swashbuckling, my favorite moments of the show were between Captain Flint and John Silver. Their moments of humanity was by far the most interesting and exciting moments of the show. I loved their story and how it unfolded right before your eyes.
I especially loved the entrance of the legendary pirate Blackbeard and his presence on the show was nothing short of spectactular. Many of the characters on the show are representatives of historic pirates, something I didn't really recognize until Blackbeard was mentioned. I later did some research and found a few key characters have a historic significance.
Some of the characters on the show I immediately disliked although they quickly became my favorite characters on the show. Something I only remember happening once before with Prince Oberyn from Game of Thrones.
If you haven't seen Black Sails, I highly recommend it. It will take around 1 day and 17 hours to watch every episode of Black Sails, and something I really suggest you do. Once you have, I recommend reading the book Treasure Island no long after as many characters from the show are in the book.
I will say one thing though, the ship battles are epic and absolutely breathtaking. Seeing 42 pounders rip through the hull of a man of war is something to behold. Starz did a fantastic job filming these spectactular sea battles.
In fact, the show gave me a lot of inspiration for a game I would like to develop. Something on the scale of Splinterlands with a lot of complexity. It is a massive undertaking and I am not 100% committed to doing it, but I am actively planning the logistics and dynamics of the game. The more I think it over, the most ideas I have that feel exciting and interesting. A project of this size though would take a lot of time and development as well as responsibility to maintain.
Until then, watch Black Sails!
All images are from the show Black Sails produced by Starz