Television Review: Black Sails, Series 4


Black Sails Series 4 1

Synopsis: When the invasion of Nassua ends in disaster, Flint is forced to retreat without retaking the island. He must plan ahead to a whole new level if he is to keep the alliance intake and find a way to throw of civilisation.

Rackham seeks revenge for Vane’s death, but his opponent proves to be a match for him. A match for them all, in fact. When faced with his own loss, Governor Rogers cannot be reasoned or reckoned with – and it is the pirates who play the price.

If Nassua is ever going to be free, each must come to terms with what they are prepared to give.Read More »

Television Review: Black Sails, Series 3



After the destruction of Charles Town, Captain Flint sets out to become the most feared pirate alive, determined to threaten English law.

But English law is coming to Nassua. A new governor, armed with the navy and unlimited pardons, is set on taking the island. And he may very well do so, as he is aided not only by Captain Hornigold, but Eleanor Guthrie herself.

While Flint wages war, Max decides where her loyalties lie. Jack and Anne walk a treacherous road of survival.

Vane is faced with his past while Silver must contemplate his future.

No one is safe.Read More »

Black Sails – Series 2 Review

Black Sails 1

Black Sails 2Plot: Series 1 saw Captain Flint chasing down a prize far bigger than anything his crew had dreamt of. Now that prize is out of reach and gold no longer Flint’s priority. War is coming to the pirates, waged by the Navy and determined to see every last one of them hung.

Flint strikes a new course, bringing friends and foe alike into line if there is any chance of survival. But old friends can no longer be trusted and enemies can be formed quicker than allies. Survival is the most important thing but by no means is it guaranteed.

Read More »

Black Sails Series 1 Review

Black Sails s1 1

When trying to describe Black Sails to a friend, I ultimately ended up saying it was Game of Thrones with pirates. Of course, the plots are entirely different from each other, but it was an effective way of summing up the tone and content of the series. Blood, violence, sex and swearing – plus literally never knowing which character will die next – seems to be a common trait across the two shows.

It took me two attempts to watch Black Sails. The first time, I spread the episodes out too much so by the time I watched the next, I had become detached from the characters, confused as to who was where and who knew what. Having enjoyed what I had seen, however, I tried again. This time, I watched them in quick succession and found myself gripped.

Flint (Toby Stephens) is a pirate with dreams. He wants to lead his crew to a better place and is prepared to do whatever it takes in order to secure that. Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New) is the money behind his plans, running a trade for the pirates and shipping their goods for them. But not everyone is convinced by their plan and will stop at nothing in order to ensure they fail. However, Flint is not a man who believes in the word no and will risk everything in order to ensure he gets his prize – even if his reasons aren’t made clear.

Toby Stephens as Captain Flint.
Toby Stephens as Captain Flint.

At only eight episodes long, the pace moves quickly. So do the characters – no one is safe. While it made it harder to relate to the characters – eight episodes isn’t long to feel for someone when there is every chance they could be the next body – it works effectively. There were a few surprise deaths that left me shocked because I did not see it coming. Anything that can shock you in such a way you gasp out loud has to mean the show is doing something right.

However, it wasn’t all blood and death. Luke Arnold’s portrayal of John Silver is charming and charismatic. He might be one of the biggest troublemakers, but he is easily one of the most likeable characters – mainly due to his way of squirming out of the most impossible situations and his eternal optimism. Zach McGowan as the complex Charles Vane also is effective at manipulating the audience’s sympathy, as is Tom Hooper with providing a refreshing sense of innocence through his character, Billy Bones.

While I wouldn’t recommend it as one to watch over dinner, I would recommend watching if you can stomach some gore and are not offended by nudity or swearing. I wasn’t sure how much I had enjoyed it, until I realised I was looking forward to seeing the next series. If something keeps you gripped, that has to mean they have done it well, even if I can’t put my finger exactly on what is so good. Perhaps the uncertainty – there aren’t many shows where you have no chance of predicting what is next.Tag