Pirates: Crossbones V Black Sails

As far as contemporary pirate shows go there are two main ones to consider. Crossbones and Black Sails are two of the hottest pirate series’ on in America, Canada and Europe right now.


First aired in 2014 Crossbones is for those pirate lovers who want a touch of realism in their fantasy. Based on a book written by Colin Woodward called The Republic of Pirates, Crossbones was created by Neil Cross and James V. Hart and centres around the life of Blackbeard. John Malkovich plays the character with all the skill and feeling he is so well known for and, as a result, the show has become hugely popular!

In 1715 the devilish and diabolical pirate known as Blackbeard was in his prime; ruling a group of outlaws, miscreants, and deserting sailors on a debauched Bahamian paradise called New Providence. This island is half shanty-town and half marauders haven, and the unique society it holds is proving to be a threat to international commerce. This is why Tom Lowe, a very good assassin, has been sent to deal with Teach; to save international business, no less! But Lowe finds himself taken in by Teach’s charisma and passion, thereby confusing his task. He isn’t the only threat to our notorious hero, however; rivals and fierce women abound!

Black Sails

Black Sails was created by Robert Levine and Jonathan E. Steinberg to be a prequel to the famous pirate saga Treasure Island, written by Robert Louis Stevenson. This drama has a top notch cast and production crew; Michael Bay is on board (ha ha!) as executive producer and the stars include Toby Stephens, Hannah New and Luke Arnold.

This adventure centres around the tales and adventures of Captain Flint, but also includes a younger and more dashing Long John Silver, who has built himself a reputation as being one of the most fearsome (and feared) pirates of the Golden Age. At the beginning of the first episode we are told that in the West Indies in 1715 the pirates of New Providence Island are considered a threat to the maritime trade in that region. As a result the laws of every civilized nation declare them “hostis humani generis”; enemies of humanity in its entirety. In response they create their own Maxim; War Against the World.

In the course of his war to save New Providence, and it’s population of pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers, Flint allies with a certain Eleanor Guthrie. The daughter of the local Kingpin proves to be his only option in the wake of Spanish and British threats, but even this alliance doesn’t solve all his problems! Rivals, Eleanor’s intrusive father and Long John Silver all add to the troubles created by his naval rivals.

Have you seen Season 2 yet?