Who doesn't love a pirate?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Who doesn't love a pirate?

Pirates at a Pirate Festival

...and I'm not referring to the modern day variety of the impossibly skinny Somalis who motor into the Indian Ocean to prey on passing vessels as depicted in last year's fact-based "Captain Phillips."

I write of the 18th Century buccaneers1 and freebooters of the West Indies, celebrated by Raphael Sabatini in his swash-buckling tales of "Peter Blood" and cable Starz in its under-appreciated "Black Sails."

I thoroughly enjoyed the boisterous pirate series and the "three rules" to which showrunner Jon Steinberg adhered: "No parrots, no eye patches, no peg legs."

(They did, however, build two full-size ships for the production.)

Set mainly in 1715 Nassau among the notorious Brethren of the Coast, there's rum a-plenty and bare-breasted wenches, some sword-play, and an abundance of treachery to keep the narrative sailing along nicely.

While the honchos at Starz had announced a second season even before Season One debuted January 25 of this year, nothing has been heard since, so I hope no one has slipped the series the black spot.


The worst of America's networks, NBC2, is pre­miering its own swashbuckler tonight at 10:00 pm, "Cross­bones," with the always delightful John Malkovich in the leading role of the fabled corsair "Blackbeard," and set in the West Indies of 1729.

(Never mind that the historical figure, née Edward Teach, circa 1680 in Bristol, was killed in battle with Royal Navy forces off Ocracoke Island in 1718.)

Still, Malkovich is always worth a watch so I'll check it out, albeit with little expectations since the way things are going at 30 Rock, NBC could screw up a free lunch.

"Arrr, matey!" and no one could do it better than the late Michael Frank!

  1. From the French boucaneers, the hunters of turtle-meat in the Torgugas who, when prospects were slow, joined the crews of ships which flew the black flag and sought plunder.
  2. Never has Brandon Tartikoff been more missed.


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