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245 Reviews
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81 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pirates for Grown Ups in a simply excellent Show.
Well everything you heard was true this is just rollicking good fun. Designed to be a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's `Treasure Island' this show takes real pirates and some fictional ones and throws them into a bawdy mix of greed, lust, jealousy, violence and pirate folklore. Real pirates include Anne Bonny, Charles Vane and Benjamin Hornigold - their real stories...
Published 12 months ago by Tommy Dooley

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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Black Sails...Potential that deserves a second series
Black Sails does require effort to get past the first two episodes as it gathers pace and introduces us to the characters. Having fictional characters from literature aswell as genuine pirates such as Anne Bonny and Charles Vane, we get a good mix of history and creative license. The character of John Silver here quite annoyed me at first but he grows into a lovable rogue...
Published 4 months ago by Naomi_B


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81 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pirates for Grown Ups in a simply excellent Show., 15 April 2014
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Black Sails: Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Well everything you heard was true this is just rollicking good fun. Designed to be a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's `Treasure Island' this show takes real pirates and some fictional ones and throws them into a bawdy mix of greed, lust, jealousy, violence and pirate folklore. Real pirates include Anne Bonny, Charles Vane and Benjamin Hornigold - their real stories are explosive enough but this adds to the fun.

The plot is centred around the pirate stronghold of New Providence Island, where Captain Flint is trying to broaden his power base by biting off more than he can chew by capturing the prize of the biggest Spanish Galleon `Urca de Lima'. The island is run by the daughter of the corrupt governor and she has a taste for power, money, men and yes ladies too! We also have John Silver and a more sly opportunist would be hard to come across even on such a lawless island.

Then there is the Royal Navy, the shenanigans of the local brothel and bawdy house, double deals a-plenty and more swashes than you could buckle in a life time (probably). This is a full grown up `Pirates of the Caribbean' with all the filth and bedroom action thrown in to make it both believable and modern enough to cater for a spoilt twenty first century palate.

The actors are all universally brilliant as are the sets and attention to detail. It is hard to single out any for individual praise but here goes; Toby Stephens as Flint and Toby Schmitz as the wonderful rake Rackham are just excellent. We all know this has gone down so well that a second ten episode run is already in the pipeline and if that is not enough to shiver your timbers then you are truly hard to please - absolutely ruddy excellent.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars in truth, 18 April 2014
Well acted, great locations, camera work and atmosphere. Hampered by an inconsistent script, that is at times clumsy, and at others delightful.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Black Sails...Potential that deserves a second series, 9 Dec. 2014
By 
Naomi_B (southport,england) - See all my reviews
Black Sails does require effort to get past the first two episodes as it gathers pace and introduces us to the characters. Having fictional characters from literature aswell as genuine pirates such as Anne Bonny and Charles Vane, we get a good mix of history and creative license. The character of John Silver here quite annoyed me at first but he grows into a lovable rogue of sorts offering much of the smile inducing moments alongside the intriguing Randell. Toby Stephens as Captain Flint and Zach McGowan as Charles Vane give us the better acting in the piece although I do love the portrayal of Toby Schmitz as Jack Rackham and Clara Paget as Anne Bonny. I don't really mind the little action on the seas, I know as a pirate show we come to expect a lot of battles at sea rather than the politcal aspects on the pirate island but I quite like how this offers us an insight into the wheeling and dealing beyond the sea life. However and one of my main grating points of the series is of the main character Eleanor Guthrie, I can't help but see a spoilt Elizabeth Swan trying to lord her superiority over everyone who stands in her way. Her character lacks intrigue and Anne Bonny aswell as Miranda Barlow offer much better equals to their fellow man here. I will definitely give the second series a go as I think it is still an enjoyable series, just not one that at the moment offers much in the way of repeat value viewing. I would also say that as there is very little blood and guts throughout the series that if they did away with the sex as it offers very little captivation that perhaps they could get a 15 certificate rating and attract a broader range of viewers or go the other way and utilise the 18 certificate much in the way Game of Thrones and Vikings and offer more of a blooded sexed up rampage on the seas.
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115 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait., 4 April 2014
I've been following the US response to this new Pirate drama the reaction has been generally good, so it's great to see Amazon investing in it. As with many modern historical dramas compromises with accuracy have been made, the characters have a contemporary edge in keeping with the needs of a modern audience but performances are uniformly excellent. Toby Stephens is not an actor I particularly enjoy but he makes a compelling Captain Flint and Mark Ryan as his Quartermaster Gates is a worthy support.
In tone and language the series is reminiscent of Deadwood, with its portrayal of real historical figures alongside fictional characters and it forms a prequel to Treasure Island . The production design is top notch and Bear McCreary has provided a score worthy of mention. There is some potentially gratuitous sex, nudity and language in keeping with the current trend but I can accept that. The portrayal of conflict at sea is impressive and the many ships of the era are beautifully rendered and the Pirate nation rings true as does the democratic nature of Pirate politics. Altogether Black Sails is an exciting and compelling story crafted with flair and I hope it runs and runs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended., 14 Jan. 2015
By 
S. Broadbent "cyberspaceexpress" (Devon) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Black Sails: Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
This is a good show with a potential to be a great show.
Black Sails is a mixture of accurate history and poetic licence and the mix works well.
This show focuses on pirate politics and intrigue, back stabbing and double cross, more than
sea battles and plank walking.
The acting is good with Toby Stephens delivering a charismatic performance.
There is action and when it comes it's quite brutal.
I am pleased to learn that a second series has been made and that Black Sails is a commercial success.
It deserves to be.
Think of it as Pirates of the Caribbean for adults.
There is however, definite room for improvement, but i will be ordering the second series.
Recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable.., 25 May 2014
By 
Ian Turner "Ian" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Enjoyed the different setting to most modern series - mostly well acted, well shot and some good characters - feels more like Hollywood than TV Series.. bring on season 2.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must watch, 13 Feb. 2015
Cannot recommend this series highly enough, clever scripting and almost Hollywood blockbuster cinematography, makes for an engaging plot with characters that you both love and love to hate. Based on the events leading up to Robert Louis Stevenson's book Treasure Island. Black sails is a; funny, dramatic, well cast series, that is up there in my mind with the likes of Game Of Thrones.
Just remember when watching, like any good series they need to introduce the characters before things develop, well worth sticking with into season 2...
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rich beyond you dreams, 16 April 2014
love this, great story line. plot twist and characters. cant wait for the second season. enjoy the mix of fiction and non-fiction. sets look amazing
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Black Sails? Lacks Sails more like! Lord Nelson must have had a preview box set!, 12 April 2015
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Having watched 4 episodes, I now realise this is more of a turgid soap than a tale of swashbuckling adventure. Eleanor is like some naughty head girl who's learnt some rude words - in fact it was her first appearance that instilled some doubts in the series for me and the sex scenes, hers especially, just feel gratuitous. The on board scenes have been better although throughout, as another reviewer has intimated, the language too modern to ring true. They'll be texting next. I am also impressed by the skill of the 18th century cosmetic dentist, which is so apparent in the main characters - lesser characters have clearly been drinking too much Coke. I'm a bit bored with being landlocked and yearn for some action on the high seas - I can only agree with Nelson at this point when he said "I see no ships". Episode 1 and the pirate attack was excellent - well filmed and atmospheric so I know it can be done. I will continue the journey, though. However bad this gets, it can never be as bad a trip round Brixham Bay I once endured - that WAS a nightmare!!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely well done, 20 Jun. 2014
Authentic, a great tone, well acted and craftily written. A series in which you have to think. True, there's plenty of nudity (both sexes) and violence, but there's also a deep, multi-layered and contemplative plot in there.
Characaters are multi-dimensional, with John Silver a particular favourite.
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Black Sails: Season 1 [Blu-ray]
Black Sails: Season 1 [Blu-ray] by Steve Boyum (Blu-ray - 2014)
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