The critically and commercially acclaimed swashbuckling adventure series Black Sails is set to take South African television by storm when it premieres on HISTORY®, DStv channel 181, on Tuesday, August 18 at 21.20.
A prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s world-famous novel, Treasure Island, Black Sails is a gritty, adult drama set in the brutal and cut-throat golden age of 18th century piracy.
Shot on location in Cape Town, the series features a veritable who’s who of South African talent including Sean Cameron Michael (When We Were Black), Louise Barnes (Jozi-H), Fiona Ramsey (Homeland) and many more.
The 8×1-hour series follows Stevenson’s infamous and feared pirate, Captain Flint (British actor Toby Stephens) who has a reputation throughout the West Indies as being the most brilliant and feared of all the Golden Age pirates.
It’s 1715, and as Flint fights for the survival of New Providence Island – a debauched paradise teeming with pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers – in the wake of threats from British and Spanish forces, he aligns himself with Eleanor Guthrie, daughter of the local kingpin, to hunt the ultimate prize and ensure his people’s survival. But standing in the way are rival captains, Eleanor’s intrusive father and perhaps the bigger obstacle of all: John Silver (Luke Arnold), a young, fast-talking, authority-flouting sailor recently added to Flint’s crew.
A story combining real life historical figures, events and locations with fictional pirate legends, the gritty, raw and violent eight-part series from Hollywood executive producer, Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon) stars Toby Stephens (Die Another Day, Jane Eyre), rising star Luke Arnold (Winners & Losers, The Tunnel), Jessica Parker Kennedy (90210, 50/50) and Hakeem Kae-Kazim (24, Hotel Rwanda, Half of a Yellow Sun).
The series was filmed at Cape Town Film Studios and employed more than 800 extras and crew of which only 30 were not South African.
Eps 1 (Tuesday, August 18 at 21.20): After a run of short hauls, the once powerful Captain Flint faces mutiny by his own crew. John Silver joins Flint’s pirate ship, hiding something of great value from his captain. On the island of New Providence, Eleanor Guthrie keeps order in the face of a resurgent Royal Navy.
Eps 2 (Tuesday, August 25 at 21.20): Flint unmasks a thief on his crew. Rackham chases a score over Vane’s objection. Silver hides with Max in the brothel. Eleanor faces an impossible choice.
Eps 3 (Tuesday, September 1 at 21.20): Flint and Gates seek a partner to hunt the “Urca d’Lima”. Silver helps Billy with a morale problem. Vane impresses Eleanor by being reasonable. Gates gets a promotion.
Eps 4 (Tuesday, September 8 at 21.20): An undertaking by “The Walrus” crew ends in disaster. Silver warns Flint about Billy. Rackham and Bonny try to regain their livelihood. Eleanor needs help from her father. A figure from Vane’s past pays a visit.
Eps 5 (Tuesday, September 15 at 21.20): Flint and “The Walrus” crew play a deadly chess match on the open sea. Richard forces Eleanor’s hand. Rackham makes a career change. Bonny confesses to Max.
Eps 6 (Tuesday, September 22 at 21.20): The costs of chasing the “Andromache” continue to mount. Eleanor needs Silver’s help. Billy wants Gates to confront Flint. Bonny takes a stand.
Eps 7 (Tuesday, September 29 at 21.20): Flint tells Gates the truth. Randall puts Silver in a bind. Eleanor suffers a loss. Max comes to Rackham’s aid. Vane enters the fight of his life.
Eps 8 (Tuesday, October 6 at 21.20): The hunt for the “Urca” is on. Everything changes for Eleanor. Bonny and Rackham’s sins come back to haunt them.