Day 58. 184 pages, 90,446 words.
Over the past couple of weeks, Mrs. Hatboy and I have indulged our mild pirate-love and watched the first couple of seasons of Black Sails. There is a third season and a fourth on their way, but not on Netflix. I think this one might be worth adding to our DVD shelf, but let’s see.
The story is very interesting, as it is a prequel to Treasure Island. Sadly I have never read the book all the way through, although of course the story is a classic and has worked its way into the cultural consciousness. We all know Long John Silver and Billy Bones and R. Jim Ladd (may not be his actual name). This show tells the story of the lead-up to the book, and is essentially a gritty version of Pirates of the Caribbean.
I admit that this description makes it sound bad, but I mean it as a compliment. It’s a really, really good show.
Now if I can just rock a twirled-up moustache like Captain Flint, I will be set.
Each season has so far ended on a nice cliffhanger and has had all the intrigue, amusement, sex and violence and general badassery one could hope for. Production values must be through the roof, because those naval battles and that scenery – amazing. I can’t speak to the authenticity and historical accuracy, but since it is a prequel to a fiction story I think we can give it a pass. It seems pretty well-grounded in late-16th-Century naval history as far as I’m concerned, and Mrs. Hatboy hasn’t been complaining. Although she may be suffering from abs-assisted blindness, dreadlockjaw, or Bicep’s Disease. Or all three. I couldn’t possibly comment. Women.
Also, its opening credits are up there with Game of Thrones. Yeah I said it.
For me, of course, the most interesting part came when I recognised a name in the credits. Toby Schmitz, who plays Jack Rackham, went to my old school. He was in the year above me and was highly entertaining in school debates. It’s wonderful to see the fellow doing what he was clearly born to do, and doing it well. Rackham channels just enough Jack Sparrow to be entertaining, is clearly intelligent on a par with John Silver (it’s going to be exciting to see them finally match wits in Season 3 while the Flint / Vane bromance oils itself up in the secondary storyline), and has a character arc that is among the most relatable yet complex in the show. He has done a great job.
Good stuff, Tobes.
This show is well worth a look if you like pirates, naval scenery, or just a lot of bewbs and decapitations and cannons.