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Black Sails is the new period-themed, pirate-inspired television series brought to life by Starz. After a successful ten episode run of the first season, the show will be returning to the network for second ten episode arc beginning tomorrow night.
The show stars actor Toby Stephens as the primary character of Black Sails, Captain Flint. The character is actually from a historic piece of literature, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. The iconic Long John Silver briefly refers to Captain Flint in the novel as a mysterious figure. The show Black Sails serves as a type of prequel series to Treasure Island, using a number of the novel’s characters and themes.
Stephens seemed to always be destined for the life of an actor, as he is the son of late stage and screen star Sir Robert Stephens and Oscar-winning actress Maggie Smith. Stephens says that his parents separated when he was quite young and he traveled and moved about a lot, but the presence of the acting world was always about him, which he loved. It was a natural fit for him to follow the footsteps of his parents and he was even in direct competition with his own mother last season when Black Sails premiered in the same time slot as PBS’s Downton Abbey in which his mother is one of the series’ primary actresses.
Stephens’ fit into Black Sails seemed to be timed just right as a number of other pirate TV shows such as NBC’s Crossbones were attempted to be brought to life, but were eventually sunken at sea. However, Black Sails is still sailing strong with a second and third season underway. The new episodes are said to pick up directly where the premiere season left off. Things ended on somewhat of a bad note for Captain Flint, as his ship was undergoing heavy fire amidst his own crew beginning a mutiny. The captain also lost out on what was supposedly a very large payday: an entire ship filled to the brim with numerous riches.
The first episode of season two of Black Sails will introduce a few new faces into the series. Some of the fresh characters are based on real-life pirates who raided the Caribbean all those years ago. One of the more notable new regulars is that of Captain Ned Low, played by Vikings actor Tadhg Murphy. He is said to be making port on the pirate capital of the world, New Providence Island where he faces off with season one’s femme fatale Eleanor Guthrie, played by Hannah New. The previous season featured Guthrie proving herself as a rival to any male, fighting against the sexism critiques that have been flacking parts of the show.
This aforementioned sexism is derived from the more sexually explicit scenes in the series, regarding many female prostitutes and full-on nudity. Male nudity is apparently rarely seen although the females are on full display. The war of female and male nudity in TV and film has begun to raise some attention as Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke stated that she would no longer agree to any more nude scenes unless the male nudity in the show was increased to match that of the female’s. Audiences and critics are also curious to know how much skin will be shown in the notoriously steamy Fifty Shades of Grey film releasing next month, as the novels provide equal amounts of exposure to both genders, but whether Hollywood will or not still remains a mystery.
The second season of Black Sails will premiere tomorrow night, Saturday, Jan. 24 on Starz at 9 PM ET/PT. The first season of the show is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital HD.
By Cody Collier
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