Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New pirate TV drama: Crossbones

Honestly, you don't have a pirate TV series for decades and then two come along within months of each other.  American network NBC is launching Crossbones later this month following on from Black Sails

This time the story is based on a real character, Edward Teach aka Blackbeard, rather than the fictional ones of Black Sails.  Images of Brian Blessed beards are out of the porthole though as Blackbeard, played by John Malkovich, has a very small beard which isn't black, strangely.

Set in 1729, the story seems an odd mixture of pirate yarn and Dava Sobel's Longtitude as Blackbeard tries to capture the Longtitude Chronometer from English spy Tom Lowe. 

The trailer displays a typically mannered performance by Malkovich and I suspect the success of the ten part series will be dependent on how much you can stand his idiosyncratic acting style. 

Being an American network show it won't have the naked wenches seen in Black Sails, of course, but at least it is genuinely shot in the Caribbean and looks right as a result. 

The cast's wenches do look rather fine and are led by English actress Claire Foy with her very un-eighteenth century teeth.  

They've built two full sized ships for the show and this one, at least, looks like an authentic pirate ship (seen here in Puerto Rico, where the series is being filmed).

Let's hope that there is plenty of piratical ship on ship action as, I gather, Black Sails has been conspicuously short of it.

It should all help to shift copies of Osprey's forthcoming pirate rules and the very appealing looking figures from Steve Saleh for North Star.

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