Netflix Historical Action Series Is Better Than Any Pirates Of The Caribbean Movie

By Robert Scucci | Updated

black sails 1

If you’re tired of waiting for updates on the Pirates of the Caribbean front, then you need to shift your attention to one of the best swashbuckling series currently available through streaming. Black Sails, which had a 38-episode run between 2014 and 2017, is packed with so much action and lively characters that you won’t even miss Jack Sparrow’s bumbling misadventures.

Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but Black Sails is definitely a treasure that you’ll want to seek out on Netflix the next time you’re craving adventure.

Black Sails Is A Treasure Island Prequel

Set 20 years before the events that take place in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island novel, Black Sails focuses on Toby Stephens’ Captain Flint, the most competent (and feared) pirate in the 18th century.

Flint’s adventure sees him joining forces with Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New), the daughter of a local kingpin on New Providence Island.

Season 1 of the series focuses primarily on maritime trade in this region, and how the pirates who are running amok are seen as a threat to the status quo, as they are referred to as enemies of all mankind.

A Treasure Hunt

As Black Sails progresses past its first season, Captain Flint’s identity is called into question because he was once a respected navy officer before becoming a pirate.

Flint and his crew searched tirelessly for the wrecked Urca de Lima, a highly sought-after treasure galleon of Spanish origin. They traveled from New Providence Island to the coast of Florida, where the ship was being guarded by Spanish soldiers.

Many Obstacles

black sails

Flint’s journey boasts plenty of obstacles like rival ship captains and Eleanor’s father, but one of his defiant young crew members, “Long” John Silver (Luke Arnold), proves to be just as antagonistic.

John Silver’s presence in Black Sails is also instrumental in setting up the events that set up the plot for Treasure Island. In Treasure Island, John Silver functions as a sort of father figure to the novel’s protagonist and narrator, Jim Hawkins.

John Silver’s own selfish and opportunistic endeavors challenge Jim’s worldview in ways that mirror Flint’s encounters with a younger version of the pirate while they were working together 20 years prior.

Action-Packed Adventure Series

black sails

Black Sails is exactly the action-packed adventure series you’d expect to see when you realize Michael Bay is listed as one of its executive producers. While some critics pointed out that this series has some beautiful cinematography and world-building throughout its run, there has also been a healthy amount of criticism for its overuse of CGI, which has been said to hurt its storytelling at times.

By the same token, Black Sails was praised for not being trapped by genre conventions because of its willingness to pursue more complicated storytelling than its contemporaries.

Black Sails Critical Reception

black sails

Black Sails was met with a lukewarm reception (65% critical score on Rotten Tomatoes) for its first season. But it won over critics and audiences alike with season 2, and has a perfect 100 percent critical score against an audience score of 90 percent to prove it.

Across its four seasons, Black Sails has an overall critical score of 81 percent against an 83 percent audience score.

Streaming Black Sails

black sails

Black Sails is an effective and engaging prequel to Treasure Island that any fan of the genre will enjoy. At the end of the day, what’s there not to like about a bunch of pirates searching for treasure, forging alliances, and betraying one another along the way? You can stream Black Sails on Netflix right now, but only if you’re ready to go on the adventure of a lifetime.