Because No Other Pirate Stories Exist, Michael Bay’s Black Sails Is a Treasure Island Prequel


It’s the time of year that Comic-Con press releases start hitting my inbox, and the Starz pirate show has been one of the first. Back when a trailer was first released, I commented that “since it’s not based on anything particularly realistic (I assume) or radically different – Pirates of Dark Water, perhaps – I’m okay with it.”

Well, fool me once. It’s based on Treasure Island.

The pirate adventure “Black Sails” centers on the tales of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his men and takes place twenty years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island.” Flint, the most brilliant and most feared pirate captain of his day, takes on a fast-talking young addition to his crew who goes by the name John Silver (Luke Arnold). Threatened with extinction on all sides, they fight for the survival of New Providence Island, the most notorious criminal haven of its day – a debauched paradise teeming with pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers, a place defined by both its enlightened ideals and its stunning brutality.

I’m sure the prostitutes will be period accurate, with visible herpes sores and no breast implants. And a ghost monkey will fly out of my butt.

You know, you’d figure the success of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead would make showrunners realize that not knowing who is going to live or die is a good thing for drama. I suppose they could go the Merlin route and just change the story any way they like…but who are we kidding, they won’t.

There’ll be a special fan screening of the first episode at Comic-Con on Thursday, July 18th. How they’ll ensure the event is “fans only” is beyond me – especially for a show that hasn’t aired yet – but I’m guessing I probably just took myself out of the running.