If you are looking for a pirate adventure with some strong women and a little sapphic romance the Starz original series Black Sails is for you. The show aired it’s first season in January 2014. The series mixes characters from the novel Treasure Island such as Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and John Silver (Luke Arnold) with some real life historical pirates like Charles Vane (Zach McGowan), Anne Bonney (Clara Paget) and Jack Rackham (Toby Schmitz). It rounds out the story with newly created characters who are neither literary or historical figures such as Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New). And while Black Sails borrows characters from Robert Louis Stevenson classic tale, the show is set about two decades earlier, in 1715. The pirates make their home base in New Providence, Nassau, a town loosely controlled (in as much as one can control a town full of pirates) by the fiery and beautiful Eleanor Guthrie. Eleanor sports a “I take shit from no man,” attitude in a time when women were most often subjugated by men. Miss Guthrie uses her father’s legitimate merchant shipping business to sell the pirates stolen goods. She’s an 18th century fence if you will. So the pirates oblige her wishes, to a point.
To add to Eleanor’s unconventional lifestyle for the times, her lover at the onset of the series is the lovely prostitute Max (Jessica Parker Kennedy). Max is a strong character in her own right, but due to her profession and her own questionable decisions, she is often abused. Rounding out the leading ladies is Anne Bonney who wields a sword better than most men. Anne and Jack Rackham are lovers but in my opinion Anne’s efforts to protect Max go beyond just her sense of justice.
Hannah New as the determined Eleanor Guthrie and Jessica Parker Kennedy as her prostitute lover Max.
Black Sails spins Captain Flint and Eleanor Guthrie as a revolutionaries of sorts. Historically the show is set around the time that Nasssau had no governor and was self proclaimed Pirate’s Republic. The overtones of freedom from England’s tyrannical reign are echoed throughout the show. Flint and Eleanor conspire to attack a rich Spanish galleon and use some of the spoils to fund the town and keep Nassau a independent territory free from the yoke of England. Their quest takes them on dangerous and bloody journey. Black Sails is full of sword fighting, backstabbing betrayls, outright murder, attempted mutinies and of course sex. Everything you would expect from a good pirate series.
Eleanor and Max’s love affair is shattered early in the season. the season finale leaves so hope that a reconciliation may be possible in the future. Season 2 will air January 24, 2015. The trailers for Season 2 make it look like they have both moved on. Eleanor is shown with her ex Charles Vane. Max seems to be in bed with Anne Bonney.
Right now Black Sails is available on Starz Play and Starz On Demand if you have a subscription to Starz.
You can also purchase episodes on Amazon Instant Video. Buy Black Sails, Season 1
- Piratey adventure show with a lesbian couple.
- The lesbian story line is only a small part of the ensemble show.