Black Sails: Season 1 (2014)

SEASON:

Season 1
Black Sails

Critics Consensus

Black Sails boasts visual appeal, but the show's bland characters aren't strong enough to keep the show from being dragged down into its murky depths of aimless exposition.

65%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 49

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 799

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 25, 2014

A chronicle of the adventures of pirate Capt. Flint, his mateys and his rivals in the early 18th-century Caribbean begins with Flint facing a mutiny, while buccaneer cohort John Silver keeps something of great value under wraps.

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Air date: Feb 1, 2014

Flint deals with a thief among his crew; Vane voices an objection to Rackham chasing a score; Silver and Max hide in a brothel; and Eleanor is faced with a difficult decision.

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Air date: Feb 8, 2014

A partner is sought to assist in the hunt for the Urca d'Lima; Silver comes up with a solution to Billy's morale issues; a suddenly reasonable Vane makes an impression on Eleanor; and Gates is promoted.

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Air date: Feb 15, 2014

Disaster strikes a mission undertaken by the Walrus crew; Flint is warned about Billy; Rackham and Bonny set out to recapture their livelihood; Eleanor's father steps up to help her; and Vane is surprised by a visitor from his past.

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Air date: Feb 22, 2014

Flint and crew engage in a deadly encounter on the open sea; Richard forces Eleanor to make a decision; Rackham tries his hand at a new career; and Bonny has a confession to make.

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Air date: Mar 1, 2014

Chasing the Andromache proves costly; Eleanor realizes she'll need help from Silver; Billy encourages Gates to confront Flint; and Bonny decides it's time to take a stand.

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Air date: Mar 8, 2014

Flint comes clean to Gates; Silver is put in a tough position by Randall; Eleanor experiences loss; Rackham gets help from Max; and Vane has a life-or-death encounter.

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Air date: Mar 15, 2014

The hunt for the Urca continues; Eleanor's plans become unsettled; and Bonny and Rackham are haunted by their past indiscretions.

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Black Sails: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

This action-adventure chronicles the escapades of a swashbuckling and brutal pirate, Captain Flint (Toby Stephens), his shipmates and his rivals in the early 18th-century Caribbean. The series is a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island," and is set 20 years before the events depicted in that literary classic. While bounding the Spanish Main and jolly-rogering across the seas, Flint accepts a young recruit, John Silver (Luke Arnold), to join his crew, while later quashing a mutiny, questing for treasures, broadsiding other pirate vessels and exchanging fire with the ships of the British Navy who have been charged with blowing Flint out of the water.

News & Interviews for Black Sails: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Black Sails Season 1

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (28)

If this sounds (a) like the least merry pirate yarn ever constructed, and (b) a little bit like Game of Thrones, feel free to shiver your own timbers.

Jan 22, 2014 | Full Review…

But there's an intelligence to its treatment of the Nassau community and whether a settlement based on lawlessness and a shadow economy is sustainable -- one that takes the series in some complicated and unexpected directions.

Jan 22, 2014 | Full Review…

The era is a rich vein to mine, and to their credit, the creators are light on pirate cliches - I do not believe one "aargh!" is uttered. More swashbuckling please.

Jan 27, 2014 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Maybe they were going for "Deadwood on the Beach," with the politics of organizing an unruly bunch the underlying theme. Instead, they got "Spartacus Island," a less-elevated narrative with violence in keeping with the Starz brand.

Jan 27, 2014 | Full Review…

If you're more action-oriented, you'll soon find yourself shouting at the screen, "Less talking, more cannon fire."

Jan 27, 2014 | Full Review…

To paraphrase Woody Allen's paraphrase of an old joke, what Black Sails has to offer is mediocre, and the portions are small.

Jan 24, 2014 | Full Review…

Black Sails promises a lot of action and intrigue to its fans.

May 2, 2019 | Full Review…

When Black Sails did take to the seas, it was staggering.

Jan 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Black Sails has enough sex, violence and filthy language to make even the most ardent [Game of Thrones] fan sit up and take notice.

Jan 29, 2019 | Full Review…

The writers fail to establish distinct characters, settling instead for a generic crew of meticulously smudged scallywags.

Aug 21, 2017 | Full Review…

Black Sails may not be the most well written or riveting story on TV at the moment, but it's certainly going to fill that lustful void for violence and graphic action.

Jan 21, 2014 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Black Sails is exactly like the 18th-century Caribbean pirates it brings to life: dirty, amoral and worth stomaching only when there are no women around.

Jan 17, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Black Sails: Season 1

  • Feb 13, 2021
    This first season kinda struggles to find a personality by trying to appeal to an audience who, at the time, only had eyes for Game of Thrones. But it *is* an awesome first season, even if it has flaws. Don't worry: the next seasons have none of that and know what story they want to tell. This whole first season is a good, even if long-ish, exposition for a story that gets bigger and smarter. Give it a chance, and you'll be rewarded.
  • Jan 02, 2021
    Watched after some folks recommended it as one of the best shows recently. Found it fun, briefly, but then the TV-ness of it set in... seesawing between overdramatic and underplotted, with many of the characters looking like models and the camera maintaining a penchant for lingering on six packs and pecs. A less funny, less likeable, over-sexed pirates of the caribbean.
  • Dec 21, 2020
    Terrible, long boring drama scenes, unrealistic, unhistorical, and boring plot
  • Nov 27, 2020
    This series surprised a lot. I'm really enjoying the story and the season that goes on. The series has a spectacular cast that is capable of making great performances and the action is impressive. I recommend seeing.
  • Nov 23, 2020
    Great performances, spectacular intro and good battle scenes ... I advise
  • Nov 19, 2020
    It starts slowly but quickly becomes spectacular and epic, great performances, battle scenes and script, this is easily one of the best shows ever made, anyone who likes Game of Thrones should see it !!!
  • Jun 08, 2020
    Season 1 is the weakest season, but it's still great and leads to something life changing.
  • Jun 08, 2020
    Black Sails is a series that deserves far more attention that it has received. Easily the "Game of Thrones" for pirate stories, Black Sails interweaves a band of historical pirates with band of fictional ones, and builds its story around a number of actual events. Set in Nassau, the pirate "capital" of the Caribbean, we follow the actions of James Flint, who is bound and determined to find a great Spanish treasure ship, which will provide he and his crew enough gold to start a new "legitimate" life. While Black Sails seems to follow many of the "pirate formulas", it does so with gravitas--avoiding so many of the cliches that ultimately doomed so many of its predecessors. Instead, the characters are interesting, nuanced, and have depth. However, the season as a whole is largely the exposition needed for Season 2. In other words, its all a setup. As it turns out, this is a good thing because there IS a Season 2--but if there wasn't, this season would have been a BIG disappointment.
  • May 30, 2019
    Starts off slow, around episode 6 I got hooked and is easily in my top 5 favourite TV shows. Vikings make place for the Pirates. It gets better and better from here.
  • May 27, 2019
    I wasn't interested in the bathroom and mating habits of thieves. An adventurous pirate story, however, would have been nice.

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