Cast: Toby Stephens, Hannah New, Luke Arnold
Release Date: November 8, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
Season Three of “Black Sails” begins in the wake of the burning of Charles Town. All the New World lives in fear of Captain Flint. When his campaign of terror crosses over into madness, and new threats emerge to challenge his supremacy, it falls to John Silver to locate the man within the monster, before Flint’s war against the world consumes them all. Meanwhile, on the pirate island of Nassau, it’s a new day. With Eleanor Guthrie facing judgment in London, Jack Rackham sits atop a fortune in Spanish gold, hoping to secure his legacy as a king among thieves. To do so, he’ll have to compete with the return of one of history’s most notorious captains, who holds a different vision for their home, as well as a complicated past with Rackham’s chief ally, Captain Charles Vane. All will be tested when a new opponent arrives to claim Nassau, one the pirates could never have anticipated. It knows them. It understands them. And in the blink of an eye, it will do the one thing they never thought possible…turn them against each other.
The third season of ‘Black Sails’ picks up shortly after the critical events that wrapped the sophomore season; Captain Flint has lost the woman he loves, but managed to save Charles Vane and set Charlestown ablaze in the process, while also establishing a new partnership with Vane and Jack Rackham in order to work together toward a common goal. Meanwhile, Eleanor Guthrie finds herself forced to assist the dedicated and seemingly fearless Governor Woodes Rogers who reluctantly accepts her assistance, unable to disregard her intimate knowledge of the area and its inhabitants as he moves to overtake Nassau with his soldiers and establish a long overdue change and sense of law within the island. Yet as Flint’s whereabouts become unknown and his methods begin to breach the level of madness causing Silver and others in his employ to question his brutal methods, the tides of control continue to alter as Rogers intends to take advantage of Flint’s absence in order to assist in his takeover. The one aspect he didn’t count on was the intervention of the deadly Vane and his resurrected partnership with a widely feared pirate who has also returned to Nassau in the hope of enlisting the help of Charles. Unfortunately for both sides involved, this is only the beginning of a war that will unavoidably affect both sides tremendously and ascertain the place of each within the new world.
The penultimate season of ‘Black Sails’ serves up another tense, action packed and stylish season of swashbuckling, high seas fun that once again ups the ante in the peril department, as well as introducing some new formative foes and potential adversaries. Likely the most notable among them is surely the series’ introduction to the infamous character of Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard. Portrayed on ‘Black Sails’ with ferocious perfection by the always wonderful Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone, TV’s Dexter) who manages to exude as much vulnerable humanity as calm ferocity in his portrayal of the legend, quickly escalating Blackbeard to the ranks of the show’s most memorable characters. As the third season continues to escalate and refrains from holding any punches, it promptly approaches outright insanity by the final episodes and somewhat hints at a potential sense of conclusion forming as things become far more dangerous than usual and it also becomes brutally clear that no character is safe amidst the threat of all out war. Any fan of the series that hasn’t yet had the pleasure of the third season will definitely want to make certain to rectify that as soon as they have the opportunity to do so; it’s another fantastic season in this continually enthralling series that you won’t want to even consider missing out on.
Fellow fans of this thrilling, gorgeous and action packed pirate series will almost surely want to make certain to pick up a copy of ‘Black Sails: The Complete Third Season’ on Blu-ray to add to their collection, especially those who have been collecting the previous season releases of the series. The Blu-ray release of the penultimate season once again delivers the exceptional high definition video and audio presentations on each episode that fans have come to appreciate and expect (yet never fail to impress) from the season sets, in addition to some enjoyable extras such as a few new behind the scenes Featurettes (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below), altogether certain to make this wonderful Blu-ray release a definite must own for many of the show’s fellow fans.
Overall, fellow fans of ‘Black Sails’ will likely want to make sure to purchase a copy of ‘The Complete Third Season’ Blu-ray release in order to have the ability to revisit each and every enthralling episode of the penultimate season any time you may desire in outstanding high definition video and audio presentations that are sure to impress. Those fans who haven’t yet had the opportunity to check out the third season and are hesitant to drop the funds on a blind purchase will definitely want to make sure and at least rent the episodes or the Blu-ray set if possible in order to catch up on this continually fantastic series prior to the debut of the final season which is set to premiere in January of 2017 on Starz.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Black Sails: The Complete Third Season’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the third season’s episodes. The video presentations look magnificent and provide sharp, detailed and gorgeous presentations on every episode in the season, with no notable faults of any kind to be found within. They hold up impressively even during the numerous fast paced and darkly lit sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, these are fantastic high definition video presentations that are complimented by an adequate bitrate and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack on all 10 Season Three episodes. These lossless multichannel soundtracks once again steal the show (or the release if you will) with their incredibly clean, crisp and wildly active audio presentations on every episode. Constantly utilizing all seven available channels in order to send the music and a plethora of auditory effects including waves cracking, water dripping, gunshots booming, decks creaking and a great deal more, while still managing to make sure that any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously never becomes distorted, let alone rendered inaudible. Overall, these are phenomenal 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtracks that add another impressive layer of excitement to the overall viewing experience and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Black Sails: The Complete Third Season’ includes a few enjoyable extras. Included on the release are a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes (all of which can be found on the third disc) including interviews/comments with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Black Sails: Inside The World’ episodic Featurettes for all ten season three episodes (running approximately 24 minutes in length altogether), along with a ‘Season 2 Recap’ (running approximately 5 minutes), ‘The Storm’ (approximately 4 minutes), ‘A Pirate’s Last Words’ (4 minutes), ‘Blackbeard: An 18th Century Pirate’ (10 minutes), and ‘Woodes Rogers’ (6 minutes).