"Itís war in the West Indies, and the shores of New Providence Island have never been bloodier. While Eleanor Guthrie and Woodes Rogers hold Nassau, Captain Flint sails to strike the final blow . . . and from the interior, an insurgency builds, fueled by the legend of Long John Silver. But the closer civilization comes to defeat, the more desperately, and destructively, it will fight back." That is the official description for Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season, now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Lionsgate, which has provided NewTechReview with a NFR copy for review.
And so the adventure ends... or begins, depending on how you want to look at it. Designed to be the prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the fourth and final season of Black Sails brings everything together as needed to begin the story that was already told decades ago. This season begins and ends with a bang. Of course, I won't discuss the end, although I can say that it may be something that you won't expect.
To start things off, however, Eleanor and Woodes are keeping a tight grip on Nassau as they seek to protect it from falling back into the hands of Captain Flint. The first episode opens with Flint and Long John Silver sailing with their fleet of pirate ships on a mission to retake Nassau. What is expected to be a massive battle actually ends up being a trap. All but one of the pirate ships is destroyed, Long John Silver is lost at sea (believed to be dead), and Flint along with those of his crew that have not been killed or captured, wash up on shore to be met by Billy Bones. As the season continues, we're treated to more spectacular battles, new locales, excellent character development, and even the introduction of new characters (including the Spanish playing a major part).
Watching the season on Blu-ray is even better than the previous Starz stream, with the show being presented in 1080p with a MPEG-4 AVC encode and a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. With set design, costume design, beautiful location shots and sea voyages, Black Sails rivals most major motion pictures and the picture quality does not disappoint. Colors are vibrant, the picture is clear, and detail is spot on. We're also treated to a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround soundtrack that accentuates every scene providing an excellently immersive experience.
Bonus features are a bit sparse, but still entertaining for what they provide, which include the following:
* Inside the World of Black Sails - a 18-minute featurette that provides a short recap to each episode and some behind-the-scenes information.
* Creating the World - a 3-minute featurette that discusses some of the behind-the-scenes elements and challenges of creating the show.
* Roundtable: Women in Piracy - a brief 2-minute discussion talking about the female characters in the show.
* Roundtable: The Legends of Treasure Island - a brief 2-minute discussion talking about the male characters in the show.
* Roundtable: Fearless Fans - a brief 1-minute discussion talking about fans of the show.
Although Black Sails didn't garner as many fans as some other shows (such as Game of Thrones), its quality was easily on-par or even surpassed many of them. As mentioned earlier, the acting and production rival that of film, and with one hour or more of content, each episode is almost like watching a movie. If you missed this show because you were preoccupied with others at the time, you owe it to yourself to check it out and experience the story that came before the infamous Treasure Island.
For more information, visit:
* Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fLXmjv
* Website: lionsgate.com