Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

August 13, 2017 by  

“Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season” is truly the best season yet.  The sheer magnitude of the war, the series captivates you with the awesome special effects but also how characters are integrated this season.  Many characters who experience their lowest of lows in this season and you wonder how they will emerge after the war is over.  Simply the best season yet of “Black Sails” and I highly recommend “Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season”.

© 2017 Starz Entertainment LLC. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season


DURATION: 10 Episodes (9 Hrs., 56 Minutes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 1:78:1 aspect ratio, English, 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, Spanish and French 2.0 Dolby Surround, Subtitles: English and Spanish

COMPANY: Anchor Bay Entertainment

RATED: Not Rated

RELEASE DATE: August 29, 2017

Created by Robert Levine, Jonathan E. Steinberg

Directed by Steve Boyum, Alik Sakharov, Lukas Ettlin, Uta Brisewitz, Marc Jobst, Roel Reine, Jonathan E. Steinberg

Written by Robert Levine, Jonathan E. Steinberg, Tyler Van Patten, Brad Kane, Dan Shotz, Jennifer Castillo, Michael Gunn, Jillian Molin, Peter Ocko

Produced by Jonathan Brytus, Nina Heyns, Brad Kane

Executive Producer: Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Bradley Fuller, Robert Levine, Jonathan E. Steinberg, Dan Shotz

Co-Executive Producer: David Wicht, Alik Sakharov, Peter Ocko

Associate Producer: Lukas Ettlin, Pal Grinder

Supervising Producer: Nina Jack

Music by Bear McCreary

Cinematography by Gavin Struthers, David Luther, Simon Dennis, Michael Swan

Edited by Paul Trejo, Amanda Zemke

Casting by Suzanne Smith

Production Design by Wolf Kroeger

Art Direction by Christophe Dalberg, Jonathan Hely-Hutchinson, Ross Jenkin, Moray McGregor

Costume Design by Tim Aslam


Toby Stephens as Captain Flint

Luke Arnold as John Silver

Toby Schmitz as Rackham

Hannah New as Eleanor Guthrie

Jessica Park Kennedy as Max

Clara Paget as Anne Bonny

Winston Chong as Joji

Tom Hopper as Billy Bones

Andre Jacobs as De Groot

Zach McGowan as Captain Charles Vane

Lise Slabber as Idelle

Laudo Liebenber as Dooley

Craig Jackson as Featherstone

Luke Roberts as Woodes Rogers

Zethu Diomo as Madi

Anna-Louise Plowman as Mrs. hudson

Chris Fisher as Ben Gunn

Andrian Mazive as Kofi,

Wilson Carpenter as Ellers

Alistair Moulton Black as Dr. Howell

Ray Stevenson as Blackbeard

David Wilmot as Irael Hands

Dale Jackson as Lt. Utley

Sibongile Mlambo as Eme

Aidan Whytock as Jacob Garrett

Mark Elderkin as Pastor Lambrick

Adam Neill as Mr. Soames

Rory Acton Burnell as Colin

After three successful seasons, Starz’s pirate drama ”Black Sails” will reach its end with the show’s fourth season next year. Set as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’, ”Black Sails” portrays the lives of Captain Flint, Long John Silver, and their crew, roughly 20 years prior to where the book starts.

A season of betrayal.  A season of tragedy.  And a season destruction.

“Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season” features Woodes Rogers wants nothing but the deaths of pirates, especially John Silver.

Meanwhile, Silver must decide whether or not he can trust Captain Flint and Billy Bones.

Who will survive in the bloody waters as the war in the West Indies and on the shores of New Providence Island leads to chaos and destruction.

What is “Black Sails” about?

In 2014, the series “Black Sails”was created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine for Starz.

Set two decades before the events of Treasure Island and during the Golden Age of Piracy, the series began with notorious pirate, Captain Flint  (portrayed by Toby Stephens) taking in a young crew member named John Silver (portrayed by John Silver).

As pirates were seen as threatening to maritime trade in the region, civilized nations declared pirates as enemies of all mankind and were in war against the world.

As the first season focused on the search for the Spanish treasure galleon Urca de Lima, the second season featured the treasure being taken by pirate Calico Jack Rackham (portrayed by Toby Schmitz) and exploring why Captain Flint, a former navy officer turned to piracy.  The third season focuses on the war over the control of New Providence, as the British Empire represented by Captain Woodes Rogers (portrayed by Luke Roberts) is on the attack.

And now with the fourth season, Woodes Rodgers is now married to Eleanor (portrayed by Hannah New), trying to show how she is now a proper wife.  Knowing that the pirates are planning to retake Nassau, he pulls of a strategy that enables the British Empire to sink many pirate ships, with Blackbeard managing to pull away.

But as Blackbeard tries to chase down Rodgers, it proves to be a trap set by Rodgers and he captures Blackbeard, Rackham and Anne Bonny and their fellow pirates.   Rodgers wanting to show how his hatred towards the pirates, has his soldiers put a bag over Blackbeard’s head, hangs him on a rope upside down and keelhauled.  As Blackbeard is dropped under the ship, he is dragged on the razor sharp barnacles.

But each time he is brought back up and Rodgers planning to kill Rackham next, Blackbeard keeps showing his resilience, forcing Rodgers to kill him with a pistol. Meanwhille, Anne is beaten up severely.

As for John Silver, he has a romantic relationship with Madi.  But as he was on one of the ships sunk by Rodgers, he is dragged under the surf and wakes up alive on a beach, where he is discovered and beaten by Israel Hands (portrayed by Dave Wilmot).

As Silver plans what to do against Rodgers, he has a problem as Billy (portrayed by Tom Hopper) is trying to get him to kill Flint.  Meanwhile, Jack is upset with Flint, as Captain Flint has agreed to exchange Nassau Fort for the Urca gold.

Meanwhile, as Rodgers wants revenge and not having the support of the British, he decides to get the Spanish Armada involved.

How will things turn out for each of these individuals?

The main characters of “Black Sails” are:

  • James Flint – One of the most feared Golden Age pirates, he is a pirate captain in the Caribbean and a man who was once an officer of the Royal Navy.
  • John Silver – A former sailor turned pirate and opportunist.  His leg was crushed with an axe is season 3 and now he walks with a cane.  He is in a relationship with Madi.
  • Jack Rackham – A pirate captain wh operated in the Bahamas and was the brains behind Captain Vane.  Rackham is responsible for finding the location of the Urca gold.
  • Max – A prostitute, who has betrayed her fellow pirate friends and allies herself with Governor Rogers and Eleanor She is in love with Anne Bonny.
  • Anne Bonny – A female pirate who operates in the Bahamas and is Rackham’s lover.  Feels indebted to Rackham for slitting her abusive husband’s throat and both joined Charles Vane’s pirate crew.
  • Billy Bones – A pirate who became First Mate for Captain Flint.
  • Eleanor Guthrie – The daughter of Richard Guthrie, the wealthiest black marketeer in the Bahamas and chief fence/supplier for the many pirate crews  of New Providence Island.  She owns and operates a tavern on Nassau’s main street and is married to Gov. Rodgers.
  • Madi – The daughter of Mr. Scott and the Maroon Queen, and is expected to become the leader of the Maroon Island community of former slaves.  She is in a relationship with John Silver.
  • Woodes Rogers – The appointed Royal Governor of the Bahamas.  He hired Eleanor Guthrie to advise him and over time they grew closer and became husband and wife.  He has a deep hatred towards pirates and is the primary antagonist of seasons 3 and 4.  He wants to retake Nassau.


“Black Sails” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio). For the most part, television shows on Blu-ray can often exhibit noise and artifacts but this latest Blu-ray release for “The Blacklist” looks very good, considering a lot of the episodes are shot outdoors. Close-up details are good, black levels are nice and deep and picture quality is very good.


“Black Sails” is presented in English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD and Spanish and French 2.0 Dolby Surround and features crystal clear dialogue and music. While surround channels capture environment ambiance and action sequences from cannons shooting, ships being blasted and sunk.  All this and more.

Subtitles are in English SDH and French.


“Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season” comes with the following special features:

  • Inside the World of Black Sails – (18:10) A combination of small featurettes about the world of “Black Sails” and interviews with co-creator Jonathan E. Steinberg and cast.
  • Creating the World – (2:58) Creating the world and the craftmanship to build the show.
  • Roundtable: Women in Piracy – (1:53) The female cast members discuss the strong female character roles in an era which is set in a man’s world.
  • Roundtable: The Legends of Treasure Island – (2:03) The cast discuss the ties to “Treasure Island” and how their characters ties into the book.
  • Roundtable: Fearless Fans – (1:17) The guys talk about the popularity of the show and fan interaction.


“Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season” comes with the Blu-ray and an UltraViolet HD code.

With season three showing us the rise of Royal Governor of the Bahamas, Woodes Rogers, his hatred of pirates goes full force as the goal of the British Empire to retake Nassau is set.

Many pirate ships are sunk, John Silver barely survives and is found by pirate Israel Hands, who was a gunner for Captain Flint (note: In historical fact, Israel Hands was the second-in-command for Blackbeard).  While Rodgers captures Anne Bonny, Jack Rackham and Blackbeard.

But with the British Empire not willing to support Rodgers in retaking Nassau, Rodgers goes to his country’s enemy, Spain (both the British and Spain are at war during that time).  And the Spanish Armada shows up to show their raw power against the pirates (and also British soldiers) in the city.

Without spoiling the overall story, I can say that we see an uneasy reunion, major character deaths and Silver being cajoled to either dump Captain Flint (who made him a pirate) or Billy Bones.  But what happens when both men have their own agenda?

Meanwhile, John Silver’s girlfriend Madi has been captured by Rodgers, but can Silver get her back?

And that’s all I’m going to write about because there are major character deaths, major situations that really muddle things with certain characters and pits friends against one another.

I will say that this season is the most grand, when it comes to set design and overall chaos.  I was very impressed with the action sequences for this season of “Black Sails”.  They really went all out and it made this season stronger and exciting.  Wonderful visual effects, sound editing and really an awesome season overall.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality was magnificent, lossless audio was just as awesome.  And you get numerous, short special features that are included.

Overall, “Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season” is truly the best season yet.  The sheer magnitude of the war, the series captivates you with the awesome special effects but also how characters are integrated this season.  Many characters who experience their lowest of lows in this season and you wonder how they will emerge after the war is over.  Simply the best season yet of “Black Sails” and I highly recommend “Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season”.

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