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Black Sails XXXVIII, Black Sails XXXVIII,


Black Sails XXXVIII (Starz 2 Apr 2017, with Luke Arnold)



And so it comes to this, Black Sails XXXVIII, the very last episode of Black Sails. The episode begins with a pre-credit sequence in which pirate captain Tom Morgan pays a visit to a certain plantation in Savannah which is used by the wealthy to keep their troublesome or troubled family members under lock and key. He is very keen to know if a certain, at this stage unnamed, person is being held there.

Meanwhile back on Skeleton Island Flint and Silver attempt to get as many survivors onto the beach as possible. Under heavy fire from Rogers’ men. Rogers has stipulated that the only survivor he wants is Flint, after all he is the only man who knows where the treasure is buried. Just when all looks lost Jack Rackham and his men finally arrive. Rogers stages a retreat into open water.

Flint and co make it back on the Rackham’s boat the Eurydice, Flint makes it plain he intends to take charge of the attack on Rogers, only he has the experience necesssary. Rogers intends to not give them the chance to open fire and aims to ram his ship the Lion into the Eurydice instead. In the ensuing brutal battle Flint not only fights Billy (high in the rigging as Flint attempt to bring down one of the Lion’s sails) and sends him plunging into the water, he also joins forces with Rackham to finally bring down Rogers. Rather than killing him though he is taken prisoner, a key act that will allow Marion Guthrie (and Max) to take control of Nassau.

Silver meanwhile has headed into the hold to rescue Madi (and in a nice echo of the very first episode meets a crewman cowering below decks. The man though is “just the cook” – just like Silver claimed to be originally. Silver makes the crewman take him to Madi.

Now that Madi is rescued Flint agrees to take Silver and some of the crew to pick up the cache, however before they can get too far Flint insists on clearing the air with Silver and it quickly becomes plain that Silver has no intention of working with Flint to use the cache to continue the war. He admits he sees it as a senseless waste and that the whole war is all because of Flint and the fact that he has nothing left to lose.

Flint tells Silver that some day, if he doesn’t back the war he will be sorry for the hollow life that he will end up leading. So much of the dialogue in the series is superb and these scenes are no exception. Silver though makes it plain that the war is over and almost begs Flint to give up the fight willing….

The action then switches to Jack’s return to Philadelphia and his reunion with Anne and Max and we fear Silver has killed Flint. At a meeting with Marion Guthrie Rackham tells her that Flint is now of no concern to them. He’s not dead, just retired. Marion agrees to put the rest of the plan into action, Max stipulates that she has exactly the right person in mind for Governor, one who can be tightly controlled by her.

Back on Maroon Madi is devastated at the death of Flint and what she sees as a betrayal to the war. Silver tells her that Flint is not dead but that he has been transported to the Savannah plantation for a reunion with Thomas Hamilton and a resumption of his old self James McGraw. Truthfully, given the nature of the scenes of Flint’s reunion with Thomas are presented it’s hard to tell if that is what really happened or is just another tale by Silver to appease Madi. However given the pre-credit scene of Morgan visiting the Savannah (and the fact that Flint is talked of as dying in Savannah in Treasure Island) we choose to believe it’s true and if there is anyone that Flint would give up everything for it’s Thomas. It’s a supremely emotional moment.

Several months later Nassau is back to being a flourishing port. In the tavern Rackham is talking to a young acolyte who is keen to know about pirate history and whether it still goes on. Featherstone is now governor and Max is the real power on the island.

In the final scene Rackham invites his new young friend Mark Read (who is clearly a young woman, and is really another real life pirate and Rackham cohort Mary Read) and we see Rackham’s new banner The Skull and Cross Swords being unveiled.

A truly superb end to what has been an incredibly series.

classic quote
“You must know this. You’re too smart not to know this. They paint the world full of shadows and then tell their children to stay close to the light. Their light. Their reasons, their judgments. Because in the darkness, there be dragons. But it isn’t true. We can prove that it isn’t true. In the dark, there is discovery, there is possibility, there is freedom.” – Flint trying to persuade Silver to continue the fight.

production details
USA / Starz / 1×70 minute episode / Broadcast 2 April 2017

Writers: Jonathan E Steinberg, Robert Levine / Director: Jonathan E. Steinberg

Series: Black Sails Season 4 Episode 10

Toby Stephens as Captain Flint
Luke Arnold as John Silver
Jessica Parker Kennedy as Max
Tom Hopper as Billy Bones
Toby Schmitz as Rackham
Clara Paget as Anne Bonny
Luke Roberts as Woodes Rogers
David Wilmot as Israel Hands
Harriet Walter as Marion Guthrie
Rupert Penry-Jones as Thomas Hamilton
Zethu Dlomo as Madi
Craig Jackson as Featherstone
Lise Slabber as Idelle
Chris Fisher as Ben Gunn
Anna-Louise Plowman as Mrs. Hudson
Cara Roberts as Mark Read
Fiona Ramsay as Mrs. Mapleton
Dale Jackson as Lieutenant Utley
Wilson Carpenter as Ellers
Anton Dekker as Tom Morgan
Robert Fridjhon as Oglethorpe
Moshidi Motshegwa as The Maroon Queen
Luke Tyler as Cook
Tony Kgoroge as Julius
Sizo Mahlangu as Obi
Tinah Mnumzana as Ruth
Theo Landey as First Mate Molin
David Butler as Frasier
Adam Neill … Mr. Soames
Jose Domingos as Mr. Oliver
Mpho Osei-Tutu as Footman



Hazell: Hazell and Hyde (ITV 7 June 1979, with Maev Alexander)




Hazell Nicholas Ball

In Hazell and Hyde James is asked to find a young woman, Claudine, who has apparently joined a group of squatters. When Hazell tracks down the group he is told that they had forced her to move on – her drug use was causing big problems. When a body turns up it looks like Hazell has found her, and an identification by her father seems to confirm it. However Choc Minty quickly arrives on the scene and makes it plain the dead girl is not the Claudine he is looking for but a woman who had apparently crossed Claudine in some way.

Claudine actually turns out to be something of a psychopath and having killed once has decided to make her next target our intrepid hero.

Meanwhile Jim has finally found himself somewhere else to live, his old flat having been reclaimed by the fellow he lent him the use of it.

It’s definitely something of a walk on the seedier side of life for Hazell. Maev Alexander, wjho plays the disturbed Claudine, is best known for her role as Christine Russell in the first couple of seasons of Sutherland’s Law.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 7 June 1979

Writer: P.J. Hammond / Production Design: Robin Parker / Director: Baz Taylor

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 8

Nicholas Ball as Hazell
Maev Alexander as Claudine
Peter Bourke as Graham Morris
Myrtle Devenish as Old lady singer
Christopher Godwin as Claw-Hammer
Betty Hardy as Mrs. Gladys Hazell
Michael J. Jackson as Squatter
Norman Lumsden as Old man singer
Ronald Mayer as Pianist / Singer
Roddy McMillan as ‘Choc’ Minty
Desmond McNamara as Cousin Tel
Yvonne Nicholson as Squatter
Mark Penfold as Mortuary attendant
John Rapley as Mr. Clive
Katherine Stark as Annie

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Hazell: Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost (ITV 31 May 1979, with Meg Davies)




Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost

In Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost our intrepid hero pays a visit to the seaside when an accountant, Peter Harlow, calls him in over a cottage he has been left in a will. He has no idea why he has been left the cottage but since he has taken over ownership more than a few strange things have been happening.

Hazell stays at the cottage for a few days and manages to find no small amount of comfort when Harlow’s wife Stephanie turns up (Harlow himself is in New York). Although there is clearly something spooky going on it’s definitely man made and it doesn’t take Hazell too long to work it out.

The episode was a rare outing outside of London for the series, it was filmed in the East Anglian village of Walberswick and surrounds. Although all the interiors were filmed in studio of coure.

classic quote
I may be common but I’m not stupid

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 31 May 1979

Writer: Richard Harris / Production Design: Philip Blowers, Peter Elliot / Director: Mike Vardy

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 7

Nicholas Ball as Hazell
Michael Gaunt as Peter Harlow
John Woodnutt as Vicar
Desmond Llewellyn as Bell
Richard Simpson as Weaver
Meg Davies as Stephanie Harlow
Desmond McNamara as Tel
Peter Woodward as Gregory Summers
Joy Steward as Mrs Summers

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Hazell: Hazell Gets The Boot (ITV 10 May 1979, with Billy Murray)




Hazell Gets The Boot

In Hazell Gets The Boot Hazell finds himself more or less coerced into taking on a supposedly simple job for villain Dave Castle. His Bently has been stolen and he wants James to get it back for him. Hazell’s investigation leads him to a scrap yard where the car is being hidden. He gets more than he bargained for when two of the Connell gang ambush him and give him a thorough going over.

Meanwhile Hazell’s love life is also going through a troublesome patch. Patsy Flanagan is spending some time at his flat after having a dust up with her husband. Hazell is keen for the arrangement to be just a night or two of pleasure but Patsy is keen on a more permanent arrangement.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 10 May 1979

Writer: Willis Hall / Director: Carol Wilks

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 4

James Hazell as Nicholas Ball
Billy Murray as Big Dave
Pauline Delaney as Sister
Peter Bourke as Graham Morris
Liz Crowther as Cynthia
Betty Hardy as Mrs Gladys Hazell
Cindy O’Callaghan as Patsy Flanagan

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