If you've watched a pirate movie, you've seen the stunt where the captain balances precariously atop a ship's mast, pierces its sail with his cutlass, grabs the hilt with both hands and slides fearlessly down to the deck. Daredevil Douglas Fairbanks Sr. originated the move in 1926's The Black Pirate. It's as ubiquitous on screen as an adventurer swinging from the rigs. But the dusty sea dogs of the new Starz period drama Black Sails would call it bloody foolish — unless cracked...
It's quite a week for those who enjoy rugged armchair escapism of the historical epic variety. First came the three nights of Discovery's enjoyable gold-rush melodrama Klondike (repeated in its entirety on Saturday, starting at 9:30 am/8:30c), during which Jack London (played by Johnny Simmons) is heard rhapsodizing, "What you're looking at here is a walking, talking novel," as he surveys the squalor and violent desperation teeming throughout Dawson City, the miniseries' Yukon frontier setting.