Starz “Black Sails” season three is about to kick off this Saturday, January 23. Fans have a lot to look forward to this season including the addition of a new cast member that is really going to shake things up.
Season two started with Captain Flint dreaming of a reconciliation for himself and Nassau in the eyes of the British Empire but with the death of Miranda Barlow, all bets are off. In fact, Flint has been pushed past the point of no return. He’s bent, and he’s broken. The only thing on his mind at the end of season two, and the opening of season three is revenge.
The actor who plays Captain Flint, is Toby Stephens, who is currently staring in the film “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.” I caught up with the actor during the Television Critics Associations press conference.
Allie Hanley: How do you see Captain Flint?
Toby Stephens: He’s a great strategist; and he is someone who is basically kind of monomaniacal in a way that he is going off of revenge for his part in it, and things that have gone off against England. Great seaman, great tactician, … he’s a person that just wants revenge.”
Allie: Season two brought a lot of changes and growth for Flint through story momentum, and back story, particularly his sexual orientation background etc. For season three, what will we see for Flint?
Toby: His identity hasn’t really changed, it’s just become more distilled. As we realize in the second season he’s out for revenge against England for what it did to him; And then I think with the death of Mrs. Barlow it just focuses him even more. I think that at the end of season two there was a chance for him, that he would have made peace with England for the greater good. He would have gone back, and he would have suffered humiliation as long as there was a better outcome for Nassau. But with the death of Mrs. Barlow all bets are off. He’s never gonna make peace with England now, he just wants revenge.
Allie: Flint has suffered a great deal, and do you think he will ever love again?
Toby: In the beginning of season three I don’t think he’s looking for any sort of emotional attachment ever again; but I think it fills his mission in season three to make some sort of impact… he doesn’t want any type of emotional attachments because to him it’s just too painful. Anyone he gets to close to either ends up dying or they betray him.
Allie: How’s his relationship with Eleanor?
Toby: In season two it’s very much challenged because of Eleanor’s behavior. He’s quite a linear person, either you’re with me, or your against me, and there’s no in between. Eleanor is similarly very much her own person, and she’s also a tactician in her way too. She makes her choices in season two with who she is going to side with and how she is going to get things done and they don’t marry up with the way Flint see things. So in season two you really saw the split between them. In season three they both want the same things in some respect, but they both go about it in different ways and for various reasons; And in season three it starts out with her desperately trying to survive really, and find her way back to Nassua, and to find her way back to some sort of influence. Her story line is totally separate from my story line but because of geography and event they’re separated.
Allie: How does Blackbeard figure in to your story line?
Toby: Blackbeard appears in the season right at the top in the very first episode and he appears throughout the entire season. He’s a very very strong figure and charismatic. He’s sort of like this surrogate father to Vane we discover. And he also exemplifies what Vane has been striving for all this time… in world where pirates kind of rob, thieve and live this itinerant lifestyle; where they have no loyalties apart from their own crew, and their own kinds of means to getting riches. When he <Vane> partners up with him <BlackBeard> he learns that that may not be exactly what he wants.
Blackbeard is a great character to introduce into the world of “Black Sails” because in some ways he is like the anti-Flint in a way. He wants the total polar opposite of what Flint wants, and it’s whether he will win over Vane, and the rest of his kind, -or will flint?
Allie: You said that Flint is all about revenge in season three. Will that leave any room for his character to grow?
Toby: What’s great about season three is that Flint is trying to isolate his humanity; -he’s trying to exercise the fact that he’s a human being, but he can’t. It’s just too painful. That struggle, his tragic struggle is that he can’t stop being a human being. He does develop through the whole thing. He doesn’t just stay in this mode of a cold killer. In the second season they use the device of flash-backs to develop his back story.
In this season there is no Barlow or Gates, so the only way for the audience to experience this, -is through his dreams to see into his mind. It’s a great device actually because it shows you on the surface this guy, this implacable guy that has retracted into himself, but then when you see these dreams you see this emotional chaos that is going on deep inside of himself and it allows the audience the opportunity to see what is going on inside of himself.
The first two seasons of Black Sails averaged 4.5 million multi-platform viewers per episode and the series is distributed in over 175 countries and territories worldwide. Black Sails won two Emmy Awards in 2014, for Outstanding Special and Visual Effects in a Supporting Role, and Outstanding Sound Editing.