NBC is stepping up their game, people. First they lured Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen to network television with Hannibal,, and now they’ve brought in another powerhouse team: writer Neil Cross (Luther, MI-5, Doctor Who, Mama) and the brilliant John Malkovich. Based on Colin Woodard’s The Republic of Pirates, the series explores the life and crimes of the legendary Edward “Blackbeard” Teach (Malcovich). Set in the year 1715, Blackbeard and his crew overtake a ship to gain control of a device that will “change society, sea-trade and global business,” but Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle) — who may or may not be more than just the ship’s surgeon — manages to destroy the asset before it can be stolen. As you’ll see in the trailer, certain parties don’t take kindly to circumvented plans:
Crossbones looks like a fun ride, and provides the perfect stage for some grand Malkovich mustache twirling. If NBC continues to give free reign to great showrunners like Bryan Fuller and Neil Cross, they might just be back in competition with some of the cable networks. The series doesn’t need to do much to best Starz’ less than gripping Black Sails; heck, I abandoned ship the first episode.
Crossbones also stars Tracy Ifeachor, Yasmine Al Massri, Julian Sands, David Holfin, Ezra Buzzington and Lauren Shaw; it premieres May 30th.