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Piratanica

I am the worst possible LJer. I go weeks and weeks without saying a thing, and then when I do finally say something it's of no interest to anybody. I'd leave, but then who would I irritate with inane ramblings about television, and random videos of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band? Anyway, some weeks back, before I got distracted by real world stuff again, I signed my brain away to isurrendered. What this means is that you get given a prompt, and have to design your own television series around it. With a cast list, and plot information, and all sorts of stuff like that. It's horribly, horribly absorbing, and once you've agreed to do it, your life is massively overrun with plans for a TV show that nobody but your imagination is ever going to see. Anyhow, lost_spook was kind enough to give me the nicely flexible prompt of "Pirates". Anybody who has read even one of my posts will know that I immediately set about constructing a TV series that's really just a flimsy excuse for lots of sword fights, big ships with billowy sails looking pretty on the ocean, and as many cannon as it's possible to fire in the space of one mini-series. Subtlety. I doesn't has it.

Pirates, however, I now have in abundance. Your fun fact about pirates for the day is that they were a far more diverse bunch than Hollywood would have you believe. A pirate crew (and, for that matter, quite a lot of other branches of the seafaring life) were more interested in how well you could fight, and how dependable you were, than in where you happened to come from, and a lot of former slaves, both freed and escaped, wound up at sea. Female pirates were also more common than you might think. History tells us that the infamous Jack Rackham sailed with two, and it wasn't until the Victorians got hold of the story that it was turned into anything particularly notorious. There weren't many of them, certainly, but a sword-swinging lady pirate is far from unlikely. So, in other words, a pirate series is tailor-made for a modern audience. And also has swords, which is better still. Hurrah.

With that in mind, have a basic premise and a cast list. At some point over the weekend, I should be posting the episode guide. Hopefully. I've got to stop worrying over it at some point, so if I say that I'm going to post it, I shall have to.

*clears throat*

Thrown overboard by a duplicitous crew, fortune-hunter Alexander Gray thinks he's in trouble when he's rescued by pirates. But when he discovers that the Governor of Jamaica is corrupt, and is behind his recent woes, he realises that the pirates might just be the only people he can trust. Declared outlaw by the Governor, and forced into a rocky alliance with a band of thieves and cutthroats, he has a long fight ahead of him if he's to see his world set to rights.



A ten-part mini series from BBC Drama, new for Autumn 2014.





Alexander Gray (Emun Elliott)

An adventurer seeking his fortune in the new world, Gray is shrewd, determined and able, but when the Governor's machinations land him in trouble, he's soon far out of his depth. Thrown into an uncomfortable alliance with a shipful of men who he's well aware would throw him overboard without a thought, he's constantly off balance, and never sure of his position. Desperate to get his old life back, for now he'll settle just for staying alive.







Captain Thomas Vincent (Eamonn Walker)

The captain of the pirates, Vincent is a big, powerful man, ferocious in battle, but warm and good-humoured amongst friends. Not a man to let an opportunity escape him, he's quick to see the benefit in striking a deal with Gray, but the two men are polar opposites. Unconcerned with politics, Vincent doesn't care about a corrupt Governor, but having formed an alliance with Gray, he's honourable enough to stick to it - for the most part, at any rate.





Lieutenant Eleanor Fitzpatrick (Sally Leonard)

A seasoned second in command, Fitzpatrick has a fearsome reputation both on and off ship, and whilst she may not match the rest of the crew in strength, she's easily the best swordsman aboard. Her loyalty to Vincent is unquestionable, but to anybody else she's a force to be reckoned with; and as lethal as need be.







Lieutenant William Jones (Alfie Enoch)

Vincent's navigating officer, Billy is a cheerful young man, wise beyond his years. He's sharp and quick-witted, and prepared to follow Vincent wherever it may lead, especially if there's profit to be made. Not having been a pirate for long, he lacks the rough edges and experience of the rest of the crew, and is sometimes slow to see how dangerous they can be, even to their own.






George Georgeson (Vinnie Jones)

Georgeson is a pirate through and through; rough, tough, and probably able to take on an entire crew single-handed. He has a ferocious temper, but can be icy calm when it suits him. Reputedly handed his own father over to the authorities in order to get the reward, and is even less sentimental with those who aren't his relatives.






Cyrus Fox (Tom McKay)

More level-headed than most of the seamen aboard the Maleficio, Fox is still nonetheless a pirate. He's prepared to see where Vincent's new course will take him, but that doesn't mean that he's happy about it, or about the ship's new passenger.







Martin Adams (David Oakes)

Quick with his fists, and even quicker with his knife, Adams is not a man to trust. He has few friends even amongst the pirate crew, and is in no hurry to see that change.





Abraham Wilks (Gary Carr)

At sea for as long as he cares to remember, Wilks has little interest in crooked governors, or anything else that happens on land, and is soon at odds with Vincent over his alliance with Gray.






Jacob Santiago (Luke Youngblood)

Turned to piracy when the ship on which he was a seaman was captured by Vincent. Santiago was a boy then; now he's a young man, loyal to Vincent, but also to his muttering, increasingly restless crewmates.









Lord Henry Fleming (Hugh Fraser)

The Governor of Jamaica, Lord Henry is eminently respectable, with a long, distinguished career in the New World. He's also willing to step on anybody to increase his already sizeable fortune, and is not averse to getting his hands dirty if need be. Sophisticated and charming on the surface, he has a ferocious temper when pushed, and despite his impeccable reputation, is capable of just about anything.





Admiral Sir James Ramsey (Anthony Head)

Debonair, charming and every inch the British officer, Ramsey is in reality self-serving and deadly. No stranger to treachery and deceit, he's in league with the Governor at the moment only because it suits him, and both men are well aware that it's a partnership that could change with the wind.






Virginia Fleming (Juliet Aubrey)

Sharp, determined, and with her sights set firmly on riches and status, Virginia Fleming was once a pirate herself, a secret that she's very keen to keep. Long since turned to a more respectable lifestyle, she has nonetheless forgotten none of her old skills, and isn't at all afraid to use them if need be. Her marriage to Sir James is a partnership in every sense; for all that they're both crooked and ruthless, their love is genuine. This only serves to make Virginia all the more dangerous, if she thinks that she and her husband are threatened.




Charlotte Wainwright (Perdita Avery)

A well known figure in society circles, and engaged to Alexander Gray, Charlotte grew up rich and privileged, but lost everything when her father's ship went down ten years ago. Ever since then she's been determined to restore her fortunes, and she's prepared to do whatever it takes to make that happen.







Isabella Robledo-Lopez de la Fuente (Yasmin Bannerman)

Isabella runs the Mockingbird Inn, a bar frequented by sailors of every persuasion. Good with a sword, and a crack shot with a pistol, she takes no nonsense from anybody, and by now few people dare cause her trouble. Coolly pragmatic, she makes no distinction between pirates and law-abiding sailors, so long as they can pay for their drinks. A friend of Gray's, she's in an excellent position to be useful.




Samuel "Deadeye" Ward (Stephen Greif)

A former pirate, now pardoned by the Governor, Deadeye has the appearance of a ruined man. With one eye and one leg, he's underestimated by almost everybody, which is just the way that he likes it. Still more than capable of despatching anyone fool enough to give him cause, Deadeye is cold, ruthless and cunning, although not without some charm. With years of experience on the sea, he's a valuable ally - but never one to risk turning your back on.





Barney (Ramona Marquez)

A wily orphan who lives on the docks, Barney (the only name she knows) was a ship's boy, until the captain realised that she was a girl. Since then she's been on her own, running errands and delivering messages for anybody willing to pay. She's probably about thirteen, but she doesn't know for sure, and doesn't especially care. Befriended by Gray, Barney is fiercely loyal, and not at all afraid to fight if need be.




Captain Linus Jamieson (James Frain)

A Naval captain charged with hunting down local pirates, Jamieson is honest, but perhaps a little too fond of regulation. Increasingly suspicious of the Governor and his allies, Jamieson is nonetheless inclined to respect the chain of command, and do his duty as he sees it; especially when it involves hunting pirates.






Lieutenant Nazareth Keyes (Tom Cullen)

Jamieson's second in command. As honest as his captain, and single-minded in his determination to hunt pirates, Keyes is briskly efficient and extremely good at his job, but has a reputation for ruthlessness that can at times match that of the pirates he fights.








Comments

( 13 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
emeraldarrows
Mar. 14th, 2014 08:41 pm (UTC)
I would totally watch this. Just to let you know. :D
swordznsorcery
Mar. 15th, 2014 10:38 am (UTC)
:D Excellent! Now I just need to clone you a few million times, and maybe the BBC will make my show. ;)
lost_spook
Mar. 15th, 2014 04:30 am (UTC)
\o/ You posted it! It looks as if it would be a lot of fun, and it's an impressive cast. I look forward to seeing the episode guide!!

Edited at 2014-03-15 08:31 am (UTC)
swordznsorcery
Mar. 15th, 2014 10:40 am (UTC)
I would like to think that it would be fun. For me, at any rate! Swords and swords and pirates and swords. :)
meathiel
Mar. 15th, 2014 08:23 am (UTC)
It sure sounds interesting ...

Funny thing - I don't know your cast apart from Anthony Head ... oh dear ...
swordznsorcery
Mar. 15th, 2014 10:42 am (UTC)
I'm quite glad about that! Big name casts are often just a gimmick.

Hugh Fraser is probably one of the most recognisable faces. He's best known in the UK for playing Hastings, Poirot's sidekick. Yasmin Bannerman has been in "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood", and really caught my eye. The star is somebody I was impressed by in a BBC sci fi series several years back.
liadtbunny
Mar. 15th, 2014 10:35 am (UTC)
And now the BBC can axe 'Atlantis'(!). Vinnie Jones! Well, I suspect he'll get killed off in the Musketeers tomorrow so he should be avaiable. Evil Hastings, oh no and Stephen Grief has one eye;D I hope to see secret exits hidden in the barrels of the bar.
swordznsorcery
Mar. 15th, 2014 10:46 am (UTC)
Yes, I couldn't resist stealing one of Stephen Greif's eyes. It had to happen. ;) Vinnie Jones is excellent. I don't know if he would be so good with more varied roles, but he's terrific as a villain. And yes, I suspect you're right about him being killed off. Anybody that the Musketeers themselves leave alive, the Cardinal polishes off instead!
liadtbunny
Mar. 15th, 2014 11:03 am (UTC)
As long as Vinnie has lots of people to beat up he should be all right:)
elenopa
Mar. 16th, 2014 08:58 am (UTC)
I'm really liking your lead; opportunities for Gray to get his shirt off I expect.

Distrusting Virginia already because of her work on Primevil.

Please tell me you are going to steer clear of the predicatble love triangel between Gray, Vincent and Fitzpatrick?
swordznsorcery
Mar. 16th, 2014 09:53 am (UTC)
Heck yes. I hadn't really considered love interests at all actually. Vincent and Fitzpatrick are colleagues, with great respect for each other, but that's as far as it goes - and Gray is technically still in love with Charlotte. She's perfectly willing to stab him in the back as it turns out, but there's still too much emotional baggage there to move on with somebody else.

And I hadn't considered shirts. You'll have to speak nicely to the director! I chose him more for his impressive brooding capabilities than anything else. Plus it's beginning to look like there's not going to be any more of "The Paradise" (woe).
elenopa
Mar. 16th, 2014 10:26 am (UTC)
No more Paradise!!!!

What!!!!
swordznsorcery
Mar. 16th, 2014 11:39 am (UTC)
Doesn't look good: http://www.tv3.ie/entertainment_article.php?locID=1.803.813&article=126113

Certainly there's been no news of a recommission, and it's awfully late in the day now, so looks as though the rumours are true. It's extraordinary though, if the figures quoted in that article are right. Five million is a big hit nowadays. It's probably expensive to make, but even so.
( 13 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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