Director: Stan Griffin
Writer: David McNab
Stars: Sam Callis, Mark Gillis, Tom Padley
No. of Episodes: 6
Reviewed by: Pearl Howe
RATING: 2.5 Stars
The real-life pirates of the Caribbean violently plunder, stealing and form a surprisingly egalitarian republic in this documentary series. – From IMDB
It is really hard to make a documentary about the swashbuckling adventures of real life pirates, dull and irritating to your audience. Films like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ (during it’s hey day. Not the 10,000 unnecessary sequels) mean that people are hungry to learn about the real thing, pirates were cool again. Then this docuseries comes along and with one foul swoop, makes me question my decision to watch this in the first place.
The series is split between interviews with real historians, who are giving you the facts and putting things into context, a painful narration, explaining the history of pirates, and a nearly as painful dramatization of the story for good measure. This could easily have been a one or two part documentary, just talking about the history of piracy and the famous names etc. As this really was the best and most interesting part of the series. I loved learning about the times, how pirates actually came to be and about some of the real life offenders. That would have been enough for me and I would have left happy. But no. They had to try something different and show a dramatization of the events at the same time. This to me is where it fell apart.
To begin with the whole thing has a narrator. Which in and of itself is not a bad thing I grant you. But this narrator explains absolutely everything that goes on, on the screen. Your audience is not stupid, we can follow the story without the overbearing presence of the narrator. It gets repetitive, and starts to feel like you are watching the same things happen twice.
And then there is the actual dramatization itself. The writing is very basic and basically repeats what the narrator has just told us, as I already said above. The acting is competent at best, and cringeworthy at worst, with nary a notable performance in the lot. Not to mention the shocking digital rendering of the ships. Even from a distance they look flat, and textureless.
A terrible shame that this one ending up being so disappointing, as I have watched some real gems recently on Netflix. Watch if you are a hardcore pirate enthusiast, or if you enjoy laughing at mediocre acting.
‘The Lost Pirate Kingdom’ is streaming on Netflix Now.