Treasure Island with flouride

CAP'N JACK Sparra and his motley crew won’t be making an appearance in this nitty-gritty prequel to Treasure Island.  Black Sails is swashbuckling for adults and, according to the pirate expert at the New York Times, it’s about as accurate as period dramas get – minus the cast’s gleaming gnashers. Apparently 18th century dental care, especially amongst scurvy sea dogs, left a lot to be desired.

The tale begins two decades before Treasure Island in the midst of piracy’s golden age.  Captain Flint and his crew are busy pillaging maritime trade routes, but it’s Spanish vessel Urca de Lima and her treasured booty they’re really after.

Overall, the critics were disappointed that Robert Louis Stevenson’s characters weren’t imbued with the wonderful, murky depths from the novels.

The visual effects keep it afloat, with plenty of Avatar-esque CGI (think glittering Caribbean lagoons, chaotic sea battles and gleaming galleons), but with Michael Bay onboard, it ultimately overdoes it. 

DR3, Sun 21:00 (repeated at Tue 22:30)

Also new:

TV3, Mon 21:20 Extant

What happened to Halle Berry? Simple, really: she was never any good – Christ knows why she won an Oscar. Oh, hang on, wasn’t that the year when she, Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington had a love-fest? It all makes sense now.

Sci-fi drama series Extant follows a female astronaut who can’t explain how she became pregnant on a 13-month-long solo space mission. Sounds like a perfect role for the Monster’s belle, but this was doomed from the takeoff.

If you want escapism, try Clydebuilt (DR2, Mon 23:00), a doc about the maritime industry when the ocean was still a discovery of the unknown; Big Ballet (K4, ep1: Sun 23:25, ep2: Tue 22:00), a British three-part series about plus-size ballerinas; or Bronx Obama (DR2, Mon 23:00), a study of a presidential lookalike.

Elsewhere, Spark and Awe: The Story of Electricity (DRK, Mon 22:20) is highly rated; there’s another chance to see Happy Valley (DR1, Wed 23:15); the Hollywood Film Awards (Zulu, Fri 21:45) has its moments; there’s a whole weekend of documentaries dedicated to Australia on BBC World; and if you’re under five, you won’t want to miss Romeo & Juliet with Orlando Bloom (SVT2, Sat 20:00).  (BH)

Coming soon: The Game

Just don’t get any blood on me clobber – it’s Savile Row

It might not be a game-changer in the spy thriller genre, but BBC America miniseries The Game has enough in-house squabbling and Cold War edginess to get you hooked from the first episode.

MI5 gets wind of a nasty Soviet plot to reduce London to rubble whilst sleepers wake up across the city.  Or is it all just a Russian game?

Joe (Tom Hughes), is our heartbroken protagonist with loyalties and love pulling him in all directions in this witty take on Homeland, 70s-style.  (AC)

Sport of the Week

TV3 Sport 2, Fri, Sat & Sun 01:05 NHL

Last week, we previewed some local ice hockey, but there’s no substitute for the NHL where almost ten Danes ply their trade.

Also in the US, we’ve got the NFL (+3) and NBA (Zulu).

Closer to home, the Euro 2016 qualifiers include England vs Slovenia (K6, Sat 17:55) while London will crown the winner of the ATP World Tour finals (K8, Sun 16:30). (BH)

Film of the Week

+3, Fri 22:15 The Thing

You’d be forgiven for writing off The Thing as an un-necessary remake. In fact it’s a half-decent prequel (besides, the original’s actually called John Carpenter’s The Thing).

Roman Polanski’s Carnage (SVT2, Sat 22:35) is as chaotic as it sounds while Jack Reacher (TV3, Sun 21:00 – repeated Tue 22:00) will make you reach for the sick bucket or remote – whichever is handier. (BH)