If you enjoyed Robert Shaw’s freebooting turn as the pirate Red Ned Lynch in the 1976 movie Swashbuckler you’ll love him as Captain Dan Tempest in this  series  from the 1950’s. Shaw was equal parts Errol Flynn and Jack Sparrow on the program, which featured him as the captain of the Sultana

Tempest and his crew were former pirates pardoned and sent to sea as pirate hunters and as privateers against the Spanish, but they still found time to foil the sinister machinations of corrupt British authorities in the Bahamas, Jamaica and elsewhere. Fans of derring- d0 who are bored with the countless retellings of the Robin Hood story are sure to embrace the crew of the Sultana and their rousing adventures. 

All 39 episodes of this series are available on DVD and offer a terrific mixture of storylines:

You want tales of our swashbucklers coming to the aid of the oppressed? The Buccaneers featured Captain Tempest and his crew raiding a slave ship then buying the slaves’ freedom with money from the slave ship’s own coffers.  

You want semi- historical adventures featuring real- life Buccaneers? This show had episodes with figures like Blackbeard, Woodes Rogers and the famous female pirate Anne Bonney.

You want salty tales full of sea lore? The program featured a violent rush on ambergris, a valuable substance secreted by whales and called Whale’s Gold, a few hunts for buried treasure and a Ghost Ship supposedly haunted by Captain Van Der Meer, a pirate executed 15 years earlier.

You want Anglophilic yarns about British seamen gallantly vying with “evil” Spanish buccaneers? Captain Tempest and his men would thwart the Spanish not only at sea but on land as well in races to obtain Aztec gold in the jungle and a fortune in doubloons from a galleon dashed on the rocks by a hurricane. 

For trivia buffs Doctor Who’s Roger Delgado frequently appears as evil Spanish captains and The Buccaneers also has the odd distinction of its star, Robert Shaw, not even appearing until the 3rd episode because of prior commitments. Throw in lots of double-crosses, ship-to- ship battles, clanging cutlasses and alluring women and then ask yourself why you’ve never watched this show.



Filed under Forgotten Television

27 responses to “FORGOTTEN TELEVISION: THE BUCCANEERS (1956-1957)

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  2. Awesome sounding show! I’m gonna look for it on Netflix and youtube now.

  3. Gary Beale

    I won’t rest until I’ve seen all 39 episodes now! u da man! Ahhhrrrrr!

  4. I am so there! This is my kind of show and I never would have known about it if not for your blog!

  5. This show sounds wonderful! I wonder if they have it here in Germany?

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  7. Robert Shaw never appealed to me but he does look handsome as this pirate captain!

  8. With all the pirate craze these days I’m surprised people aren’t into this show now.

  9. I need to see this damn show now!

  10. I always dreamed about handsome pirates taking me off!

  11. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! Love the Buccaneers! I am buying it!

  12. zeke motojokowski

    If I remember correctly it aired Saturday night after “Granpappy Amos and the girls and the boys of the family known as the Real McCoys”.That theme song is still stuck in my head. Had no idea I was watching Robert Shaw.The guy who lived next door knew we loved this show so he made us all wooden swords,lots of scraped knuckles and lumps on our heads.Today he would be charged with child abuse and we would be anger management counciling.

  13. Alan Keeling

    I used to watch “The Buccaneers” when I was 7 years old & thought it was great, I still think so at 63 years of age.

  14. This is the perfect web site for anybody who wants to understand this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject which has been written about for many years. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

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