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.
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