After making a decent showing at the recent Golden Globes with 6 nominations, Starz is gaining notoriety and a decent fan base. The two latest series to join the onslaught of high budget original series might seem a bit similar as both take place in the 1700s, but don't confuse them.
The first series, Black Sails, which is set to air January 25, will take audiences out to the high seas during the golden age of piracy. Set both on the sea and on the lawless island of New Providence, the story will follow the retched acts of the feared pirate Captain Flint and John Silver – played by Toby Stephens and Luke Arnold, respectively – and what appears to be a love story with Eleanor Gutherie, daughter of a local villain, played by Hannah New. By the character names alone we can guess this is somewhat of a Treasure Island prequel, but with Micheal Bay on board as executive producer it’s no doubt that exciting sea battles and plenty of gun powder will take center stage.
While it wont air until summer, Starz next new series is creating quite a buzz. Based on the best selling series by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander will come with its own built in fanbase. A bit of historical romance with a dash of time travel, the story follows Clair Randall (Caitriona Balfe), a battle worn nurse from 1943 as she finds herself on an unimaginable adventure. Somehow transported to a war-torn Scotland of 1743, Clair is forced into the arms of the fiery headed Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and into the heart of the Jacobean War. Fans of the series have been dream casting this story since the early ’90s and will be glad to hear that executive producer Ronald D. Moore is a fan of the books and promises to stay true to the work.
Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones) will take a turn as Jonathan Randall, one of the story’s villains and a dead ringer for Clair’s 1943 husband Frank Randall. Starz released the first full trailer this past weekend to hooting fans in Los Angeles with the two stars, Moore and Gabaldon in attendance. While Starz has only ordered 16 episodes, the book series includes upwards of 9 books, the latest due out this coming June, so a long run could be in the future if fans like what they see. Take a peek.