True Caribbean Pirates
Sunday, July 9th, 2006 at 8pm/7c
Only on the History Channel

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The truth about the real pirates is more fascinating than Hollywood legends.

True Caribbean Pirates brings to life stories of the most famous and perhaps the most important pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy. As a modest expert on piracy in the Caribbean during the late 17th and early 18th centuries I found this show not only entertaining but informative.

The documentary breathes life into a portion of history that has been discussed many times but thanks to the use of live action and CGI automation, younger viewers will find this history lesson lively and entertaining. Several nautical historians and pirate enthusiasts help separate the myths from the reality of the actual pirates of the Caribbean. The two hour documentary does not pretend to present the pirates as the “rock stars of the 17th century as Johnny Depp claims them to be but instead focuses on how these brutal, almost psychotic killers, rampaged the Caribbean.

Beginning with the exploits of Captain Henry Morgan, Sword of England, and his legal acts as a privateer and ending with Bartholomew Roberts, the most successful pirate of all times; the show traces how a few brave men began as a private navy for England and turned into cutthroats who sailed under the flag of no nation.

Many of the major battles during Queen Anne’s War are discussed as well as England eventual efforts to purge the Caribbean of the pirates she created. The show discusses such pirates as Anne Bonny and Henry Jennings as well as the big names known to all such as Morgan, Roberts and the most famous of all Blackbeard.

The use of live action authors, staged re-enactments, CGI animation, authenticate period costumes and weapons are all blended together to give the viewer an entertaining look at the true life exploits of some of the most infamous criminals to ever be raised to the status of folk hero. In the end you are left with a fascinating true account that manages to take the wind out the sail of the myths while propelling your interest in the subject forward. Both the novice and the expert pirate scholar will be pleased with the show. As for the lubber who has no desire to learn about pirates? After seeing this program they may just change their mind.