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Britain's Outlaws: Highwaymen, Pirates and Rogues

  • 2015
  • Season 1
  • 3 episodes
  • Documentary and factual
  • History

Summary

In Season 1, Sam Willis focuses on the arrival of the highwayman in the wake of the English Civil War, piracy during the early 18th century, and urban crime, fraud and corruption.

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Episode 2: Pirates

Summary

Historian Sam Willis explores the golden age of piracy during the early 18th century, when Captain Kidd, Blackbeard, Calico Jack and others were in operation on the high seas. He charts the devastating impact they had during an era of colonial expansion and how they became the most wanted outlaws in the world by plundering the vast network of maritime trade, they became the most wanted outlaws in the world

Review

Lifeless reconstructions are the bane of many a documentary, but historian Sam Willis ups the ante here. He opens his treatise on pirates next to a mocked-up gibbet of Captain Kidd’s body, swaying gently in the wind. Lovely.

He also grabs a guitar and sings folk ballads — though as they helped spread the myth of the swashbuckling pirate, we can indulge him. Willis is very good at exploring how the supposed democracy of “the pirate code” — as well as all the fantastic loot — held an attraction for poor, downtrodden sailors. And he gets palpably excited when he reads the letter that helped create the founding myth of hidden treasure.

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming providers below.

Streaming

We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

Details

Languages
Formats
Colour

Credits

Crew

rolename
PresenterSam Willis
ProducerMatt Thomas
DirectorMatt Thomas
Series producerWilliam Naylor
Executive producerMichael Poole

All episodes

  • Summary

    Historian Sam Willis explores the golden age of piracy during the early 18th century, when Captain Kidd, Blackbeard, Calico Jack and others were in operation on the high seas. He charts the devastating impact they had during an era of colonial expansion and how they became the most wanted outlaws in the world by plundering the vast network of maritime trade, they became the most wanted outlaws in the world

    Review

    Lifeless reconstructions are the bane of many a documentary, but historian Sam Willis ups the ante here. He opens his treatise on pirates next to a mocked-up gibbet of Captain Kidd’s body, swaying gently in the wind. Lovely.

    He also grabs a guitar and sings folk ballads — though as they helped spread the myth of the swashbuckling pirate, we can indulge him. Willis is very good at exploring how the supposed democracy of “the pirate code” — as well as all the fantastic loot — held an attraction for poor, downtrodden sailors. And he gets palpably excited when he reads the letter that helped create the founding myth of hidden treasure.

    How to watch

    Next showing

    There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming providers below.

    Streaming

    We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

    Details

    Languages
    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Crew

    rolename
    PresenterSam Willis
    ProducerMatt Thomas
    DirectorMatt Thomas
    Series producerWilliam Naylor
    Executive producerMichael Poole
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How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming providers below.

Streaming

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