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'Crossbones' EP sheds light on John Malkovich's NBC pirate drama -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

Is there room on the high seas for two elaborate pirate shows? We’ll find out this spring, when NBC premieres the swashbuckling series Crossbones — months after Starz brings its own salty tale, Black Sails to the small screen. There are, however, plenty of differences between the two programs… and not just because one’s on pay cable (read: nudity!) and the other isn’t.

To wit: While both shows are set in the same year (1715) and place (the pirate paradise of New Providence, an island in the Bahamas), Black Sails is a gritty prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Crossbones, by contrast, is a fact-based drama that focuses on one of the world’s most notorious real-life pirates: Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard (played by John Malkovich. Yes, that John Malkovich). The action begins when the British government has assassin Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle of Covert Affairs) go undercover to bring Blackbeard down. But like many a clandestine agent, Lowe soon finds himself being drawn deeper and deeper into Teach’s world — and even becoming sympathetic to the scoundrel’s political ideals.

Want to know even more? Check out our Q&A with Oscar-nominated producer Walter F. Parkes, who’s executive producing Crossbones alongside Laurie MacDonald, his wife and business partner, and series creator Neil Cross, whom you may know as the mastermind behind the BBC’s Luther. READ FULL STORY

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