Are you ready for your fourth and final return to Nassau, Black Sails fans?
The show’s final season bows Sunday, Jan. 29, and to celebrate the occasion EW is pleased to present an exclusive first look at a major new player in the storyline and history itself.
Meet Israel Hands, played by Irish actor David Wilmot. Hands is an ally to Edward “Blackbeard” Teach (Ray Stevenson) and a key part of Long John Silver’s story arc — a version of which many will remember from Treasure Island. And from the looks of things in these photos, he does not look friendly or up to anything good (which, let’s be honest, is exactly how we like our pirates here on Black Sails).
“Hands plays a major role in the transformation of John Silver, the character we’ve come to love in our show, into Long John Silver, Treasure Island villain,” says series creator, showrunner, and executive producer Jonathan E. Steinberg. “The devil on his shoulder, as it were, whose influence will create all sorts of tension between Silver and those who start the season closest to him.”
Steinberg adds that Wilmot (Ripper Street) brings the proper amount of gravitas and grit to the character.
“Israel Hands plays such a significant role in the Treasure Island narrative, we knew we wanted our version of the character to have enough presence to do the character justice,” he says. “But we also knew he couldn’t just be a madman; the Black Sails version of the character also had to be sharp enough to have a meaningful impact on Long John Silver’s development. David brings the ability to do both of those things in such a convincing way; from the moment he was introduced into the conversation, he was really the only choice for it.”
One other element that plays heavily into this final season is the death of fan-favorite Charles Vane (Zach McGowan). We asked Steinberg how the show will address the loss and whether it will help fans still in mourning.
“Charles Vane is gone but definitely not forgotten,” promises Steinberg. “A lot of the season 4 story is about the anger our characters feel over his loss and the things it drives them to do. Some of that is about the struggle to properly define his legacy. But a lot of it, especially at the outset of the season, is about their need for revenge. So if you’re upset about Charles Vane’s death [Writer’s note: Yes, I bloody still am upset!], know that you’re definitely not alone.”
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The fourth and final season of Black Sails premieres Sunday, Jan. 29 at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.