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Pirates fascinate. They are wicked and cruel, and sometimes they are swashbuckling heroes. From Eric Bloodaxe to Barbarossa, Blackbeard to Bloody Morgan, they fought and pillaged their way across the world. This series tells the history of piracy, from Roman times to the present day, as modern navies still mount patrols against pirates in the South China Seas.

Pirates is a Documentary & Biography series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (13 episodes). The series first aired on December 30, 1995. It has moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.6.

Pirates is available for streaming on the FilmRise website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Pirates on demand at Pluto TV Amazon Prime, Hoopla, Pluto TV online.

FilmRise
1 Season, 13 Episodes
December 30, 1995
Documentary & Biography
5.6/10
Cast: Ben Jain, Josh MacDonald, Susan Quinn
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Pirates Full Episode Guide

  • Piracy continues to be a real threat today. With modern and sophisticated weapons, modren pirates are more dangerous than ever. This episode reveals the characteristics of modern piracy and how it affects people today.

  • In 1218, the great Ming General Cheng Ho complained that the Celestial Sea, the name the Chinese gave to the ocean, was infested with pirates. They terrorized ships from the Phillippines to Japanand continued to challenge official authority.

  • Towards 1720, the British Navy tried hard to rid the Caribbean of pirates. Traders complained bitterly of the risks they faced at sea. This pressure led many pirates to sail East for the Indian Ocean. Far from normal society, some of these men developed outrageous ambitions.

  • The links between slavery and piracy go back to the days of ancient Egypt, 3,000 years before Christ. Pirates would often take prisoners from captured ships and sell them as slaves. This program examines the relationships between pirates and slaves and the effect the groups had on each other.

  • The Pacific was frightening. Sailors believed it to hold sea monsters that could swallow ships whole. In 1573, Francis Drake set out to conquer the fabled ocean.

  • The Buccaneers first settled on Hispaniola. They were mainly runaway slaves scratching out a living. Much of what we know of them comes from one book, "The Buccaneers of America," written by a man who sailed with pirates for six years. This program will explore how the Buccaneers' community struggled to survive.

  • When we think of pirates, we imagine them as brigands and outlaws. After discovering the Americas, political and religious turmoil bred official and unofficial piracy. Under instructions from the government, licensed pirates were sanctioned to attack certain enemies. This program explores this practice, known as privateering, and its influence on the New World.

  • "The Barbary Corsairs" looks at the motley group of pirates who roamed the Mediterranean and beyond, from the 17th to 19th centuries, as a moneymaking sideshow to the ongoing battle between Christianity and Islam.

  • While we know a great deal about Viking culture through the poetry, myths and chronicles written by their victims, historians argue as to why Vikings began their treacherous raids. This program explores the lives of the mystically violent Vikings.

  • In ancient times, from 3,000 BC to the time of Christ, the Mediterranean was the centre of the known world. It was a world where pirates were feared by men as powerful as the pharaohs of Egypt. Greek myths and legends often speak of pirates but we know very little about individual pirates of the time. Who was the ancient equivalent of Blackbeard or Captain Kidd?

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