Watch Toby Stephens' Superb Performance of 'Black Sails' Before Disney+'s 'Percy Jackson'

Toby Stephens will surprise you in "Black Sails."

Disney+ has finally found an actor to play Poseidon, the Olympian in their adaptation of Rick Leordan's iconic series "Percy Jackson" and the wonderful Toby Stephens. But before you dismiss him as the world's most absent father, it's worth taking a look back at his harrowing performance in the Treasure Island prequel "Black Sails." The series begins with Captain Flint (Stephens) searching for treasure. But before long, it slowly became apparent that Flint's mood swings were far more numerous than expected.

Toby Stephens' Captain Flint Seems Simple in 'Black Sails' Season 1

When Black Sails first aired, it seemed Starz' answer to having its own Game of Thrones-like show. Black Sails is full of politics, gore and sex - not too different from HBO's epic, just set against the backdrop of our colonial past. The Starz series has certainly found its fans, with one of the most realistic pirate dramas of all time. Black Sails doesn't open directly with Captain Flint; instead, the show begins with a timid John Silver (Luke Arnold) seeking refuge as Flint and his crew board the into their boat. This has established Flint as a dire threat on the high seas, but more importantly Interestingly, the first time viewers see him, he's taking his life.

Season 1 was a sticky point for Black Sails. It had to balance introducing audiences to all the characters and situations, while also leaving Flint's backstory for fleeting revelations. Few have hinted at what drove Flint to this life. So at first, Stephens' play looked simple. He's a ruthless and brutal pirate captain who will stop at nothing to find the treasure he's looking for. When watching Black Sails for the first time, it's easy to overlook the added depth to Stephens' character. It's easy to think you know everything about Captain Flint, but a rewatch allows us to look back at Stephens in season one in a different way. Once all is revealed, many scenes take on real meaning.

Toby Stephens Shows There's Much More to Flint in 'Black Sails' Season 2

Black Sails season 2 had Stephens bring more nuance to the character than in the previous season. The audience learns that Miranda (Louise Barnes) is not his lover but his only connection from a previous life, his love with Thomas Hamilton (Rupert Penry-Jones), and That's why he's so emotionally distant from her. In many flashbacks, we see Flint in a completely different light. He's a squeaky-clean Royal Navy lieutenant, much softer, in love with a man.

Stephens can deftly handle two different aspects of Flint (or James McGraw, as he was called before leaving England). It's like day and night, but every thread of his performance connects his two sides. As soon as the tragedy of James and Thomas' love story comes to light, it all ties together - why Flint is who he is, why he shuts down all of his humanity and sets his sights on stopping what would take away the man he loves from him.

Toby Stephens has the Range for 'Percy Jackson's Poseidon

Due to his ability to show Flint's ancestry in Black Sails, Stephens is well suited for the role of Poseidon in Percy Jackson. Flint is not a nice guy - he does atrocious, sometimes almost unforgivable things throughout the series. But Stephens easily balances these actions with the good behavior Flint once possessed, showing that Flint is capable of doing good but chooses not to.

Poseidon is a tricky character in the Percy Jackson series. In the series, the gods are forbidden from having sex with their mortal families, and as a result, Percy resents living without him most of the time. Poseidon didn't do anything to break this rule, but no doubt he cared anyway. How Stephens handles the emotional depth of Flint's character in Season 4 of "Black Sails" shows how well suited he is for the role.

Black Sails is available on Starz and Hulu.

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