We expected great things when NBC announced its pirate drama Crossbones would be written by British novelist and screenwriter Neil Cross ( Luther) and would star the great American thesp John Malkovich as legendary pirate Edward "Blackbeard" Teach.
That's the trouble with having high hopes - it hurts so much more when they're dashed.
Premiering Friday at 10 p.m., the 10-episode series, set during Blackbeard's more mature, graying years, is too sedentary to be called an action story. And, despite its lurid, bloody violence, it is far too flat and uneventful to be called a thriller.
Nor is Crossbones particularly original - its themes and plot devices are virtually identical to this year's other pirate drama, Starz's far better-produced Black Sails.