Our Flag Means Death: UK release date, trailer, and cast of HBO comedy with Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi
Our Flag Means Death, the hit US comedy about the relationship between pirates Stede Bonnet and Blackbeard, is coming to BBC Two and iPlayer this January
and live on Freeview channel 276
The series, which stars Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi, charts the relationship between unconventional pirate Stede Bonnet and famous scallywag Blackbeard.
Here’s everything you need to know about Our Flag Means Death.
What is it about?
Our Flag Means Death follows Stede Bonnett, an aristocrat who gave up his life of luxury to become a pirate – he takes a bit of an unconventional approach to piracy, getting a reputation as quite an unusual buccaneer. Eventually, he crosses paths with Blackbeard, history’s most famous pirate, who challenges Stede’s approach – and learns a little from him too.
The official synopsis for Our Flag Means Death explains that the series “loosely follows the tale of Stede Bonnet — an aristocrat who abandons his life of privilege to become a pirate. His life changes forever when he meets history’s most feared and revered pirate, Blackbeard.”
Who stars in Our Flag Means Death?
Rhys Darby plays Stede Bonnet, a real life self-styled gentleman pirate. Darby is a comedian from New Zealand, best known for appearing in Flight of the Conchords, but you might also recognise him from roles in The Boat That Rocked, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Taika Waititi plays Edward Teach, better known as the dread pirate Blackbeard. Waititi is a writer, actor, and director – he’s probably best known for directing the most recent two Thor films, in which he plays rock monster Korg, as well as for his film Jojo Rabbit, in which he plays Hitler.
Con O’Neill as Israel "Izzy" Hands, Blackbeard’s ruthless first mate. O’Neill is a prolific actor, and you might recognise him roles in Cucumber (always a favourite), Chernobyl, Class, Happy Valley, Uncle, and Criminal Justice.
They’re joined by Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting) as Stede’s first mate Nathaniel Buttons, Joel Fry (You, Me, and the Apocalypse) as Frenchie, Samson Kayo (Bloods) as Oluwande Boodhari, Nathan Foad (Newark, Newark) as Lucius Sprigg, Guz Khan (Man Like Mobeen) as Ivan, Nat Faxon (Loot) as The Swede, and Rory Kinnear (Years and Years) as Captain Nigel Badminton.
Some notable guest stars include Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live) as Spanish Jackie, Kristen Schaal (What We Do in the Shadows) as Antoinette, and Will Arnett (Murder in Successville) as Calico Jack amongst others.
Who writes and directs?
Our Flag Means Death was created by David Jenkins, who is probably best known as the creator of the comedy People of Earth (about a support group for alien abductees). Jenkins wrote or co-wrote four of the series’ ten episodes.
Directors for Our Flag Means Death include Taika Waititi (Boy), Nacho Vigalondo (Pooka!), and Ber & Bertie (Hawkeye) amongst others.
Is there a trailer?
Yes, there is! You can watch the US trailer for the series below.
When and how can I watch it?
Our Flag Means Death is coming to BBC Two and iPlayer on Wednesday 4 January. On BBC Two, the series will start at 10pm, with a double bill of episodes airing each week; otherwise, you’ll be able to watch the full series as a boxset on BBC iPlayer.
In the US, Our Flag Means Death is available on HBO Max.
How many episodes are there?
Our Flag Means Death is a ten-episode comedy, with each instalment around half an hour long.
Is there going to be a Series 2?
Yes, there is! HBO commissioned a second series of Our Flag Means Death in June 2022, which began filming in Aotearoa (the North Island of New Zeland) in September 2022. Series creator David Jenkins directed the first episode.
Have you recorded a podcast about it?
By strange coincidence, actually, yes! NationalWorld’s eCommerce editor and Antipodean correspondent Katie Conaglen recently joined us on Screen Babble #7 to share why she loves Our Flag Means Death so much, from its Ted Lasso-esque vibes to the romantic relationship between Blackbeard and Stede.
Why should I watch it?
It’s one to check out if you enjoy the idea of a gay pirate romcom, or if you’ve enjoyed Waititi and Darby’s work previously.