A few months back, I hinted that I had some inside info on a new reality series. Well, I think I can let the cat out of the bag now.
Pirate Master is the new series from Mark “Survivor” Burnett, and was filmed in March on the same ship I sailed on in December. From what I can tell, the format will be somewhat similar to a Survivor tribe, with 16 contestants living together aboard ship, voting out one member each week, and competing for shares of gold along the way. CBS has a preview site, including video.
Watching that video is a little odd; some things I recognize, some things are changed. They repainted everything (I guess America is just not ready for a white pirate ship). That rowboat they’re in, I helped haul that over from the dory shop, lift it on to the galley roof and lash it down for our journey. I used that hand pump in the galley. I even recognize that blue brush they’re using for the deck wash.
I hope the show is worthy of the setting. It premieres on May 31st.
I didn’t see any of the filming, or any of the preparations, even.
The ship was scheduled for a six-month trip. Among the trainees, a few signed on for the whole six months, but most were only on for two or three weeks at a time. I was on the first leg. Once everybody was there, they told the six-month folks that there was a change in plans, and they were taking a month out of that schedule to film a reality series. That was about all I knew at the time. I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be a secret, but I didn’t want to blab.
I did hear a few rumors about stuff. Someone said the two dories (a flat-bottomed, wooden boat) we had on board were for the show. I was thinking it would be a competition of some sort, and they’d need identical boats for races between the two crews or something. And they said they were going to build a special luxury cabin in the cargo hold. From the description of the show, sounds like they did. Makes me wonder where they’re going to keep all their supplies.
My leg of the trip wasn’t affected by the show at all, but they must have done an awful lot of work since I left. It looks like almost everything has been painted (the dories were yellow and green last time I saw them) to make it look more traditional and piratey. There’s a figurehead on the bow that wasn’t there before. There’s that cabin in the hold, which meant hauling out a couple pallets worth of books and paper, and probably re-stowing a lot of food. And in one of the shots in that video, I could see they’ve done something to the entrance/ladder to the main salon.
I didn’t meet any of the contestants. You can’t just turn 16 people loose on a tall ship with no idea how to sail it, so I’m sure some of the professional crew was around, but they may have kept them off-camera for the series.
I’d probably be a nightmare to watch the show with. “That’s the fore-topmast staysail halyard, not the main t-gallant clewline!” “You fool, that’s not a double-sheetbend!”
I’m cautiously optimistic. Mark Burnett hasn’t blown me away in a while. Survivor has just been OK and The Apprentice was a complete disaster this season. I hope that hot mess can be attributed to Mark focusing his attention elsewhere (like this and that On The Lot show).
BTW, for the record I don’t think Burnett has anything to do with The Amazing Race.
I’m pretty sure you’re right. But my earlier hint about the show was in a TAR thread, so if anybody was anxiously waiting for me to follow up, or even remembered it, I figured this might be worth their attention.
I’m not a Survivor fan, only seen it once or twice, but I’ll be watching this.
This show looks awesome because: Pirates! Also Mark Burnett! I have my calendar marked for the premiere. Thanks for the reminder. I hope you’ll be around in the threads to answer our stupid pirating questions when they come up later.
There are some pretty specific commands we used for hauling on lines. It takes a surprising amount of coordination to get a group of people to correctly pull on a rope. I was thinking of…
All slack (a rope that’s just hanging there, not doing any good for anybody)
Coil and hang
Keelhauling and the like never really came up on my trip. Hauling on lines? That we did.
The other thing I plan to use this show for is to point out to my friends the stuff I never got good pictures of. “That scene where Horatio called Fletcher a ‘bilge-swilling slacker’, right behind them, that’s my bunk.”
You’re kidding, right? It sounds like it would be a blast to watch the show with you; an extra layer on the show! I don’t know if I’ll watch the show but if you throw comments like those around the threads for it I’ll read them.
It’s more of a pirate term, I think, than an “actual” nautical one, but it does appear to come from the sailors of old. I imagine you wouldn’t have heard it because it’s (1) illegal and (2) not likely that corporal punishment needs to be meted out often, these days. (Unless I am aboard, but … well, let’s just say it’s a good thing I can swim, because I’d probably be thrown overboard before the end of the first night.) “Keelhaulin’ Ass” does sound like the sort of thing that would come up in a Galleon Assessment – but I admit that I often think the categories and their descriptions are funnier than they may be actually accurate.
It is the barque Picton Castle. Almost all the tall ships in the world are owned by militaries or non-profit preservation societies. Captain Moreland must have figured there were people who wanted the adventure without joining the Coast Guard, so he had this ship outfitted and has taken it around the world four times. I started a thread about it at the time (was only on for one leg, didn’t even cross an ocean), but if you’re a dedicated CS’er, you may have missed it.
What with the pirate narrative they came up with for the show, and the changes they made to her appearance, I was worried they had changed her name for the show, too. Doesn’t look like it; in at least one shot in that preview video I can see the name clearly.
Are you kidding? “Coil and hang” is hysterical. That’s when the ropes look like this.
I think I learned what keelhauling was from an old Straight Dope column. Discipline was probably more of a problem in the press-gang-and-scurvy days, when you had people on board who didn’t necessarily want to be there.
Speaking of which, how do the contestants learn about new reality shows? It’s gonna be a little weird watching someone win $500,000 by doing stuff that I had to pay to do.
I thought it was the Picton Castle (it looked like her, but nothing about filming the show is nention on the ship's website).
A friend of mine is a tall ship sailor, and recently had a chance to work on the Picton Castle recently, but turned it down to pursue other things. Looking up the thread you mention, he would have been on the same cruse with you.