SAN DIEGO — "Black Sails" cast out into the open waters of Comic-Con.
Starz isn't premiering the mature pirate drama until next year, but the first episode was screened for hundreds of fans – some dressed in pirate regalia – at a movie theater Thursday night during the pop-culture convention.
"Black Sails" cast members Zach McGowan, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Mark Ryan and Hakeem Kae-Kazim were on hand for the preview, which marked the first time for them to see the inaugural installment, too.
"I thought it sucked," joked McGowan, who plays ruthless Captain Vane. "No, it was awesome. It was really great to see it with everyone for the first time."
Before the screening at San Diego's Reading Cinemas, composer Bear McCreary and a band performed musical selections from the series.
With sweeping cinematography and gritty violence, the first episode centered on Toby Stephen's beleaguered Captain Flint as he sought to maintain control of his ship, the Walrus, and seek out a Spanish treasure fleet.
"Black Sails" creators Jon Steinberg and Robert Levine said they want their take on the pirate genre to be as realistic as possible. This is not "The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Show."
"The hope was to suck the truth out of everything we know that happened and turn it into something that felt real," said Steinberg. "What became clear to us very quickly is a pirate ship is the exact opposite of what you think it is. It's a mob. There's no adventure to being a guy who has to figure out how to corral a mob."
AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang is tweeting from Comic-Con. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang
"Battlestar Galactica" 35th Anniversary Panel
<strong>Thursday, July 18, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PT, Room 6BCF</strong> Celebrate the enduring legacy of "BSG" with star Richard Hatch, director Michael Nankin, consultant Dr. Kevin Grazier, producer/writer Michael Angeli, writer/producer Kevin Murphy, Michael Taylor, producer Paul Leonard, and surprise "Battlestar" guests, who will look back on the three series and look towards the franchise's future.
"Comedy Legends Of TV Land" Panel
<strong>Thursday, July 18, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. PT, Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront</strong> Gathering Roseanne Barr, William Shatner, Donald Faison and Wayne Knight together for one panel is certain to cause fireworks, and TV Land promises that the Q&A will be a dynamic conversation about the importance of comedy in television, the resurgence of sitcoms and a look at the actors’ careers -- past, present and future.
<strong>Thursday, June 18, 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. PT, Ballroom 20</strong> After a confounding Season 2 cliffhanger, we're relying on co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and producer Sue Vertue, to shed some light on what's next for Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) in the critically-acclaimed series. Whether they <em>will</em> or not is a mystery that only Holmes can solve.
"The Sidekick" Screening & Panel
<strong> Thursday, July 18, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. PT, Indigo Ballroom</strong> The world premiere screening of Rob Benedict's superhero short features a veritable who's who of your favorite small-screen stars. Written by and starring Benedict, "The Sidekick" tells the offbeat story of career "sidekick" Max McCabe. When Max begins to lose his youthful zip and is unceremoniously fired by his superhero boss, he finds himself cast adrift in a world that seems to have no use for an aging professional buddy. The panel will also feature stars Lizzy Caplan, Martin Starr, Josh Meyers, Richard Speight Jr., Jordan Peele and Jason Ritter, along with director Michael J. Weithorn and cinematographer Steve Lubensky.
"The X-Files" 20th Anniversary Panel
<strong>Thursday, July 18, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT, Ballroom 20</strong> The truth is still out there, and we can discover it together thanks to TV Guide's epic reunion panel, which will bring together stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, plus series creator Chris Carter and writers/producers David Amann, Vince Gilligan, Howard Gordon, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, John Shiban and Jim Wong for a discussion of the hit series' past and potential future.
<strong>Thursday, July 18, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. PT, Hall H</strong> After eight seasons, it's time to say goodbye to America's favorite serial killer with the Showtime series' final panel. Stars Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, and James Remar will appear alongside executive producers John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Scott Buck, and Manny Coto, with rumored surprise guests who are "too big to mention."
"Veronica Mars" Panel
<strong>Friday, July 19, 11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. PT, Hall H</strong> Hot off the set of their Kickstarter-funded reunion movie, stars Kristen Bell, Francis Capra, Enrico Colantoni, Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring, Ryan Hansen, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino and Krysten Ritter will appear along with producer and director Rob Thomas, and they're apparently bringing exclusive footage from the new movie to tease us with. It's a must-see for all you marshmallows.
<strong>Friday, July 19, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PT, Room 6BCF</strong> The resilient CW series about a kick-ass super spy and her allies has been renewed for a six-episode final season, so this panel will serve as a fond farewell to the little action show that could. Stars Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca , Aaron Stanford, Melinda Clarke, Devon Sawa, and Noah Bean join executive producer Craig Silverstein to send the series off in style.
"The Walking Dead" Panel
<strong>Friday, July 19, 1:35 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. PT, Hall H</strong> Get your fill of <em>braaaaains</em> -- or zombie intel -- in this panel celebrating AMC's juggernaut hit, with stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, David Morrissey, Scott Wilson, and Chad Coleman in attendance, along with new showrunner Scott Gimple, executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert and special effects makeup supervisor/executive producer Greg Nicotero. Where do our heroes go from here?
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Panel
<strong>Friday, July 19, 1:45 p.m. to 3 p.m. PT, Ballroom 20</strong> Geek God Joss Whedon and Marvel's head of television Jeph Loeb -- along with "surprise guests" -- will reveal top-secret information about ABC's hotly anticipated new genre show. And with a panel length of an hour and 15 minutes, we're guessing that Marvel fans are going to be treated to something pretty special ...
"Game Of Thrones" Panel
<strong>Friday, July 19, 2:50 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. PT, Hall H</strong> After the shocking events of the Red Wedding, "GoT" has plenty of surprises left in store, which is why cast members John Bradley, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie and Richard Madden will be on hand to tease what fans can expect from Season 4 and share their memories of filming Season 3. Executive producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, and author George R. R. Martin will also be in attendance.
"Orphan Black" Panel
<strong>Friday, July 19, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT, Room 7AB</strong> This smart, slick sci-fi thriller from BBC America has won the hearts of genre fans everywhere, thanks to a stellar lead performance (or should we say <em>performances</em>) from Tatiana Maslany playing multiple clones trying to unravel the mysteries of where they came from and why they were born. Stars Maslany, Jordan Gavaris and Dylan Bruce join creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett to discuss what's to come in Season 2 of the mind-bending drama.
"Once Upon A Time/In Wonderland" Screening & Panels
<strong>Saturday, July 20, 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. PT, Ballroom 20</strong> First up, venture down the rabbit hole with "OUAT" spinoff "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," with a screening of the new ABC show, followed by a Q&A featuring executive producers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis plus surprise guests. Then, at 11, "Once Upon a Time" takes us to Neverland with stars Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Josh Dallas, Emilie de Ravin, Colin O'Donoghue, and Michael Raymond James.
"How I Met Your Mother" Panel
<strong>Saturday, July 20, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. PT, Indigo Ballroom</strong> The CBS comedy makes its Comic-Con debut in celebration of its ninth and final season, in which we'll finally get to know the show's titular matriarch. Stars Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alyson Hannigan will be on hand along with executive producers Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, and Pamela Fryman.
"The Awesomes" Screening & Panel
<strong>Saturday, July 20, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. PT, Indigo Ballroom</strong> A new adult animated comedy from Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker, this Hulu series tells the story of the greatest superhero team in history, The Awesomes, and what happens after all the most powerful members leave. Meyers will be joined by co-stars and "Saturday Night Live" cohorts Kenan Thompson, Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan, fellow cast-member Josh Meyers and head writer Judd Winick for a special screening and Q&A.
<strong>Saturday, July 20, 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. PT, Ballroom 20</strong> After an earth-shattering finale, vigilante Oliver Queen will still be reeling from the losses sustained last season, which means there's plenty of room for our emerald archer to evolve in Season 2. Star Stephen Amell will be in attendance along with co-stars Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards and Colton Haynes, as well as executive producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg, to tease what's in store for the inhabitants of Starling City this fall.
<strong>Sunday, July 21, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PT, Hall H</strong> The demon hunting Winchester brothers are about to embark on a ninth season this fall, and that brings stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins and Mark Sheppard back to Hall H, along with executive producers Jeremy Carver and Robert Singer. How will the fallen angels handle their newfound banishment from heaven? Will King of Hell Crowley feel remorse having almost been turned back into a human? Will Sam recover from the awful effects of last season's trials? We're hoping the panel will give us some clues.
"Breaking Bad" Panel
<strong>Sunday, July 21, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 a.m., Hall H</strong> The final eight episodes of AMC's critically acclaimed series begin airing in August, so join stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, R. J. Mitte, and Bob Odenkirk, along with creator Vince Gilligan, in saying farewell to one of the finest dramas in TV history -- and get a sneak peek of what's ahead.
"Doctor Who" 50th Anniversary Panel
<strong>Sunday, July 21, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. PT, Hall H</strong> Celebrate 50 years of "Who" with departing Doctor Matt Smith and co-star Jenna Coleman, executive producer Steven Moffat, "An Adventure in Space and Time" star David Bradley, and writer/executive producer Mark Gatiss. Will we find out the identity of the next Doctor? Probably not, but we'll likely get a peek at "An Adventure in Space and Time" which tells the story of the genesis of "Doctor Who," with Bradley starring as the first ever Doctor, William Hartnell.
<strong>Sunday, July 21, 1:50 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. PT, Hall H</strong> The cult NBC series makes its triumphant return to Comic-Con -- as does creator Dan Harmon, who has been reinstated for the show's fifth season. Harmon and cast-members Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Jim Rash, and Ken Jeong will attend along with executive producer Chris McKenna, and whether Harmon says something controversial or not, it's guaranteed to be a riotous panel.