I don’t buy Silver in the later seasons, and I think it’s due to casting. Objectively, I can see that he is a complexly written, grey-morality, vulnerable character of the type I should love. But I kinda feel like Luke Arnold just doesn’t pull off this dark, conflicted, manipulator in later seasons. And I think it’s because, for me, the part was cast too young.
I like him best in the early seasons, when Silver is mostly an idiot, because it seems to fit better with the young actor. Once silver goes dark, and takes on the mantle of Long John, I just don’t buy him anymore. I’m watching it and it’s like “this guy? Really? This is who the crew loves and fears and needs to please?” I mean, I’d get it if the crew chose to love and fear Flint because, honestly? Same. But Luke Arnold’s Silver? Nah.
I also feel like the chemistry between Silver and Flint could have been better. If silver had been cast as someone closer to Flint/Toby Stephen’s age, I think I would buy much more into the intensity of their scenes, and the mutual respect they’re supposed to eventually have. As is, Flint is such an intimidating presence that Silver just seems like an upstart kid in contrast. When Silver has dialogue with him on the nature of darkness, I’m just “get over yourself kid”. The gravitas ain’t there for me. The same lines from an older actor though, I think I would appreciate.
If the dynamic were more mentor-mentee (like the Elenor and Flint relationship, where I do buy the mutual respect) perhaps a I’d see it more. But when it comes to equals, I want to see Flint go toe to toe with someone like Miranda or Gates or Rogers or Blackbeard. Someone I would take seriously. This Silver, to me, just doesn’t measure up in presence.
Luke Arnold seems like a great guy from what interviews I’ve listened too and I think he turns in a very good performance. I just felt the role was cast too young (dude wasn’t even 30 yet in season 1!)