‘Sinbad’ faces a battle from Sophie Okonedo for power
I’m willing myself to try to love Sinbad, purely for nostalgia if nothing else, but so far Sinbad is very much “adventure of the week” rather than a cohesive series. Sinbad and the crew of The Providence (who so far don’t appear to like each other much); are shipped into shape by Cook (Junix Inocian), before being kidnapped by water thieves for control freak, Queen Razia (Sophie Okonedo) to be served up as the nights feast.
The crew of six (that’s right six people are going to sail the seas on a giant ship! It’s Robin Hood all over again) brought together through misfortune each vying for leadership, are locked up while Sinbad (Elliot Knight) takes his opportunity to impress the Queen in a bid to escape. He doesn’t counter on her giant pet vulture, who like Sinbad is shackled.
Meanwhile Lord Akbari (Naveen Andrews) is getting frustrated at the lack of progress in catching his son’s killer, and turns out he’s not the all-powerful leader after-all – his brother the Emir is, who forbids him and his servant Taryn (Orla Brady) from using the dark arts (anyone think Harry Potter then?) to capture him. But wait! Akbari is a villain, so of course he’s going to ignore his brother. So the dark arts it is then. I have a sneaking suspicion Taryn is going to turn out to be the ultimate baddie. After-all she seems to have the power; albeit suppressed through the chain of command.
Grandmother Safia’s curse finally gets explained as we learn Sinbad can only set foot on land for one whole day and night, otherwise the stone around his neck becomes his noose as it chokes him to death. However Safia (Janet Suzman) has faith in her grandson as she chooses to stay and wait in Basra for his return while her daughter – Sinbad’s mother is sent off the island for safety against the vengeful Lord Akbari’s.
The locations and scenery continue to look stunning, but the story is still like the draft rather than the final. Normally I would cheer the twelve episode decision, compared to the measly three and six we get in the UK, but it’s undermined by the lack of progress as they attempt to drip feed us information too slow. Although they could make a killing selling their storm proof make-up. Elliot is rocking that guy-liner.
The budget is good, and the story of Sinbad is full of source material, however for a show that’s billed as a family show, at times it feels like a CBBC show that has been put in a later time-slot. It’s a fun show and will certainly while away some of your time, but beyond the peril of the week, (of which the peril In this instance turns out to be a tame softy for Sinbad. Methinks the bird has a crush) the characters and story lack any depth for the long haul.