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Sky One’s Sinbad promises a 21st century take on the classic 8th century hero

Sky 1 HD’s epic fantasy drama about the iconic mythological character of Sinbad is coming to Sky 1 HD this July. A new 12  x 60 min production from the Emmy and BAFTA winning Impossible Productions, promises a 21st century take on the classic 8th century hero.

The series will star newcomer Elliot Knight leading an all-star cast in a gritty, high-octane adventure retelling of the classic Arabian Night hero as he embarks on an emotional quest to rid himself of the curse and embrace his destiny.

The series also stars Naveen Andrews, Orla Brady, Sophie Okenedo and Timothy Spall.

Anne Mensah, Head of Drama, Sky says: “Sinbad maybe set centuries ago, but the story of a young boy yearning to be a man is timeless … Heroes never go out of fashion and Sinbad has a classic hero’s journey, with lots of action and adventure. A good adventure remains fun whatever age you are, or whatever decade you’re in.” Writer Jack Lothian (Ashes to Ashes, Shameless) concurs: “You could easily do a contemporary version of the story on the streets of a British town because the themes resonate today.”

Stuart Murphy, Director of Entertainment Channels, Sky comments: “I love risks and instead of going for a known actor, we cast someone straight out of acting school. We wanted someone fresh, surprising and cool, but also vulnerable, and the moment we saw Elliot’s casting tape, we knew we had discovered a remarkable talent.”

Elliot Knight added on the role: “I was thrilled when I heard I’d got the role of SINBAD. This is exactly what I have wanted to do since I was big enough to run around the garden waving a toy sword! SINBAD is a great character for any actor to be able to play: impulsive, adventurous, passionate, loyal and brave; a true hero. His story is packed with action, adventure and fantasy and I am looking forward to the exciting challenge of bringing him to life for a new generation.”

Following his role in the death of his much-loved brother, the streetwise SINBAD finds himself on the run from his home town of Basra and cast out to sea on The Providence owing to a curse placed on him by his own grandmother (Dame Janet Suzman, Nicholas and Alexander). On board The Providence, an intriguing band of travellers are thrown together, including taciturn Norwegian sailor Gunnar (Elliot Cowan, Marchlands), the lithe and agile jewel-thief Rina (Marama Corlett, The Devil’s Double), and haughty and aristocratic Nala (Estella Daniels, Thorne). Completing the ship’s complement are the Cook (Junix Inocian, The 51st State), an odd-ball and eccentric character and the ship’s cerebral doctor Anwar (Dimitri Leonidas, Tormented).

LOST’s Naveen Andrews will star as arch nemesis, Lord Akbari, who will stop at nothing to destroy the young hero, and Orla Brady (Mistresses, Strike Back) as the evil Taryn. The series also stars Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) as Razia, Queen of the Water-Thieves and Timothy Spall (Secrets and Lies, Harry Potter) as Anicetus, The Old Man of the Sea.

Orla Brady commented: “This version, as imagined by Andy Wilson, feels very modern but is true to the ancient tale … I think that Elliot and all the Providence gang bring a zeal to the story which feels modern, yet timeless.”

Sophie Okonedo added: “I think myths and fairytales are not only enduring but are necessary to help us understand and interpret darker, stickier aspects of our nature. Sometimes it’s easier to understand less digestible parts of ourselves in fairytales and myths.”

Timothy Spall said: “Sky is a company of their word as far as the dramas are concerned. When they do their dramas they serve them well and just let people get on with it … they’ve done some of the most interesting things on telly over the last five or six years. They’re brave and when they make a decision to do something, they stick to it, and back it all the way.”

Sinbad is produced by Tim Haines, Sophie Gardiner and Andrew Woodhead for Impossible Pictures and Elwen Rowlands for Sky and will air in July.


Watch the Sinbad trailer below…