^Funny, they don't look the same ethnicity to me at all. Naveen Andrews is of Southern Indian ancestry, while Elliot Knight appears to be of mixed part-African ancestry as far as I can tell. The show has quite a diverse cast.
I liked episode 2. An interesting story with some decent character-building for at least some of the cast, and an interesting guest story with Sophie Okonedo as the queen. I liked the inclusion of the roc -- it shows they're actually drawing on the original legends, and Sinbad bonding with the creature was a nice touch, a change from the usual monster fights. The roc did seem unusually intelligent, but hey, it's a mythical creature. And the FX were pretty good.
I still think the crew needs work -- their characters could stand to be developed more and they don't seem to have bonded much yet. But they have potential. I liked the way Cook dealt with the interlopers. At one point I thought to myself, "I will love it if Cook is the one who saves them all by feeding the natives." It didn't work out that way, but it still turned out pretty well.
I'm still loving the location work, these gorgeous Mediterranean ruins and island settings they're using. And I like how they're portraying Middle Eastern culture as one where science and learning are held in esteem, although the focus has been pretty heavily on magic so far.
It's a disappointment that there hasn't been any followup on what was set up last week about Sinbad opening the chest belonging to Nala and her father and apparently releasing some kind of evil. That seems like the sort of thing that Nala would want to talk to Sinbad about at the earliest opportunity. But at least we got an answer to the question of what happens when Sinbad stays on land too long. It's actually pretty much exactly what I guessed would happen, though since the source of the curse is a thingy that goes around his neck, it wasn't that hard to deduce that strangulation would be involved.
I didn't understand what was going on with Razia's disappearing and reappearing face paint. Was it some kind of magical glamour that she lost when her concentration slipped? That seemed to be it, but it was not very well explained and it didn't really work.