Sinbad on Syfy

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JD, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    So did anyone else watch this?
    I thought it was pretty fun. Nothing mind blowing, but I enjoyed it for what it was. I did love the fact that it had a mostly non-white cast. It always drives me crazy when they make stuff like this and then they fill the cast out with nothing but pasty white people.
     
  2. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    Yeah, I thought the same, decent for casual viewing.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    So far, I'm quite impressed by it. Mainly because it's the first Sinbad series or movie I've ever seen that didn't whitewash the character or his world. In the past, most screen Sinbads have been white, even when they were pretending to be Arabs. In the '96 Adventures of Sinbad, the title character was explicitly a (white) foreigner magically transported to the Middle East. In the infamous Legend of the Seven Seas animated movie from 2003, they expunged any Arab references and reinterpreted Sinbad and his whole world as part of Greek mythology. Now we finally get a series with a nonwhite Sinbad -- although, granted, actor Elliot Knight appears more African than Arab, and the overall cast is a mix of ethnic types. But it's progress nonetheless; at least we're past the time when the hero of an American or British adventure show had to be white. And I love the location work, the use of a preserved historic site in Malta (apparently) to represent medieval Basra. It's gorgeous and gives the show an authentic Middle Eastern feel -- although I can't say the same for the very cheesy CGI of the palace.

    But I'm liking the writing and character work so far as well. This is a rather revisionist take on Sinbad; in the original legends, he was just a noble scion whose family had used up its wealth so that he went to sea looking for adventure and profit. Here, he's a street rat and career thief and hustler who has to atone for a couple of evils he accidentally/recklessly committed. It remains to be seen how well the supporting cast will work out, but Sinbad's journey so far is interesting to me, and I think the show's off to a good start. Granted, it got cancelled after only one season, so maybe one shouldn't expect greatness, but I'm definitely eager to see what comes next.
     
  4. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    ^ Looks like Syfy is going to show that version of Sinbad before the new series this weekend. It's been a while but I think I remember that it copied some characters from the hilariously silly Lou Ferrigno Sinbad movie.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    No, according to the schedule, the only thing they're showing before this week's Sinbad episode is a rerun of last week's episode.
     
  6. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    That sounds reasonable, my DVR says otherwise but that's probably a misunderstanding on their part.
     
  7. Saga

    Saga Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Location:
    VA
    i didn't even know there was a new Sinbad series. i'll have to give it a try.
     
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    ^I'm guessing it's the TV Series Sky made last year.
     
  9. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Ireland.
    ^
    Well, the start of this year. It's already been cancelled, too.
     
  10. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan "Down with this sort of thing!" Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Because from what I saw of it, it was utter shite and quiet a few people agreed.
     
  11. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Just saw the pilot...and was surprised to like it. Sinbad is well acted ...we see a range of youthful carelessness to compassion and regret in one hour, believably.



    It's nice to see the lead and the villain look to be of the same ethnicity...they ought to play father & son in a movie or show.

    I am definitely interested to see where it goes...could SyFy do a movie on it if its successful?
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^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.
     
  13. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Battle Creek
    I took the face paint to represent some sort of anointing from the god/goddess that she was the avatar for. When she acted on their behalf, the paint was present or vividly colored. When she spoke or acted for personal reasons, the paint disappeared.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^I didn't get the sense that she was embodying the will of any deity. She was just the queen.

    I mean, Sinbad is a character from Islamic culture, so if this show were to depict a polytheistic cosmos, that would be a huge, huge departure from the source, and one that would probably be offensive to the cultures who esteem Sinbad as their folk hero.
     
  15. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Battle Creek
    Perhaps "god/goddess" isn't the term I should have used -- maybe otherworldly power or demon is more appropriate. She DID have supernatural abilities and they did seem tied to her ability and/or suitability to lead her people. I just thought the facial henna was a manifestation of the power that oversaw this weird little port.
     
  16. Velocity

    Velocity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Location:
    In the back of beyond

    Isn't Sinbad pre-Prophet in time?
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    There are no known pre-Islamic sources for the Sinbad legend. He's associated with the era of the Abbasid caliphate, and I found an article asserting that the tales were based on the real experiences of a Persian mariner from the late 8th century, over 150 years into the Islamic era.

    Besides, whatever their origins, the tales have been an important part of Islamic culture for over a millennium, not unlike King Arthur is to England. Indeed, the historical basis for Arthur may well have been a Cornish chieftain fighting against the Anglo-Saxon conquest of his land, and yet he somehow ended up being appropriated as the archetypal national hero of his enemies' descendants. So the origins of beloved cultural heroes and myths isn't always relevant to the emotions associated with them.
     
  18. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Is anyone still following Sinbad? I think the last 3 episodes are on Syfy next week....which is a shame.

    I think the actors are really good, and have a great diversity.


    Any hope SyFy would do a non-cheezy movie of the week as a sequel?

    I hope Elliott Knight & Naveen Andrews can play Father & Son (with a GOOD relationship) in the future.
     
  19. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan "Down with this sort of thing!" Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Given that SyFy didn't make it, nor do they have the rights, then no, no hope in hell.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    The whole series, including the last 5 episodes not yet aired on Syfy, is being run as a marathon today, with the 5 unaired episodes beginning at 6 PM EST.

    And I'm out of town at a hotel that doesn't get Syfy, and my DVR gets bizarrely unreliable whenever I go on a trip. I'm hoping the remaining episodes will show up On Demand if my DVR doesn't work.
     

Share This Page