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Sinbad: The Complete First Season(TV) (2012)
On the run from his home town of Basra after the death of his brother, the reckless but charming Sinbad finds himself cast out to sea, cursed to never spend more than a day and night on land. On board The Providence, stowaway Sinbad teams up with an intriguing band of travellers, including aloof Norwegian sailor Gunnar, lithe and agile jewel-thief Rina, haughty and aristocratic Nala, the eccentric odd-ball Cook and the ship’s cerebral doctor, Anwar. A terrible storm ensues and both Sinbad and his fellow ship-mates find themselves thrown together on a spellbinding voyage of discovery. Encountering magic, menace, mystery and monsters - Sinbad embarks on an epic and emotional quest to rid himself of the curse and to embrace his destiny…
For more about Sinbad: The Complete First Season and the Sinbad: The Complete First Season Blu-ray release, see Sinbad: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on September 6, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Elliot Knight, Marama Corlett, Elliot Cowan, Estella Daniels, Junix Inocian
» See full cast & crew
Sinbad: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review
So bad it's... canceled.
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, September 6, 2013
There are all sorts of "bad" series. Shows so bad they're good. Shows so bad they're just plain awful. And shows so extraordinary they can only be called Breaking Bad. Then there are shows that defy such designations. Shows so mind-numbingly, irredeemably bad that they suck any and all pleasure out of "guilty pleasure," leaving nothing but pain, sorrow and regret in their wake. Shows so jaw-droppingly shoddy, so laughably ill-conceived, so indescribably defective they can only be called Sinbad. Even at twelve episodes, Sinbad's cancellation should be considered a mercy killing; one that should have occurred in a Sky boardroom immediately following the first screening of the now defunct adventure saga's pilot. How Sinbad made it to air remains a great mystery. How it assembled a small legion of apologists is even more baffling, although if you're lucky enough to find yourself chuckling from the outset, your hours aboard the Providence might turn out to be more bearable than those of this still-seasick reviewer.
On the run from his home town of Basra after the execution of his brother, the reckless but heroic Sinbad (Elliot Knight) finds himself cast out to sea, cursed to never spend more than a day and night on land. On board the Providence, stowaway Sinbad teams up with an intriguing band of travelers, including aloof Norwegian sailor Gunnar (Elliot Cowan), lithe and agile jewel-thief Rina (Marama Corlett), haughty and aristocratic Nala (Estella Daniels), the eccentric odd-ball Cook (Junix Inocian) and the ship's cerebral doctor, Anwar (Dimitri Leonidas). A terrible storm ensues and both Sinbad and his fellow shipmates find themselves thrown together on a voyage of discovery. Little does Sinbad know, though, that he's being hunted by Lord Akbari (Naveen Andrews), who's determined to exact revenge for the death of his son.
Fresh out of drama school (literally), poor Elliot Knight is thrown into the deep end without any screen experience whatsoever... which might have been the beginning of a great diamond-in-the-rough tale if he had the chops to back up his leading man status. His inexperience admittedly works in small part in the pilot, with the actor's unmistakable shellshock complementing Sinbad's youthful naiveté and uncertainty. But Knight soon settles into a much too wooden groove, one that calls both his casting and career prospects into question. He looks the part. He suits the part. He just doesn't inhabit the part with any spirit or soul. His co-stars aren't much better -- minus the ruggedly serious Cowan, the only saving grace of many an episode -- with Lost's Naveen Andrews and Fringe's Orla Brady being utterly wasted, ham-hocking it up as the series' scene-chewing antagonists. Andrews at least has the good fortune (or sense) to abandon a sinking ship midway. Brady, though, gets trapped below deck, tied to the series to the bitter end. It doesn't help that generic villains and beasties of the week still litter the season, each one more absurd, more cornball and more detrimental than the last. (My personal favorite: Sinbad takes on a particularly nasty man-eating serpent, killing it by exploiting a peanut allergy. Yep, you read that correctly.)
And don't even get me started on the series' writing. The dialogue alone... *shudder*
Sinbad's visual style and effects are even more ridiculously cheesy, and lack the low-budget charm and inventiveness that makes Doctor Who and other successful UK sci-fi/supernatural/fantasy shows such delirious delights. The series' costumes are beyond hope. (Look no further than Sinbad's shoes, essentially a slip-on pair of Keds that grow funnier and funnier with each dramatic closeup). The sets are even tackier. (The "House of Games" casino leaps to mind, although any of the ships will do. The Providence above all, which plants a giant stone statue atop its steering mechanism that by some strange screen magic doesn't impede Sinbad's ability to turn the boat with a flick of his wrist.) The creature designs and monster mashups are silly at best. (The salt-like familiars in "Hunted" sit somewhere near the bottom of an embarrassing heap of ungodly beasties.) And the series' flat, glossy, digitally shot cinematography and film-school framing only compounds each issue.
Personal taste is paramount to a viewer's encounter with any given television series. I get it, I do. But the only argument that can possibly be made in favor of Sinbad is of the "so bad it's good" variety. Whether or not the series is quality TV isn't up for debate in any circle, so far as I know, and I doubt anyone will unearth Sinbad a decade from now and declare it a misunderstood classic. Those of you who adore the B-movies currently in rotation on SyFy may get a kick out of the show (for free!) as the U.S. cable network has been airing the first season in its twelve-episode entirety. That said, even SyFy has its limits. In August, the network that made Sharknado a surprise hit -- Sharknado, a film about a tornado filled with sharks -- decided to cut Sinbad's U.S. run short. It won't be long before re-runs become harder and harder to come by.
Sinbad: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Video Quality
It's not all bad news. Sinbad comes armed with a solid 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 presentation free from compression problems and other encoding issues. Visual effects sequences are host to an array of eyesores -- from aliasing to macroblocking and back again -- but most every distraction traces back to the series' source, nothing more. Colors are warm and nicely saturated, with suitably sun-seared skintones and sand-blasted primaries. Black levels are a bit muted, but it fits the show's atmosphere and aesthetic well, and rarely proves troublesome. Detail is quite striking too, with crisp edge definition, reasonably exacting textures and revealing delineation. Is it a gorgeous presentation? Hardly. Is Sindbad a gorgeous series? Not in the least. But as technical encodes go, I doubt this one could look much better.
Sinbad: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Disappointment returns with Sinbad's 448kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track; a decent enough mix that might have rounded out a strong AV presentation if it were backed by some lossless muscle. As is, dialogue is clean and clear, effects and music are competently prioritized, LFE output is commendable, and the rear speakers jump into the fray whenever the action intensifies. However, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between this middle-of-the-road lossy experience and its standard DVD counterpart. Perhaps with some Master Audio oomph, the first season could make a grander entrance and leave a more lasting mark. Instead, it's yet another reminder that Sinbad deserved to sink into the seas.
Sinbad: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Sinbad: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Sinbad. Good God, Sinbad. If you can't resist the urge to peek at the series' fiery twelve-episode pileup, don't say I didn't warn you. I'm sure a few brave souls will declare it a guilty pleasure, and kudos to them for loving the unlovable. Me? I'll be just fine if I never think of the Providence and its wayward crew ever again. BBC Home Entertainment's Blu-ray release isn't much better. It boasts a solid video presentation, but its lossy Dolby Digital audio track and 50-minute supplemental package disappoint. I'd recommend sailing past Sinbad and exploring other uncharted waters. There are greater, grander series to be had.
Sinbad: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: Sinbad The Complete First Season - August 28, 2013
Blu-ray.com and BBC Home Entertainment are offering three members a chance to win a copy of Sinbad: The Complete First Season. The BBC Worldwide/Sky1 action adventure series stars Elliot Knight as sea-faring adventurer Sinbad, co-stars Dimitri Leonidas, Naveen ...
• Sinbad: Season One Blu-ray - May 8, 2013
This September, BBC Home Entertainment is bringing Sinbad: Season One to Blu-ray. The BBC Worldwide/Sky1 action adventure series stars Elliot Knight as sea-faring adventurer Sinbad, co-stars Dimitri Leonidas, Naveen Andrews, Marama Corlett, Elliot Cowan, Junix ...
Sinbad: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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