- WEEKLY TV PICKS
Monday, 16 July 2012
SINBAD, 1.2 – "Queen of the Water-Thieves"
It's early in the show's life, of course, but you'd think the writers would be more focused on making us care about Sinbad and get him interacting with his shipmates to built a rapport. Instead, we're already being dropped into humdrum situations you feel you've seen a thousand times before in this genre, with very little that's unique and thought-provoking to pull you through. I was hoping Sinbad wasn't going to be a show where ingredients have been cynically thrown together to find success (famous legend + hunky actor + gorgeous locations + excellent CGI = surefire hit), but that's what it feels like right now.
I wasn't too impressed with this episode, as you can undoubtedly tell. At least the location filming in Malta gives Sinbad a big-budget Game of Thrones feel, the digital effects by Primeval's Impossible Pictures are fantastic, I like newcomer Knight in the role, and it's clearly attracted some talented guest-stars, but it feels like the story and characters haven't been given as much attention. I don't think the writers were blasé about making this show, but it puzzles me that more emphasis hasn't been placed on ensuring we care about the Sinbad and company. The BBC's Merlin also had a shaky first series, but you were instantly involved with the characters, and that helped keep you watching despite some very poor episodes and iffy creative decisions.
Sinbad really needs to give us something to latch onto, beyond glossy visuals, because I can see its target audience growing bored quite rapidly. It needs more focus on character, better plots, snappier dialogue, a winning group dynamic, and palpable chemistry between the actors... is that too much to ask for these days?
written by James Dormer / directed by Andy Wilson / 15 July 2012 / Sky1