Impossible Pictures’ new series for Sky 1 has certainly had the money thrown at it: there are a lot of CG extensions to the interesting locations to create a convincing medieval fantasy world. Elliot Knight makes a respectable hero – he’s obviously finding his way into the part, and there are some stilted scenes early on which would probably feel far slicker if they had been recorded at the end of production.
But more time was needed on the script. In the current way of such things (Smallville/Merlin), we have a dashing young hero who’s got some resemblance to the traditional character, but is much younger (and therefore can experience The Hero’s Journey). That’s fine, and it’s worked well for Merlin (the show this most resembles). But tonally, is it a buddy-buddy comedy adventure, as both the early sections and some of the byplay once they’re eventually on the ship would suggest, or something much harsher? Certainly I will be introducing my ten year old to the show from episode two: I don’t feel that a family show needed the killing of Sinbad’s brother to be as graphic as it was. Pilots always have a difficult balancing act, and I don’t feel this pulled it off. However, there’s enough here to add this to Sky Plus, at least for a couple of weeks…
Verdict: Not as gripping as it needed to be, this incarnation of Sinbad has some way to go to convince. 6/10