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Series / Sinbad

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Sinbad is a British action-adventure fantasy series that premiered on July 8, 2012 on the channel Sky1, and was picked up by the Syfy channel in June of 2013. It was cancelled after one season. The show is based off the famous tale of Sinbad the Sailor.

The series follows the titular Sinbad as he starts a new life as a sailor, as penance for accidentally killing a man in a fight and getting his brother Jamil executed. Having been cursed so that he will die if he remains on land for longer than 24 hours, Sinbad must brave the unknown dangers of the seven seas. Of course, joining him on his journey is a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Anwar, a clumsy but lovable medical student; Rina, a tiny thief that’s only looking out for herself; Gunnar, a big guy from the far north; and Nala, a beautiful African aristocrat. And Cook. They are later joined by the bounty hunter Tiger.

However, Sinbad’s past comes back to haunt him as the father of the man he killed tries to track him down, doing whatever it takes to get revenge, no matter the cost.

You can find making-of footage and cast interviews at the official website here. Not to be confused with the 1990s series The Adventures of Sinbad or the 2003 Dream Works animated movie Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.

For the Gottlieb pinball table, click here.

This show provides examples of:

  • Androcles' Lion: Razia's pet roc helps Sinbad because he gave her water and released her from captivity.
  • Arranged Marriage: Nala and Death (Anicetus), in exchange for her people's freedom/revenge on their oppressors.
  • Artistic License – Geography: At the time the series is set you could not sail from the Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean to Malta without going all the way around Africa.
  • The Artful Dodger: Sinbad has this role at the beginning, but things quickly go downhill.
  • The Atoner:
    • Gunnar, for his bloody past as a raider and murderer.
    • Sinbad for causing the death of Jamil and the ruin of his family.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Sinbad rushing in to save the others from fighting to the death and being eaten in episode 2.
    • Sinbad and Gunnar's attempt to rescue Nala at the end of episode 4.
  • Black Widow: Razia's lovers were all murdered after a single night with her.
  • Body Paint: Each of the water-thieves is covered with their own individual paint, based on Aztec designs.
  • Bounty Hunter: Tiger.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: The blue morpho butterfly features prominently in episode 4. Anwar notes the cultural connection.
  • Cancelled/Cut Short: Ended on a cliffhanger, then got cancelled with Sky1 saying "his story had been told". Yeah, right.
  • Cannibal Tribe: There isn't any other source of meat available and they are nearly always starving.
  • Character Title
  • Chick Magnet: Oh Sinbad, Sinbad, Sinbad. It doesn't help that most of the women he seduces have bad intentions.
  • Creepy Child: The water-thief children.
  • Creepy Souvenir: The siren Roisin pulls her victims' teeth out and paints them gold, keeping them in a chest like bits of jewellery.
  • Costume Porn: Wealthy or magical characters are always shown adorned with all sorts of jewels and exotic fabrics.
  • Curse: Sinbad's curse is that he can never stay on dry land for more than one cycle of the Sun, or he'll die. Ultimately broken by Sinbad not giving into his anger at Akbari, and instead genuinely asking for forgiveness. Sinbad's grandmother is overjoyed that he has become the man he was meant to be.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: So far, essentially everyone except Anwar.
  • Deadly Game: The twin brothers who run the House of Games indulge in these, having grown bored with conventional gambling.
  • Deliberately Distressed Damsel: Nala chose to be 'kidnapped' in episode 4.
  • Determinator: Sinbad's fight against Death himself for one of his crew has clearly put him on the path to being their captain.
  • Divine Date: Anwar falls for the god Kuji, and Kuji apparently reciprocates, though they don't get any further than a kiss on the cheek.
  • Emotion Eater: A siren feeds off of the emotions created by happy memories; however eating bad memories makes them wretch and suffer.
  • Eyeless Face:
    • Siddiq, the "bouncer" at the House of Games.
    • The familiar that is sent after Sinbad by Taryn.
  • Facial Markings: Razia has tattoos covering her whole face, which seem subject to Marked Change.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: In episode 5 Anwar kisses both Nala and Rina as part of a pretend Love Triangle to distract some guards.
  • Femme Fatale: Taryn uses her wiles to corrupt Lord Akbari.
  • Femme Fatalons: Roisin's nails are extremely long and sharp, rather like knives.
  • Five-Man Band: Discounting Cook (who always stays out of the adventures), the crew of the Providence forms one. Sinbad is The Leader, Rina is The Lancer, Anwar is The Smart Guy, Gunnar is The Big Guy, and Nala is The Heart.
  • Flying Dutchman: While Sinbad can set foot on land as often as he likes, there's a time limit for how long he can stay there.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Actually encompasses all five at this point (discluding Cook). Rina is The Cynic, Anwar is The Optimist, Nala is The Realist, Sinbad is The Apathetic, and Gunnar is The Conflicted.
  • Genre Blind: Anwar, for example agreeing to go into the hold of the ship with the lying professor in order to catch her snake monster. And of course, not telling any of his crewmates that he's going in, and not checking that the Professor isn't going to seal him inside.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Jamil has his throat slit. Also when Taryn sacrifices a chicken.
  • Grim Reaper: Anicetus, here portrayed as a fat, grubby, otherwise unassuming old man who likes making bargains.
  • Guyliner: Practically everyone.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: To prove her loyalty to her people, the water-thieves ask Razia to kill her own son.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death:
    • Where the winner gets to be eaten shortly after the loser.
    • Abdul-Fahim and Sinbad are forced into one of these at the House of Games.
  • Kiss of Life: Sinbad does this to Rina underwater when trapped in the sinking boat, though depending on how tightly your shipping goggles are strapped on it isn't that romantic.
  • Lovable Rogue: Sinbad, who knows it and likes to play it up.
  • Made a Slave: Rina was sold into slavery as a child by her own parents.
  • Magic is Evil: The Emir claims that the dark arts eat at a man's soul, and has forbidden its use in Basra.
  • Mama Bear: Taryn, as it turns out. Her pursuit of Sinbad was due to needing his help in getting to Limbo to save her daughter.
  • Mr. Exposition: Cook, having lived his whole life at sea, is privy to all kinds of legends and information about distant lands, so when a new MacGuffin appears he's bound to expand on it.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Sinbad. Really, he spends half his time shirtless.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: One of Roisin's gowns has a neckline so deep that it reaches her navel.
  • The Needs of the Many:
    • Razia, queen of the water-thieves, thinks like this. She treats her son like a servant and even killed his father so that her people would have meat to eat.
    Khalid: I'm her son.
    Sinbad: But the way she treats you-
    Khalid: Razia favours none. She puts nothing, or nobody, before the needs of her people.
    • In episode 4, it's revealed that Nala and her father were fleeing a human sacrifice made as a deal by their people in exchange for the deaths of their enemies.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Sinbad's grandmother sneaks up on a guard and puts a knife to his throat in defense of her daughter. And then there's the fact she knows magic...
  • Nothing but Skulls: How the water-thieves like to decorate. Razia's bedroom in particular.
  • One Curse Limit: Sinbad getting his memories stolen temporarily lifts his curse, which is good because he stayed on an island for more than a day.
  • Our Sirens Are Different: Roisin has a hypnotic voice and seduces men so she can steal their memories. She masquerades as a human but her true form is a very unappealing humanoid fish hybrid.
  • Paid Harem: Abdul-Fahim has a whole ship crewed by beautiful women.
  • Physical God: Kuji (who refers to herself as a god rather than a goddess) chooses to appear as a regular human girl and is a Reality Warper, but it's never explained what exactly her purpose is.
  • Put on a Bus: Is Nala gone for good?
  • Raised By Tigers: Tiger, who sits firmly on the human end of the scale. Turns out she's lying.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Emir of Basra treasures peace, development and learning, and tries to assuage his brother's rage.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Sinbad spares Akbari instead of killing him, and begs for his forgiveness. Surprisingly, Akbari accepts his apology and also asks for forgiveness, but mere moments later Taryn (literally) stabs him in the back.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Gunnar is afraid to fight, related to the bloodshed he's seen in war. Well, that he caused, actually.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Lord Akbari kills Sinbad’s brother, right in front of him, because Sinbad accidentally killed Lord Akbari’s son in a fighting competition. Later, he goes after Sinbad’s mother and grandmother.
  • Satisfied Street Rat: Sinbad and Jamil fit the criteria, though they do hope to better themselves one day
  • Scenery Porn: The wide sweeping shots of beautiful Basra (filmed in Malta).
  • Shirtless Scene: Happens pretty often with Sinbad and Gunnar. And Cook, but that's a different story.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Faris and Essam seem to always think alike when they're first introduced, but it's later revealed that they can disagree on things.
  • The Social Darwinist: The Professor from episode 10 belongs to a cult that believe a serpent will come and devour the weak, creating a paradise inhabited by pure humans. The Professor's goal is to create said serpent herself.
  • Start of Darkness: Lord Akbari following his son's untimely death, with help from Taryn's magic.
  • Sticky Fingers: Episode 3 makes it clear that Rina suffers from this.
  • Team Chef: The aptly named Cook.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Sinbad and his companions in the first couple of episodes.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: Razia and Sinbad.
  • Waif-Fu: When Anwar is pitted against Rina she takes him down in no time despite being half his size (though in his defence he wasn't fighting back).
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Sinbad has a bit of this with Nala, even calling her "princess".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Sinbad's mother is introduced as a catatonic woman, but halfway through the episode in which he returns to Basra, she disappears completely and is never seen or mentioned again.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Anwar wants to believe the crew are on some big, exciting adventure, despite being in almost constant peril.
  • Wild Card: Taryn holds no true allegiance to anyone. Sinbad could also be considered this due to his reckless nature.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: In episode 2, Anwar displays this mindset when the water-thieves want him and Rina to kill each other.
    Malik: Hit her!
    Anwar: She's a woman!
  • You Can't Fight Fate: The whole aesop of episode 9, which revolves around a gem that can let you see your not-too-distant future.