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Series / The Adventures of Sinbad

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The Adventures of Sinbad is a Canadian action/fantasy series. It is roughly a retelling of the adventures of Sinbad the Sailor. It first aired in 1996, and was greenlit due to the popularity of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, even having writers from them such as Craig Volk. It lasted for two seasons and a total of 44 episodes.

The story followed the adventures of Sinbad, his older brother Doubar, Firouz the alchemist, the mute Rongar, and Celtic sorceress Maeve.

Not to be confused with the 2012 Sky1/Syfy series, Sinbad.

This series provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: whatever Maeve's issue with Rumina was, and the subsequent mystery of Dermott. It's implied that Dermott is actually Maeve's brother (possibly twin, given they shared an occasional Psychic Link), who was transformed into a hawk by Rumina for rejecting her.
    • To some extent with Sinbad's rainbow bracelet. The titular guest star of "The Ronin" bore one, as did Bryn. It was eventually revealed that the bracelets were given (by who, it wasn't said) to those with the potential to change the world. The idea was that the series finale would involve Sinbad having a vision of all those throughout the centuries who had, or would, be awarded the bracelet, including Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jnr.
  • Actor Allusion: In "The Ties That Bind", Maeve is doing well against a bunch of Vikings... until the second-in-command grabs her and she can't struggle fast enough to avoid a blow on the head, leading her to be the Distressed Damsel. It makes sense, considering said second-in-command is played by a professional wrestler, Bret Hart, who's no stranger to grabs like that.
  • A Day in the Limelight: At least everyone on the team got one.
  • Anyone Can Die: Attempted. Mustapha, who featured prominently in the first episode only to die in the second. However, since he wasn't in the opening credits, it was obvious from the beginning he was only a Sacrificial Lamb.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Firouz. He's not fazed by sorcerers, magic, the devil, demons, or Olympian-style gods, but ghosts? They don't exist even when they're standing right in front of him.
  • Archenemy: Ali Rashid is this to Rongar, with his mere presence being enough to drive Rongar into a berserker rage. This is because he stole Rongar's throne, cut out his tongue, and banished him.
  • Arc Villain: Turok in the opening two-parter. He also made a dismembered guest appearance in the Season 1 Finale.
  • Avenging the Villain: Rumina's reason for going after Sinbad is that he killed her father Turok.
  • Bald of Authority: Rongar was a prince in his home realm. He remains bald.
  • Big Bad: Rumina
  • Bond One-Liner: During the second season, Sinbad throws a mook into a pit of spikes, then quips "I think he got the point".
  • Bound and Gagged: Maeve in one episode when she was captured by vikings (one of whom was Bret Hart. No seriously) as a sacrifice to free their ship from a bad special effect.
  • Character as Himself: Dermott (the hawk).
  • Dark Action Girl: Rumina, despite being a Vain Sorceress, has more in common with this than Dark Magical Girl.
  • Darker and Edgier: The entire selling point of the second (and last) season.
  • Deal with the Devil: Literally: Rumina kills Sinbad and gives him the sailor's soul, and he resurrects Turok for her. As a 'down payment' he reanimates Turok's head. He also throws in a trinket to power her up as well.
  • Dirty Coward: Once disarmed of his Flaming Sword and isolated with Sinbad and Rongar, Ali Rashid's bravado disappears and he spends the rest of the episode frantically trying to escape by any means necessary and only fighting back when cornered with no escape.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: The spirits of Drax's victims surround him after he's beaten and proceed to drag him off to the other side, where they and more of his victims are waiting.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Maeve fell off the ship at the beginning of Season 2 and was pulled away in the tide. We later found out that A Wizard Did It to protect her from Rumina.
  • Eldritch Abomination: One episode introduces the Old Ones, a group of ancient gods older than time. They once ruled the world, but turned on and killed one another in a war for dominion over the planet. Even dead, the Old Ones' power completely negates all magic but their own.Within the small bit of the world they still control, they're capable of borderline Reality Warping and making people see extremely realistic illusions. Subverted, as they're simply illusions by the Trickster.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Turok and Rumina
  • Five-Man Band
    • The Hero: Sinbad, as the leader of the group
    • The Lancer: Doubar, as Sinbad's older and somewhat wiser and more level-headed brother.
    • The Smart Guy: Firouz, alchemist and tinkerer who couldn't fight worth a damn
    • The Big Guy: Rongar - though he wasn't as physically strong as Doubar he was the most skillful fighter in the group
    • The Heart: Maeve, later Bryn. Both were sorceresses, and Maeve was also a harmonizing aspect in the group.
  • Flat Character: Bryn, despite her gratuitous cleavage. Mostly because she didn't have much characterization beyond aforementioned cleavage.
  • Funny Background Event: Doubar, when he meets Sinbad in prison,is so excited that he rips a hole in the wall he was bound to. He and Sinbad have an entire conversation without noticing all of the other prisoners trying to escape out the hole, then a bunch of guards swarming to stop them.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Firouz. When Sinbad visits him in the premiere, Firouz is already working on a flying machine and giving thought to a doorbell.
  • Get on the Boat: The boat was pretty much the plot device to get the group from episode to episode.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: While he appears as a recurring villain, Scratch is explicitly the Devil and called the source of all evil, making him this for the entire series.
  • Heroic Fantasy
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Scratch admits he has to rely on Rumina because forces 'up above' won't allow him to use his full power directly.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The show tried to advertise Season 2 as this, mostly by lots of fanservice shots of Bryn in the commercials.
    • Sinbad himself also got a change in look to make him sexier. In season 1, he was a clean-shaven, short-haired Pretty Boy. In season 2, he looks more like a bad boy: his hair is shoulder-length, he has a five o'clock shadow and his sleeves are a lot shorter, exposing his biceps, along with changing from loose pants to leather ones.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: "The Beast Within".
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Rongar. Sinbad initially opposes him joining the crew because knife throwing would be dangerous in close combat, but Rongar impresses him with his extremely precise aim.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Price Cassim in the opening two-parter. He's a royal pain at first, but he is willing to risk his life for his fiancée and becomes genuinely apologetic about past misdeeds.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Sinbad and Maeve are arguing, and Caipra tells them to "Stop acting like an old married couple."
  • Logical Weakness: Kris Kattah's Sword of Hades turns him into an Nigh-Invulnerable air elemental. The heroes realize as he's now made of air, he can be blown away like it. They use a machine to create a strong enough wind to do so. It's implied he's not actually dead, but dispersed to the wind for all eternity.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: A few extras are occasionally seen aboard the ship, but even then, it's always the Five-Man Band going ashore and getting into adventures.
  • Man Hug: In the pilot, Doubar greets Sinbad by walking across the room (despite being chained to the wall) and giving him a massive hug.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Rongar. The actor who portrayed him, Oris Erhuro, is pretty much a real life example of it. Sinbad becomes this in season 2.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Bryn and Maeve.
  • Non-Action Guy: Firouz.
  • Not Quite Dead: Sinbad himself was thought dead by everyone when his ship went down. He doesn't remember much of what happened, but he woke up on an island with a strange bracelet on his wrist. By the time he was rescued, two years had passed.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Dim-Dim managed to imprison Scratch at some point. Note, Scratch is the literal Devil and the setting's ultimate evil.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Rongar isn't literally mute. He can't talk because he doesn't have a tongue, but he can scream. If he does, the business at hand is most certainly serious - he screamed when Mustapha was killed, and when he ran into some of the men who'd run him out of his kingdom.
  • Paper Tiger: Ali Rashid is an intimidating, threatening, and confident long as he has his deadly Flaming Sword and guards. The moment he's denied both, he shows his true colors as a Dirty Coward.
  • Put on a Bus: Maeve, Rumina and Turok were nixed in Season 2, but could have been brought back easily, had the show not been cancelled. The showrunner said in a season 2 interview that he had a scenario planned out to bring Maeve back if the actress wanted to return.invoked
  • Race Lift: Sinbad and his brother Doubar, and really most people residing in Bagdhad are very, very caucasian people. Maeve gets a pass as she's a Celt.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Of course, Maeve couldn't return at all because Jacqueline Collen, the actress behind Maeve, had to deal with being a full-time mommy.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Caliph in the first episode has nothing but respect for Sinbad and is quite displeased to learn what his obnoxious son has been up to.
  • Red Shirt: It's pretty usual to see a poor unnamed crewman falling off the ship during a storm scene. The only notable rescue attempt was for Maeve.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Mustapha, see above.
  • Satan: Old Scratch, who is outright stated to be the Devil.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Dim-Dim managed to imprison Scratch and remove a chunk of his power.
  • Semi-Divine: The Trickster, who's described as half-god/half-mortal and possesses Reality Warper and Master of Illusion abilities.
  • Scary Black Man: Rongar is tall, strong and an expert knife thrower.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Maeve and Dermott
  • Sexy Silhouette: Rumina pulled this once, deliberately, in an attempt to seduce Sinbad.
  • The Speechless: Rongar couldn't talk because his tongue was cut out by Ali Rashid, but on very rare occasions he would scream. Usually he communicated through facial expressions and pantomime.
  • Smurfette Principle: Maeve is the only girl in the group first season. Bryn is the only girl in the group in the second season.
  • Starter Villain: Eblus, a Djinn prince who manipulates kingdoms into outlawing magic and descending into decadence so he can rule. He also assisted Turok, who doesn't qualify due to returning in the season 1 finale, in his scheme to kidnap a princess and take over a kingdom. He's killed with a spear to the face soon after the reveal of his true nature.
  • Stout Strength: Doubar.
  • Stripperiffic: Maeve wasn't too bad - she wore a pseudo-traditional dress with a not entirely unreasonable amount of cleavage, and aside from the aforementioned midriff baring, Rumina usually wasn't unreasonable either. One episode had her showing off her cleavage, and in the season 1 finale she put on a black floor length gown. Bryn, however, ...yeah.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Bryn who replaced Maeve.
  • The Trickster: The eponymous Trickster disguised as an old man named Raynard to trick Sinbad's crew and Rumina while they were powerlessly stranded in an island. Maeve and Rumina imply he's all the tricksters from various mythologies and a demi-god.
  • The Strength of Ten Men: Doubar.
  • Token Minority: Rongar
  • The Vamp: Rumina
  • Villainous Breakdown: Ali Rashid is intimidating, smug, and in control so long as he has his Flaming Sword...but the second he's disarmed and locked in the room with Sinbad, he becomes a Dirty Coward and spends the rest of the episode running for his life.
  • Villain Team-Up: In the first season finale, Scratch returns and makes a Deal with the Devil with Rumina to recruit her aid against Sinbad.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Sinbad was very deliberately changed (arguably derailed) into one of these for the second season to fit in with the darker and edgier aesthetic the producers were aiming at.
  • Walking the Earth: Sailing, of course. Sinbad is always eager to have an adventure or to explore.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The series begins with Sinbad returning home after being lost at sea for two years. His home and possessions have been confiscated, while a series of new rules and laws have made life frustrating for many.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Rumina decides to pull this on the entire City of Mist once it's no longer useful to her.
  • You Killed My Father: Rumina's definitely mad at Sinbad for killing her father Turok.