Sinbad 1.10 REVIEW(opens in new tab)
Writers: Richard Kurti, Bev Doyle
Director: Colin Teague
THE ONE WHERE Sinbad and co are paid to transport a giant egg, which has more than a Kinda surprise inside.
VERDICT Okay, we have a problem here, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Because otherwise episode 10 has a lot to recommend it. It’s a claustrophobic tale, set almost entirely on the Providence itself, that makes good use of the location to tell a trusty old “crew stuck on a ship with a monster” tale. The plot, admittedly, is woven from enough old rope to rig an armada; all the gumpf about the spores and life forces and vengeful gods and rat-catching or whatever are fairly unconvincing attempts to dress up a plot that’s basically, “scientist creates giant science snake which escapes”. But the direction, acting and effects deliver a tense, edgy instalment of the show that’s very nearly a triumph of style over substance.
What scuppers this tale is that it goes too far into into grim and gritty. It’s not just the unremitting state of high tension that permeates the episode; it’s the fact that it’s actually just downright nasty at times. The snake leaving a huge gouge in Gunnar’s arm is strong enough, but then the serpent tears the professor’s arm right off, leaving her moaning and groaning with a bleeding stump for the next ten minutes or so… It all seems a bit unnecessary and desperate to look “grown up”. The effect, ironically, is that comes across some vacuous, potboiler zombie movie designed to make teenage boys go, “Cool!”
Sinbad is family entertainment, and while that doesn’t mean it needs to be a gaudy adventure with comedy interludes every week, taking it this far in the other direction feels misjudged. The past few weeks had suggested the show had found its tone; now I’m not so sure.
It doesn’t help that there is some seriously misfiring dialogue as well; you have to pity poor Elliot Cowan (Gunnar) for having to deliver lines like, “Why don’t you try putting it next to your heart?” when the Professor demands that the egg be kept cool. Even he appears to give us trying to sell the line half way through.(opens in new tab)
BEST BIT Loved the moment when the boys are taking stock of their armory and Cook throws his rolling pin onto the pile. Sinbad and Gunnar’s expressions are priceless.(opens in new tab)
COUNTDOWN TO LOCK-UP Okay, nobody actually gets thrown in a cell this episode, but Tiger still ends up being caged.(opens in new tab)
CARRY ON AGAIN After Doctor Who ’s “Balls!” phnarr-phnarr-isms the previous night, on Sinbad we got, “She didn’t like my nuts.” Oooer, missus.
Sinbad: “This isn’t destiny. This is a crazy scientist with a giant snake.”
Sinbad airs on Sky 1, Sundays, 7pm