Now a premise of Sinbad returning to Basra to save his grandmother and confront Akbari and Taryn would be suitable for a season finale, wouldn’t it?
Sinbad and his friends, having heard the supposed pleas for help from Sinbad’s grandmother, arrive in Basra ready for a spot of rescuing, although Sinbad needs convincing that the rescuing does not have to involve assaulting unsuspecting guards.
However, it is a very different Basra that they arrive at, as they soon realise that all the scholars, doctors and other men of knowledge and science are being persecuted and cast out. What they don’t realise is that Taryn has ordered this mass exiling so that she can get her hands on something very sinister that will allow her and Akbari to see every inch of Basra’s warrens of alleys and streets so that Sinbad will have nowhere to hide, not even in the shadows.
The shadows turn out to be the worst place Sinbad could consider hiding, as those that do, including Gunnar and Nala, are snatched into a holding pen in sequences evocative of War of the Worlds.
Unfortunately, the only purpose of this snatching in the shadows appears to be just to give Gunnar and Nala something to do, as does the abysmal family feuding subplot as Anwar introduces Rina to his parents who, it is safe to say, do not approve of Anwar’s choice of friend.
Even the potentially dramatic situation of Rina’s capture by guards and Anwar’s desperate attempt to rescue her proves anticlimactic as Rina escapes with no hint of effort or struggle. These two side stories only seem to exist as to give the other characters something to do and this is evident as the sequences feel rushed and constructed at a very basic level – the less said about the dialogue the better.
The real, perhaps only, drama occurs when Sinbad finally comes face to face with Taryn and Akbari. Not even a fist fight between Sinbad and Akbari is enough to prevent some sentiment creeping in as no sooner have Sinbad and Akbari finished beating the hell out of each other do they suddenly both realise the error of their ways. However, a literal back-stabbing from Taryn and the death of Sinbad’s grandmother ensure that the episode does not end exactly as the intrepid sailor planned.
One question does remain, however. With Akbari’s death, who is Taryn going to spell out her evil plans to now?
Aired at 7pm on Sunday 19th August 2012 on Sky1.
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