‘Sinbad’: Episode 8 review

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With the series so far being centred almost entirely around Sinbad and his troubles (understandable given the series’ name), this week’s episode switches the focus into Anwar, the bumbling but well-meaning doctor.

The intrepid crew come across a bay littered with dozens of shipwrecks and decide to loot. What could possibly go wrong?

Among the treasures they come across is a mysterious box (cue comparisons to Pandora) that apparently can only be unlocked by a puzzle resembling an ancient chess set, and Anwar sets to work to crack it. However, all the endless attempts to solve the puzzle prove to be in vain, as the box’s design flaw is revealed. For all the complex contraptions installed in the box to prevent entry, all it takes to open it up is a set of lungs from Rina, who was only trying to clear the layers of dust off it to make the puzzle-solving slightly easier than Anwar.

In quite an impressive sequence of CGI the box not only opens but then also disappears completely to leave a mysterious young woman in its stead, who reveals herself to be a god. Despite being a god, she seems to share the characteristics of a genie, and yes, she does allow the crew to ask three questions and three questions only, although at the rate the questions are asked by Rina, Sinbad, Gunnar and Anwar it is hard to pinpoint where their limit ended. The god is true to her word, however, and refuses to answer any more questions, no matter how trivial.

Unfortunately, the middle act of this instalment does become somewhat trivial, with the exception of some excellent cinematography teamed with a rather inspiring piece of soundtrack. The glimpses of an ancient, war-like people who are keeping tabs on the progress of the gang keeps the interest clinging on to the finale and the barbarity of these soldiers is proven when the gang encounter a burnt out building full of charred corpses. While it is quite obvious that the bodies are nothing more than mannequins, it is still quite graphic by Sinbad’s standards and not for younger viewers.

The soldiers soon reveal that the god has been their prisoner for over thirty years and if she is not returned then our heroes face certain death. After a fruitless debate over what to do, Anwar takes it upon himself to take the god to safety but can only end up leading his friends to a valiant last stand on the beach.

One by one, Rina, Gunnar and Sinbad all perish but fortunately for Anwar, the god had set it all up just to teach him a lesson about what he is capable of. While this twist is beyond abysmal and makes the build up virtually pointless in terms of plot, it does not spoil the episode completely as we finally get a sense of peril with the action, something that hopefully will continue into the remaining episodes.

Aired at 7pm on Sunday 26th August 2012 on Sky1.

> Order the Series 1 DVD on Amazon.

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