After a first series which has spanned from heartbreaking lows to medium displays of okayishness, Sky’s Sinbad is finally coming to an end. This is the penultimate episode, and although it isn’t exactly the first of a two-parter, there’s definite set-up for next week’s ending.
Not to mention a plot, a dizzying range of celebrity guest stars and, yes, moments of staggering idiocy. Let’s get started.
Gunnar: A Big Fan Of Miranda
The second half of the series has centred on Sinbad’s search for the Kingdom of the Dead to rescue his brother. To this end, they land on an island, Sinbad meets a barman with a secret (played by Mathew Horne!), followed by a threatening priest (played by Dougray Scott!) and his widowed daughter (played by Miranda Raison!). All kinds of guest stars. Are there any culty UK TV shows left that Raison hasn’t appeared in?
Anyway, Viking warrior Gunnar shows a previously unseen interest in selling silk, and ends up meeting her character, a dead silk merchant’s widow, so they can fall passionately and weirdly instantly in love. Before I had a clue what was going on, he was committing suicide in her name.
The tokenistic attempt to tie it into Gunnar’s backstory doesn’t really work, but he deserts her at the end to run off with Sinbad anyway. These holiday romances never work.
Mathew Horne: Thinks He’s Still In A Sitcom
After a strange plot involving a beast, Sinbad gets his map. It isn’t the worst story they’ve done, the creature effects are decent, the cast make use of their individual skills, and new character Tiger is rather more useful in the gang than Nala was.
So not the worst thing ever, except the Gunnar storyline, which is distractingly stupid, as is Mathew Horne’s sitcom over-acting. It might have worked if there were any comedy in this show, but there isn’t, making it awkward to watch him gurn whilst everyone else adopts their usual grim-faced stare.
Anyway, next week: finale, the Priestess makes her comeback as our only non-dead villain, and Sinbad hits the underworld, where he seems doomed to learn a Very Important Lesson about over-reaching.
But for now, this was a competent if unexciting fantasy drama for the most part. Some parts silly, but not as bad as it has been. Fair enough.