muccamukk: Nala, Anwar and Rina hide behind a giant basket of squash. (Sinbad: We're Hiding!)
[personal profile] muccamukk posting in [community profile] sinbadthesailor
Just finished rewatching the DVD and special features, and made some notes for my own writing. I thought I'd post them here too, as they might be useful. I watched with subtitles on, which is what I'm basing the spelling on. Unless I note otherwise, the names are made up by the show.

Most of the following is place names and character notes. There's some historical notes, but this isn't really my area, so mileage may vary. ETA2: Also since the historical research policy on the actual show is clearly "El Oh El" in most cases, "who cares?" seems to me to be a totally appropriate response. I just think this stuff is interesting /ETA2

Episode 1: Pilot
Anwar's last name is Sheibani

Gunnar was going to Serendib (Sri Lanka)

Anwar: The ship is sinking.
Cook: I know. She told me. She has been through a lot today.

Can Cook talk to the ship?

Episode 2: Queen of the Water-Thieves
Nala from Zeila, Somalia, on the Gulf of Aden. Huge trading port. Somewhat Muslim by that point.

Baruch? They're near it, but I know not where it is. Baruch is a Jewish given name. ETA: May be Bharuch/Broach, a port city in Gujarat, India, which was still a Hindu stronghold at that point.

"Island of Sindh." Sindh is a coastal region in Pakistan, but not an island.

"Forged by the Pegan Smiths of Lahore": Lahore is the capital of Punjab in Pakistan. Would have been Hindu at the time.

Episode 3: House of Games
Abdul Fahim's ship is called Ceran.

Currency is the dinar.

"People come from all over Persia to play." If they they're in Persia, and they can walk to Baruch from there, Baruch probably in Iran. ETA: Or India, see above.

Episode 4: Old Man of the Sea
Cook: "I was born on these waters." Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, Metaphorical Waters?

Anwar and Anicetus mention reading Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi/Albucasis, an Arab philosopher and physician who lived from 936 to 1013. He wrote in Arabic, and wasn't translated into Latin for a hundred years, not originally in Latin as the episode claims.

Episode 5: Hunted
The telepathic ninja ICC is called The Khaima. Gunnar recognises them on sight. Also, they have a giant frigging castle on some random island off the coast of Persia.

Gunnar's last name is Halflidarson, of the Valsgarde (which is a Viking burial site in Eastern Sweden, not a tribe).

The village Gunnar talks about sacking is called Hindmark.

Episode 6: The Siren
Gunnar wants to head north (where are they that north is an option?), Cook wants to double back to catch the trade winds for Shianti (some kind of freeport).

"The gods were looking out for you." Is Nala polytheistic?

Sinbad's gran told him "All the legends of Arabia."

Rina is making gulyásleves, which she grew up with ("for a time"). Gulyásleves is a Hungarian herdsman's soup.

Episode 7: Homecoming
It took them six episodes to sail away from Basra, but only one to get back (though by damage done to the city between episodes, some time has passed).

One does wonder where the Caliph's army is, and why it's not doing anything about Basra falling into dark magic and chaos.

If you find and replace the word "science" with "Islam" this episode makes way more sense.

Sinbad doesn't seem to have a last name, but gets called "Sinbad of Basra" a lot.

People say "Peace be with you" when they part in Basra (Pilot and Homecoming), but not in any other part of the show.

Episode 8: Kuji
I think by "god," they mean "jinni"

"To slay Fafnir the dragon, Regin advised Sigurd to dig a pit" is more or less from the Volsunga Saga, a Viking epic poem dating back to at least 1000 CE.

Episode 9: Eye of the Tiger
Maze of Madrigal is made up, I think. Madrigal is either a type of 16th-century music or one of three towns in Spain. Though it's possible they're advertising an iPhone app for a 39 Clues tie in game?

Miskatonia: No such place, but H.P. Lovecraft did write about the Miskatonic River, which he placed in New England. Bad Things Happened.

This is the first time we've ever seen any of the crew besides Anwar read or write anything. Sinbad, Rina and Gunnar know at least the alphabet.

Episode 10: For Whom the Egg Shatters
Cook: "You know the law on eggs. You cannot move the species." Which I think is interesting. I'd thought people back then loved moving species.

Taayah Island to the east of the Aboreal Islands, which no one seems to know about except Tiger and Rina, but is a small penal colony, possibly with other residents and plague rats, though the good Professor seems to be a pathological liar.

Tiger is planning to head north to the Tibor Plains.

Anwar was trained by Dr Masood at Basra Imperial College. Both made up names, though Masood is an extremely common Arabic name.

Cook is making fresh dugong, which is a sea cow inhabiting coastal regions of the Indian Ocean and Eastern Pacific.

Caius Eponicus a Professor of the Creed (radical splinter group), expelled from Imperial College. Greco-Roman name, which is interesting.

Rina is reading the Professor's research notes (or possibly looking at the pictures of the giant snake on the front).

Cook: I can't leave. As old as time. No end, no beginning. Born of dust and fire.
Sinbad: [If you stay, you're going to drown with the ship].
Cook: Then it is as was written... We all have our destinies.

Why can't/won't Cook leave the ship?

"If the spirits are willing." Cook some kind of animist/ancestor worshipper?

Episode 11: Fiend or Friend?
I WANT TO KNOW HOW THEY GOT TO MALTA! They were in the Indian Ocean last episode. Now they're in the Mediterranean Sea. There is no Suez Canal (there was a canal between the Red Sea and Cairo, but that was closed in 767 CE, which is too early for Gunnar to exist). Did they go around Africa between episodes?

"The silk Merchant of Siraf." Siraf was a port city on Iran's Persian Gulf coast. Used to be a major trade hub (Because they had to go OVERLAND to get to the Mediterranean).

Xaloc Wind/fiend is coming. Made up, I think.

Sinbad recognises Passover symbolism.

Sinbad: "And you will have proved yourself as merciful as the God that you worship." Not a Christian, at least.

Gunnar: "Six years ago, those I loved were taken in the night, revenge for my own crimes."
I do wonder what that was all about.

Malta contraband includes "Dangerous insects, weapons, herbs" especially "Aconitum" or "Wolfsbane"

Charts of Fable go to places like land of the Sirens, Island of Rocs, and Land of the Dead. Spoken of by the Order of the Eastern Watch.

Episode 12: Land of the Dead
Gunnar: My people believe that when you die, you go to a great and majestic hall, full of heroes.
Rina: Fields. That's what I was always told: Green grass, blue skies, sunshine.
Anwar: I'd thought we'd just become food for the worms.


City of Limbo in the Land of the Dead all sounds like the bastard child of Roman Catholicism and Greek Mystery Religions. Muslims have Barzakh, I guess, but Not Really the Same Thing.

Random Shit from the DVD Extras
Providence is 24 metres (79') long.

Production director repeatedly says it's set in the 7th century. Which is ludicrous.

Please add your own comments and corrections. Discussion! \o/

ETA: I also made an AO3 feed for the Sinbad tag. I always forget to check there. [syndicated profile] ao3_sinbad_feed

Date: 2013-01-26 02:20 pm (UTC)
blueswan: (Squee never too old)
From: [personal profile] blueswan
The dvds are out? Fantastic!

I pretty much just roll with the show. It's consistent in it's lack of consistency. *G* This is pure speculation on my part, but I believe Cook is the ship itself in avatar form.

Date: 2013-01-26 06:59 pm (UTC)
blueswan: (Xena)
From: [personal profile] blueswan
I am currently doing a Xena rewatch so that did come to mind.

Your point is a good one. It will be interesting to see what clues we get this season.


Edited (tablet typos) Date: 2013-01-26 07:05 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-01-26 10:25 pm (UTC)
blueswan: (Claudia Black)
From: [personal profile] blueswan
I have not seen that episode. I did see her on Xena as an Amazon, she looked wildly out of place. *g*

I am hoping for a second series!

Date: 2013-01-26 04:03 pm (UTC)
amihan: sophie okonedo as razia in 'sinbad', looking down with tattoos on her face ([sinbad] razia)
From: [personal profile] amihan
Thanks for sharing these!

I hope there's a second series for the show so that we can learn more about the characters, especially Cook! In addition to what [personal profile] blueswan said, other fans have also speculated that Cook must be strongly connected to the ship because he's always aboard. He hasn't left the ship to join them in their adventures on land.

I don't know what Cook's ethnicity is, but the actor is Filipino. Religion in pre-colonial Philippines involve ancestor worship.
Edited (sorry i messed up some codes! >_>) Date: 2013-01-26 04:05 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-01-26 07:06 pm (UTC)
amihan: dule hill as burton guster and james roday as shawn spencer in 'psych', with shawn facing gus who's holding binoculars ([psych] shawn & gus (binoculars))
From: [personal profile] amihan
Philippines is in southeast Asia. Although there many Christians, specifically Catholics, there are still practitioners of the ancestors' religion who passed this on to their children. Others decided to revive the traditional and indigenous practices.

As for Cook, I'm on that theory as well (attached to ship, but not the ship), especially after seeing that episode with the large snake and he refused to leave the ship. So I wonder if it's because he couldn't even if he wanted to.

Date: 2013-01-27 10:52 am (UTC)
amihan: black and white image of a shirtless elliot knight as sinbad in 'sinbad' ([sinbad] sinbad (game))
From: [personal profile] amihan
The Catholic church, unfortunately, is powerful enough so that even if there's no state religion, it seems like it is the one. My family (and relatives) are mostly Catholics, but even the extremely religious ones practice folk Catholicism like combination of animism and Catholicism.

Ah, that makes sense too. It could also be a family member. That line you quoted in the post "I was born on these waters." made me think if he's part of a group of sea/boat dwellers, similar to the Badjao.

I hope that if there's a second series, there'll be more of Nala. I liked it better when she's around.

Date: 2013-01-26 05:47 pm (UTC)
meridian_rose: pen on letter background  with text  saying 'writer' (Default)
From: [personal profile] meridian_rose
Useful for fic writing, or at least interesting to read :)
I'd love to know more about Cook and now you've pointed out that he never ever leaves the ship, and maybe not just because Sinbad is always letting the ship get stolen/repossessed etc, it raises the point; can he do so? If not, why? :D

Date: 2013-01-27 06:12 am (UTC)
weber_dubois22: (Allison Dubois)
From: [personal profile] weber_dubois22
Lord, "dinars". All I can think of is Xena when I hear "dinars".

Date: 2013-03-01 08:57 pm (UTC)
surexit: A brightly smiling girl in a spotted headscarf. (:D)
From: [personal profile] surexit
This is brilliant, thank you! I really like the 'Peace be with you' thing, as a nod to Arabic, and I kind of really wish they'd let Sinbad be a bit Muslim. Or another character, but my headcanon for Sinbad and Anwar at least is that they're Muslim, because I'm assuming they're unlikely to be otherwise. Obviously I am basing this on absolutely no historical knowledge whatsoever. :D

Date: 2013-03-01 11:55 pm (UTC)
surexit: A bird held loosely in two hands, with the text 'kenovay'. (Default)
From: [personal profile] surexit
Yeah, they all could be or could not be, but I go with roughly the same things as you. And yes, I wish they would goddamn mention it, we've already had an explicitly Christian plot and the glaring omission is disappointing me.

Although letting this show disappoint me is really silly, given how mindlessly shiny it is.

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