Sinbad the Sailor, Sky1′s new Â£2 million an episode 13-part spectacular will go head to headÂ with the brand new series of Doctor Who in Autumn 2011.
The show, which is set in modern times in Basra (which sounds awful) and produced by the team behind Primeval, has yet to start shooting but already The Sun have pitched a ratings war between the two shows despite Sky1 rarely breaking through the one viewer one million viewer mark.
TV bosses, paper talk for people what run the telly, have already beenÂ quoted as saying they’re poised toÂ launch a nationwide hunt to find a young, sexy unknown to play the titular character. Possibly because they don’t want you ignoring their two million pound investment by staring atÂ the Â lead actors unsightly facial wart.
None faceless TV Boss, Sky1′s Controller Stuart Murphy,Â Â said:
“It is by far our biggest show next year.
“Doctor Who is aimed at one type of family – our show will be for a younger, cooler family who like sexy, cool heroes.”
Eager to drop its reputation as a holding pen for American imports Sinbad the Sailor is part of a grander scheme by the network to invest in more home grown drama and comedies.
The channel has reputedly order more of SAS-a-thon Strike Back in a bid to show it too can produce drama if not like the BBC, then a bit like ITV 1′s Ultimate Force.
However, the network has just landed a deal that sees them retain full rights to show new shows by HBO, including future episodes of programes like Big Love and Entourage when there existing deals with other networks expire.
Sinbad the Sailor has been adapted several times before including the frankly hard to top Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor.
The seven great voyages of Sinbad are set in Basrah and are told by Sinbad to a pauper also called Sinbad, who was overheard questioning Allah about his toil and strife in and amongst the care free rich.
Sinbad (thats the sailor, not the whiny pauper) tells his poorer friend that he too was once poor and goes on to recount tales including: taking refuge on a whale he believed to be an island, trapped by giant snakes that can swallow a man whole and being shipwrecked countless times.