Saturday, 8.20pm, ABC1 Everyone loves a bit of swashbuckling, don’t they? There’s certainly plenty of it, along with bucketloads of violence, in this reinvention of a character that first appeared in explorer Richard Burton’s 1885 translation of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. Curiously, while the show seems aimed at the same sort of youthful demographic as Doctor Who, Sinbad is not really suitable for young children. Set in Basra, in what is now southern Iraq, the series follows the adventures of a healthy young man who hasn’t much to call his own. Though the ancient city is beautifully restored, the regional accents make you wonder if it isn’t all happening in a disused market somewhere in East London. We first meet Sinbad, played with tremendous physical energy by Elliot Knight, in a street fight. Though he appears to be taking a shocking beating, Sinbad keeps an eye on his brother Jamil (Devon Anderson), who is up in the stands, scamming the equivalent of a bookie. Once the bet is placed at ridiculous odds, Sinbad gains the upper hand. Unfortunately, his opponent, the son of the powerful Lord Akbari (Naveen Andrews, of Lost fame) dies. Akbari has the throat of Jamil cut in revenge. The brothers’ spooky old grandmother (Janet Suzman) blames Sinbad for Jamil’s death. Grief-stricken and furious, she conjures up an amulet that affixes itself to Sinbad’s neck. He is now cursed to drift forever at sea and cannot come ashore for more than one cycle of the sun. McCloud is usually filmed popping in to monitor high-end homeowners as they grapple with problems such as vaulted ceilings that don’t vault, contractors that don’t arrive on time and reasonably well-off folk exceeding epic budgets while they armwrestle planning authorities for permission to build an indulgent atrocity. In this program, McCloud is determined to prove — using his own money — that everyone can have a grand design. For once the strain is on McCloud as he strives to find a site, then build 50 beautiful budget homes. He is hoping to inspire the builders who design cheap housing in Britain to get their act together and stop building places that look like penal institutions. This time it’s McCloud who looks ashen when things don’t go to plan, when budgets overrun and when contractors let him down. It’s McCloud who occasionally looks as if he’s about to explode when he feels he is being judged. A brilliant inversion of the typical reality-TV format with a host who demonstrates that he is more than a smarmy git made rich by his own long-running show. onset of her fatal illness. As the only one who knows about it, Frances (Virginia Gay) tries to be a cool friend but keeps putting her foot in it.