REGULAR CAST, GUEST CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
COMMENTARY 1 by AdamJnn4
COMMENTARY 2 by Steve Crow
COMMENTARY 3 by Beboman
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Daniel Kash (Hakim)
Sean Hakim (Jamal)
Carlo Rota (Sultan)
Ravinder Toor (Omar)
Written by Alison Lea Bingeman
Directed by Terry Ingram
Filmed on location in Canada (Toronto), the UK, and Spain by Fireworks Entertainment Inc. and Gaumont Television.
TV GUIDE PROMO
In Endostan to search for the missing Star of Nadir, an ancient jeweled artifact with legendary power, Syd and Nigel learn Syd's friend Queen Talib is dead and the country on the verge of war. ClickTV
Syd's Western ways cause trouble in a Middle Eastern relic hunt. Logline.
1423AD: The infamous "Thief of Baghdad" steals an ancient Endostanian relic, The Star of Nadir. According to Talib legend, the jeweled artifact gives supreme power to its keeper. Present Day: Sydney and Nigel shoot the breeze on a train to Endostan. Their current mission is to help an old relic hunter gal-pal of Syd's, Queen Talib, find a missing artifact. Unexpectedly, the train stops. A man runs by with a pouch, tosses it to a passenger and jets away as guards begin to fire. The mysterious passenger flees the train. As Syd and Nigel show their passports to the guards, they are told Queen Talib was in a fatal accident. Syd is utterly shaken.
Our hunters go to the Palace to pay their respects to the Queen's husband, the Sultan of Endostan. He explains how the Queen was returning from teaching children how to read when she lost control of her jeep. He mentions that the country is in disarray and a group of traditionalist wants to return the country to its former woman oppressing ways, hence the dirty looks Syd was receiving upon arrival.
Meanwhile, Nigel encounters a beautiful woman whom, followed by Omar, the Sultan's chief of security, tells him she has something for Syd and vanishes. Nigel and Syd go to the scene of the accident where Sydney reveals suspicions that her friend's untimely death may be linked to her search for the Star of Nadir. They return to the palace where the passenger from the train attempts to kill the Sultan. Omar and Syd defend the Sultan, but Syd is furious when Omar kills the assassin, who she planned to interrogate.
Curious as to why there would be an attempted assassination, Syd learns Alia, the Sultan's daughter, is arranged to marry Jamaal, the son of Hakim Mustafa, the leader of the Taladeen, one of the Talib's greatest enemies. He wants to prevent a civil war by merging the two families. Sydney suggests perhaps the Queen's secret relic hunt could explain her death, but the Sultan refutes it. He feels the Star is a myth and doesn't want to stir up trouble with his future in-laws.
Things get interesting when Syd meets Hakim and Jamaal and observes Hakim's intense desire to return Endostan to its former ways. Syd and Nigel hook up with Alia, who has all of her step-mother's Star research. They sneak out to start their relic hunt and investigation into the death of the Queen. Little do they know, there is a tracking device under Alia's jeep and Omar is on their tail.
Hakim informs the Sultan that Alia is missing and if she is searching for the Star as he suspects, a Jihad will begin. Jamaal and Omar search for Alia. Syd and the gang find the Star at the ruins of Al Baraq Mosque. After Alia saves Nigel and Syd from approaching guards, Jamaal and Omar show up. Alia and Jamaal meet for the first time - it is love at first sight. They decide to return together, and Syd and Nigel are told to follow behind. Evil Omar demands the Star. A struggle ensues in which Syd ends up taking Omar's gun and discovers Omar, under Hakim's orders, killed the Queen. The Star goes back to the Sultan and Syd and Nigel return home to their studies.
This commentary is by AdamJnn4.
This was an openly political episode.
Usually I feel cheesy saturday afternoon-type shows should stay away from this political stuff but I have thought recently that Relic Hunter really can't avoid this subject because real life events have provided some pretty good reasons why Sydney's job is important. Particularly after the destruction of the massive ancient statues you-know-where in the real world. This week's episode didn't quite deal with the issue of relics being destroyed in the name of politics, but it did glancingly touch on it and I thought that was good.
The political issue at hand in the episode was more the status of women than anything else, and that's great too, although it was very unrealistic to have Sydney traipsing around in her see-thru garments in a country so conservative that many women go around completely covered. And it might have been a more powerful statement if she had covered up as an acknowledgment that even a strong personality is no protection in a culture that allows both the military and the law to oppress women. I know her friend the Sultan was a good guy but I think in the real world his allowing Sydney to dress like that would have brought the wrath of the conservatives upon him.
For some reason all the actors seemed more stilted than usual, with few of those little moments that keep me giggling after the show is over. Usually things are going on in the background, particularly with Nigel (the eyebrows, signaling all kinds of things), and the best jokes seem almost unintentionally funny (e.g. in Sydney at Ten: Sydney (not to Nigel): "keep your door locked tonight." Nigel: "I intend to!")*. I really enjoy re-watching the episodes because i notice things the second time that missed me the first time. This episode didn't have much of that. The fight scene which Alia interrupted, however, was very enjoyable.
*And don't forget the shoe-sniffing incident in Three Rivers to Cross.
This commentary is by Steve Crow.
This seems to have been a first time gig for writer Alison Lea Bingeman, which might explain the mildly unusual political material. Sydney also says "crap", which struck me as a bit out-of-character. It also gives us the second "old friend of Sydney gets killed and she's out for revenge" story this season (along with Sydney at Ten).
Tanja Reichert had less to do then usual. I see she's doing another show (HRT - whatever that is) - maybe this keeps her occupied? Or is the secretary part being written down and that's why Lindy Booth left? I can't blame Ms. Booth, if that's all the participation the third cast member is going to get this year.
If they can't do a decent mystery, I wish they wouldn't bother. It's kind of silly to try to conceal the identity of the bad guy when you don't leave us enough suspects. By process of elimination, there's usually only one guy who can be the bad guy. They seem to be repeating themselves a lot on this so far this year (Mr. Right, Light of Truth, Treasure Island). That makes...four out of six episodes of the first six this season where we're supposed to apparently wonder who the bad guy really is. It's like watching Scooby Doo, for pete's sake! :)
Where are they filming the desert scenes these days? Canada, presumably, but they're fairly authentic. Putting Light of Truth and this episode only two episodes apart might not have been a good idea: a lot of the sets looked about the same.
This commentary is by Beboman.
This was an excellent episode, very well written, directed and acted. This show has really grown this season. It has gotten much better regarding its writing and character development, while still maintaining its interest. I have really enjoyed the changes so far in this season.
I have especially enjoyed Karen being a bit more professional and not so much of a man hungry, daddy's girl, spoiled brat type. Also, it seems that this season the writers want to show a more emotional and rounded Sydney. This season Sydney has friends and other things in her life, in addition to her work as a relic hunter. Her life is not only about being a relic hunter.
In this episode, we see a very emotional Sydney. She goes through a lot of emotional changes. We see her sadness when she finds out her dear friend Danielle West, who had married the Sultan of Endostan, was dead. She became outraged at finding out that the Sultan was planning to marry his daughter to his traditional enemy's son as a way of keeping his country out of a religious war. She became even more angered at the fact that the Sultan's bodyguard killed a man Sydney had captured before the man was interrogated. But what drove her to near insanity was the fact that the Sultan's bodyguard was responsible for her friend's death.
This episode touched on something very sensitive regarding the time we are all living in right now. It touched on the radical Middle Eastern religions and their view of women. I have to say that they did a good job of handling this material with dignity and not being preachy or disrespectful.
To solve all the problems, Sydney has to find the lost Star of Nadir, which was stolen by the Thief of Baghdad about 600 years earlier. It is what gives the Sultan and his family the right to rule the land. If Sydney and Nigel are able to locate the stone, they can help the Sultan maintain his power and help his daughter avoid a dreadful marriage. Of course, Sydney and Nigel, with the help of the Sultan's daughter and the last will of the Thief of Baghdad, find the Star of Nadir and save the day.
In this episode, we get to see Sydney do some pretty good fighting, especially when she comes to the aid of the Sultan, who is about to be assassinated by one of his own guards. We also see her and Nigel take down a bunch of army personnel who are guarding the ruins where they need to look for the missing relic.
Once again in this episode, we see how fast Sydney is able to think on her feet when she hides the Star on the wall and is able to overtake the guard who is threatening their lives.
This time around, Sydney finds herself making a tough decision which forces her to break one of her most important rules: never get involved in a country's politics. But this is not just any country, this is Endostan, the land her friend Danielle had called home and a land in which a radical group was trying to put women back into the dark ages.
This episode showed a very determined, centered Sydney who realizes the importance of this relic for the stability of the land. For that reason, she breaks her own rule of non-involvement.
Something I found interesting in this show was Sydney's commitment to the rights of women and the idea that the Thief of Baghdad was not a man, as everyone thought, but perhaps a woman.
This was a very interesting episode, very well developed and performed. It had a very good mixture of excitement and entertainment without being preachy.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
11-05-01. From AdamJnn. The actor who played Jamal in Star of Nadir is played by the boy who was chosen to sacrifice the woman in the opening scene of Dagger of Death.
11-05-01. From Steve Crow. Carlo Rota (the Sultan) played Logenfeld in "Nine Lives". Daniel Kash (Hakim) played Omar Nassim in "The Reel Thing". Why was Ravinder Toor (Omar, the head of security) listed so low in the credits? He had a fairly substantial part - at least as much as Sean Hakim (Jamal).
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