BSkyB sails with ‘Sinbad’

Paybox partners with Impossible for big-budget production

U.K. paybox BSkyB is setting sail with a big-budget version of “Sinbad,” made with local shingle Impossible Pictures and BBC Worldwide, which will distribute the 13-part series.

Sky 1 drama topper Elaine Pyke promises a “Lost”-style take on the voyage of the fictional 8th century sailor, spiced with “mysticism, magic, monsters and high octane action adventure.”

Budgeted at an estimated £17 million ($27 million), it will be BSkyB’s biggest project to date.

Writers on the project include Jack Lothian (“Ashes to Ashes,” “Shameless”) and Neil Biswas (“Skins,” “The Take”).

Grainne Marmion, whose credits include “The Damned United,” will produce. No casting details are yet available.

Principal photography is due to start in Malta in February for a premiere on Sky 1 HD the following winter.

Tim Haines’ Impossible Pictures is best known for making “Primeval,” the special effects-laden sci-fi skein shown in the U.S. by BBC America.

“Sinbad” is the latest HD drama to be bankrolled by a BSkyB initiative that has already funded “Hogfather” and “Strike Back.”