One worries about Scheherazade. In agreeing to marry a sultan whose first wife betrayed him, the lady knows that he plans to kill her after one night of wedlock. So she invents a ploy: She begins telling him a very long story, "A Tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves."
Bacbac's funeral leads to the introduction of the young pickpocket Aladdin, played by Jason Scott Lee. Aladdin finds his wishes granted when he releases the genie in the lamp, played by John Leguizamo. But just as trouble arrives to darken Aladdin's fate, Scheherazade stops talking -- it is daylight and Schahriar demands more. "Wait till tomorrow night," she says. And that is how the Sunday night installment ends. We too must tune in Monday for more.
Cleverly done, "Arabian Nights" is packed with beautiful costumes and a classy cast that includes Mili Avital as Scheherazade, Dougray Scott as Sultan Schahriar, James Frain as his bad-seed brother, Alan Bates as the storyteller in the marketplace, Tcheky Karyo as the evil Black Coda and violinist Vanessa Mae as Aladdin's love interest, Princess Zobeide.
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