#76: Whatever happened to Houdini & Doyle?

A little while ago, Rich at Past Offences brought the ITV drama Houdini & Doyle – pairing the escapologist and the creator of Sherlock Holmes as a detective double-act – to our attention.  I sort of forgot about it, but have just stumbled across the trailer on YouTube.

You will, of course, draw your own conclusions from this, but for the curious it appears that you don’t have long to wait…

6 thoughts on “#76: Whatever happened to Houdini & Doyle?

  1. It’s an interesting idea although I’m very very suspicious of modern television. Especially modern British television. But the idea is a good one.


    • It’s a very interesting idea, but to my eye this looks a bit…poor. There’s some great period excitmeent to be had with these two in this setting, but this looks like the usual ITV smash-and-grab of nonsense and awkward tonal shifts.

      I shall rely on others to tell me if that’s not the case, but I won’t be checking it out.


  2. I’ve seen a couple of trailers for it and even in those few moments Stephen Mangan looked utterly unconvincing as Conan Doyle. Even Martin Clunes did better than that in the dramatization of the Edalji case a while back. And from where did they get the idea of Houdini and ACD collaborating? I know Houdini did collaborate with H P Lovecraft but was not aware of this connection at all. It doesn’t look very promising.


    • Yeah, I rather fear from this that they’ll be falling back a lot on Mangan’s slightly perplexed brand of comedic mugging – which is a shame, because he’s a very good actor and something like this has a lot of scope for decent dramatic tension. The spiritualist/rationalist clash of ideas is obviously going to form part of the basis of the relationship…just seems a waste that they appear to be going for a slightly lighter and lazier tone.

      Gotta be careful not to condemn it before watching it, naturally, as it might just be a poorly-edited teaser, but you’d imagine they’d put together something more…compelling if the material was there to make it so.


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