Houdini and Doyle Review
By David Caneppa
Houdini and Doyle is a new FOX series that puts Magician Harry Houdini (played by Michael Weston) and writer Arthur Conan Doyle (played by Stephen Mangan) together to discover whether supernatural truly exists in the world. Episode one brings the duo together as they help police investigate a murder. The episode begins shortly after the release of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Great Boer War, and both Doyle and Houdini are made aware via the London Daily that a “Ghost Killer” has struck. When they both arrive to the police station, they both argue as to whether or not supernatural forces are at work. Doyle believes that a ghost may actually be behind the crime, while Houdini maintains the argument of seeing is believing. The episode also introduces Adelaide Stratton (played by Rebecca Liddiard) who is the third part of the team and isn’t well received in the police force.
The show does have some kinks to work out in terms of keeping it more original than anything else. Overall, the episode explores the relationship between Houdini and Doyle but not too in-depth. One thing taken away from this episode is both men have more of a competition with one another yet still have mutual respect for what the other does as seen at the end. One major thing that should be explored throughout the season is what else drives these two characters to seek the truth behind these supernatural related crimes. The performances from the actors themselves have been great. They have really gone the extra mile to bringing these men to the small screen. Ironically, this program can be closely compared to Sherlock Holmes; with Houdini actually being in the role of Holmes and Doyle being more of a Watson character.
Episode 2: In Manus Dei
In episode two, we see divine intervention at play in addition to a more personal side of Arthur Conan Doyle. As a faith healer, Doyle preaches about God and the gifts he’s been granted. Suddenly, an audience member who had been heckling the healer has a mysterious illness and drops dead. People assume this is the work of the healer using the powers given to him by God. As Houdini and Doyle investigate the matter, Houdini remains skeptical while Doyle see this as an opportunity to help his wife who is dying during these events.
This episode proved to be quite interesting of the two being reviewed. It gave us a better understanding of Doyle and what his motives might be in terms of the supernatural. This also showed us how Doyle and Houdini are better friends than they appear at times. The theme of the episode was also quite interesting as it truly dealt with faith. Whether we believe in a higher power or not, what this episode teachers is that at times a higher power is the only hope we have left whether it turns out to be true or not. I would highly recommend this episode as it does pick up the season and makes me wonder what else will be revealed about Houdini and Doyle.