Everything about Houdini & Doyle, eh?

TV Eh B Cs podcast 47 – A Murder of Davids

After Greg, Anthony and Diane chat about period dramas, Greg interviews David Shore and David Hoselton, executive producers of Global’s new series Houdini and Doyle (and both formerly of House).

DAVID SHORE – Executive Producer

Writer and producer David Shore was the creator of the acclaimed medical drama House, which received numerous awards and nominations, including an Emmy Award for Shore for writing the episode “Three Stories” (2005), four nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, and three Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Drama.

Shore has written for the television dramas Due South, EZ Streets, and NYPD Blue. He served as head writer and supervising producer on Traders, which he developed for Canadian television, and was part of the writing team for the Emmy Award-winning first season of The Practice. He was nominated for two Emmy Awards as a producer on Law & Order, and executive-produced both Family Law and Hack, before creating House M.D.

DAVID HOSELTON – Co-creator and Executive Producer

Born and raised in Canada, Hoselton moved to Los Angeles to pursue a writing career. Moving from live action features (First Knight, The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave) to animation (Brother Bear, Over the Hedge) and finally to television, Hoselton joined David Shore on his hit series, House. During his six seasons on the medical drama, Hoselton was nominated for a Humanitas Prize for writing and an Emmy Award as a producer. After stints on CSI: NY and Chicago PD, Hoselton returned once again to work with Shore on Houdini & Doyle as co-creator and showrunner.

Listen or download below, or subscribe via iTunes or any other podcast catcher with the TV, eh? podcast feed.



Links: Houdini & Doyle

From Tony Wong of the Toronto Star:

Houdini & Doyle: A mystery series with Canadian sensibility
At first glance, Houdini & Doyle has similarities to Canada’s own Murdoch Mysteries that go beyond the merely superficial. Both are TV series depicting turn-of-the-century detectives and populated by historical figures. They are both produced by Shaftesbury.

Parts of Houdini & Doyle, which premieres on Global Monday at 9 p.m., were shot in Canada. And the executive producers happen to be Canadian. Continue reading.

From Jay Bobbin of the Gwinnett Daily Post:

Fox’s Houdini & Doyle makes icons a detective duo
One created methods of escape. The other created Sherlock Holmes. And though it’s not widely known, they formed a potent team. Michael Weston (“Six Feet Under”) and Stephen Mangan (“Episodes”) are “Houdini and Doyle” in a Fox mystery series premiering Monday, May 2. Continue reading. 

From Rebecca Murray of ShowbizJunkies:

Houdini & Doyle: Michael Weston on playing Houdini, ghosts and fluffy sheep
“There was a lot of torture. First, we were living in Manchester, which is not torture, but it is definitely north of London. It was cold and I was often wet and in weird situations, like off the docks and in weird rivers, and hanging upside in tanks and buried alive. But I signed the fine print, so I knew what I was getting into. If you’re going to play this guy, you have to be willing to do that.” Continue reading.

From Joe Belanger of The London Free Press:

Pearson graduate stars in UK mystery drama
Well, hello, Rebecca Liddiard. Londoners may not know much about the 25-year-old actor, but that will soon change as she stars in a new TV series, Houdini & Doyle, now on British television and premiering on Global in Canada and Fox in the U.S. May 2 at 9 p.m. Continue reading.

From Bill Harris of Postmedia Network:

Houdini & Doyle: Rebecca Liddiard gets the deciding vote in new series
Perhaps the complex role came with merely a one-word description: “Tiebreaker.” In the new series Houdini & Doyle, which debuts Monday, May 2, on Global and Fox, Rebecca Liddiard’s character, Constable Adelaide Stratton, often finds herself in the pivotal “two-thirds majority” position. Continue reading.

From Katie Awad of Hypable.com:

Houdini and Doyle team discuss a mysterious, magical menagerie
“In 1901, the fuel sources were still coal and gas. Electricity is a very new thing, so we still have candles and lampposts, and it was a very dark world, and…there’s a lot of scary things lurking in the shadows. There’s a lot of shadowy, unexplained moments…a lot of moments where people just aren’t quite sure what they’re seeing, and that’s where a lot of the debate comes from.” Continue reading. 

From Rebecca Murray of ShowbizJunkies.com:

Houdini & Doyle producers on the cast and the story
“The fundamental concept of the show is about belief, what we believe and why. That’s never been more relevant than now. You have 50% of Americans believing in aliens, UFO abductions, devils, angels… 50% believe that there are actual angels, physical beings.” Continue reading.

From Neal Justin of the Star Tribune:

In Houdini & Doyle, pop culture icons make the best TV detectives
It’s a novel idea, though one that’s not terribly bothered by accuracy. While the show is set in 1901, the two actually didn’t meet until nearly 20 years later, and the notion that two of the most famous people on the planet could wander in and out of crime scenes without being mobbed by fans requires a high degree of disbelief. But never let logic get in the way of TV’s desire to find a new spin on “The Odd Couple.” Continue reading.

From Victoria Ahearn of The Canadian Press:

Houdini & Doyle series like the Victorian X-Files, says star
They were unlikely friends in the early 20th century: Brash American illusionist Harry Houdini, a paranormal debunker, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the prim and proper British Sherlock Holmes creator who believed in spirits. Continue reading.

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

Houdini & Doyle is tosh, but terrific tosh
As such, the show is a clever concoction of silliness – a kind of rock ’n’ roll Murdoch Mysteries. (There’s a good rock and blues soundtrack, which isn’t actually disconcerting.) Mind you, it wouldn’t be truly fun, touchy TV if there weren’t a sensible woman to corral Houdini and Doyle and correct their amateur sleuthing. Continue reading. 

From Emily Gage of Cinefilles:

Houdini & Doyle’ & Adelaide: Rebecca Liddiard on playing London’s first female constable
“Doing this series, I definitely feel a little more confident as a professional. Going in, I was very nervous, but I had so many conversations with the women involved in this project. It’s mostly about how unapologetic they were. Like, yeah, sometimes it is difficult and sometimes it would be easier if I was a man, but we just have to be the best and not apologize for what we are and what we are is actually what makes us so good.” Continue reading. 


Global’s Houdini & Doyle uses historical friendship to solve spooky crimes

Truth is often stranger than fiction. That’s certainly the case when it comes to Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s friendship. Turns out the master magician and escape artist was buds with the creator of Sherlock Holmes. The pair was on opposite sides of the paranormal—Houdini debunked the spirit world while Doyle embraced it—a conflict that eventually broke their alliance.

Their closeness in those early days are the focus of Global’s boisterous new series, Houdini & Doyle, with Michael Weston as Houdini and Stephen Mangan as Doyle. Co-created by David Hoselton and David Titcher and executive-produced by the duo along with David Shore, Houdini & Doyle—debuting Monday, May 2, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global (and Fox in the U.S.)—finds the pair teamed and working for the Scotland Yard in 1901 on cases involving the supernatural. Rebecca Liddiard is Constable Adelaide Stratton, the force’s first female constable and the men’s wrangler of sorts.

“Adelaide Stratton was a real person in history,” Liddiard says during a press day put on by Global and producers Shaftesbury. “This character is a little more fiction than accurate.” The Toronto-based actress, who teaches Creative Performance at Ryerson University, dug deep into the stories of women of the time period—like poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning—who were career-driven when most couldn’t be. She adds that old guard view of women not having a spot in the workplace, especially the police force, is reflected in what her co-workers say.

Rebecca Liddiard and Stephen Mangan. Image courtesy of Global.

Monday’s first case, “The Maggie’s Redress,” quickly introduces viewers to the trio—Houdini performs his water-based escape act and relishes his celebrity, Doyle is trying to move on from his Holmes stories—when Adelaide is assigned them as a tag along after a murderous ghost is reported running rampant in a convent.

There’s plenty to like from Houdini & Doyle. Lavish sets, dark corners and rich wardrobe choices add colour while the scripts and performances provide swaths of humour as the main characters’ personalities emerge. Houdini is serious about exposing the mediums stealing money from citizens intent on communicating with departed loved ones, but takes great pleasure in poking fun at Doyle. Doyle is a typical stiff English gent of the time, educated and respected certainly, but with an Achilles heel: he yearns to speak to his wife. Adelaide, meanwhile, often finds herself shifting her beliefs, unsure of whether the crimes committed have basis in science or spirits.

“She tries to stay focused on the information,” Liddiard explains. “‘Here’s a dead body: what are we going to do about it?’ She’s very grounded and keeps the other two grounded as well.

“These guys are so smart, they take it to the next level with the witty banter,” she continues. “Often Adelaide is stuck in the middle, having it thrown back and forth and saying, ‘Guys, let’s just do our work!’ But she gets her digs in too.”

Houdini & Doyle airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.


New Supernatural Original Drama Houdini & Doyle Premieres Monday May 2 at 9pm ET/PT on Global

From a media release:

Houdini and Doyle leave no stone unturned in Global’s thrilling new original drama series Houdini & Doyle premiering Monday, May 2 at 9 pm ET/PT. Starring Michael Weston, Stephen Mangan, and Canadian Rebecca Liddiard, the Canada/UK Co-Production will air in simulcast with FOX in the US. Co-created and executive produced by Canadians David Hoselton (House, Chicago P.D.), and David Titcher (The Librarians), with Canadian acclaimed Executive Producer David Shore (House), the 10-episode mystery adventure series unites skeptical illusionist Harry Houdini and supernatural believer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to investigate unsolved and seemingly paranormal crimes. Inspired by true events, the two men of the 20th Century grudgingly join forces with New Scotland Yard to investigate these inexplicable cases.

Shot on location in the UK and Canada, Houdini & Doyle follows Harry Houdini (Michael Weston) – master magician, escape artist and paranormal debunker – and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Stephen Mangan) – prolific writer, creator of “Sherlock Holmes” and paranormal aficionado. The pair join forces in 1901 London and Canada to investigate unsolved and inexplicable crimes with a supernatural slant in collaboration with New Scotland Yard Constable Adelaide Stratton (Rebecca Liddiard).

In the series, Houdini, Doyle, and Stratton are tasked with the cases that nobody else can solve. It challenges their sense of what is real and what is not. Houdini is a skeptic, while Doyle believes in the unseen. Their diverse viewpoints make solving crime a challenge and often Stratton is put in the middle. The trio face cases that appear to involve vampires, ghosts, monsters, and poltergeists…or are they a ruse to conceal murder?

Houdini & Doyle is also complemented by an original digital series, Houdini & Doyle: World of Wonders. Hosted by Houdini & Doyle star Rebecca Liddiard, the 10-part mini-documentary series explores the real lives and times of Houdini and Doyle through contemporary magic and mind-bending illusions, delivering a fresh and modern take on a time when the worlds of science and spiritualism collided. Houdini & Doyle: World of Wonders premieres on Monday, April 11 exclusively on GlobalTV.com and Global Go. The digital series is produced by Shaftesbury’s digital arm, Smokebomb Entertainment, in association with Shaw Media and the Canada Media Fund.


TV, eh? podcast episode 194 – Fighting My Cats for the Friskies

Diane, Anthony and Greg look at the results of our year-end Favourite Canadian TV Shows of 2015 poll so far (cast your votes here), followed by a look at some of the shows ending their seasons and series in December.

After a side-conversation about our favourite holiday TV shows and films, we get back on track and cover the casting news surrounding Cardinal, some cool guest casting in Season 2 of Schitt’s Creek and co-production Houdini & Doyle filming their final two Season 1 episodes in Southern Ontario.

Want to contribute to the discussion? Post links and discussion topics on our Reddit page.

Listen or download below, or subscribe via iTunes or any other podcast catcher with the TV, eh? podcast feed.