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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. 

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Houdini & Doyle invades Canada

Why hasn’t a television show about Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s friendship been made already? That was the question David Hoselton asked himself when he learned the American master magician/escape artist and Sherlock Holmes author were buddies in the early 20th century.

“[Writer and producer] David Titcher was the one who discovered this friendship, that there was the real relationship between these two icons who were interested in the paranormal,” Hoselton says during a press junket in Toronto. “It’s one of those ideas where you say, ‘Yes, of course, great!'” A self-professed sci-fi geek, Hoselton was eager to re-team with longtime friend David Shore (House) when Shaftesbury acquired the rights to create Houdini & Doyle.

Debuting in 2016 on Global, Fox in the U.S. and ITV in the UK, the Canadian co-production stars Stephen Mangan as Doyle, Michael Weston as Harry Houdini and London, Ont., native Rebecca Liddiard as Constable Adelaide Stratton. The 10-part one-hour drama filmed its first eight episodes in Manchester and Liverpool—the locations stood in for turn-of-the-century London—before jetting across the Atlantic to film the last two storylines in Southern Ontario.

Houdini & Doyle is as much about the friendship of the unlikely men—an uncouth American and an upper-crust gent—as it is about the crimes of the week. With Adelaide—the first-ever female constable on the Metropolitan Police Force—as their companion, the duo investigate supernatural goings-on (think ghosts, vampires and other beasts that go bump in the night) in England’s sprawling capital. Those paranormal tales drive the character interaction between two icons of society; who believes in the existence of a space alien, who refutes it … and what side of the fence does Adelaide fall on?

Hoselton admits that, despite the accuracy surrounding the friendship of these two men, history was fudged in favour of story: Houdini and Doyle didn’t meet until 1920, long after the show’s setting of 1901.

“We’re trying to stay true to the nature of the characters,” Shore says. “We take liberties with the timing of Doyle’s wife’s illness but she was sick. The big thing is creating a show that says something and is entertaining.”

Houdini & Doyle will air on Global in 2016.

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