Tag Archives: Shaftesbury

Production begins in Toronto on Global’s Houdini & Doyle

From a media release:

Shaw Media announced today that production has begun on Houdini & Doyle in the Toronto area. Starring Michael Weston (Six Feet UnderHouse) and Stephen Mangan (Episodes) along with Canadian actress Rebecca Liddiard (Between, MsLabelled), the mystery adventure drama series, scheduled to premiere on Global in 2016, is shooting the final two episodes of the 10-episode drama on location in Toronto and Southern Ontario until mid December. A Canada/UK treaty co-production from Shaftesbury and Big Talk Productions, the first eight episodes of the series were filmed in Manchester, UK from July to November 2015.

In Houdini & Doyle, 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 – grudgingly 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). Inspired by true events, the series will draw heavily on the rich history of the period.

The 10-episode drama was ordered straight to series for ITV Encore in the UK and Global in Canada and licensed in the US on FOX. Jeff Renfroe (RemedyHaven, Beauty and the Beast) is serving as director of the final two episodes filmed in Canada.

Related: Our sneak peek at Houdini & Doyle

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Link: ‘House’ Creator David Shore Explains Why TV Writing Is a “Magic Trick”

From Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter:

‘House’ Creator David Shore Explains Why TV Writing Is a “Magic Trick”
That illusion appeals to Shore, who sees TV writing as its own “magic trick” to distract and hold audiences. “You go ‘look here, look here.’ And that’s your ‘A story.’ That has to be interesting. But really the sleight of hand comes from sliding in all this character stuff. This is what the show is about,” he explained. 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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