Harry Houdini, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Come To Life In New ‘Houdini & Doyle’

Harry Houdini, the legendary illusionist and escape artist, has been brought back to life in a rather unexpected way. Houdini & Doyle, the new Fox mystery series, is based on the premise of Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle teaming up to solve crimes and mysteries. According to the A.V. Club, the new mystery-adventure drama brings together Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle, two great men of the 20th century, to solve mysteries and crime by working in tandem with the New Scotland Yard.

It will be interesting for fans to witness how the two iconic figures relate to each other in the new fictional series since both men held beliefs and notions that were starkly contrasting. Harry Houdini was a master magician, escape artist, and paranormal debunker, while his contemporary was a prolific writer, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, and paranormal aficionado.

Houdini, the man of magic tricks, was skeptic about the supernatural and oftentimes led the cause of attempting to stop would-be charlatans from exploiting vulnerable people by claiming that they could make contact with the dead. In contrast, Doyle believed deeply in the supernatural, spiritualism, and the existence of mythical beings, and Doyle went so far as to hold the notion that Houdini had spiritual powers.

According to The Globe and Mail, Houdini & Doyle is like an early 20th-century X-Files, with Doyle being the Mulder, who believes that the supernatural is “out there,” and Houdini being like Scully, believing more strongly in science and acting as the voice of reason where Doyle claims to see the supernatural at play.

The murders and mysteries that are featured in the series reportedly have a supernatural slant to them, in the sense that the circumstances are so mind-boggling that the audience might be lead to wonder whether supernatural elements were in play in the commission of the crime.

In fact, in the very first episode, Doyle suspects that the murder in a laundry is caused by a ghost whereas Houdini tries to argue against Doyle’s suspicion. The duo’s contrasting methods and amateur sleuthing are kept in line with the help of Constable Adelaide Stratton, a sensible member of the New Scotland Yard assigned the task of assisting the pair in their attempts to solve these crimes.

The early 20th-century setting and the fog-covered cobbled streets are an effective backdrop for the story, and the series also has scenes that portray the contemporaries of that period in pseudo-cameo roles. For example, the series shows Houdini and Constable Stratton attending a party which has attendees like W. B. Yeats, Winston Churchill, and Nikola Tesla.

News Day reports that Arthur Conan Doyle might not have been fictionally portrayed many times before, but Harry Houdini has been portrayed by actors like Paul Michael Glaser, Wil Wheaton, Jeffrey Demunn, Jonathan Schaech, and Adrien Brody in several television shows based on the legendary icon.

In Houdini & Doyle, Houdini is played by Michael Weston, while Doyle is played by Stephen Mangan.

And it is not just television shows that are keeping the legend of Harry Houdini alive. Potter and Potter Auction’s on North Ravenswood recently auctioned various personal items and other memorabilia that belonged to Harry Houdini. In fact, Potter and Potter, a treasure trove for Harry Houdini fans, displayed Houdini memorabilia at the auction, which effectively took enthusiasts back to the era when the young illusionist exploded onto the scene in Vaudeville.

According to Fox 32 Chicago, the auction house reached out to consignors from around the world in an attempt to put up a collection that would entice anyone with an interest in Harry Houdini.

The collections featured lock picks, keys, autographed items, manuscripts, and a previously unreleased film reel. Overall, the variety of collectibles in the auction offered every Harry Houdini fan something to bid on.

[Composite image containing photos by General Photographic Agency,Hulton Archive,Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]