- Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Wednesday, 9th December 2015
Back in 2011 we reported the pre-production of no less than three media projects based on the premise that Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle teamed up to fight crime.
We’re now pleased to announce that a 10-episode TV series titled Houdini and Doyle is currently in production and is slated to hit the small screen in early-mid 2016. The upcoming series stars Michael Weston as magician, escapologist and arch-skeptic Harry Houdini, Stephen Mangan as Sherlock Holmes author and seance enthusiast Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rebecca Liddiard as Scotland Yard Constable Adelaide Stratton.
According to producer David Hoselton, the series will proritise storytelling over historical accuracy, while retaining the essence of the Doyle and Houdini characters. The series is believed to be set in 1901, whereas in real history Doyle and Houdini didn’t meet until 1920; they were, in fact, close friends for several years, before a profound disagreement about spiritualism drove a permanent wedge between them.
It also sounds as if the new show will veer towards the fantastical, with plots involving (at least apparent) ghosts, vampires and aliens, as well as “guest appearances” by historical characters including Thomas Edison and references to topical issues such as the radical suffragette movement.
Given the current permeation of Bartitsu into pop-culture, it may not be too surprising if Houdini and Doyle features some Bartitsu-inflected action scenes …