The Science Channel is set to carry a docuseries titled Houdini’s Last Secrets. The series purports to be an expose of Houdini’s effects by looking at the scientific and engineering allegedly utilized in the effects performed by the great magician.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series will feature not only engineers and scientists but illusionists to “unravel the mystery around the man who caught a speeding bullet, survived live burial and imprisoned himself inside a water tank, spurring celebrity and conspiracy theories. The show will also look into the late magician’s personal life, through authentic scrapbooks, letters and pictures, to piece together his legacy.”
Each of the episodes will seek to discover the secret behind one of Houdini’s effects.
Said Science Channel General Manager “Harry Houdini is the definition of mind-blowing. He was clearly ahead of his time when it came to using engineering to accomplish his stunts, so much so that his methods continue to be debated by today’s master magicians. It’s no wonder that just the name Houdini still stirs the imagination of people, nearly a century after his death.”
Variety reports that the first effect to be explored / exposed will be the Water Torture Cell escape and the other shows will include stunts that we don’t believe Houdini actually performed such as “burning alive” and “catching a bullet.” In fact, we are rather sure Houdini did not perform the bullet catch after receiving advice from Kellar. We defer to John Cox, the Houdini expert, for his recollection.
The best scenario would be that the scientists, illusionists and engineers on the show fail to solve the mysteries and keep the secrets safe but unfortunately, we fear that won’t happen.
The show is set to premiere on the Science Channel on January 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Read The Hollywood Reporter’s exclusive on the show here.
Check out John Cox’ Wild About Harry website here.
We love Houdini and all things Houdini. So, when we saw the new trailer for Fox Television’s new series Houdini & Doyle, we got giddy – or giddier. We understand Fox purchased ten episodes so far and plans to launch this spring. The trailer looks great even with the obligatory and historically inaccurate axe to the Water Torture Cell scene that has been with us since Tony Curtis.
You can check out the trailer here.
Fox has launched a webpage to promote the series with some great interviews, pretty pictures and a pithy exposition of the series.
Inspired by true events, HOUDINI & DOYLE draws heavily on the rich history of the period. Two great men of the 20th Century – Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – grudgingly join forces with New Scotland Yard to investigate unsolved and inexplicable crimes with a supernatural slant.
Ironically, “Supernatural Slant” was the name of our dance routine that catapulted us to national prominence in 1979-1980. Some no doubt recall our participation in the syndicated television contest series, “Dance Your Booty.” It was through that show that we learned the important lessons of show business:
- Get your money upfront.
- Trust no one, ever.
- Follow “Dry Clean Only” recommendations – especially for tuxedos.
- Stretch before performing.
You can visit the Fox website or for the definitive, straight dope, check out the number one source for all things Houdini, John Cox’ incredible website, Wild About Harry here.
Inside Magic Favorites Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz will be traveling west to lead tour of Hollywood Houdini Sites on what would have been the great magician’s 141st Birthday, March 24.
Ms. Dietrich and Mr. Brookz recently uncovered Houdini’s long lost film The Grim Game are in Hollywood as special guests of Turner Classic Movies to introduce the world premiere of the film.
Those in the know consider The Grim Game the best of Houdini’s five feature films but it has not been seen by the public for more than 96 years. Thanks to Ms. Dietrich and Mr. Brookz, the film will be featured as part of the finale of the TCM Film Festival, March 29.
After the Hollywood showing, it will be exhibited at The Directors Guild in New York City and then in Scranton, Pennsylvania – the home of the incredible Houdini Museum. Turner Classic Movies intends to broadcast the film on their cable channel later in the year.
The Hollywood tour will begin on March 24 at 10 AM in front of the Hollywood Heritage Museum at 2100 Highland Ave. The museum was once part of the Famous Players-Lasky Studio where Houdini made The Grim Game. Dorothy Dietrich will perform magic for those in attendance and then she and Mr. Brookz will join John Cox for a private Hollywood tour. Mr. Cox is the host of the most important Houdini website in the universe, Wild About Harry.
The Houdini Museum has the largest and only continuing traveling exhibit on Houdini, “Houdini Road Show,” that has finally all come back from being on display at the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino in West Palm Beach.
Ms. Dietrich and Mr. Dick Brookz are also currently starring in Psychic Theater’s Haunted Seance! The show is the longest running performance of its kind in history – more than 10 years at the Houdini Museum Theater.
Visit The Houdini Museum at http://www.houdini.org.