Houdini and Doyle


Series cast summary:
Stephen Mangan Stephen Mangan
 Arthur Conan Doyle (6 episodes, 2016)
Michael Weston Michael Weston
 Harry Houdini (6 episodes, 2016)
Rebecca Liddiard Rebecca Liddiard
 Adelaide Stratton (6 episodes, 2016)
Emily Carey Emily Carey
 Mary Conan Doyle (6 episodes, 2016)
Noah Jupe Noah Jupe
 Kingsley Conan Doyle (6 episodes, 2016)
Adam Nagaitis Adam Nagaitis
 George Gudgett (2 episodes, 2016)
Tim McInnerny Tim McInnerny
 Horace Merring (2 episodes, 2016)

Plot- At the turn of the 20th century the Metropolitan Police were overwhelmed with bizarre cases so they turned to outsiders including Houdini and Doyle, who collaborated with New Scotland Yard on some unsolved and inexplicable crimes.

Review-Do you know what there’s not enough of on TV? Quirky outsider helping the police to solve murders, I mean aside from Elementary, The Mentalist, Diagnosis Murder, Psych, Murder She Wrote, Sherlock, Lucifer….

But this is unique in that it features real people that existed! And were friends in real life! (Although this happened 20 years after this series is set)And it stars such legendary actors such as Stephen Mangan (Postman Pat in the Postman Pat Movie) and Michael Weston ( PI Lucas from House)! Its also set in London… so yay?

The series actually has a pretty cool USP, legendary escape artist Harry Houdini and creator of Sherlock Holmes- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle team up to solve murders that could have a supernatural element whilst indulging in wagers and embarrassing their police liaison Constable Stratton ( Rebecca Liddiard – me neither). It’s standard but it could work.

Could, but doesn’t.

How can I put this….. It feels very staged. Like you can tell that its on sets with actors. Turn of the century London looks too clean, the main actors have no chemistry and seem to be mostly focused on remembering their lines so the scenes where they ‘spar’ lack any type of authenticity.

Also, whilst Houdini and Doyle are meant to be chalk and cheese, the really do seem to be pretty much the same person with the same traits except from the odd line that’s basically “I’m still a skeptic”, “I still believe”.

The murders are pretty standard as well, complete with deus.ex machina endings. That either seem to have been decided by the role of the dice or have been really badly signposted.

There’s the gem of a good idea here, but this is seriously hammered by a crowded genre and the fact that if I wanted to watch murders being solved in turn of the century London I’ll watch the frankly amazing Ripper Street. This series whilst it does nothing wrong, it doesn’t do a whole lot right and I’d be quite surprised if lasts more than one or two series. At any rate, I’m finished after three episodes.

My Score- Poor 


One thought on “Houdini and Doyle

  1. That’s a pity that you dropped it – last episode (7th) was really amazing. I mean, amazing! Not just “fine”.

    The chemistry between Houdini and Doyle? There are still working it out and you can see how it changes, which for me is really cool.


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