Houdini and Doyle. When those two names are mentioned together, there is an expectation of something spectacular! The first episode of a television series titled “Houdini and Doyle” aired May 2, 2016, on the Fox broadcasting network at 8 pm CST. I had hoped it would not only be entertaining but chocked full of titillating biographical facts about these two real-life people that have always intrigued me.
Who Were Houdini and Doyle?
By way of a very brief introduction:
Harry Houdini (1874 – 1926), was a famous master of illusion, a magician who performed tricks that defied the imagination.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930), became famous for his creation of the fictional detective named Sherlock Holmes, whose character was so believable that it seemed like he could be a cunning and shrewd detective for real.
Houdini and Doyle Deserved Better
My impression of the 1st episode of the TV series about these two men? Uuuuhhh … can you spell disappointing?
The first episode was so dull and boring I didn’t bother to watch any more. Yes indeed. I am a very harsh critic. But can you blame me? These two gentlemen are larger than life and excelled in their occupation. When somebody says they are going to make a movie or a television series about these real-life people … there is an expectation of greatness! These two men deserved better.
At any rate, since I am not an “official” respected reviewer, I searched the Internet for feedback and opinions about this TV series just to see if I had it all wrong! But guess what? I was right! I found a review published by IGN Entertainment which pretty much expresses my first impression of the first episode as well. IGN reviews movies, TV shows, video games and practically anything deemed “entertainment”. They have over 200 million fans and publish content in over 100 countries.
To sum up the IGN review, in my words?
Eh! Some entertainment value, but shallow characters.
IGN gave the series a 6.3.rating. In my humble opinion, that was far too generous. My rating would have been 3.6.
Ah well! If you can’t find joy in watching perhaps you can find joy in reading. Here is a fascinating article published by Skeptoid Media that will not disappoint. It tells the story of how the friendship between Houdini and Doyle dissolved. Oh yeah! Harry and Arthur had a falling out that ended their friendship. From BFFs (Best Friends Forever!) to NGS2UA (Never going to speak to you again!)
On a Related Note:
As if the TV show wasn’t disappointing enough, I was really excited when I heard that Ian McKellen (he played the wizard “Gandalf” in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy) was going to be cast to play an elderly Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately, there was a lot of brew ha ha and it seems that the Doyle Estate initiated a lawsuit over copyright violations.
◊ ‘ Mr. Holmes’ Lawsuit: Arthur Conan Doyle Estate Sues Bill Condon & Distributors | deadline.com
◊ Mr Holmes and the strange case of the alleged copyright infringement | guardian.com
- Harry Houdini died on Halloween at the age of 52. Since that time, many people hold Houdini Séances every year on Halloween. He promised his wife that he would reach out to her from the grave if it was possible. His wife tried for 10 years to contact him beyond the grave. Her attempts were futile.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in his own home garden in 1930, at the age of 71. He spoke these final words to his wife: “You are wonderful.” Doyle’s wife claimed to have the ability to reach beyond the grave, but it does not look as though she tried to reach her deceased husband.
Don’t you find these two men fascinating?
Featured Image credit: Wikimedia Commons