Two of the more iconic minds of the 19th and 20th centuries, illusionist Harry Houdini and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, will soon be putting their heads together for a set of fictional adventures in a new TV series simply called Houdini and Doyle. No, this isn’t something that Adult Swim has cooked up for their late night lineups. But it IS going to air on Fox, so there’s that.
Born 15 years apart, Houdini and Doyle were contemporaries during their respective heydays, though not exactly the best of friends, as the magician/escapist was also well-known for debunking things of a paranormal nature, while Doyle far more open-minded about such matters. The series will put the pair together to investigate crimes that deal with supernatural elements. Doesn’t this sound like an episode of Supernatural proper?
Not only are they polar opposites where belief systems are concerned, but their backgrounds are also wildly different, with Houdini as the workaholic son of a Hungarian immigrant, and Doyle as the astute and educated Scot. Those differences should play into their scripted relationship quite well. Fox is no stranger to series with oddly compatible lead characters, and Houdini and Doyle will likely work well if it gets paired with Sleepy Hollow.
According to Deadline, Houdini and Doyle is going straight to series for a 10-episode first season, and is being developed by The Librarian creator David Titcher, House creator David Shore, and House writer/producer David Hoselton. It’ll be produced by Sony Pictures TV, which sold the show off not only to Fox, but to Canada’s Shaw Media and the U.K.’s ITV.
Hoselton will be handling the screenwriting, based on a story that he and Titcher came up with, and he’ll also serve as the showrunner. His career has gone all over the place, with House serving as his entry into TV fare, and he’s also written and produced for CSI: NY and Chicago P.D.. Before that, though, he wrote animated films such as Brother Bear and Over the Hedge, co-wrote the historical action adventure First Knight and the stunt-filled comedy The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave. And he kicked it all off by writing the 1987 body-switching comedy Like Father Like Son with Dudley Moore and Kirk Cameron. Hard to peg what this guy does best, really.
Doyle is best known for creating Sherlock Holmes, who has been featured on the big and small screen for many decades. The author himself has also been the subject of film and TV shows, most recently the drama Arthur & George, which was also picked up by ITV. Houdini, meanwhile, was most recently the subject of the same-named History miniseries last year, with Adrian Brody in the starring role. David Calder appeared as Doyle in that one.
And now we can start dream-casting these roles for a while, as it isn’t clear when Houdini and Doyle will go into production.