Friday, March 28, 2008

The Magician (TV)

(1973-74)
Created by
Bruce Lansbury and Joseph Stefano
Starring Bill Bixby, Keene Curtis
IMDB Page
Article on the Series.

I was a fan of Bill Bixby since I first saw him in My Favorite Martian. And I suppose people nowadays think of him more as Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk. He also had a decent run starring in The Courtship of Eddie's Father.

Bill Bixby as the Magician But I have a special liking for his show, The Magician.

The concept was not entirely original, but still a good one:  a magician who fights crime. But Bixby's Anthony Blake was a real magician: he used stage magic to help him out. So when he was captured and put into handcuffs, he would use his escapology skills to set himself free. Bixby even performed his own illusions.*

Blake had been falsely imprisoned and used his knowledge of magic to escape, and then went around helping out others.

Bixby had a strong idea of how the show should be plotted.  He did all the illusions himself, and tried to set a tone for the series.

But there were problems.  A writer's strike made it difficult to set the tone, and the show never really caught on in the ratings.  It made changes -- later episodes showed Blake using the Magic Castle in L.A., where other magicians would show up for small bits. But nothing helped and the show was canceled.

It's still remembered fondly in some circles, and I'd love to see it again.

*Tricks are something whores do for money -- G.O.B. Bluth

2 comments:

Zokko said...

This show should definitely be released on D.V.D. Bill Bixby was a very underrated actor who is sadly missed. Joseph 'Dr.No' Wiseman guested in one episode as I recall. Great theme tune too.

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge fan of The Magician, too. Anyone else run across this site yet? www.themagiciandvd.com

Looks like as close as we're going to get to a studio release for now anyway.