The real misdirection in The Events is aimed at the audience
(At whom else would it be aimed?)
How To Win The Lottery
gave two possible explanations for how the trick was done. The "official" explanation is that a group of people were able to predict random numbers that, when averaged out, gave the correct lottery results; the "unofficial" answer was that Derren personally sabotaged the Lottery draw. The official explanation fails because "the wisdom of crowds" requires some level of accuracy from the participants - in the example of guessing the weight of a cow, everyone had a rough idea of how much a cow weighs, and so the fairly small errors above and below would cancel out when the average was taken. The unofficial answer fails because Derren Brown is not Jack Bauer
; nor is he MacGyver
So we're left with two unsatisfying explanations. But if you look back on the other shows Derren has done, he has had a tendency to give An Aesop
about critical thinking. Seance
was about how easy it is to fool yourself into thinking you've seen a ghost. Messiah
was about not believing things just because they fit your preconceptions. The System
had An Aesop
about how you shouldn't trust personal experience without looking at the bigger picture.
So finally, the prediction: the remaining Events will each have similarly unsatisfying, vaguely supernatural explanations. This will lead to the final episode, in which the audience is called out for believing the explanations given so far; we see the real way the tricks were performed, and everyone learns An Aesop
about not leaving answers unquestioned.
Further Wild Mass Guessing
following How To Control The Nation
: The misdirection this time was the importance placed on the video. Any weird-looking clip could have been shown in that slot and had the same effect; the important thing was the hype built up around the video planting a suggestion of how to react when you see it. This is why Derren claims it won't work if it's posted on the internet - you need the whole show to get the effect.
- The effect of Control The Nation is similar to a hypnotist's trick; the blue screen at the end is essentially the hypnotist clicking his fingers. A key mantra of hypnotism is that you can't get the participant to do anything they don't want to; this is not only to assay the fear of people who have watched The Manchurian Candidate too many times, but also because it fundamentally works by making the person receptive and suggestible. Brown does directly state that people acting defiantly aren't going to have the right effect; he also reinforces the positives of those who do. The physical body lock and bearing weight sensations are things that hypnotists employ.
And onto How To Be A Psychic Spy
. The classified ads really were placed in various papers, but a much stronger bit of suggestion came right as Derren was telling the audience to think of what to draw while showing a picture of the woman's eyes with a circle reflected in them. The iris, pupil and this circle created a set of concentric circles similar to the picture.
- And the reference to Stonehenge?
- Stonehenge is the world's most famous set of stone concentric circles.
Derren Brown knew with absolute certainty that The System would end the way it did
The trick was to demonstrate to the audience that it is impossible to accurately predict the winners of horse races - other than via the elaborate probability exercise he used - and then proceed to do exactly that. But he gave us all the information needed to work out one possible explanation.
He tells us, openly, that the process began with 7776 people. We believe him, because at this point he is explaining the trick, and anyone wth a calculator can confirm that this is the number of people required for the number of races predicted. In telling us this, he encourages us to disassociate the final race from the "System". He has, he tells us, no idea who will win. And obviously that much is true, but that doesn't mean the trick is over.
Neither the audience nor the subject sees Derren place the bet, which allows him to change it for his surprise ending. What we are led to believe, at this point, is that this is the only bet he is placing. Believing this, of course, goes against everything we have been told up to this point, but we believe it anyway. We don't even consider the possibility that there was more than one
If Derren went into the final race with not one but six
"lucky winners", then he would be as sure as he was at every previous step that someone
would win. The fact that he changed the bet is easily explained; he allocated horses as normal and simply switched them all around to ensure that he would be able to surprise the ultimate winner.
Derren Brown has supernatural powers
Hiding in plain sight, indeed. All his shows are part of his plans to mind control the entire populace. Before you know it, he puts on a mask, and bam
- "How to Control the Nation" was a test run.
Derren Brown is the Devil or some type of demon
What has been said to be one of the devil's greatest achievements
? And the logo used for his Trick or Treat
show is a silhouette of Derren with the usual horns, tail and pitchfork.
He's notorious for deception, Mind Screw
and manipulation; recently he essentially immobilised half his audience across the nation
(Though it should be noted this doesn't make him a Depraved Homosexual
— more a Noble Demon
of The Trickster
variety lest we fall into Unfortunate Implications
- Isn't his being a demon unfortunate enough?
Just look at the guy. He can mess with people's minds to get them to do what he wants, and he even has the beard.
- WMG is supposed to be used for plausible theories. Not things that are blatantly true.
Or, at least, the inspiration for Mark Gatiss
's version of him. Consider the following:
- Handsome, imposing Manipulative Bastard who wears a suit and has a fondness for umbrellas. Could easily pass as a supervillain.
- Capable of making spontaneous and eerily accurate deductions about someone he's only just met.
- Installs hidden cameras in people's houses to monitor their daily activities.
- Kidnaps people for fun, often in Awesome but Impractical ways.
- And, finally, consider the fact that Mark Gatiss has worked with Derren Brown at least once... really, the only question was whether Mark was conscious of the influence or not.
Possible Fridge Horror
In the Trick or Treat episode S 2 E 2
, based on negative suggestion, the experiment involved having a woman sit in a room and trying to indirectly convince her to press a button to kill a cat by electrocution which she did end up doing, although the cat wasn't in danger
. Since there's no Headscratcher's page and this is really bugging me... if that was supposed to be the ''Treat''
, what the hell was he going to do for the ''Trick''
- Given the ambiguous Cruel to Be Kind nature of the whole series ("One man's treat is another man's trick"), it seems very likely he would just have given her the same experience, but without the moral tacked on the end. Also, we never actually saw what card she picked, so he might have been lying (of course, she kept the card, so she'd find out afterwards) - and even then, he may well have forced the Treat card on her for the sake of the show.
- The cards were actually cleverly designed so that they read "Trick" when viewed one way, and "Treat" when turned upside down. The two cards were identical.
- Actually he has two different set of cards. One indeed depends on the perspective of the viewer to either read "Trick" or "Treat", however he (most of the times) uses cards which clearly just read either "Trick" or "Treat"