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Series / Houdini

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Houdini is a 2014 miniseries starring Adrien Brody as the titular magician. It chronicles his life, from stunning feats of magic, to espionage and skeptically debunking spirit mediums. Not to be confused with the 2016 series Houdini & Doyle.

This series provides examples of:

  • Berserk Button: Houdini has one after Arthur Conan Doyle's wife claims she is channeling his dead mother... speaking in English, which she didn't know. This inspires him to launch a debunking campaign against spirit mediums.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Houdini's work as a debunker was devoted to showing spirit mediums were frauds, though the real man admitted it was possible some could be real, he just didn't find any. He even set up an experiment at his death to have his wife go to mediums with a code from him which, if any were genuine, they could relay. None ever did, and after a decade she stopped trying, saying "Ten years is long enough to wait for any man".
  • Escape Artist: Houdini is perhaps the most famous of all time, and the miniseries shows some of his most fantastic (and dangerous) including escaping from a straight jacket while hanging over Niagara Falls.
  • Happily Married: Houdini and his wife Bess.
  • I See Dead People: The claim of the spirit mediums Houdini encounters and which Arthur Conan Doyle devoutly believes (including his wife). Houdini doesn't, and debunks all the ones he meets as frauds.
  • Phony Psychic: Houdini exposes many of these, starting with Lady Doyle.
  • Willing Channeler: Lady Doyle and many other people claiming to be this show up, but Houdini exposes all of them as fakes.