Follow TV Tropes


Series / The Bureau of Magical Things

Go To
The Bureau of Magical Things is an Australian live-action Dramedy television series created by Jonathan M. Shiff.

The human and magic worlds co-existed in harmony, but as technology advanced, the magic world was pushed back, and fairies and other magical creatures became endangered species. Now, someone wants to change that and restore magic to its rightful place. When Kyra uncovers a threat to both the human and magic worlds, she must try to unite humans, elves, and fairies in order to save them all. Kyra and Peter must solve the mystery of who the enigmatic figure is and how they will achieve their goal. The investigation leads them to uncover secrets in both the human and magic worlds that no one could have imagined.

In the United States, Nickelodeon airs this show.

The first season of 20 episodes was produced in 2017 and broadcast weekly in 2018. A second season began filming in late 2019 and, having been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, finished in September 2020 then broadcast on weekends through the summer of 2021.

Tropes in this series:

  • Ageless Birthday Episode: Kyra's is celebrated in 2x15, "Party Time".
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Ruksy is the only one of the Five-Man Band whose parents are never seen or mentioned in season 1, even on Prize Day, which is attended by Lily's parents and the Blackwells' father (with an explanation for their mother's absence).
  • Animorphism
    • 1x04 has a magic mailbox which temporarily transforms a postman into a dog.
    • Then in 1x12 Kyra involuntarily turns Maxwell into a guinea pig.
    • In 2x03 Fortuna's Compact turned Darra into a rat.
    • In 2x15 the magical cake transphormed Peter into a unicorn. Subverted in the same episode: the same cake turned Imogen into a mermaid.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Accounts for a good few magical objects, most prolificly the Ladder of the library, which moves on his own accord.
  • Ascended Extra: Neesha Bannerjee (Priyanka Das), a fairy who first appeared as a non-speaking cameo in 1x16 before reprising her role in season 2.
  • Big Bad
    • Orla Maguire, with her pursuit of the Orb of Lemuria and her Magical Supremacy agenda, is the main antagonist of season 1.
    • Magnus Sorensen, a vengeful Triling from the past, is the main antagonist of season 2.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Magical beings are capable of creating extra-dimensional buildings, most notably the Architect, Edward Boynton, who is responsible for designing the Library of Magic, which is hidden behind a wall at the back of Maxwell's Book Store, and the DMI building.
  • Big Good: Sean Reegan, Lily's father, is the director of the DMI who Professor Maxwell answers to.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The rubber ducky which Professor Maxwell uses to demonstrate Playing with Fire in the first episode is used by Kyra to signal Imogen and Lily to help her take down Orla in the Season 1 finale.
  • The City: Takes place in the fictional River City (filmed in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia).
  • Cliffhanger: The first episode ends with a newly magic Kyra accidentally teleporting herself to somewhere very cold.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Peter is regarded as this for his belief in the multiverse and aliens. It is partly for this reason that he is allowed to retain his memory after discovering that magic is real, since no-one would believe him.
  • Continuity Nod: In 1x18, Peter notes that he has seen Imogen around without her elf ears, having done so in 1x08.
  • Disney Death: Ladder is smashed to pieces by the serpent's tail but is restored using enchanted wood.
  • Fallen Hero: Orla was an agent of the DMI before pursuing the Orb of Lemuria.
  • Fantastic Racism: The relationship between the races in this series is bumpy.
    • Fairies and elves, the foremost species of magical people, have a particularly rocky history. In ancient Lemuria, the two races lived and worked together create the Orb of Lemuria, a union of their respective magicks, only for a war to break out over who would wield it, forcing cooler heads to hide the Orb as the Lemurian Empire fell. Today, fairies and elves work together to protect humanity and keep the secret of magic, though tensions remain. After acquiring the Orb, Orla seizes control of the DMI from Sean, gaining Jared's support as she an elf, is usurping Sean, a fairy.
    • Half-Human Hybrids have their troubles; Professor Maxwell, the son of an elf and a human, recalls that his parents were not accepted in the other's world. As a human accidentally infused with elf and fairy magic, Kyra becomes an object of awe and fear as the Tri-ling. Even classmates are not above playful banter, usually started by elf siblings Imogen and Darra, though fairies Lily and Ruksy give as good as they get, however, all four support and accept Kyra, though Imogen was reluctant at first. In regards to humans, some magical people, though charged with protecting humanity, are shown to look down and shun them. Orla takes this to the extreme as she intends to use the power of the Orb to force mankind to submit under a regime of "Magical Supremacy".
    • Tri-lings (humans with elf and fairy magic combined) once had a functioning society and culture in a city in modern-day Cambodia; it was since destroyed by elves and fairies. From then on, Tri-lings have been looked upon with skepticism at best, which makes Kyra's entrance into the magical world less than easy at times. Earlier in magical history, this also pushed Vannak into developing a weapon against magic, which requires the Orb of Lemuria to be used.
  • Five-Man Band: The Maxwell School students become this once joined by Kyra. They eventually become the Bureau of Magical Things at the end of season 1.
  • The Ghost: Mrs. Blackwell, mother of Imogen and Darra and the wife of Jared, who is mentioned but not seen in season 1.
  • Great Offscreen War: The war between the fairies and elves in ancient Lemuria.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Profesor Maxwell is a Halfling, born to a human father and an elf mother. In season 2, Tayla is revealed to be only half-fairy, having been born to a human mother.
  • Invisibility: Magical beings can render themselves invisible to humans. That Kyra can see Lily after being hit by magic is a sign that she herself has become a magical being.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Fairies can use their wands to erase memories, which is done when a human learns that magic is real.
  • Magical Library: Hidden behind Maxwell's Book Store, the Library of Magic is where the young magic students learn.
  • Magic Knight: Living 700 years ago, Sir Zoltan was a knight who wore a suit of armour capable of penetrating magical defenses. Allegedly, his spirit passed into the armour when he died.
  • Magic Librarian: Professor Maxwell is the guardian of the Library of Magic.
  • Masquerade: As Maxwell explains in 1x02, humans and magical beings originally lived side by side. However, human civilization grew, the magical people were forced into the fringes with their numbers shrinking, leading them to retreat into the shadows until they were forgotten. Today, fairies and elves live amongst humans and, organised into the DMI, work to prevent the human populace from learning that magic is more than a myth.
  • The Mentor: Professor Maxwell.
  • Missing Mom: Kyra's mother Michiko passed away three years prior to the series.
  • Muggles: In this show's setting, humans have no magical powers by nature, oblivious to the humanoid magical beings (fairies and elves) who live alongside them.
  • Muggle–Mage Romance: As a half-human, half-elf, Professor Maxwell is a product of this. Then Peter the human grows to fancy Ruksy the fairy.
  • The Multiverse: A theory that Peter believes in.
  • Never My Fault: Imogen's attitude regarding any problem that she creates or helps to create is that someone else is at fault and it's not her problem to fix. In the pilot, she steals a book from the Library and has a magical tug-of-war over it with Lily, resulting in Kyra gaining her powers and learning about the magical world. She flat out says, "Not my problem."
  • Note to Self: 1x17 has Kyra, anticipating the removal of her magical powers and aware that memory loss is a potential side-effect, having Peter record a video telling her about the Magical World. When she loses her memories after being robbed of her magic by Orla at the end of 1x18, she presses Peter when she notices him acting suspiciously in addition to her own memory slowly returning. Ultimately, 1x20 opens with Kyra viewing the video she made, resulting in her memory being restored completely.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The headquarters of the DMI, an organisation devoted to protecting the worldwide Masquerade, appears much like your average town hall. Justified as it is hinted that magical beings are very much a minority of the global population compared to humans.
  • The One Guy: Darra is the sole boy in Maxwell's class, alongside three then four girls. Downplayed in the later Bureau of Magical Things, which counts both Darra and Peter as members.
  • Playing with Fire: Professor Maxwell can use magic to project fire from a rubber duck.
  • Pointy Ears: Elves, of course, are distinguished by having pointed ears. Fairies, however, do not.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Sean Reegan. While he is wary of a human getting magical powers, he does show concern for Kyra's well-being, reflecting his duty of safeguarding both the Magical World and the Human World.
  • Red Alert: The DMI can put out alerts, which can take the form of holographic images in their building and the library, which is generally used to warn of a magical threat.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Kyra, our protagonist, joins the Maxwell School after she receives the magical powers of both the fairies and the elves, making her the most powerful magical being.
  • Sixth Ranger: Both Peter and Darra can count depending on how you look at it. Peter assisted Kyra and her magical friends in Season 1's endgame, which leads to him being counted as a member of the new Bureau of Magical Things. However, Darra was away when the Bureau was formed, and so he only joined the team later after initially giving the idea the cold shoulder. In any case, they are followed by Tayla.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: A fairy talent which allows Kyra to communicate with Doris, a dog she walks.
  • Story Arc
    • Season 1 is the story of Kyra Glen adjusting to and being accepted by the Magical World; the first half has the characters figuring out what exactly caused her to gain magic while the second half deals with an antagonist who seeks to gain the source of Kyra's power for herself.
    • Season 2 has the pursuit of the Three Keys to the Temple of the Purple Lotus.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: The guardian of the Purple Lotus is a giant cobra which threatens our heroes and even destroys Ladder.
  • Super-Speed: A magical power used by elves. Fairies can also go fast while in flight.
  • The Team Normal: Peter becomes this once he joins the Bureau. In 2x04 he straight up identifies himself to Mathilda as the team's token human.
  • Team Title: Played with. As it turns out, the Bureau of Magical Things was a trio of Maxwell and his friends which was formed and dissolved before the series. Season 1 ends with Maxwell's students naming themselves the Bureau of Magical Things.
  • The Worf Effect: The Shadowcloud, which Orla used to force Sean into submission, is quickly absorbed by the Purple Lotus.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Australia Is the Center of the Universe: Both the Library of Magic and the headquarters of the Department of Magical Intervention are located in the same Australian city.
  • Tooth Fairy: Fairies such as Lily and Ruksy function as this. Kyra also has a go in "Fairy for a Day".
  • Two-Part Episode: Season 1 ends with a two-parter entitled "End of the Road". However, due to episodes leading into the next, the endgame arc is actually a four-parter in all but name.
  • Uneven Hybrid: Tri-lings are a rare type of hybrid in the Magical World. Originally a normal human, Kyra becomes a Tri-ling after coming across the Orb of Lemuria infused with elf and fairy magic.
  • Unicorn: According to Imogen, they don't actually exist, even in the Magical World.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: A magical power. Orla graduated as a shapeshifter and so uses her power to transform into Imogen in order to frame her while stealing the Orb of Lemuria, then into Kyra to trick Darra and Lily into giving her their elf and fairy magic respectively. Later, Professor Maxwell shapeshifts into Jared Blackwell in order to keep Orla busy while the team recovers the Orb.
  • Wizarding School: The Library of Magic doubles as a small magic school, with only four students (two elves and two fairies) before Kyra joins.


Video Example(s):


"It's completely ridiculous!"

Peter's theory starts off sound, but it breaks down into the realm of stupid when he brings up his theorized culprit. Kyra is momentarily speechless, Ruksy tries to avoid insulting him, and Imogen has no qualms about telling him how ridiculous it is.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / StupidestThingIveEverHeard

Media sources: