(August 20, 2015 – Toronto, ON) They are two of the most famous gentlemen of their time: the master magician, escape artist and paranormal debunker Harry Houdini, and the prolific writer, creator of Sherlock Holmes and paranormal aficionado, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Now, thanks to a major new drama series, the two will grudgingly join forces to investigate unsolved and inexplicable crimes with a supernatural slant in collaboration with New Scotland Yard. To make it happen, Big Talk Productions in the U.K. and Canada`s Shaftesbury have joined forces for this international production. The 10-episode drama was ordered straight to series for ITV Encore in the UK and Global in Canada and licensed in the US on FOX. Award-winning director, Stephen Hopkins (24, Californication), will direct the series, which costars Michael Weston (Six Feet Under, House) as Houdini and Stephen Mangan (Episodes) as the famed author, pictured below. Inspired by true events, the series will draw heavily on the rich history of the period.
“I’ve long been intrigued by both Houdini and Doyle; men who were ahead of their time, each fascinating in their own right,” said London, Ontario-born David Shore (House), who will be Executive Producer. “But the idea that these two, seemingly so different, could have been friends is almost too perfect. In Michael and Stephen, we have found two incredible actors that embody the intelligence, humor and mystique of these men, who even when viewed through the lens of history, are larger than life.” Also joining the cast is breakout Canadian actress Rebecca Liddiard as Constable Adelaide Stratton, whose character is the first female constable ever to work for the London Metropolitan Police Force. In addition to his work on Six Feet Under and House, Michael Weston also appeared on Elementary, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Office and Burn Notice. His feature film credits include Garden State, Wish I Was Here, The Dukes of Hazard and Coyote Ugly. Stephen Mangan is an English actor, best known for his television roles on Episodes, Green Wing and I’m Alan Partridge. He is an acclaimed stage actor, having been Tony-nominated for his portrayal of Norman in The Norman Conquests on Broadway. Mangan made his feature film debut in the hit movie Billy Elliot, appearing most recently on the big screen in Ron Howard’s Rush. Houdini & Doyle is a UK/Canada treaty co-production from Big Talk Productions (U.K.) and Shaftesbury (Canada) in association with Shore Z Productions. The series is executive produced by David Shore, David Titcher (The Librarians) and David Hoselton along with Kenton Allen, Matthew Justice, Luke Alkin for Big Talk and Christina Jennings, Maggie Murphy, and Scott Garvie for Shaftesbury. The series is distributed by Sony Pictures Television. No air dates have been announced but shooting in Manchester, England and Toronto is scheduled to begin this summer. Canadian acreenwriters David Hoselton and David Titcher have been tapped to write the series.