Houdini & Doyle: World of Wonders takes you inside some of the unbelievable, fascinating, illuminating tricks that are at the heart of the new mystery series, Houdini & Doyle. This is a world of up-close magic, daring escapes, new sciences and encounters with the spirit realm. Host Rebecca Liddiard (“Constable Adelaide Stratton”, Houdini & Doyle) works with illusionists and historians to explore séances, Houdini’s water-torture cell, the first-ever forensic studies, and more. Rebecca is our modern guide, taking us into the early 20th century, when the lines between science and magic were blurred, and the unique friendship between Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was formed.
How long could you hold your breath to save your life? Rebecca watches anxiously as magician Lawrence Larouche performs a death defying escape from a water tank in honour of Houdini’s famous water torture cell.
Rebecca is trapped in a straitjacket. But at least she’s not suspended 20 feet in the air and upside down! Watch escape artist and Guinness World Record holder Lucas Wilson demonstrate one of Houdini’s signature escapes – the suspected straitjacket escape.
Palm readers. Clairvoyants. Do you believe in the power of mind reading? Mentalist Banacheck sits down with Rebecca to perform a powerful demonstration of cold reading techniques still used by illusionists today to fool us into believing they have the power to read our minds.
Rebecca experiences a spooky séance just like the ones attended by Houdini and Doyle. Illusionist Nicholas Wallace shows Rebecca how mediums from the early 1920’s used simple but effective tricks to fool their guests into believing they were communicating with the spirits of the dead.
Mentalist Banachek doesn’t use any tools to operate on Rebecca’s stomach in this terrifying display of a psychic surgery.
Doyle was a prolific writer, having composed nearly 100 works of fiction, non-fiction, essays and even collections of poetry. Helping Rebecca explore the collected works of Doyle is magician Nathan Kranzo, who uses Doyle’s works to perform a classic and compelling mind reading illusion.
Rebecca witnesses first-hand one of Houdini’s most shocking and visceral illusions. Rebecca joins entertainer Scott Hammell in the performance of Houdini’s infamous Needles trick. This one isn’t for the faint of heart.
Think you can take a picture of a ghost? Rebecca joins mentalist Banachek to look back at spirit photography, a popular practice of the early 20th century publicly debated by Houdini and Doyle. Paul Sergeant, an expert on period cameras, helps Rebecca snap her own ghostly selfie.
Bang! Rebecca takes aim at four ways that Doyle’s literary sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, was decades ahead of his time. Along with James Reese, President of the Sherlock Holmes society of Toronto, Rebecca explores the forensic techniques that Sherlock used to solve his many mysteries.
Rebecca joins entertainer Scott Hammell to witness first hand the power of suggestion. Scott gives Rebecca the reigns to perform a mesmerizing display of deep hypnosis on their assistant, Amy.