Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Meet Houdini's new assistant

So far there is no indication that Bess Houdini will be in the new television series Houdini & Doyle. However, it appears Harry will have a woman in his life -- "Florrie" played by actress and model Jerry-Jane Pears.

Florrie is Houdini's assistant. It is she we see breaking the glass of the Water Torture Cell in the ITV trailer. It may also be Florrie who we later see massaging Matt Weston's Houdini, so she might be more than just his assistant. At the moment, IMDb lists Florrie as appearing in two episodes.

Of course, I don't think I need to point out that there was never a "Florrie" in real life. During his first UK tour, which is when Houdini & Doyle is set, Bess was the only woman who shared the stage with Harry, and for the bulk of his career Houdini used male assistants who worked as the "axe handlers" during his escapes. It wasn't until the final years of his life and his full evening show that Houdini employed female stage assistants, such as Dorothy Young.

Houdini & Doyle stars Michael Weston as Houdini and Stephen Mangan as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The 10-episode series is due to air on FOX in the U.S. in Spring 2016. It will also air on ITV Encore in the UK and Global TV in Canada.

UPDATE: Here's a photo of Jerry-Jane Pears in costume and in action as Florrie.



  1. Oh dear, not going for accuracy...

    1. Yeah, but they've been upfront about this series being fiction, so we can't really give them grief for it. But we're here with the facts in case anyone has questions. :)

    2. I really don't have any issues with Houdini fiction. I think it's fun. It's fiction that professes to be fact that gets my blood up.

    3. I agree. At least the creators aren't as boastful as those of the miniseries whose name I will not mention... Even so, I still would have liked to see Bess. It seems filmmakers never miss a chance to push her to the sidelines. This girl reminds me of Scarlett Johansson's character Olivia in "The Prestige."


    4. I'll be curious if they address Bess at all. Is she back home in America maybe? Or will HH be a bachelor? I'm thinking they might make HH single to create a further contrast with Doyle, whose wife and family are in the series. The tied down Doyle vs. the wild and free Houdini.

  2. Good pull, John. You don't miss a beat.

    1. Thanks. I'll have what I think is another cool Houdini & Doyle "pull" (I like that expression) later this week.

  3. Leaving out Bess will be a down point for me! :(



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