Thursday, August 14, 2014

David Calder is Conan Doyle in Houdini

A major piece of Houdini miniseries casting has finally been revealed. Classically trained British actor David Calder will be playing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the 4-hour production from HISTORY and A+E Studios. Australian born actress Linda Marlowe plays Lady Doyle.

The role of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is typically a stand-out in Houdini films. Peter Cushing (fresh off Star Wars) played the famous author in the 1976 ABC biopic The Great Houdinis. In TNT's 1998 Houdini he was played by David Warner. The great Peter O'Toole played Sir Arthur against Harvey Keitel's Houdini in the 1997 feature film, FaiyTale: A True Story.

Also recently reveled is the casting of another classically trained British actor, Tim Pigott-Smith, who's role was somewhat mysterious. At first I thought (hoped!) that he might be playing Harry Kellar, but now it appears he'll be playing Houdini's "spy master" William Melville of MI5. While I knew the miniseries would include the dubious notion that Houdini worked as a spy, getting confirmation of this makes my heart sink somewhat. But I am happy to see two such fine actors added to the cast.

Houdini stars Adrien Brody as Houdini, Kristen Connolly as Bess, and Evan Jones as Jim Collins. It premiers September 1 at 9/8c on HISTORY. Watch the trailer.

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