- Title: Houdini & Doyle – The Curse of Korzha
- IMDb: link
“The Curse of Korzha” is the first episode of Houdini & Doyle I have watched. Jumping into the middle of a show’s First Season can be problematic as you are unaware of the character and world building already accomplished to this point in the series. Set in 1901 London, the series centers around a consulting detective partnership between author Arthur Conan Doyle (Stephen Mangan) and magician Harry Houdini (Michael Weston). In the vein of The X-Files, the pair investigate mysterious incidents where one (Houdini) seeks a rational explanation while the other (Doyle) is open to the possibility that the supernatural is real.
In “The Curse of Korzha” the two detectives work alongside Constable Adelaide Stratton (Rebecca Liddiard) on a case involving serial child abduction and murder. Houdini is put-out by Scotland Yard allowing psychic Madame Korzha (Emily Hampshire) to join the case as well. When the psychic leads the detectives to one of the victims just in time to save the young girl, Houdini’s suspicion is aroused that she may be the true kidnapper (which doesn’t prevent him from bedding the psychic).
The mystery of the week worked better for me than other aspects of episode. The B-story of Houdini’s relationship with his mother was given far too much time for my tastes. And, without any knowledge outside of this episode, the meaning of the late reveal concerning Adelaide was completely lost on me. Summer series are a bit of a crap shoot. The pairing between the two historical figures does pique my interest, but if I’m going to stick around for any length of time (or seek out the previous episodes of the series) I’ve got to see more than I found in this initial look.