Agatha, Houdini and Doyle

Two fairly odd projects featuring classic crime writers Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle are in the pipeline.

Paramount screenwriter Annie Neal is currently working on a script for Agatha. Apparently the film will be an action adventure focusing on the author’s famous 11-day disappearance.

Houdini_and_DoyleMeanwhile, Fox have commissioned a new ‘Victorian X-Files’ show called Houdini and Doyle. The sceptical escapologist and not-so-sceptical novelist will team up to solve crimes with a supernatural flavour.


About pastoffences

Past Offences exists to review classic crime and mystery books, with ‘classic’ meaning books originally published before 1987.
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9 Responses to Agatha, Houdini and Doyle

  1. I’m a huge fan of MEDIUM and I love magic and Sherlock Holmes – and I still think this sounds really not good!


  2. realthog says:

    Have you any idea when the Houdini and Doyle show is scheduled for?

    If you’re looking for a Doyle/Houdini thriller, by the way, Harry R. Squires’s What Rough Beast (2001) is a lot of fun.


  3. kaggsysbookishramblings says:

    They won’t let poor Sir Arthur just be a great writer, will they???


  4. The Agatha thing sounds dreadful – on a par with that Young Marple rumour that showed up a few years ago. As for the Doyle Houdini thing – I presume that’s going for a believer vs sceptic thing. Might work as a one-off I suppose, but as a series? Can’t see it having legs…


  5. Margot Kinberg says:

    Really? Houdini and Doyle? Must admit, absolutely not my kind of thing…Still, always interesting to know what they come up with, Rich.


    • realthog says:

      The real-life story of their adventures together investigating matters (supposedly) psychic is actually quite an interesting one; for years they managed to stay friends, somehow, despite the fact that Doyle was almost obsessively credulous concerning spiritualism and any other aspect of woo (remember the Cottingley Fairies) while Houdini was quite the opposite; add in to the potent mix that Doyle had an ego the size of a planet (and Houdini’s wasn’t small) and had very great difficulty dealing with dissent.

      The beginning of the end for the friendship seems to have been when Lady Doyle, who fancied herself as an automatist, wrote down a Message From The Great Beyond supposedly at the dictation of Houdini’s beloved but deceased mom. Since the message was in English (Houdini’s mama had virtually no English and always wrote to him in German) and included a Christian blessing (mom was a devout Jew), this didn’t go down a bundle with Houdini, who felt the Doyles were trying to deliberately play on his feelings as a final way of convincing him it was possible to communicate with the dead.

      So I have to confess a certain interest in the show. My guess is that it will indeed be terrible, but if its makers having chosen to base it, however loosely, on some of the genuine instances that the pair investigated — or even just on the way they worked, even if the cases are fictitious — it could be worth watching.


  6. RDaggle says:

    This reminds me of the 1979 movie, also called “Agatha”, which starred Vanessa Redgrave as Christie, and also dealt with the “missing” 11 days. Dustin Hoffman co-starred as a reporter who tracked Agatha down. This movie flopped when it came out and seems mostly forgotten today.
    ( )
    It was definitely setup as a ‘what-if’ type of story in the style of a Christie novel — nothing action/adventure-y about it. I saw it when it came out and remember enjoying it a good deal.
    Haven’t seen it since, and am not sure what I’d think of it now …


  7. Both sound interesting if done well. There was an earlier movie on the Christie disappearance with Dustin Hoffman. At Greenway, her Devon home, neither the tour docent nor any of the handouts refer to the incident at all.


  8. donald says:

    Can you believe this? Is nothing sacred anymore?

    Sent from my iPad



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