The Magician (1973–1974)
8.6/10
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The Illusion of the Curious Counterfeit: Part I 

Performing at the Magic Castle, Tony Blake notices his ex-girlfriend in the audience, looking distraught. A man behind her is acting strange. Tony invites her onstage and makes her vanish but the bad guy is fast on their trail.

Director:

Sutton Roley

Writers:

Bruce Lansbury (created by), Laurence Heath
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Bill Bixby ... Anthony Blake
Joseph Sirola ... Dominick (as Joe Sirola)
Julian Christopher ... Jerry Anderson (as Jim Watkins) (credit only)
John Colicos ... Paul Gunther
Carol Lynley ... Janet Keegan
L.Q. Jones ... Johnson
Lloyd Nolan ... Charles Keegan
Joe Maross ... Alan Burke
Joan Shawlee ... Trudy
Jack Perkins ... Gilbert
Charlie Picerni ... Johnny Kroll (as Charles Picerni)
Eddy Donno ... Lomas
Lassie Lou Ahern Lassie Lou Ahern ... Emily (as Lassie Ahern)
Dai Vernon Dai Vernon ... Dai Vernon
Cherie Latimer Cherie Latimer ... Sharon Darnell
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Storyline

During the middle of his act at the Magic Castle, Tony notices an old girlfriend, artist Janet Keegan, in the audience, looking scared. Using his act, he is able to whisk her away from the two men who broke into her apartment and are now chasing her, she not knowing who they are or what they want with her. She suspects it has something to do with her estranged father, Charles Keegan, an old prohibition era big time criminal who she has not seen in a year, but who she knows still keeps tabs on her via a guard named Harry Oakland. Charles' business was a major factor in Tony and Janet's break-up. Because of her father's business, she doesn't feel she can turn to the police. Confronting her father, Janet finds time does not heal old wounds, he who says he has no idea who they are or what they want, however not ruling out that they indeed are going through her to get to him. Janet is still in danger as long as she and Tony don't know what's going on. But Charles may know more than he ... Written by Huggo

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Genres:

Adventure | Crime | Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 January 1974 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Blake's Magic Castle home he has a large bird with dramatic 'eyebrow' feathers. It is a Spot Bellied Eagle-Owl, probably Malaysian. Eagle-owls are related to North American horned owls but are native to Eurasia. They are the largest of the owl family. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good writing, great action, and stellar guest star put this one at the top!
4 February 2008 | by LarryBrownHoustonSee all my reviews

Synopsis: An ex-girlfriend comes flirting around but gets kid-napped by some mafia types that need to keep her father silent since he's recently gone legit. Tony to the rescue!

Lar-ry-view: This is a good one. It was still fun in 2007, so I imagine it must have been excellent for its time. This time the damsel in distress is an old girlfriend, who brings along her troubled and troublesome father. This makes the story more interesting: it has built in back stories and Tony's motivations for helping are more believable and involving.

This one features more magic, including three routines from Mark Wilson, and appearances by Mark's son Greg as well as famous magician Dai Vernon. We also get to see Tony in a performing situation rather than just impromptu. I don't get the needless exposures they are doing...that seems out of character.

We get the usual excellent action, stunts, and location footage. Again we get a helicopter. Also we get the usual creative climax location. I won't spoil it for you.

Tony is presented as a lady's man. He's got a beautiful girl on the arm (that he ignores), a girl on the phone inviting him to the boudoir (that he spurns), and an old ex-girlfriend who did him wrong with a troublesome father (who agrees to go back to his place, and for whom he risks his life in return). Man...that's action. The guy's got game.

We get a lot of sparkling dialog. The writing's good. The plot is also not convoluted like before and you don't get that tedious exposition. This one is tight, witty, and has some zing.

OK...now on to the best part. You get a scene stealing performance from Lloyd Nolan....a superstar from back in the 1930s. He doesn't dazzle the screen so much as he obliterates the loudspeakers. His quirky rhythm, accents, selective enunciation, and vocal inflections are so much fun that I was laughing out loud with each and every line he delivered. I kept playing him over and over until my wife threatened to eat her dinner in the bathroom unless I let the movie play on. Coupled with some great dialog, his performance turns this episode into a classic. Here's an example:: "I asked you to look after her, didn't I? To help her, to keep her safe. That's what you like, isn't it? Helpin' people?' That's the way you like to play it, isn't it? 'Johnny on the spot?' Well you blew it!!!" I'll vote for that as the best line in the entire "The Magician" TV series.


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