Tired of leaving of having to leave your house to see magic shows? Don’t feel like raking through hours of stolen tricks and Zach King compilations on YouTube? Good news, your old faithful friend, the television, will once again be host some quality magic shows in the coming weeks. Both Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Champions of Magic will be returning to the small screen before the month is out.
Fool Us returns on Monday, June 25th, with an episode called Penn the Magic Dragon. No prizes for guessing who’s going to be on that show. Unless you guessed Dom Chambers, in which case, yeah, you probably deserve a prize for your weirdly specific knowledge of upcoming variety show lineups*. Appearing alongside Chambers and a certain actual mythical beast will be Matt Marcy, Andrew Evans and The Sentimentalists.
On Friday, June 29th, Masters of Illusion season 7 will premiere on The CW. There’s no info on who’ll be in this first episode aside from what you can glean from the short trailer above. I did spot Murray Sawchuck in there. Then again, he’s hard to miss.
If you’re willing to step into the realm of digital entertainment streaming, you’ll also be able to catch Derren Brown’s Miracle when it hits Netflix on June 22nd.
*Unless you actually are Dom Chambers, in which case, get out of here, Dom. Stop trying to steal our hypothetical prizes.
My show ‘Miracle’ drops on Netflix on June 22nd. It’s about the present moment, the stories we live by, and debunks faith healing along with the way. I never thought it would work and it ended up being the most extraordinary touring experience I’ve had. Trailer: pic.twitter.com/d3PlpBYkAW
— Derren Brown (@DerrenBrown) June 14, 2018
It seems like every time someone brings up an upcoming Derren Brown TV special I find myself muttering, “Hasn’t that been out for ages?” and doing a quick Google search. The answer is usually, yes, yes it has. It seems like whatever deal Brown has with British TV channel, Channel 4 (we are not imaginative people by nature), often means you burger goblins have to wait a good couple of years to see those specials.
So it gives me no small amount of pleasure to tell you that while I didn’t see Miracle literally years ago, I definitely could have. Sadly, that feeling of superiority is fleeting, as Miracle will soon be available to your lot via the streaming magic of Netflix. It’ll be available in North America on June 22nd, to be exact.
Miracle contains all of the cool-but-unnerving-and-probably-not-entirely-ethical illusions Brown is known for, with an interesting twist. In a bid to discredit faith-healing, Brown attempts to trick members of the audience into believing their bodies have undergone some kind of supernatural change thanks to his admittedly impressive mastery of mentalism and illusion.
It’s a great starting point for talking about the neurological phenomena that allow faith healing, and indeed performance magic to work. Our brains control our bodies in ways we’re not aware of, and in ways modern science barely comprehends. To debunk faith healing (a noble aim indeed), Brown really shows us how and why it appears to work.
That being said, tricking people into committing attempted murder is probably funnier.