So the other day, DreamWorks acquired the screenplay Voices from the Dead from writer J. Michael Straczynski, which was about Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes), teaming up to solve mysterious crimes with possible supernatural elements, in the 1920s. Now, two days later, Deadline reports that Syfy are developing a series about…the exact same thing.
This new series will be titled Among the Spirits, based on the graphic novel by Steve Valentine and Paul Chart. The graphic novel in turn takes its name from Harry Houdini’s 1924 book, A Magician Among the Spirits (picture above, for your excitement). Syfy’s president of original programming, Mark Stern, described the project as “a turn-of-the-century Fringe,” which I guess is exactly what people would imagine it to be.
Among the Spirits will see Houdini and Doyle team up with a female cop (in Voices from the Dead, they will be joined by a psychic), and will “try to solve bizarre murders and strange occurrences that look like hauntings and other supernatural events using steampunk technology.” It seems very, very strange that these two projects came to fruition at the same time – mayhaps Doyle was right, and there is a supernatural world? Eh? Houdini won’t be happy.
Speaking of that, Stern went on to say this about the dynamic between the two characters:
“We have Houdini, who was the ultimate illusionist and was all about creating illusions, and Doyle, who was all about getting to the truth underneath – the dreamer and the pragmatist – set against that 1920s world of America where technology is just starting to grow.”
It’ll apparently be like a cross between TV show The Wild Wild West and Guy Ritchie’s 2009 Sherlock Holmes movie.
E1 Entertainment will produce the show; they currently produce Haven for Syfy. Writers of the graphic novel, Chart and Valentine, will be writing the series Among the Spirits, as well as producing.
Speak now: Voices from the Dead or Among the Spirits?