Today I had the opportunity to participate in a press conference call for SyFy’s upcoming series The Magicians. The call featured series star Jason Ralph (Manhattan), and Executive Producer Sera Gamble (Supernatural).
Ms. Gamble talked about the involvement of Lev Grossman, the Author whose books inspired the show. Gamble stated that Grossman sees the scripts and early cuts of the show before her bosses do, and he is always involved in the series. Gamble talked about the choice to age up Quentin and his fellow characters. The change was one of the few major departures from the source material. In the series, Quentin is preparing for graduate school, where as in the books, he is 17 years old. Gamble asserted that this change was made for several creative reasons, and that Lev Grossman himself was involved in the conversation. Grossman apparently began developing the book series after growing impatient for the next Harry Potter book to release. As such, the books, and the show, wear their Harry Potter fandom on their sleeves.
A lot was brought up about Jason Ralph’s use of slight of hand and magic tricks in the pilot episode. Mr. Ralph actually studied magic tricks in order to perform as the character. Gamble and Ralph also talked about the finger movements used to practice magic in the series. The inspiration came from a form of dance called finger tutting, which itself is an offshoot of hip hop dance. Jason Ralph mentioned that his extensive study of both magic tricks and finger tutting helped inform his take on Quentin, a character who obsessively practices and masters things. Ralph joked that Mike Cahill, who directed the pilot episode, was so impressed with his slight of hand that he said the Actor saved him “like 7 thousand dollars.” Ralph told the Director to repay him with a nice bottle of wine. No wine has yet been given.
When asked about any bonding with his fellow Actors, Ralph stated that they shot the pilot episode in New Orleans, which allowed for a lot of crazy nights out on the town for the cast. He also mentioned that much of the cast visited The Magic Castle in Los Angeles to watch the professional Magicians show them how its done.
I would like to thank Jason Ralph, Sera Gamble, and the press team at SyFy for the opportunity to participate in this conference call. The Magicians premieres on SyFy on January 25th, with a 2 episode debut. The first episode of The Magicians is already available to stream for free on SyFy’s website, as well as through iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video, and many other services. The first episode is also available on Youtube, and is embedded bellow in this very episode. Are you excited for The Magicians? Tell us in our comments, and stay tuned to TVEnthusiast for more coverage of The Magicians, and all of your favorite shows.