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Premier :: 2004-10-16

on BBC

Genre :: Documentary

Magic poster


This show will trace the development of entertainment magic throughout the world, from its earliest roots in religious ritual and tribal shamanism to today's international stars of stage and screen. Gives a definitive guide to the history of performance magic from Ancient Egypt to 21st century Las Vegas, and why it has played such an important role in our social and cultural history.

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 6 - Violent Magic
Aired - 20 November 2004

Episode summary:

From sawing a woman in half to fake decapitations, magicians have always been drawn to illusions that feature the power of death and restoration. This trend can be traced from the Elizabethan mystery plays to modem-day performers like the Amazing Jonathan, whose show features violence on a scale to rival Quentin Tarantino. Including contributions from Paul Daniels, Paul Zenon and the Pendragons, plus archive footage of one magician who, having seemingly sliced his victim in two, refused to bring her back together again.

Watch Episodes Online - Episode Guide

+ Series 1

+ Episode - 6 Violent Magic Aired - 20 November 2004
+ Episode - 5 Dangerous Magic Aired - 13 November 2004
+ Episode - 4 Disappearances Aired - 06 November 2004
+ Episode - 3 Close-up Magic Aired - 30 October 2004
+ Episode - 2 Levitation Aired - 23 October 2004
+ Episode - 1 Mind Magic Aired - 16 October 2004

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