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Deception: A Magician in the FBI

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The idea of a magician fighting crime is not a new one. In the 1920s Harry Houdini made several films where he played characters that used his escape and magic abilities to solve mysteries as an investigator of some kind. In the 1940s there was the successful comic book series, Blackstone, Master Magician where Harry Blackstone Sr was a crime fighting detective. That comic was later made into a radio show called Blackstone, the Magic Detective.

In the 1970s Television era we had The Magician which starred Bill Bixby as stage illusionist Anthony “Tony” Blake, who used his magic skills to solve difficult crimes. In the 1980s Hal Linden played magician Alexander Blacke who, with some help from his con-man father Leonard (Harry Morgan), solved mysteries.

Premiering on March 11 ABC’s Deception will be America’s newest magic and mystery drama. Since the time of Blackstone it seems that crime fighting magicians have had similar names. First Blackstone, followed by Blake then Blacke and now, Cameron Black. This time the magician was known as world’s greatest illusionist until his greatest secret was exposed and his career destroyed. Of course, Cameron has good reason to believe this was no accident.

When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion, the FBI. Through the use of magic and illusion he will help the government catch the world’s most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career. The series is from writer/executive producer Chris Fedak (Chuck) and executive producers Greg Berlanti, Martin Gero and Sarah Schechter.

Deception is not just camera tricks either. They have illusionists Francis Menotti and David Kwong on staff as writers and consultants. David Kwong (Now You See Me) will also co-produce. The Magic Compass discussed Kwong’s imvolvement with the show over a year ago. CLICK HERE to check out that article.

The trailer debuts the FBI’s first case with Black when a drug dealer makes an airplane disappear right under the FBI’s nose. This is where we became interested in learning more. The character of Cameron Black is somewhat unique. He’s funny, smart, and charming with a “he doesn’t play by the rules” attitude. There is a hint of a someone we can’t wait to get to know better. The trailer mainly focuses on Black.
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In addition, to Black the show will also focus on Black’s team who help him pull off his “magic tricks” and illusions. This is exciting to us because this adds an element to this series that’s different from other shows. Yes, Black will work with the FBI, but he will also need his team to fully solve the crime or case. By having this element, it allows the main character (Black) to fully allow the fans to become fully immersed in the case and potentially even solve it before the hour’s end.

There is also a strong relation between Black and the FBI agent he works with, Agent Kay Daniels. She obviously isn’t impressed with Black, his stardom or his ability. She seems to accept that he has talent, but as far as magic, she’s not buying it. This dynamic between them to a classic one and will surely result in a will they or won’t they story arc that should keep viewers involved.

Deception stars Jack Cutmore-Scott as Cameron Black/Jonathan Black, Ilfenesh Hadera as Kay Daniels, Lenora Crichlow as Dina Clark, Amaury Nolasco as Mike Alvarez, Justin Chon as Jordan Kwon, Laila Robins as Special Agent Deakins and Vinnie Jones as Gunter Gustafsen

The series is from Berlanti Productions and Quinn’s House in association with Warner Bros. Television. Deception is directed by David Nutter, who is also executive producer.

Deception premieres March 11 at 10|9c on ABC!

  1. sistemacritico says:

    Although on Deception, it’s unlikely that anyone will get disavowed if the mission fails. That said, the stakes are high because they aren’t just going after petty street criminals, these are more like the FBI’s Most Wanted and Team Black has more on the line than just wanting to catch criminals – they have a personal stake in getting the FBI on their side. Cutmore-Scott (the illusionist Cameron Black) is quite charming and the chemistry is pretty good all around between him and his team which includes Vinnie Jones as his strong man, Gunter (who is pretty much like every other Vinnie Jones character and I still can’t get enough! ) and Ilfenesh Hadera, who plays Kay Daniels, Black’s FBI mentor and partner-in-solving-crime.

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