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The Maggie's Redress 

Houdini, Doyle and Adelaide investigate when a nun from one of the notorious Magdalene Laundries is murdered. A witness claims the murderer was a young woman tormented by the nun - but she's been dead for 6 months.


Stephen Hopkins


Josh Brandon (story editor) (as Joshua Brandon), David Hoselton | 2 more credits »





Episode credited cast:
Stephen Mangan ... Arthur Conan Doyle
Michael Weston ... Harry Houdini
Rebecca Liddiard ... Constable Adelaide Stratton
Adam Nagaitis ... Sergeant George Gudgett
Tim McInnerny ... Chief Inspector Horace Merring
Simone Kirby ... Sister Grace
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Adelayo Adedayo ... Winnie
Emily Carey ... Mary Conan Doyle
Will Chambers Will Chambers ... Patient
Louise Delamere ... Touie Doyle
Penny Downie ... Mrs. Sulzbach
Philip Gascoyne ... Scotland Yard Detective
Kate Hawley Kate Hawley ... Nun
Harry Haynes ... Officer Scott
Patrick Carney Junior ... Upper class gent (as CarneyPat)


Houdini, Doyle and Adelaide investigate when a nun from one of the notorious Magdalene Laundries is murdered. A witness claims the murderer was a young woman tormented by the nun - but she's been dead for 6 months.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





UK | Canada



Release Date:

13 March 2016 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Manchester, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


At Houdini's party, an actor playing the King of England is seen. In 1900, when the episode is set, Queen Victoria was still reigning. King Edward VII didn't become king until January 1901. See more »

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User Reviews

Not for me
3 May 2016 | by lor_See all my reviews

I watched this pilot for the new series right after watching the third season opener of "Penny Dreadful". Comparison is not really unfair, since they're both competing for eyeballs in a crowded TV entertainment market.

The ongoing issue of Cable vs. Broadcast content, made more complicated now with upstarts like Amazon and Netflix joining the fray as streaming services, is in bold relief comparing these two. "Houdini and Doyle" is square, old-fashioned and lame in the worst way. I grew up addicted to and watching religiously mainstream TV dramas and action shows that coddled me - and was highly entertained: dozens of Westerns ranging from hits like "Rawhide" and "Have Gun -Will Travel" to personal favorite flops like "Black Saddle"; "Perry Mason" and especially Gene "Bat Mastersn" Barry in his Amos Burke character of "Burke's Law". Sure, I also enjoyed the avant garde of McGoohan as "Secret Agent" and "The Prisoner", "The Outer Limits", Richard Boone's short- lived anthology series with a repertory company cast, and Robert Loggia as "T.H.E. Cat".

These cornball but effective shows are what "Houdini and Doyle" reminds me of. The originals were quaint, age-appropriate and hold a warm, nostalgic place in my heart. The new one is crap. In particular the Houdini performance was annoying beyond belief - that guy really got on my nerves in a hurry. I had read all of H.P. Lovecraft's short stories ghosted for Houdini and his collected letters discussing Houdini, and that actual link alone would have made for a more interesting show in the vein of "Penny Dreadful" or even "American Horror Story" in which HPL could have been injected into the mix along with other interesting historical figures. All we got in this episode is name-dropping (Tesla, etc.) at a party.

By contrast, #3.1 of "Penny Dreadful" was loaded with great performances led by Patti LuPone and Wes Studi, incredible production values and suspenseful introduction of new characters and plot lines guaranteed to hook the viewer. "Doyle" had none of these.

This episode seemed vaguely to be underpinned by the brilliant Judi Dench movie "Philomena" but without that picture's trenchant criticism of the Catholic church. Instead, the mistreatment of young women and their loss of their babies became mere gimmick for "tonight's episode" in which the victimized woman becomes the bad guy. Yuck!

Pilot was directed by Stephen Hopkins (part of the show's production team), alumnus of "24" and Kevin Spacey's current TV hit. Perhaps his tolerance for the hambone self-indulgence which is Spacey accounts for the poor performance tolerated by him for Houdini's role. This actor as Houdini should have been replaced, not signed for the duration - he's unwatchable.

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