I was ever so tempted to do The Equalizer today, what with Russell Crowe having been lined up this week for the movie remake. But somehow, I still couldn’t resist doing The Magician.
Before Bill Bixby ever got angry and changed into The Incredible Hulk – but some time after he was best pals with My Favorite Martian – he was the adventurous Anthony “Tony” Blake (Anthony Dorian in the pilot before someone pointed out that was the name of a real magician).
Like The A-Team, Blake had been wrongly convicted of a crime, and sent to prison overseas. However, with his cellmate, he discovered a way to escape. On the outside, the cellmate died and left Blake a fortune, enabling him to pursue a career in his new interests of escapology and stage magic – and to help people who were the victims of injustice. He also got to live in a Boeing 737 and a castle.
Notably, other than in the pilot, Bill Bixby insisted on doing all the magic tricks depicted himself – after the series was cancelled, Bixby went on to host a string of magic specials on NBC and a syndicated magic series as well.
It lasted two seasons, and managed to have two weird title sequences. Love the voice over on the second, but the animation on the first is killer.