Weird old title sequences: The Magician (1973)

Bill Bixby as The Magician

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.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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