Houdini & Doyle: best crime-fighting duos on TV
Tonight (17.03.16) on ITV Encore, the second episode of new series Houdini & Doyle opens with a shocking mystery for the pair to investigate.
The series stars Stephen Mangan as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Michael Weston as famous escape artist Harry Houdini. The series is inspired by the real-life friendship between the men as well as their interest in spirituality and crime-solving. Doyle famously believed that Houdini possessed supernatural powers which enabled him to perform his incredible illusions. Whilst Houdini himself constantly tried to prove that there was always an explanation behind an illusion; he refused to believe in the paranormal.
Cue a great premise for a new show.
Houdini & Doyle will see the pair team up to help investigate bizarre and seemingly inexplicable crimes. With the help of Constable Adelaide Stratton, the two men will investigate the murder of a prominent suffragette in the second episode. The perpetrator? A twelve-year-old boy who claims he is taking revenge for what happened to him in a past life.
In honour of this crime-busting duo, we decided to look back at some of the best television double acts all fighting to make the world a safer place.
Michael Knight and KITT – Knight Rider
Starring none other than the Hoff, David Hasselhoff, these two were a crime-fighting double act with a difference. The Hoff played field agent Michael Knight alongside the artificially intelligent and almost indestructible car, KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand). If you weren’t convinced about the car’s cool credentials by that “two thousand” label, just watch the clip below and see how the Hoff’s sassy companion really sexed up the show.
Mulder and Scully
When this perpetual will they/won’t they couple weren’t squatting for odd promotional photos, they were busy keeping UFOs in check. The chalk and cheese pairing of these two makes them one of our favourite duos. Everyone has a large dose of the rational, logical Scully and her (initially) rigid disbelief of the paranormal in them and Mulder is our imaginations – running wild with farfetched conspiracy theories.
Sherlock and Watson
Portrayed in hundreds of different incarnations throughout the years, it’s clear fans are obsessed with this sparring team. Both highly intelligent, one a perfect gentleman, and one an emotionally detached, sarcastic borderline psychopath. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have nailed their portrayal of the strained but touching relationship between the two in the BBC’s hit show.
Cagney and Lacey
Career-focussed Christine Cagney and working mother Mary Beth Lacey made up this irresistible crime-fighting team. Their easy, witty rapport and the simple, straight-up cop show format made for TV gold. Despite controversial casting issues, the two women were incredibly popular in their respective roles; between the two ladies they won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series six years in a row.
Batman and Robin
Could there be a more hapless duo charged with saving Gotham city? The 1960s live action series starred Adam West as the caped crusader with Burt Ward as his sidekick Robin. The unbelievably camp production was incredibly popular in its day and has retained a cult following since. The simple storylines and traditional, moral lessons championed in each episode aided its success. Now “hand me down the shark-repellent bat spray”.
Houdini & Doyle airs Thursdays at 9pm exclusively on ITV Encore.