Channel U’s The Illusionist. Life Imitating Art?

 “The Illusionist”, a drama serial starring Thomas Ong and Ann Kok is now airing on MediaCorp’s Channel U. The show has debuted with much buzz at it is Singapore’s first drama serial based on magic.

Back on 1 Oct 2009, we were booked for the MediaCorp Festival where we made Thomas Ong and his co-star Mei Xin appear on stage. You can read about our experience here.

Because of the success of our appearance at the tradeshow, Mediacorp was interested to get us to be involved with the production as consultant of sorts but we knew budgets and schedules would not allow it. Furthermore, since the serial was being produced by a local production house, the network does not get invovled with production.

But I digress…

Since the TV show aired, more than a handful of people, apart from own team, have noticed a couple of similarities between the show and us 😀 !

We are not paranoid but consider these 3 instances that many people have highlighted to us as suspiciously similiar .

1) Names of the Main Characters

As I pointed out in the blog entry on the Mediacorp festival, we were surprised to learn that the names of the main characters in “The Illusionist” were James Lee & Ming. Say the names out loud. Phonetically, it sounds suspiciously similar to J C & Ning. In fact, when we first heard the names announce during rehearsals of the Mediacorp Festival, we thought they were calling us.

But I guess James Lee is a common name and Ming is a fairly common Chinese female’s name. But the fact they are used together for illusionists…. hmmm

2) 4D Prediction

In episode 4, the main character of the show attempted to predict the local lottery. The prediction was sealed in a small metal box that was then encased on a plexi-glass box. Sounds familiar?

We are not the only ones who found the act almost identical. One of the local Chinese papers ran a story pointing out the similarities of this prediction with our “Impossible 4D Prediction” that made news headlines in Jan earlier this year.

 Thanks to Joyce Stella for sendng this to us 🙂

If you have not, check out the full story on our 4D Prediction here or watch:

3) Spike Escape

From what we understand based on written previews and interviews of the show, one of the characters (a female magician) played by Ann Kok will be attempted an escape from a bed of spikes…

I’m sure anyone who knows us is familiar that Ning performed South East Asia’s first ever mega escape, “The Impalement Cage”, back in Jul 2008.

This world’s first full view escape from a cage of spikes propelled ‘Magic Babe’ to mainstream consciousness due to the tremendous media publicity the stunt received. I remember us going for photoshoots and interviews every week for several weeks leading up to the event.

In any other spike escape in the world, and I believe the one that Ann Kok has filmed, there is a cover (cloth, screen or box) that hides the performer from view. This cover is to protect the secret of the escape. In Ning’s case, she did it in full view where everyone watching could see her attempt to escape step by step.

Watch the thrilling escape below. It has already been viewed almost 22,000 times on YouTube.

We all know that there is always the possibility of independent creation but having 3 big coincidences is interesting…

Let’s hope they do not start teleporting cars or people across rivers or try to set a world magic record!


About J C Sum

International Headline Entertainer, Content Creator and Investor
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5 Responses to Channel U’s The Illusionist. Life Imitating Art?

  1. Darren says:

    I also noticed the similarities….but I feel they have no creativity…they copied!

    • jcsum says:

      Thanks Darren! As I mentioned on FB too, if we did inspire so many plot ideas and acts, we must be doing something right 🙂

  2. han hwee says:

    Does The Illusionist also feature a straitjacket striptease?

  3. Pingback: Channel U “The Illusionist” VS J C Sum & ‘Magic Babe’ Ning? « BACKSTAGE BUSINESS: The Art, Science & Business of Showbiz by J C Sum

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