On Tuesday August 19th, 10pm ET/PT, Syfy debuts the new six-episode competition series Wizard Wars, offering a fascinating window inside the secretive world of magic. In each episode, a new team of magician “Challengers” will be presented with a random assortment of ordinary objects, and will be given a limited amount of time to transform these objects into amazing and magical performances. The Challengers are up-and-coming professional magicians who’ve traveled from all over the world to show off their magical prowess.
The winning team of Challengers in the first round will take on the expert “home team” of world-renowned “Wizards” – two-time World Championship of Magic winner Gregory Wilson, Wynn Resort resident magician Shimshi; YouTube sensation Justin Flom, and internationally renowned mentalist Angela Funovits. These Wizards are the best of the best in their competitive field, experts at both magic creation and performance.
Will the Wizards prevail? Or will one of the challenging teams be able to take down the Wizards? It’s up to the show’s expert panel of judges: Penn & Teller, Jason Latimer and Christen Gerhart.
Ultimately, viewers at home will not only be entertained, they’ll walk away with a deeper appreciation and admiration for the ancient art of magic. With each episode the magicians will be challenged to continue to push magic to new and greater heights, and the world will be one step closer to discovering the next great contemporary magician.
Watching the premiere episode, it’s easy to get pulled into looking for how the tricks are done, and into wanting to see how the expert judges are reacting to the tricks from both the challengers and the pro house wizards. The behind-the-scenes peeks at how each team begins to set up the tricks they will be performing is a twist on this type of show, because you get a hint at just how much prep work goes into a trick that might last only 15 seconds when performed. For geeks who like to deconstruct, this could be a fun feature.
Each of the first round teams are judged on creativity, showmanship and deception, and when the judges are wowed by something they haven’t seen before, you know you’ve just seen something a little bit special.
The pacing of the episode is a little odd, with the introductions to the teams taking a little longer and not flowing as well as the actual magic performances and the behind-the-scenes work. But this was a first episode out of six, so maybe that’s something they worked out in later episodes.