Ahead of The Magicians’ official premiere on Jan. 25, Syfy has not-so-secretly announced an advance airing of the first episode of its adaptation of Lev Grossman’s dark, addictive, coming-of-age novel often referred to as “an adult Harry Potter.” And we have the exclusive behind-the-scenes look at where — and how —the magic happens.
Meet Quentin (Jason Ralph), Elliot (Hale Appleman), Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley), Margo (Summer Bishil), Julia (Stella Maeve), and Penny (Arjun Gupta), the main characters casting spells at Brakebills University — basically a sex, drugs, and rock-&-roll version of Hogwarts — and in clandestine magic networks.
In addition to clips from the premiere and interviews with the cast, we also get a sneak peek at the special effects-laden sorcery to come in later episodes, from dalliances with the occult to how magicians throw a proper rager. The EPK also features a first look at some match play and the uniforms of Welters — a deeply complicated Quidditch-adjacent game pitting masters of different kinds of magic against each other.
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Warning: You won’t see anyone pull a rabbit out of a hat, but you might see a being pull someone’s eyeballs out of his skull. “Please tell me someone has pointed out to you that magic doesn’t come from sunshine and ice cream,” says Margo to Quentin. And boy is she right. There’s murder, mayhem, and swelling alt-rock — and that’s just in the first episode. With a glossy, cinematic feel and a killer soundtrack, this series is sure to — dare we say? — enchant even the most fervent non-believer.
The Magicians will bow Jan. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy; catch the premiere early on Wedneday at 10 p.m. ET.