The Magicians Review: Unauthorized Magic

January 25th, 2016 | by Karen Roguski

Reviewed by:
On January 25, 2016
Last modified:January 26, 2016


A successful story that continues to intrigue.

The highly anticipated new fantasy drama, The Magicians, brought to us by SyFy, has its double episode premiere on Monday, January 25th.  Our Karen Roguski has this ComiConverse review of the first episode for those who might be picking up the show a little late.

Spoiler Alert: This review contains spoilers for episode #1 of The Magicians “Unauthorized Magic”.


We learn in the first five minutes that this is a story of change, of growing up, of struggling to fit in.

Quentin, when not off if book land, struggles with psychiatric help and medications as he feels alone and misunderstood.


His favourite book adventure being based around Fillory, the land of magic, his favorite fantasy escape. Whereas his best friend, Julia, is trying to bring him back into the realm of real people, to socialize and hang out.


Credit: The Magicians

Between the delicate booty shorts and the finding of a dead body before the first commercial, it is rather clear that this is not a show for small children to watch alone.

As there are no small ones in my home I find it to be a marvellous start to the series.

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Credit: The Magicians

The dead man leaves a gift for Quentin, even though they had never met before nor had Quentin knew of him. Not a smooth transition, in my opinion for one just released from the hospital over the weekend. He is easily drawn into the mystery with no second thoughts when he opens the package to discover it is a long rumoured lost edition to his favorite book adventure series Fillory.

Drama between Quentin and Julia begins within the first twelve minutes of the pilot episode. Quentin, however, doesn’t give their fight much thought at all as he dives right back into the newest pages of his beloved Fillory realm, that is until he loses a page down a mysterious dark alley.

Cat and mouse games keep him following after the page, with no thought at all as to where he is headed until he wanders upon Eliot, who has been waiting for his arrival, on the grounds of a private college, Brakebills University.


Credit: The Magicians

He then learns he is already late for his preliminary entrance exam into the graduate program. He and Julia were in the very same room taking the very same exam and neither have a clue until they have completed the first part of the test. Neither can explain how they came to arrive in upstate New York. Quentin, however, is very glad they are both there together as he had just begun taking a new set of psyche medications and had been thinking he had lost his mind.

Julia learns straight away that she failed the test of magical aptitude and is having the memory of the entire thing eradicated, whereas Quentin, on the other hand, is being asked to do real magic before a table of five.

He tries to pull a couple slide of hand tricks and is quickly lectured and angers the Dean. In his state of frustration performs his first real dose of magic and does not emotionally handle it very well, and disbelief among other things takes over.

That’s all I’m going to let you know. You will have to join me in watching The Magicians, so be sure to tune in on SyFy this Monday.

Until then…the eyes have it……

The Magicians Cast:

Margo (named Janet in the novel) played by Summer Bishil, Eliot played by Hale Appleman, Quentin played by Jason Ralph, Alice played by Olivia Taylor Dudley, Penny (William) played by Arjun Gupta and Julia played by Stella Maeve.

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Karen Roguski is a Contributor For ComiConverse:  Follow Us on Twitter: @ComiConverse

A successful story that continues to intrigue.

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