Derren Brown: TV Series

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Series Three: Derren Brown Trick of the Mind - Series 2 broadcast on E4 and C4 from April 2005

Programme One: Monday 11 April (E4) and Friday 15 April (C4), 2005 TVWatch on 4OD

  • two staring competitions where DB's opponents lose as one has a "nasty feeling" and the other has "burning eyeballs" during the game
  • the psychic technique of seeing with fingertips and a proponent, Lillian Keeble who called it 'dexterous vision', is detailed after which a participant writes a short sentence on a piece of card and without seeing it DB is able to relate the sentence after moving his fingers underneath it
  • this 'psychic ability' is 'given' to another participant who is then able to read a two digit number written by DB
  • DB plays a game with a stallholder in Cardiff Market: he will tell them the amount of money in their wallet to within 50p after a series of questions - if he is more the 50p out he will pay them 100; having made the prediction the money is counted and he is just 4p out
  • return to the finger reading: by holding a wallet DB is able to detail everything in it, including values on receipts and items on a shopping list
  • money in wallet game with a local character called 'Ninja', totally correct this time
  • Simon Pegg was previously asked to make a note of what he wanted for his birthday and to sign and date the back of the paper; DB then explains how he convinces people that they would always prefer the present he has bought them. Pegg then says his ideal present would be a BMX bike, and the present is opened to reveal a BMX bike. Pegg believes that he wrote 'BMX bike' earlier in the week, but he then shows the paper he wrote which reads 'leather jacket'.
  • money game in the market with a young boy, but DB is substantially wrong and duly pays out the 100
  • DB then explains how he planted the idea of a BMX bike using embedded language

Programme Two: Monday 18 April (E4) and Friday 22 April (C4), 2005 TVWatch on 4OD

  • description of a crime wave in Russia where people in the street are bemused into handing over their belongings to scam artists, and DB wants to try on some Blackpool holidaymakers; this apparently worked on two thirds of the people he tried it on: he stops someone and asks a series of questions, which include include him asking "can I just grab your wallet from you?" at which point the wallet is handed over. As DB walks away the holidaymaker appears to realise what has happened, and he chases after DB to recover the wallet
  • DB talks about the lack of genuine meaning in coincidences, and then meets Jonathan Ross and his wife who is given a free choice of a playing card; she settles on the 7 of hearts, and they are both told to think of the card. Both JR and his wife have a complete deck of cards in front of them which they are then told to shuffle under the table and keep them there. DB tells a story of coincidence, and then asks them both to take a card from the deck and replce it upside down, and to shuffle the deck again; he tells another story of coincidence emphasising the emotional bond of people in love, and then asks them to shuffle the deck again. They then both take out their cards and spread them face up on the table and push out the single face down card; she turns hers over and it is the 7H, JR then turns his card over which is also the 7H - a story of coincidence they can now both tell.
  • DB plays a game with two women in which "one of them could win a finger ring" from him; the game involves three identical ring boxes, one of which contains a ring; he mixes them up and then gives them each a box and keeps one himself. They are then allowed five swaps of the box between them all; the first woman opens her box which is empty, the second woman is given the opportunity of swapping their box with DB. Their box is, of course, empty and DB is left holding the ring (the game has been played twice and footage from the two games are interspersed)
  • DB takes a watch, phone, and house keys from another holiday maker; when he realises and catches up with DB who retuns them items, only to take them again
  • DB describes an effect which was the precursor to the ouija board: he takes a small round table and picks five people from the assembly who stand around the table and the other people form a larger circle around them. The five place their hands flat on the table, and slowly the table starts moving round, a member of the large circle then calls the table, and it moves towards them, a second member of the circle calls the table and it moves to him, he then tells it to stop. Everyone gets into groups of four, picks a table, and arrange themselves around each table which are arranged in a large circle; each table them begins to move around the room.
  • DB tries to take personal items from a final holiday maker, but fails, so he wanders off mimicking them

Programme Three: Monday 25 April (E4) and Friday 29 April (C4), 2005 TVWatch on 4OD

  • DB hands a sealed envelope to one of four participants, he then gets the other three people to choose a two digit number at random; the first participant then adds the three numbers together, opens the envelope and the number matches the total
  • DB talks about the subliminal influence and emotive language of newspaper journalism to Mo Mowlem; he has a news story in mind and writes down a few words about it out of her sight, he then asks her a series of questions and her answers match what he has written; she then pads out the story she thought of and notes it was a real story - she then looks at a newspaper DB has been using to hide his sheet and the story is on the front page, but the paper is not recent as it is dated 28 December 2000
  • repeating the first game, three spectators choose three and four digit numbers at random, and they are totalled to give a five digit number, the sealed envelope is opened and it reads 'look behind you', they turn round and posted on a bridge is the number, coincidentally the number is also the date on which the clip was filmed
  • DB talks about the efficacy of body clocks, and introduces a horologist who then checks the room does not contain any time pieces. The horologist takes off his watch and clasps it in his hand, and DB is able to detect the vibration of the second hand reaching 12; DB then explains there is no vibration and it was merely a parlour trick in which he looked at the watch, noted the position of the second hand, and then counted the seconds until it reached 12. The horologist then picks a time between two and five minutes, which DB is able to measure to within a second without using a time piece. DB then asks for a period of time between one and three hours to repeat the measurement; the horologist has brought a book to help pass the time at which DB looks briefly [the clip stops to be completed after the next effect giving a sense of the time passing]
  • DB passes a deck of cards to a crowd member who shuffles them, and then starts passing them around the crowd for each person to take a single card without looking at it. The 52 people are told to think of their favourite card, as does DB: all those thinking of a black card are eliminated, those thinking of diamonds are then eliminated. DB then picks one person who he believes is thinking of the same card as him - the 3H, which is correct. Everyone else then reveals their cards to find the 3H, but none of the other 51 have the 3H, DB's selection then reveals his randomly picked card, which is, of course, the 3H.
  • return to horologist: DB counts down to zero, but the time on the horologist's stopwatch is only 8'02". DB then says that it was more of a test of the book that was being read - as it was taking about 1'45" to read a page, DB provides a page number, and a position on the page, and the word on which the horologist stopped reading which matches exactly.

Programme Four: Monday 2 May (E4) and Friday 6 May (C4), 2005 TVWatch on 4OD

  • DB picks a volunteer to think of any object and imagine it, he then identifies it correctly. A second volunteer then picks a word from which DB asks him to think of various letters, he then identifies the word correctly.
  • DB describes how he was bullied as a child to Jo Wiley, and how he developed a skill of counting quickly. She opens a book at a random page and DB reads the text from the page while holding a lit match, when the match burns out DB stops reading and states how many letters there were in the text up to the point at which he stopped; he is, of course, correct. Jo then takes handfuls of buttons from a basin and puts them on a tray, when she has finished the bowl and tray are covered with a cloth; she then slaps DB and removes the cloth from the tray, he immediately states the number of buttons on the tray, Jo checks and he is, again, correct.
  • DB claims to have designed a zombie shoot 'em up video game which is designed to put the player into a catatonic state. While someone plays the game DB makes the screen flash and the player appears to fall asleep. The player is then wheeled on a hospital trolley to a warehouse which matches the layout of the game, he is then given a mock gun and left in the warehouse; he wakes up and is now in the game he was playing. He is clearly confused and scared, and as actors dressed as zombies appear he tries to run away, when this fails he starts shooting them. DB enters the game and as he holds the player until he calms down and appears to fall asleep again. He is then taken back to the pub where he wakes up again in front of the video game; he then describes how exciting and realistic the game was. DB then shows his the video of the warehouse to the player to explain what happened.

Programme Five: Monday 9 May (E4) and Friday 13 May (C4), 2005 TVWatch on 4OD

  • DB touches a woman crossing the road at a zebra crossing who then appears to be rooted to the spot, unable to move
  • DB stands back to back with a person who is thinking of a movement, he then writes a description of it which matches the movement she makes; DB then makes a prediction of a second person's movement which again matches; a third person then thinks of a movement while facing a crowd, DB tells the crowd how to read the movement, after which the individual writes down the movement out of sight, and the crowd then all make the same movement simultaneously which matches what he wrote
  • Graham Living, Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards, bring DB a deck of cards to use, DB writes the name of a card on a piece of paper and then deals cards slowly from the deck waiting to be told when to stop, the card on which he was stopped at random matches the card previously written down. The deck of cards is then shuffled and fanned in front of DB who then writes something down, GL then deals the cards face up in front of himself and deals one card randomly face down in front of DB, the randomly dealt face down card matches the prediction written down before the cards were dealt.
  • three people from a crowd place their mobile phone in a box and write their mobile number on a card leaving it face down, a fourth person then picks a random card and dials the number and when the phone rings DB identifies the owner correctly, DB repeats this but gets the owner wrong correcting himself immediately. The third phone owner identifies herself and dials her number omitting the final three digits on the fourth phone, DB then asks her to think of the missing numbers and he enters them but gets a wrong number; she enters the majority of the number again, DB enters the final three digits again and the remaining phone in the box starts ringing.
  • DB correctly predicts a single word that Iain Banks will choose completely at random from all of his published books before the book, page or word has been selected
  • return to the zebra crossing where the woman is still stuck, DB walks past her and touches her again, and she is able to move off

Programme Six: Monday 16 May (E4) and Friday 20 May (C4), 2005 TVWatch on 4OD

  • DB talks about a method he used a university allowing people to recreate drugged states without any of the resultant bad side effects or the need to take the drug or drink. DB then picks a student and he describes drinking a pint of cider in great detail focusing on the sensations experienced, he repeats this over and over again; the student then stands up and appears to be drunk. DB then shows him a word and tells him that every time he sees the word he will feel the same euphoria again. DB speaks to the student again, and he immediately appears to be sober again and can stand and walk normally; he then walks along a straight line without a problem. DB shows him the word again, and he is unable to walk along the line again.
  • DB is disguised and sits inside a machine cabinet at a fair in Scarborough as 'The Brown Raja who sees all', a member of the public puts a coin into the machine and the disguised DB starts writing. The card is posted out and DB has accurately identified the star sign, job, football team, and favourite food
  • the student is shown studying in the library and he receives a text message; when he reads it he starts giggling and wandering around aimlessly
  • 'The Brown Raja' amazes another group of people by correctly identifying a star sign, favourite music, last holiday, and favourite football team
  • DB meets Alistair McGowan and Richard Madeley and starts discussing rapport, he puts them both in separate isolation booths' he tells Richard to behave as naturally as possible, and he asks Alistair to take on his 'Richard' character. They both have five ESP cards in front of them, and he asks to select one card each, but they selected different cards. DB then tells Alistair to draw a woman wearing a hat while still thinking like Richard, DB tells Richard to draw whatever comes into his mind and he draws a girl with a hat. They each have four different coloured cards in front of them, and DB tells them to pick up a card at random, put it in an envelope and put it in different pocket; they repeat this for each card. They are both brought out of the booths show the failed result of the first test, and then the similar drawings. They then take the envelopes out of their respective pockets and are shown to have put the same coloured card in their matching pockets.
  • return to the student in the library who receives another text message, he start giggling again and is unable to walk without falling down

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