‘The Magicians’ Cast Delivers Unfiltered, Expletive-Laden Comic Con Panel

R.W.V. Mitchell
TV Comic-Con
TV Comic-Con

Chris Hardwick, a die-hard Magicians fan, moderated a bonkers panel that included Jason Ralph (Quentin), Stella Maeve (Julia), Olivia Taylor Dudley (Alice), Hale Appleman (Eliot), Arjun Gupta (Penny), Summer Bishil (Margo), and executive producers Sera Gamble and John McNamara.

When Chris Hardwick kicked off the panel with a question about what Jason Ralph thinks Quentin wants, Ralph stopped looking at his phone screen and declared: “I’m putting my phone down, but if a legendary Pokémon comes into this room, I need someone to scream.” After a brief pause for laughs, he turned to face Hardwick and delivered an impassioned reply which he summed up with, “Quentin wants happiness. And what the f*ck does ‘happiness’ mean?”


The Magicians is a show that prides itself on being believable and approachable — as far as shows about 20-somethings who possess magical abilities go anyway. Stella Maeve feels that is its key to success, that “the characters are so human, and the magic is just sprinkled on top.”

Magicians Without Magic? How Will That Work?

Now, with magic dead in the world of The Magicians, things are going to be even closer to real for the characters. Keep in mind, they’re fresh off of being crowned the kings and queens of Fillory. Summer Bishil is totally on board with that, saying of her character Margo, “At first she’s sort of power drunk. It’s her wet dream to be queen of an enchanted land.”

But in the face of remarkable discrimination, where her character is often ignored in favor of the High King, Eliot, “She has to be pretty aggressive in her decision making just to be heard.”

Like Margo, all of the characters face incredible stakes without the ability to do magic. Arjun Gupta thinks that Penny, who often separates himself from his colleagues (and also from his hands), is in a big bind now. “No one has magic, so he’s kind of forced to grow up in this way that’s quite lovely.”

Voyages of Discovery

Syfy has big plans for its properties. Producer Sera Gamble is thrilled to lead such a genre-bending show. Between fey-tinged fantasy, Bildungsroman drama, heist films, and musicals, “we just want a show where we can do whatever the f*ck we want,” she exclaimed. “There’s no genre that The Magicians isn’t… Expect a spaceship! Why not?”

Producer John McNamara agrees with that scope. “We want to once again lead in genre as we did with Battlestar.” You can also expect to see future musical episodes.

And while it’s no spaceship, we will have the opportunity to see a pretty magical vessel in season three. The show will adapt the voyage of The Muntjac for season three, and the set pieces look phenomenal. Check out the video below. It’s pretty flippin’ magical.

According to the cast, the VFX and properties team continue to amaze. The hand-tuts and gestures are keyed to practical effects on set, and the actors rarely have to sit in front of a green screen. And advice for getting the hand-tuts right so the effects go off?

“It’s a fancy nipple twist,” Olivia Taylor Dudley advises. Unconventional, but effective.

Vikings Olivia Taylor Dudley
Fancy nipple twist your way to the top of the class

Sacrifice and Cocktails

Aside from the lingering magical power Julia possesses, it’s unclear how the magicians will get their magic mojo back. But in a moment that Chris Hardwick called the “most context-appropriate question” he’d ever seen at a con, two women dressed as Fillorian fairies asked which of their peers the magicians cast would sacrifice to the fairies to bring magic back.

“I would sacrifice Quentin,” Arjun Gupta offered, without hesitating. “That’s f*cking obvious!” Jason Ralph shot back, quickly adding “I’d sacrifice Penny!”

“I’d sacrifice both of you,” Hale Appleman wryly added. He stood firm, even after Chris Hardwick reminded him he would only have to sacrifice one.

Don’t ask him for cocktail advice, though. “I don’t wanna break any hearts, uh, but I’m not much of a drinker. Maybe a nice club soda,” Appleman said. Pretty convincing work, then, to play a borderline-alcoholic magic mixologist.

By the way, the final f-bomb count? 16, plus 1 bonus f-bomb from the audience.

R.W.V. Mitchell
R.W.V. Mitchell is a Fan Contributor whose proudest accomplishment is winning the Star Wars trivia contest at the midnight showing of Revenge of the Sith.
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