A British magician has apparently walked across the River Thames, in front of the Houses of Parliament, and claims that no trick photography was used in the stunt. 28-year-old Dynamo – real name Steve Frayne – performed the trick as part of his upcoming TV show Dynamo: Magician Impossible, which starts on the Watch channel in a couple of weeks.
The stunt was certainly eye-catching and has gained Dynamo a great deal of press. He’s not the first magician to walk on water, with the American Criss Angel having done the same thing a few years ago. It’s widely believed that plexiglass is used in such stunts. However, Dynamo’s walk across the Thames took place in a much less easily controlled environment. Did the production crew manage to get a piece of plexiglass across the entire river? It’s possible, since one of the tricks to magic is to make people discount as impossible something that is merely improbable.
Okay, here’s how to work out how he did it:
1. Did he really walk on water? No.
2. Therefore he walked on something solid. Yes.
3. Plexiglass is the obvious solution.
Anything else can be discounted. He really didn’t seem to be suspended by wires, and the crowd would have spotted that. And forget about air-cushioned shoes. No, he was walking on something that we couldn’t see, possibly a small plexiglass shelf. The exact mechanics aren’t clear. But the key to any trick like this is to do plan things properly. Dynamo didn’t do something impossible. He did something highly improbable.
So you’re thinking: he couldn’t put plexiglass under such a large part of the Thames. Of course he could. He’d have to plan it properly, in advance, and get permission. But he’s counting on you assuming that he wouldn’t invest the time and money in doing exactly that. This show probably had a pretty good budget… Anything is possible, so long as you persuade people to discount the obvious solution.
It’s unlikely that Dynamo will reveal how he performed the trick at any point. Perhaps he’s just Jesus after all?
Edit: In the comments below, an intriguing alternative idea is proposed involving a submerged Roman road that can be walked along when the tide is low. Could that be the answer?