Derren Brown - Trick Of The Mind - Series 2 (DVD)

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Derren Brown - Trick Of The Mind - Series 2 (DVD)

Derren Brown interacts with the crowds on Blackpool Pier and manages to persuade total strangers to hand over their wallets. More 'psychology and show...

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Review of "Derren Brown - Trick Of The Mind - Series 2 (DVD)"

published 14/07/2007 | emi_angel
Member since : 03/02/2006
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"Trick of the Mind"

I have been a big fan of Derren Brown for many years and have enjoyed all the TV shows he has made.

So who is Derren V Brown?

Derren was born in Croydon on 27th February 1971. He went to Bristol University to study Law and German even though he had no real interest in the subjects. At university he went to see illusionist Ian Rowland which is how he became interested in magic. He debated on what area to concentrate on. He didn’t like the whole aspect of hypnosis or just magic so he created a new type of magic, becoming the much loved psychological illusionist.

His first television show was on channel 4 in 2000 called Derren Brown: Mind Control which was a big success which has resulted in a number of television series and different TV specials being produced over the years. The Russian roulette special got him even more public attention when he tried NOT to shot himself in the head. Even though it was highly criticised it was actually the TV special Séance that resulted in the most complaints.

He has other interest other than freaking people out. This includes his love of painting caricature portraits of celebrities. Also he is a huge fan of Taxidermy which he owns a big collection of. He also owns a parrot. He is interested in Victorian psychics and charlatans skills used to scam people, which is how he gets some of his inspiration for some of the acts he does in his work.

The DVD consists of 6 episodes in which it is clearly stated that no actor or stooges are used in any of the acts. His work fuses "magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship”

Episode 1

This episode is set in Wales.
The first act is a staring competition he has with members of the public which results in the volunteers feeling ill and one man feeling like Derren was making his eyes burn.

We also see Derren use his two fingers to read hidden messages written on cards. He used this skill to read what a person’s wallet contained in his pocket, including naming all the products on a shopping list he had in his wallet!

One act that is seen throughout this episode is Derren guessing how much money people had in there wallet by picking people randomly off the street.

In the first episode we have a celebrity guest which is Simon Pegg. Derren tells him about how he can convince people that the gift he had bought for someone was what the person really wanted. He used this ability on Simon, who he convinced him the present he bought for his birthday, red BMX bike, is what really wants for his birthday. Derren using subliminal messages, how he does this is explained at the end of the episode which is brilliant!

Episode 2

This episode is filmed in Blackpool.
One of the main acts shown in this episode is the ability he has using the Russian scam to convince people to give up any valuables off the person to him without any protest. I find this great to watch as he does this with so little effect and it’s so funny to see the victim’s faces as they try to work out what has just happened!

Other acts which are seen in this episode are the ring game in which two volunteers try to win a ring. Three ring boxes with one containing the ring are used are shuffled. Derren has to make sure he is holding the one with the ring even when they are given 5 times to change there mind on which box they want to have. Also we see some table tipping from volunteer dancers.

The guest appearance in this episode is Jonathon Ross and his wife Jane. He uses a card trick to get them to pick the same card, 7 of hearts while telling them some stories of how things have happened in a couple’s life which can be seen as more than coincidence. I think this act was made especially for Jonathan and his wife.

Episode 3

This episode is in Whitby

One of the main acts in this show is predicting the numbers 3 members of the audience picks which is added up to a total which surprisingly turns out to be the same number previously written in an envelope.

Other acts include his being able to predict the length of a time given to him. Also using a human deck of card and being able to pick the person who holds his favourite card.

The guest appearance in this episode is Mo Molawn where he predicts things she will say when talking about a specific event that was described in a newspaper.

Episode 4

In this episode sees the biggest act from the whole series, Zombies which is one of Derren favourite performances in the show. Derren creates a game called “Walking Dead”. This game is placed in a pub and is played by passer-by David. The game makes him collapse and Derren and his team take him to nearby building set up like the real game where he will believe he is really in the game, where he has to kill zombies. After scaring the life out of him he was put back into hypnotic state and taken back into the pub, waking up looking a little confused. I really enjoyed this even though freaked me out a little.

Other acts also seen in the episode includes him reading the minds of people in a pub in Canterbury.

Also in this episode we see the guest appearance of Jo Whiley. The first act is when Derren reads out a passage in a book for as long as he can while holding a burning matchstick, once it reaches his fingers and drops it he was able to quickly say how many letters were in the passage. Also he does my favourite act by having Jo slap him and counting buttons on a tray in seconds. With both acts he got it 100% right!

Episode 5

The episode is set in Edinburgh (we see a clip with Derren wearing a kilt!)

In this episode we see a number of acts. One of the acts is guessing the movement’s member of the public will do. Also knowing which ringtone matches which person and being able to guess where someone will stop in a pack of cards.

In this episode we see the guest appearance of Iain Banks (some famous author???). Derren predicts a word he will pick from all the books he has written in his writing career. I’m guessing there were well over 30 books in the pile.

Episode 6

In this last episode we see Derren using his skills to convince a student that he is drunk. After getting him in this state he then gets him to associate a certain word with feeling drunk so throughout the episode we see Derren text him the word and seeing the participant acting as if he is really drunk. It’s hilarious seeing the poor man laughing uncontrollably and falling all over the place in the library at his university.

Another great act in the series is when Derren dresses up as a Victorian looking psychic called “The Brown Raja”. He is placed into a box looking like one of those dummy psychic games you see in amusement parks. When participants pay for a reading they find that the readings are 100% correct, unknown to them that it’s really Derren.

The last of the guest appearances is Richard Madeley and his impersonator Alistair McGowan. They are placed in separate rooms and Alistair has to believe that he is really Richard. The test that is done is to see if they will pick the same things in certain psychic-like tests.


- Behind the scenes
We get a chance to see the making of the new series at that time with Robbie Williams. I liked seeing what Derren is really like and we see more of his personality. I think he is quite funny and very charming. Also it gives us the chance to see the people behind the scenes such as his directed Stefan and his PA Coops.

- Commentary – only episodes 1 and 2
I think it would have been better to have the commentary on the entire episode but they did say that they found it hard to have different people on different episodes on the previously DVD. I liked the way Derren explained more about the acts.

- Subtitles


Overall I think this is a brilliant DVD series. All of Derren’s acts are original and very entertaining to watch. The whole series has a full variety of different illusion trick as well as different magic tricks. The ranges of acts are interesting and make you speculate on how he did, with you coming up with bizarre theories of trickery and abilities to read your mind.

Acts like Zombies, the Rain man trick with Jo Whiley and the Russian scam will fascinate and impress a lot of people. Derren cleverly reveals very little, leaving you with your own take on how he did. People still think he uses actors but if he did he would have been found out by now as he has been in the public’s eye for about 7 years now and would be bankrupt with the amount of money to pay all the actors he has supposedly used to keep quiet. We all have to face the fact that he is really good at what he does.

I think Derren himself makes the show even more outstanding. Different elements of his character make it even more enjoyable to watch the acts with his charming and entertaining personality making him a perfect performer.

Even though he is against religion and the paranormal he still doesn’t want to offend anyone only to express his opinion, this has result in him getting countless number of letters and emails from psychics every week. The main reason why he has so many fans is because we can see he has a real passion for magical illusions that can be seen clearly in his work.

So why buy it? Well it’s the perfect DVD if you want to be…
- entertained,
- love magic,
- be a little freaked out
- love anything psychological
- Or like seeing a goateed man in a stylish suit playing with peoples minds!

Director – Stefan Stuckert
Producer – Geraldine Geraghty
Executive Producers – Andrew O’Connor, Anthony Owen and Derren Brown

Running 143mins
Extras 24mins


Usually between £3.99 (if you are lucky) - £8.98
HMV - £4.99 - £4.99

Thanks for reading :-)

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Comments on this review

  • maijayoung published 07/01/2011
    Love his book too - great review! xx
  • Expired-Account published 04/08/2007
    I'm not a great Derren Brown fan, but this is a very helpful review
  • fashionista27 published 31/07/2007
    i love derren brown's programmes! fab review, exceptional =D
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Product Information : Derren Brown - Trick Of The Mind - Series 2 (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Derren Brown interacts with the crowds on Blackpool Pier and manages to persuade total strangers to hand over their wallets. More 'psychology and showmanship' from a master.


Listed on Ciao since: 02/10/2006