Derren Brown: TV Series

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Series Six: Mind Control with Derren Brown (US series) broadcast on Sci-Fi from July 2007.

Programme One Shopping Mall (aka Series Premiere): Thursday 26 July, 2007

  • Shopping Mall [Originally broadcast in MC P6, reflimed for current programme]
    Shoppers raising their hands in the Palisades Mall after having heard DB's tannoy announcement
  • Money in Wallet [Original effect broadcast in TOTM2 P1, refilmed for current programme]
    DB stops someone in the street and asks them a series of questions and predicts the amount of money they have in their wallet; he is $1 out, but the volunteer reveals she had another dollar bill loose in her pocket making the prediction correct
  • Chat up Line [Originally broadcast in MC1]
    DB divining qualities looked for in a man by two models, and a winning chat up line for a third
  • Money in Wallet continued
    DB bets $100 on being correct with another money in wallet prediction; he manages to keep his money
  • Paying with Paper [Originally broadcast in ToT P2]
    DB enters a fishmongers a buys three sole fillets and appears to have successfully paid the $18.50 with a blank piece of paper the size of a dollar bill.
  • Handing over Valuables [Originally broadcast in TOTM2 P2]
    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
  • Silent Conducting [Originally broadcast in TOTM1 P3]
    identifying three pieces of music conducted, without any orchestra, by Robin Stapleton selected from list of DB's CD collection
  • Handing over Valuables continued
    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
  • Paying with Paper continued (clip not originally shown in UK series)
    DB visits a grocery store and pays for a bagful of shopping with blank paper bills
  • Money in Wallet continued
    DB makes another prediction following his questions and risks $100 but gets it correct again, despite the man's wallet containing Euros which are then converted into dollars
  • Paying with Paper continued
    DB's final transaction is in a jewellers and he appears to pay successfully for a $4500 platinum ring with more blank bills
  • Finger Prediction [Originally broadcast in TOTM1 P2]
    In a street setting DB divines the number of fingers held up out of sight by a member of the crowd and vice versa
  • Silent Conducting continued
    orchestra playing a piece (after having started randomly) which was chosen by the conductor and only transmitted to them by his "mental conducting"
  • Advertising Executives [Originally broadcast in MC2 (Special), refilmed for current programme]
    DB predicting design for advert created by two Saatchi and Saatchi advertising executives for his fictional chain of taxidermy stores offering subliminal suggestion as the reason behind their designs
  • Paying with Paper continued
    DB finally tries paying a hotdog vendor with paper but fails miserably

Programme Two Lying Car Salesman: Thursday 2 August, 2007

  • Swapping Directions [Originally broadcast in TOTM3 P4, refilmed for current programme]
    While standing in a street holding a map and looking lost, DB stops a passer-by and asks them for directions, while they are talking a large portrait of DB is carried between them, and when the portrait passes DB has been replaced by another person, but the passer-by does not notice.
  • Dog Track [Originally broadcast in MC P5]
    DB getting tellers to pay out on losing betting slips at greyhound racing at Walthamstow Stadium
  • Car Salesmen [Originally broadcast in ToT P6]
    A car sales lot in Queens, New York: DB meets three car salesmen and discusses the archetypal dishonest image of a car salesman. Each salesman is two give DB four facts about a different car but one has to be a lie. The first salesman's lie is picked correctly out of the four, and the second salesman's lie is identified before he has given all four. The final salesman is told just to think of the facts rather than say them aloud: DB identifies the first thought as the lie and then correctly describes elements of the thought.
  • Swapping Directions continued
    Repeat of the portrait trick with two more passers-by only one of whom questions DB's change despite DB's replacement looking even less like DB
  • One Inch Punch [Originally broadcast in MC P5]
    'one inch punch' routine initially demonstrated by a kung fu grand master, and then DB performing his version with no contact, and out of sight
  • Dog Track continued
    DB continues to get tellers to pay out on losing betting slips at greyhound racing at Walthamstow Stadium
  • Coin in Hand Game
    DB plays the coin in hand game using a dollar bill, and bets $100 that he will get it correct four times in a row; his $100 remains safe
  • Stop! [Originally broadcast in TOTM1 P6]
    DB stopping woman walking across a room by clenching his fist out of her sight; woman stopping pedestrian walking past the window by clenching her fist
  • Phantom Limb Pain [Originally broadcast in TOTM3 P6]
    DB meets John Pickup, an amputee, who has a prosthetic right arm and starts discussing phantom limb pain. DB draws round JP's prosthetic hand and then JP takes the arm off; JP is told to imagine that the drawn outline of his hand is as sensitive as it was before the amputation. DB then touches one of the drawn fingers and without looking JP is able to tell him which finger was touched. DB then places a candle on the outline and JP is able to describe its texture, shape, but names it as a shoe horn. DB then places a teacup on the outline, and JP describes the material and then describes it as a teacup.
  • Dream Control [Originally broadcast in TOTM3 P2]
    DB introduces the subject of dreams and the possibility of controlling a dream's subject; a volunteer is blindfolded and driven (during which a specific piece of music is playing on the radio) to a marquee in a garden. After changing for bed he is shown a short video made up of seemingly random still shots accompanied by the same music playing on the radio; he is then left to fall asleep. DB watches him on a monitor and waits for him to enter the REM state of sleep at which point DB enters the room and whistles the same tune again, DB leaves the room after displaying a list of words above the still sleeping volunteer's head. DB re-enters the room and wakes the volunteer up and asks about his dream. He describes a series of items, all of which have been predicted by DB on the board above his head. DB leaves him to go back to sleep, and when he is soundly asleep, panels in the room are opened to show a scene similar to that described by the volunteer; DB wakes him up again, and the volunteer rouses and slowly gets out of bed and walks into the surreal environment he had dreamt. DB then tells him to go back to bed and when he is asleep again the room is returned to normal. When the volunteer has woken up naturally. he tries to recount his experience, but cannot explain why his feet and, therefore the bedsheets, and now covered in mud.
  • Music Information'Galop Infernal' ("The Can Can")
    from Orpheus in the Underworld

    Jacques Offenbach
    Buy Song
  • Swapping Directions continued
    Repeat of the portrait trick with another passer-by who doesn't notice that his replacement is female

Programme Three Exotic Dancers: Thursday 9 August, 2007

  • Viewer participation [Originally broadcast in MC P2]
    The viewer selects a random face from seven, and DB reveals which face was chosen and why.
  • Unattended Wallet [Original effect broadcast in TOTM1 P3, refilmed for current programme]
    DB places a wallet filled with money on the pavement at a busy intersection in New York. He draws a yellow circle around the wallet with chalk. Time lapse photography from an aerial camera shows that the wallet remains undisturbed despite heavy pedestrian traffic.
  • Exotic Dancers [Originally broadcast in MC P2]
    DB creates the sensation of touching exotic dancers' hands at the Spearmint Rhino. For the demonstration, a dancer holds one arm raised in front of her with the thumb tucked under and eyes closed while the others watch silently. She is asked to report the number of times she is touched, and we then see DB dipping his finger toward the arm as if touching it from a distance. The dancer then reports that she felt DB touch her on the arm several times.
  • Underground Stops [Originally broadcast in MC P2]
    On the London Underground DB talks to a passenger and ascertains their destination. DB wipes his hand across the passenger's vision who is then unable to remember where they are going; DB then taps the passenger's forehead and immediately they are able to recall the station name. This is followed by another demonstration of forgetfulness with a different passenger.
  • Twin Synchronicity [Originally broadcast in MC1 (Special)]
    DB explains synchronicity between twins and demonstrates it by asking a pair of twins to move one arm or leg in time with a beat. Although the twins are unable to see each other, their pattern of movement is identical. DB touches the shoulder of one member of another pair of twins, and the other member feels his touch while seated on the opposite side of a partition.
  • Underground Stops continued
    We return to the London Underground and see an unsuccessful attempt to impair the memory of an Underground passenger. This is followed by a successful demonstration of forgetfulness and the passenger misses his stop while attempting to remember his destination.
  • Twin Synchronicity continued
    One member of a third pair of twins chooses and writes a number between 1 and 1000. DB then puts the other twin in a 'heightened state of sensitivity' during which she writes the identical number on a pad (DB refers to this as automatic writing in the stage show and seance).
  • Clinical Psychologist Predictions [Originally broadcast in TOTM1 P6]
    DB predicts words chosen at random by a clinical psychologist in a 'word dissociation' game. DB provides one word and the clinician responds by choosing a word that he does not associate with the given word, and the last word of the sequence is a free choice. After a few initial misses, DB correctly predicts the clinician's choice of such unlikely words as 'water-ski' and 'buffalo'.
  • Mind Reading [Originally broadcast in TOTM2 P4]
    At a pub, DB picks a volunteer to think of any object and imagine it. He then correctly identifies the object. A second volunteer then picks a word from which DB asks him to think of various letters, and he then identifies the word correctly by piecing together the letters. In addition, DB also reveals the name that the volunteer was thinking of before he changed his mind.
  • Unattended Wallet continued
    A followup shows DB's wallet is still lying undisturbed on the ground hours later.
  • Venitian Muscle Reading [Originally broadcast in TOTM3 P4]
    DB describes a treasure hunt in 1883 when an Italian magician and alchemist called Alessandro Donnini asked Count Giovanni Francesco to hide a necklace in the San Marco in Venice, and Donnini's task was to find it. Donnini used a technique called muscle reading and held Francesco's wrist to detect unconscious signals as they walked around Venice; he apparently found the necklace in just over an hour and a half [NB. this story and Donnini appear to be apocryphal, although Count Giovanni was alive around that time]. DB plans to repeat this experiment and dispatches Francesco da Mosto to hide a secret object somewhere in the San Marco district. FdM returns an hour later and a crowd has gathered to watch the treasure hunt. DB demonstrates the principle of muscle reading by asking FdM to give a pencil to a member of the crowd, and then while FdM holds DB's wrist, FdM thinks of the directions DB has to move to find the pencil, and the pencil is duly found. FdM takes DB's wrist again, DB decides the direction to head in, and they and the crowd set off walking through the streets. DB resolves to find the object in less than ninety minutes. The sequence is concluded when DB locates the object concealed in a statue after a little over two hours, much to the delight of FdM and the crowd.
  • Finger Prediction [Originally broadcast in TOTM1 P6]
    In a street setting, DB places his hands palm to palm with a volunteer's and repeatedly identifies the finger she mentally chooses. She then correctly guesses how many fingers he is holding up behind his back.
  • Emmigrant (sic) Saving Bank in Lower Manhattan - Wisdom of Crowds [Originally broadcast in ToT P5]
    DB introduces the game of guessing how many sweets in are in a jar to a crowd of workers from the bank. A volunteer is selected and she has to write down everyone's guess and writes her guess down; all of the other guesses are then written down. DB reveals that there were 136 sweets in the jar, and one person is shown to have guessed 136. She opens the jar and finds a scroll inside: she opens this and it is a prediction describing the one person who will have guessed correctly - the description matches the girl completely. DB returns to the list of numbers and calculates the mean of the numbers written down which is shown to equal 136. The sweets are then counted and there are shown to be 136.
  • Unattended Wallet continued
    Conclusion to wallet sequence as DB collects it at the end of the day.

Programme Four Receptive Children: Wednesday 15 August, 2007

  • Cell Phone Prediction [Originally broadcast in ToT P1]
    Street work in New York: DB approaches a group of students and one is asked to phone a friend of theirs. DB speaks to the friend, Joe, on speakerphone asking various questions. DB tells Joe to be imagining writing a word, saying the word repeatedly in his mind, and doing it all without really thinking about it, and then writes a word on a pad. Joe reveals his word as 'Bicycle', DB turns his pad around and the word 'Tricycle' is written there.
  • Card Prediction
    DB lays out five cards reading 'Birth', 'Death', 'Life', 'Sex', and 'Money' in front of a waitress, and then writes the five words down in order. He asks her to choose one, and he correctly predicts the 'Sex' card. She picks a second card and DB gets 'Birth' correctly. DB then picks a word himself and transmits it to the waitress; she picks her card and it matches the word DB chose. DB picks another card and places it face down, the waitress does the same, this is then repeated for the other four cards so there are two piles of cards face down on the table. The cards are then dealt out and the waitress has got all of them correct. DB then shows that the cards are in the order he wrote down at the start of the effect.
  • Receptive Children [Originally broadcast in TOTM1 P4]
    primary teacher reading a story and picturing an image with the image then drawn by DB while having been created as a hand painting by her class of pupils; explanation given that the printed story was a standard triple acrostic, but the phrase also appeared on the diagonals. The phrase was 'teddy bear' which was the image she pictured, DB drew, and the children painted.
  • Weakened Boxers [Originally broadcast in MC1]
    DB prevents boxers picking a girl up
  • Seeing with Fingertips [Originally broadcast in TOTM2 P1 refilmed for current programme]
    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. DB then 'transfers' the skill to the volunteer who is able to use her fingers to read the number written on a card by DB.
  • Weakened Boxers continued
    DB prevents another boxer picking a girl up
  • Predicting Movements [Originally broadcast in TOTM2 P5 refilmed for current programme]
    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
  • Seeing with Fingertips continued
    by feeling inside a volunteer's jacket pocket DB is able to detail everything in it, including details from a business card and the metal from which keys are made
  • Simon Pegg's Birthday Present [Originally broadcast in TOTM2 P1]
    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'.

Programme Five Assault Course: Wednesday 22 August, 2007

  • Noughts and Crosses [Original effect broadcast in TOTM3 P3, refilmed for current programme]
    DB plays noughts and crosses (tic tac toe) against passers by in a demonstration of "classic Victorian mentalism": DB is blindfolded but has the advantage of going first, if he loses he will pay the winner $100. He dutifully wins three games having identified where his opponent has placed all their symbols during the games.
  • Colour Blind in Las Vegas [Originally broadcast in ToT P3]
    DB works with one of a group of three girls. Firstly she thinks about something she is unsure about, and secondly something that she is sure about. DB appears to use the NLP technique of anchoring to anchor these feelings. DB gives her four coloured cards and she names the colours as the cards are laid on the table (blue, green, yellow, red). DB then discusses the colours and she is persuaded the blue card is "not definitely" blue. She then says the yellow card is "not completely" yellow, and then says that the yellow card is in fact red. She then names the same colours again: blue, green, red, black. They then go outside to find her car which is clearly red, while she recognises the car and number plate but does not understand who has painted it black. She then identifies a yellow Hummer as red.
  • Noughts and Crosses continued
    Before DB plays a game, a member of the public is asked to fill a grid in a notebook with noughts and crosses at random so that the game is a draw. DB then plays, still blindfolded, against another passer by and the game is drawn. The game is shown to have matched the random grid drawn previously in the notebook.
  • Dreamscapes [Originally broadcast in TOTM3 P3]
    DB meets a group of individuals to see if he can communicate an image to them subconsciously. After a moment of relaxation while listening to music, they are told to draw the image they saw in the back of their mind. Their pictures are displayed and all but two people have drawn a very similar drooping flower, which is shown to match an image DB had sealed in his pocket. In a debrief afterwards DB suggests that the people who got the flower are the sort of people who would use subliminal tapes and CDs, and it transpires that the group of people had previously all used the same subliminal CD to aid sleeping. DB explains to the viewers that the CD, Dreamscapes, had been prepared by him a year previously and sent out to people who had responded to an advert; they had also been sent a questionnaire to help DB identify the more suggestible participants. The most promising were invited to a venue called 'Dreamspace' for this experiment along with one person who had returned the CD and one who had not felt any benefit from the CD: these were the two people who had not drawn the flowers. None of the participants had been aware that there was any connection between the CD and the invitation to come to the venue.
  • Assault course [Originally broadcast in MC P6]
    In total darkness, DB navigates blindfolded and bare foot over a maze set several feet above the ground. The maze has been booby trapped with barbed wire, razor blades, and broken glass by a former SAS soldier. DB is guided only by his discrimination of either truthful or fallacious answers provided by the soldier.
  • Watch Hand Prediction [Original effect broadcast in TOTM3 P6, refilmed for current programme]
    On a ferry to Staten Island, DB takes a passer-by's watch, sets it to a new time, and returns it to the passer-by's wrist without letting them see it. DB describes a clock face while asking the player to think of a time; this is shown to match the new time on her watch.
  • Piano Recital [Originally broadcast in ToT P4]
    Yshani is a 21 year old student from London. DB describes her as lacking confidence and becoming disillusioned with her college work. DB describes how he has to make her forget her current state, and create a new one in which she believes anything is possible. She then claims that she has basic pianistic skills, and she attempts to play 'Chopsticks' on the piano. DB then tells her she is going to be giving a concert recital in a week's time at the Wigmore Hall. She then listens to the piece she will be playing, with DB using techniques working on several "levels". DB shows her how notes on manuscript relate to the piano keyboard, using "subliminal technqiues" throughout the session. DB meets Yshani at the Wigmore Hall where she is seen to be nervous about her performance and unwilling to perform.
  • Watch Hand Prediction continued
    Another passer by correctly guesses the time to which DB has set her watch.
  • Piano Recital continued
    Yshani is called to the stage and sits down at the piano. She starts playing, but stops after a few notes. She pauses, and then starts playing again this time giving a full concert performance of the piece. A series of soundbites are then shown with members of the public amazed at the fact she had not played before the performance. DB and Yshani are then shown chatting, and DB tells her that she has been a pianist all her life, and his training was to make her forget she could play to remove the feelings of disillusionment she was currently experiencing. He explains it was a treat to help her, and comments on her bravery in getting up and performing as "in her head she had never played the piano before".

Programme Six Disappearing Sun: Wednesday 29 August, 2007

  • Sleeping Payphone [Originally broadcast in TOTM1]
    slumping to floor reaction to telephone call received on pay phone
  • Disappearing Sun [Originally broadcast in TOTM3 P1]
    In the Valley of Fire in Nevada DB meets a volunteer and establishes the time is 4pm. DB asks the volunteer whether he believes he could make the sun disappear, the volunteer says he could. DB explains that he is going to use an Native American Indian trick and sits the volunteer down on the ground. DB draws a circle in the dirt and then scrubs it out, he repeats this and then asks the volunteer to draw a circle. As the volunteer leans forward to scrub out his circle DB hypnotises him and he falls asleep; DB leaves him lying on the ground, and as time passes the sun is shown to be setting. At 8.05pm DB sits the volunteer up, and adjusts the time on his watch to 4.05pm and then wakes him up to continue scrubbing out the circle he drew. The volunteer is unaware of the passage of time and believes the sun has disappeared; he admits that he didn't really think DB could make the sun disppear and is left in a shocked state.
  • Oxford Letter Predictions [Originally broadcast in MC P2]
    predicting letters chosen by two students at Oxford Union
  • Oxford Drawing Predictions [Originally broadcast in MC P2]
    predicting picture drawn by student at the Oxford Union
  • Oxford Card Identification [Originally broadcast in MC P2]
    student identifying card hidden in DB's pocket at the Oxford Union
  • Ring Tones [Original effect broadcast in TOTM2 P5, refilmed for current programme]
    three people from a crowd place their cell phones in a box and write their 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 successfully. 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 and the remaining phone in the box starts ringing.
  • Forgetful London Taxi Driver [Originally broadcast in TOTM1 P1]
    DB makes a London taxi driver forget where the London Eye is, despite being able to see it from the taxi's windows
  • Oxford Memory Identification [Originally broadcast in MC P2]
    DB identifying a memory thought of by a student at the Oxford Union
  • Forgetful London Taxi Driver continued
    conclusion to this effect
  • Global Mind Reading? [Originally broadcast in TOTM3 P1]
    A group of five volunteers in London are told to draw round their hand, write the date and time of their birth, and put these in a numbered envelope with a personal effect; the envelopes are then mixed up before being given to DB; an identical set up is shown to have happened in Los Angeles and Milan too. DB then takes the envelopes and leaves to write a detailed report of the people's personalities based on the information he has been given. He returns with the reports and hands them out telling the volunteers to keep them private. Individual responses are shown and the volunteers are overwhelmed with the accuracy of the report. DB then assembles the volunteers to get them to swap reports to see if they can identify whose report is whose. When they are swapped, they all seem to have their report back, this is repeated and they realise that all of the reports are the same. The volunteers are all amazed that the report they believed to be so personalised can be so readily applied to everyone else; DB explains this is 'cold reading', as used for many years by mediums and psychics.
  • Chess Grand Masters [Originally broadcast in TOTM1 P1]
    playing chess against "nine of the UK's top chess players", including a prediction of the number of his opponents' pieces left at the end of each game and an explanation of the method employed for playing multiple games
  • Sleeping Payphone continued
    waking and confused reaction to payphone call

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