|The Tale of the Magician's Assistant|
|Season 2, Episode 11|
|Air date||September 11, 1993|
|Written by||Cassandra Schafhausen|
|Directed by||Ron Oliver|
The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle
The Tale of the Hatching
The Tale of the Magician's Assistant is the Eleventh episode of the Second season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Twenty-Fourth episode in total.
Midnight Society Cast
- Ross Hull as Gary
- Rachel Blanchard as Kristen
- Raine Pare-Coull as Betty Ann
- Jodie Resther as Kiki
- Nathaniel Moreau as David
- Jason Alisharan as Frank
- Noah Plener as Todd Marker
- James Bradford (credited as Jim Bradford) as Shandu
- Sally Singal as Mrs. Marker
- Wendii Fulford as Nazrak Woman
- Mark Bromilow as Nazrak Demon
That evening, Gary is impressed and tells all of his friend that he is glad to see that everyone is on time. Frank, remarks that he sounds like his homeroom teacher Mr. Drego whom he thinks is dumb and stale. Betty Ann, says that she likes Mr. Drego because she think he is funny. Gary also says that he likes Mr. Drego and thinks he is pretty cool. Frank claims that Gary doesn't even know him. But Gary says he does because he shops at his dad's Magic Shop all of the time and he is a prestidigitator.
Kristen, a little stumped asks he's a what? David, tells them that prestidigitator is a magician. Gary, then says Mr. Drego calls himself "The Amazing Drego". Frank doesn't believe what he is hearing, but Gary tells them he is serious and Mr. Drego been seen on T.V. David also says he has seen him on T.V. and he is pretty good. Kristen then says that you shouldn't judge people, because you never know we they're gonna surprise you. Gary (while bending over to pick up a long stick) tells her, exactly and that is what his story is about tonight.
Gary sits down on the storyteller's chair (holding the stick in both of his hands). Kiki, just sits down quiet the entire time. Gary tells his friends that, sometimes things don't turn out exactly the way you expect them to. People might not be who they seem to be and simple things could turn out to be far more amazing, than you could ever imagine. Gary submits his story for The Midnight Society's approval. Calling the story "The Tale of the Magician's Assistant", then begins his story.
Gary, tells the story. The story is about a teenage boy named Todd Marker. Recently Todd's father had passed away and his mother finally got herself a job. She was struggling to support them both on her job alone. His mom was an artist, and her job was drawing and designing storyboards for an add company. Her job was long hard work and they needed more money. Therefore to make ends meet, he went to apply for a job that he read in the paper. The job sounded like it was going to be fun, but if only he knew what he about to get himself into.. he would have never answered that Ad.
Todd, riding on his bike, comes close to a colorful roadside vehicle, with the words "Shandu, the Magician" painted on it. He knocks on the door, when no one answers he let himself inside. When entering the room inside, he sees all sorts of interesting things inside and cages full of rabbits, ducks, and doves. Then in the middle of the room, he notices there is something interesting on a small table. The item on the small table a three foot long braided tree branch stick, with the top stick slightly bent over. He intriguingly and slowly walks over to it and is about to touch it with both of his hands. Then a voice calls out to him asking who he is.
He answers, by saying his name is Todd Marker and he is answering the Ad for a magician's assistant. He is about to change his mind and leave. When suddenly as he turns around to leave an older man in a red velvet and black trimmed coat is suddenly standing in front of him. The older man is about sixty to sixty five years old and he introduce himself as Shandu not Mr. Shandu just Shandu. He also explains he goes by Shandu the Magnificent. Shandu doesn't seem too excited for to Todd to be his assistant. Possibly because he has no magic experience or thinks that he just doesn't have what it takes to be a magician. Also Todd has no other work experience but taking a chance Shandu hires him.
Todd's first task was to tidy up the entire room in the vehicle. Todd prepares to touch the interesting stick again, possibly dust it. Then Shandu, gets very serious and tells him no to touch it and to never touch another magician's wand. Todd is shocked and can't believe that it's a magic wand. Shandu confirms that it is indeed a magic and wand and for thousands of years, good magician's and evil sorcerer's used wands like those to draw power from the earth. Also he explains to Todd that Magical rule number one is to "Never ever touch another magician's wand unless he hands it to you". Shandu then hands it to him and tells him just like this but takes it right back, so he'll understand.
Todd's mom was always finding herself stuck working late at her office.Todd at first isn't so sure he likes Shandu and doesn't want to continue working for him. This is because Shandu is such a strict and short tempered boss that he isn't sure he can stand him. His mom who was about to go back to work that night to finish more storyboards for a new add. She then encourages him to never give up when the going gets tough and that his dad would say the same thing.
Then during the next few weeks, Todd and Shandu rehearsed the magic acts. Todd made many mistakes from getting nervous. Shandu next explains that Magical rule number two is "Only let them see, what you want them to see". Shandu told him this while performing a magic trick. The trick is that a small cooking pot is set fire on the inside and closed shut with the lid. Then when the lid is opened the fire is gone and a dove comes flying out.
Whenever Todd made mistakes and messed up a trick, Shandu would get really mad. However the more mistakes Todd, made the more determined he was to prove himself to Shandu. Next, they rehearsed an illusion trick. The trick was that when Shandu would stand inside a tall box. The only his head would be showing. Then opening certain doors would make it seem like parts of his body were missing. This trick was probably done with mirrors but was not explained. Todd mistakenly looks in a mirror when rehearsing, and Shandu gets mad and scolds him and reminds what magic rule number three is. Todd, feeling bad says he is sorry for messing up and that magical rule is "Never, ever get caught in your own reflection!" which is a cardinal rule, which means the rule must never be broken at anytime.
Shandu gets out of the box, and seems very fed up and annoyed with Todd's incompetence and calls him hopeless. Todd tells Shandu that he should try and lighten up. This is because he always seems so nasty and miserable. Shandu explains to him the reason he is so miserable and unhappy is because years for a long time he was the top hit on Broadway. When he performed for the best shows in Europe. He even had his own film series. However now all of that is in the past and is gone. All he has are his old reviews, a couple of his faded movie poster and his old rundown vehicle and his films are not even on VHS. He doesn't like feeling like a has been and therefore apologizes for always seeming nasty and miserable. Shandu next on a whim decided to give Todd the bow tie he wore on his first performance for good luck.
Soon the big day came when they had their live magic show. The magic show was entertaining kids at a birthday party. After a couple impressive magic tricks were performed The illusion trick was being done, which made parts of Shandu's body seem missing. Todd and Shandu had the entire audience shout the magic words "Shandu can do!" and Todd correctly performs the trick and Shandu comes out presenting a chocolate birthday cake. After the show, Shandu tells Todd that he wasn't the worst assistant he's ever had, hearing this Todd seems a bit more pleased now.
The next day Todd comes to see Shandu, but the entire inside of the vehicle is a real mess. Everything is all tossed around and knocked over, almost like there was a robbery or a tornado inside. Todd is worried that something is wrong and with no other choice he takes Shandu's wand. Then he points it and says "Shandu can do!" with a slight puff of smoke, everything is all cleaned up and back in proper order again. Todd is amazed and realized that it really is magical. Then he places the wand back to where it was just as Shandu comes back in.
Just as he get's home for the evening his stressed and overworked mother announces she has another project due for the next day, which is a new four piece storyboard. Todd tries to convince her to do it tomorrow, but she insists on resting for an hour and doing it all tonight. Todd realizing that his mom can't go on overworking herself like this because she might get sick or have a nervous breakdown.
Todd makes an immediate decision. He takes his mom's tree plant which looks almost just like Shandu's wand, but just a little lighter color. Then he rips off all the leaves and it almost looks just like it. Then next he goes over to Shandu's vehicle and sneakingly switches the wand for his mom's tree plant branch. Then he get's back home and uses the wand. This time after saying "Shandu, can do!" the wand briefly catches fire and smokes more. However it worked and now the new four piece storyboard for his mom is all finished.
Suddenly in a blue aura a beautiful spirit of a blonde woman appears. The spirit introduces herself as Nazrak. She tells Todd that she is the spirit of the wand. She tells Todd that the wand has special powers, that only he can bring out, and to use it anytime he wishes to. Todd tries to mention that Shandu told him not to use the wand, but she keeps telling him just to use it anytime he wishes. Then she vanishes in the blue aura blowing him a kiss.
Todd goes back to Shandu's vehicle to return the wand. Shandu catches him in the act and knows what he did, and warns him not to use it if it wasn't handed to him. Todd mentions that Nazrak said it was all right. Shandu gets very worried when hearing that Todd saw Nazrak. Apparently after all these years Nazrak would be released by a mere boy as a curse for using the wand without it being hand to him or without permission. Or by using a wand without enough proper training.
Nazrak apparently is a pure evil demon. An ancient powerful sorcerer, who's been imprisoned for centuries in the Vortex. Also Nazrak can take on many forms and isn't really a beautiful woman. Nazrak wants the wand to summon his evil and dark magic. Also if he gets the wand the world is doomed, and if Nazrak is released it could be trouble for the entire world. Todd tried to apologize, by telling Shandu he didn't know. Shandu upset and worried, just tells him to get out and Todd leaves.
Todd begins to ride off on his bike. Then he looks at the bow tie Shandu gave him, and heads back to apologize. However when he gets there the vehicle is all up in smoke. Todd comes in and call for Shandu and ask if he is okay. Shandu is heard saying there was a fire and he is trapped. Todd, without thinking takes the wand points it and says "Shandu can do!". The smoke all clears and everything seems fine and there is Shandu standing across the room.
Todd asks if he is all right, then Shandu tells him that he is certainly is, and that he only needed him to use the wand one more time. Todd confused asks him "What?". Shandu then walks up to him and tells him. Tells him Magical rule number two "Only let them see, what you want them to see. Then he waves right arm across his face. Then instantly changes into a hideous green skinned demon, with bruised eyes, missing teeth, warts, long fingernails. Also wearing a black hooded cloak and evilly laughing. Todd knows he is Nazrak and points the wand at him and says the magic words, but nothing happens. Nazrak explains that wand will no longer work for him now. Nazrak explains that he's been released and has switched places with Shandu and Shandu is now trapped in the vortex instead of him. Nazrak demands the wand but Todd runs off terrified.
Todd comes back home and catches up with his mom, who also just got back home. Todd tries to explain to her that he is not holding her tree, but a real magic wand and it's evil. His mom has no clue what he is talking about. So then he tries to explain to her that he used it to finish her storyboards and goes to show them to her. Then much to his surprise, the storyboards are gone and he is left a thank you note saying they were amazing, and she took them to work right away. Suddenly his mom is glowing with a blue aura. Thunder can be heard, she tells him in Nazrak's voice "Only let them see, what you want them to see!" and then she levitates while laughing.
Todd hides on the floor behind a counter, and tries to phone for help. But Nazrak intercepts the phone call and tells him that he can't escape and that there is nowhere to run. Todd then can see in the reflection on the toaster, Shandu contacting him from the Vortex. Shandu reminds him to remember the rules of magic and to use them to his advantage.
Todd tells Nazrak he knows the rules, and he can't take the wand from him unless he hands it to him and says he won't. Nazrak then threatens to hurt his mother if he doesn't. Without a choice Todd makes an ultimatum to Nazrak, that he won't give him the wand unless he promises not to hurt his mom. Nazrak agrees and Todd hands the wand to Nazrak. Nazrak seems triumphant and victorious to have the wand, claiming that he has waited centuries. Nazrak then tells him his mom will be safe, but he won't. This is because he plans to send Todd to join Shandu in the Vortex and prepares to zap him with an evil spell.
Then just as this happens, Todd tells him he knows the rules of magic. Magical rule number two " Only let them see what you want them to see" and gets out of the way, just in time and Nazrak's spell hits a mirror, causing it to backfire and hitting himself. This causes him to switch places back with Shandu. Then as Shandu returns, Todd says Magical rule number three "Never, ever get caught in your own reflection. Shandu is very impressed with Todd's quick thinking and has much respect for him now. Todd apologizes for not listening earlier. Shandu apologizes for not believing in him earlier and now realizes that Todd does have the makings of a fine magician. Then Shandu decides to hand ownership of the wand over to Todd as his successor. The wand is now his and in time he'll learn how to use it properly.
Shandu tells him that he'll never be far away. Then he tells Todd one more rule, magical rule number four "Always leave them wanting more" then he bows and vanishes in a flash of bright blue light. Then his mom comes back in explaining she has had a crazy night. Then she mentions that something has happened to her tree. Todd smiles at the wand possibly planning to fix the tree with magic.
Then as the story ends, Gary mentions that Todd never saw Shandu again. His friends all smile at him impressed with the story. Kiki is heard telling him it was a good story. Gary then picks up the red water bucket and pours the water onto the campfire putting it out. After he does this he forgets to declare the meeting of The Midnight Society closed. Then as everyone has left, Frank picks up the stick Gary was using a story prop and taps it on something and just stares for a minute. Kiki asks him if he's coming or not and he catches up with them and leaves.
- Noah Plener who portrayed Todd Marker also appeared in season one's episode "The Tale of the Twisted Claw" as Dougie Freeman.
- Noah Plener is the brother of Benjamin Plener and Benjamin Plener appeared in the episodes "The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun" and the series revival's episode "The Tale of Highway 13" as Justin.
- James Bradford, who portrayed Shandu, reappeared years later in the series revival as General Laing Candle in "The Tale of the Silver Sight" three part special.
- Mark Bromilow, who portrayed the Nazrak Demon, later reappeared in "The Tale of Cutter's Treasure" as Mr. Noise.