As a child, I heard stories of wizards and witches possessing magical powers from long ago. As a teen, I would wield such powers through Dungeons and Dragon role-playing games. Then came Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal, a weird, yet intriguing world of magic and monsters. There was a time when magic ruled the lands but now, magic is the stuff of legends and socially awkward teens in tuxedos uttering the phrase, “Is this your card?”
What if the magic of the past was merely lying dormant only to be awakened in the modern day? That is the premise of Ben Dobyns and L. Gabriel Gonda’s episodic, community-driven series, Strowlers. Magic is back, and a growing number of gifted individuals have revealed themselves to possess the ability to access and control it. As governments do, the need to research and control these magical individuals is of vital importance, and they are being hunted and studied by the U.S. Department of Arcanology.
The pilot episode of Strowlers opens with a young woman named Whit (Tanesha Ross). As far as we know, she is an average person working at the local library and reading an old story from an old book to a group of children for story time. The story is “The Gold Finch and the Magic Mirror” and it’s about a girl, who releases a peculiar goldfinch in hopes of leading her to a bigger adventure. The girl chases the finch deep into a mysterious forest and the girl’s only escape is a pocket mirror she possesses. As the story reaches its climax to the young audience, a strange disruption of light and power takes place at story time scaring the children, and a young boy in the group is found surrounded by a magic aura.
What if the magic of the past was merely lying dormant only to be awakened in the modern day?
Meanwhile, in a nearby laboratory deep in the heart of the Department of Arcanology, an experiment is being run on a man with powers. The research is led by Amanda (Trin Miller), who herself has powers, but wears a strange collar that suppresses her ability to use said powers. She has been researching the moment when powers manifest itself in children. Along with her colleagues, she has also helped create a device that senses where to find people with abilities (for X-Men fans, think Cerebro).