Felicia Day (MST3K, Supernatural, The Guild) has signed on to join the cast of The Magicians as Poppy, a character who proved important in the books by Lev Grossman and may even prove more important to the reshuffled TV version of The Magicians.
Day couldn’t contain her excitement, posting on Twitter:
— Felicia Day (@feliciaday) November 7, 2017
In the books, Australian dragon expert Poppy, a friend of Josh’s, helps Quentin merely travel to Fillory after finding himself stranded on boring ol’ Earth. But in the television show, the current mission is about more than mere transportation; it concerns the fate of magic itself.
When we last left The Magicians, the universe was a dull place, bereft of magic, with the terrifying exception of malicious faeries and the curious exception of Julia Wicker’s once-pitiful “spark” spell, which now represents hope that magic can be restored. In the books, Poppy was instrumental in helping Quentin find a dragon. In the show, we know this has happened, as Q and Julia bartered with an ancient wyrm to provide passage to the afterlife. It seems likely that in this version of events, Poppy will help the team find a dragon to advise on how magic may be restored, whether through Fillory’s wellspring, or other means.
Whether Day’s version of Poppy proves to be Aussie or not (we sort of doubt it), we very much enjoy how the pieces and players have been reworked from Grossman’s engaging novels into something that works well on the small screen. Having Julia’s and Q’s storylines intersect directly, rather than being mostly separate, has worked very well. We also enjoy seeing characters from the books fleshed out in different ways: the questing beast became The White Lady; Fen became Eliot’s arranged wife; Benedict the mapmaker was used to flesh out Penny’s story and is present in court rather than hiding in the palace depths until needed, etc. The character of Josh, portrayed by Trevor Einhorn, was changed from a boisterous peer to a sort of nerdier upperclassman whom the gang helped rescue back in the first season. In the books, his relationship with Poppy proves pretty important. It was revealed last May that Einhorn was promoted to a series regular for season 3, so chances seem good that his and Poppy’s relationship, whether mirroring the one in the books or not, will prove important to the show.
The Magicians is set to return in January 2018. Can’t wait that long? We’ll again recommend the books — sure, there will be spoilers, but as noted above, there are differences between the show and the books of great enough significance that you can enjoy each as its own entity.