Into each generation is born a creature of light and a creature of darkness. 1934, America. The Dustbowl of the Midwest. A fugitive named Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl) finds refuge within a traveling carnival comprised of a Gypsy tarot card reader named Sofie (Clea Duvall) and her catatonic/telekinetic mother (Diane Salinger), a blind mentalist named Professor Lodz (Patrick Bauchau), Lila the bearded lady (Debra Christofferson), conjoined twins (Karyne and Sarah Steben), snake charmer Ruthie (Adrienne Barbeau), the dwarf supervisor Samson (Michael J. Anderson) amongst others. The carnival is owned by the mysterious and unseen Management, who has designs on the young Hawkins, for the boy is concealing an untapped gift: he can heal the lame and raise the dead--at a price of other life. Ben also finds himself disturbed by cryptic and prophetic dreams, which he shares with a Methodist preacher in California, Brother Justin Crowe, even though the two have never met. Brother Justin, convinced he is following God's will because of the dreams he shares with Ben, has begun to practice his own extraordinary talents, with the assistance of his live-in sister Iris (Amy Madigan), although the preacher's plans increasingly lead to disturbing and tragic consequences. In this "last great age of magic," Ben Hawkins and Justin Crowe are moving toward a great conflict between them which is the apocalypse of Good versus Evil, although it is not yet clear on which side these two men stand.
3 Audio commentaries with creator Daniel Knauf, Executive producer Howard Klien, Director Rodrigo Garcia and cast members Clancy Brown and Clea Duvall
Documentary: Magic And Myth: The Meaning Of Carnivale
Featurette: Creating The Scene
Museum of Television and Radio panel discussion with cast and crew
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