“Charmed” was what you would get were you to cross “Charlie’s Angels” with “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”, the latter one of the shows broadcast in the aforementioned fantasy slot on TWO. To begin with, I preferred “Charmed” to “Buffy” though I wasn’t unaware that the Channel Five series was the poor man’s answer to Joss Whedon’s creation. To be honest, I just couldn’t be doing with all that high school nonsense about cute cheerleaders and fraternity footballers! The ladies in “Charmed” were a little older with careers and a sideline in demon-hunting. The problem with the series was that, like the reinvention of “Doctor Who”, it soon became apparent it was bogged down by domestics in order to appeal to a wider audience disinterested in fantasy. I soon lost interest in listening, week in and week out, to crying babies with the odd moment allotted to dispelling the hobgoblin of the week! 178 episodes were made in all, detailing the witch-sisters’ lives, and the series survived a major change of cast at the end of the third season. Leading lady Shannen Doherty, as Prue Halliwell, left and Rose McGowan replaced her, as Paige Matthews, joining stalwarts Holly Marie Combs, as Piper Halliwell, and Alyssa Milano, as Phoebe Halliwell. I occasionally dipped into later episodes but never rekindled my early enthusiasm for the series.
Monday, 16 July 2007
During the Nineties, in the absence of new episodes of “Doctor Who”, it is fair to say I watched quite a lot of American television! Much of it was broadcast on BBC TWO, on weekday evenings between 6 and 7.30pm. It was in this timeslot that most of the science fiction and fantasy shows were broadcast. With the return of “Doctor Who” to our screens, this little oasis of programming, from every other form of television known to mankind, was vanquished like a demon from the Channel Five series “Charmed” to dwell in the eternity of the television archive, occasionally resurrected to do battle in the ratings at some late hour or on some obscure satellite channel! I mention “Charmed”, specifically, because it escaped the confines of the bridging slot between afternoon and evening telly on the BBC’s minority station of the time to appear at peak time on a Saturday evening, albeit on a then-minor terrestrial channel. If I remember rightly, it replaced “Xena: Warrior Princess” whose ratings must’ve been ailing as this series’ run was never completed. “Charmed” was essentially in the “Doctor Who” slot but on a different channel. It ran for eight seasons, seven of which were broadcast on Five with the remaining season shown on Channel Four, sadly as part of “T4” on Sunday afternoons. The series boasted a terrific theme song in the form of a cover version of The Smiths’ “How Soon is Now” by Love Spit Love.