Millionaire Charles Townsend starts up his own private investigation firm and hires three female police officers as his investigators.
Release Date: 4-JUL-2006
Media Type: DVD
The Angels are back, but not in the most Angelic of seasons.
Rodney Bogardus | Buffalo, NY | 04/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The third season of Charlie's Angels, which aired on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC from September 1978 through May 1979, had a lot going for it, as well as a lot to live up to. The first season exploded onto television and immediately became a Nielsen ratings champ. Thanks to tweaked writing and a better timeslot, the second season was an even greater success, despite losing the angel who became a cultural phenomenon, Farrah Fawcett's "Jill Munroe."
One unique aspect of the third season is that it has the distinction of being the first (and only) season to have all three angels returning from the previous one-Cheryl Ladd as "Kris Munroe" who replaced Farrah, in addition to original angels "Sabrina Duncan" and "Kelley Garret," played by Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith respectively. Additionally, Farrah's contractual return for three episodes this season was another asset for the returning show. Her Townsend Associates homecoming alone caused enough media hype to potentially catapult the ratings even higher than before as everyone was curious to see how the former angel would come back into the fold with her younger sister and former colleagues. Not to mention that this season was filled with plenty of guest appearances including Dean Martin, Dick Sargent, Nancy Parsons, Anne Francis, Casey Kasem, and an up-and-coming young actress by the name of Jamie Lee Curtis. So with all of these factors going for it, this season should have been nothing less than stellar.
Well, that wasn't quite the case. I think that the actresses, along with faithful sidekick "Bosley," played perfectly by the late David Doyle, performed to the best of their abilities, given the material. The real problem is that by the time the third season began, the producers/creators thought that the show was infallible given its immense popularity and record-setting ratings, and this arrogance on their behalf lead to a creative decline mostly due to inferior writing. One particular writer became quite lazy with his scripts, and a pattern begins to emerge in his scripted episodes: they lack any real depth and tend to be built around one good central idea that isn't fleshed out enough for an entire episode. Examples of these episodes include: ANGELS BELONG IN HEAVEN, ANGELS ON VACATION, MARATHON ANGELS, ANGEL ON HIGH, and TERROR ON SKIS, the latter of which he admittedly wrote because his wife wanted to go on a skiing vacation!?! The initial ideas for these episodes are good, but the episodes as a whole don't match the calibur of earlier Angel outings.
Since Charlie's Angels is more episodic (meaning that the storylines are limited to the duration of an episode) than serial (where storylines last several episodes or even an entire season), it's better to have a diverse mix of writers and directors so that they can bring their own creativity to the show, thus giving it a fresh, ever-evolving feel. Consequently, the season's highlights are when guest writers contributed scripts: COUNTERFEIT ANGELS is an original episode that uses Charlie's anonymity against him when a man disguises his voice to impersonate Charlie and send his "evil angels" out to do his bidding; Jill's return in ANGEL COME HOME has a well-developed story that naturally involves all 4 angels as they work together to discover who sent the phony emergency cablegram that brought Jill back from racing in Europe; and another bright spot in the season, and series, is the classic ANGELS IN SPRINGTIME where the Angels infiltrate a women's spa to solve the murder of a famous actress and find her missing memoirs. This episode is loaded with fun, from short shorts to frigid adversaries to faking hypnotism, and this episode boasts one of the best villains: Zora the hefty physical therapist who uses her might against little Kris during a rough confrontation.
As for the DVD set, there's nothing in the form of "special features," but for me the show itself is worth the purchase. The packaging for this season is different than the formats used for previous seasons, with this season's packaging consisting of an outer box that houses 3 slim plastic DVD cases. Each case holds 2 discs and features a large photo of an angel on the cover, episode titles, descriptions and airdates on the back, and several photos of the angels and Bosley on the inside. Of all 3 season DVD releases, I believe this one has the best packaging. The film restoration is excellent, as the episodes look and sound great! My only complaint about the set is that the 2 double-length episodes, "Angels in Vegas" and "Terror on Skis," are the syndicated versions that are each split up into 2-part episodes. It would be nice to have the rarely seen, unedited, original versions of these episodes.
I love the Angels, through thick and thin, and even though this season has its flaws, I'm thrilled to add it to my Angel DVD collection. It's just a shame that a season that could have been spectacular as a whole was instead lackluster.
Season 3: 4 stars Season 3 DVD set: 4 stars"
Tucker | Taunton, MA United States | 07/06/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Well season three is finally here. Unfortunately, I only give it a three star rating because the DVD set does not contain any extras and both "Angels in Vegas" and "Terror on Skis" are presented in their syndicated format (like last season's "Angels in Paradise" and Angels on Ice") which means they've been edited. The packaging is fine (I prefer the book format from season two). The six discs are enclosed in three individual jackets (although not as cheap as the season one jackets) and the photos of the Angels inside each jacket is a nice touch. I do think Farrah Fawcett gets a little too much exposure on the packaging. She's only in three episodes but judging from the artwork, you'd think she was a series regular again. The group photo on the back would have been sufficient. I'm surprised they didn't try to squeeze her photo onto the jacket covers with the others. Season three is not a bad season as a whole. It has some great episodes (Angels in Vegas, Terror on Skis, Counterfeit Angels) but it also contains the worst episode in the series thus far and a sign of things to come. "Rosemary for Remembrance" is the first of the "solo outings" format which was used quite often in season four. Now I'm sure Cheryl Ladd fans will disagree with me but this episode simply doesn't work. The series always worked best when all three Angels had fairly equal air time and worked together. It's the one episode I probably will never watch on this collection. The release of season three pretty much brings the series to an end for me since I basically watched it for Kate Jackson and tuned out after she left the show. I hope, however, that for the sake of the fans who watched up until the end, that Sony will be a little more expeditious with seasons four and five. "
The Best Show Ever On Television
Gary L. Dibert | Pittsburgh, Pa | 02/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once upon a time, three little girls went to the police academy. and they were each assigned very hazardous duties, but I took them all away from all that and now they work for me. My name is Charlie. Those famous words started the all time greatest TV show in history Charlie's Angels. When the pilot aired in March of 1976, it starred Farrah Fawcett Majors as Jill who was the athletic angel, Jaclyn Smith as Kelly who was the streetwise angel, Kate Jackson as Sabrina who was the cool smart, multilingual leader, David Doyle as John Bosley, David Ogden Stiers as Scott Woodville and John Forsythe as the voice of Charlie. The original concept of the Angels was to have one brunette, one red-head, and one blonde. Kate Jackson was aboard from the beginning of the project, and was set to play the lead angel. Farrah Fawcett was the next to join; filling the blonde role, but then the producers dropped the hair color concept and brought in Jaclyn Smith to complete the trio. The pilot for the 1976-1981 TV series focuses on the Angels' very first case. When a wealthy winegrower disappears, the three private investigators go undercover at the vineyard to track down the whereabouts of the body. Many of the scenes used in the opening credits of the show are from this pilot episode. Then in the fall of September of 1976 ABC introduce the three stunning, sexy and young former policewoman, private detectives working for the Charles Townsend Detective Agency with the entire crew back except David Ogden Stiers. In the opening sequence of the first season, the city where the Angels attended the police academy was never mentioned. The wealthy Charlie Townsend, their never-seen boss, relayed assignments via a speaker telephone. The Angels worked with their trusty male counter-part, John Bosley. It wasn't until the next season that we found out where the various Angels got their police training. After only 23 episodes, Farrah left the show at the end of the first season. When Farrah Fawcett left the series, her absence was explained by having her character Jill become a professional racing driver on the NASCAR circuit. Along with a new Angel, the show received a new time slot. The Angels remained on Wednesday nights, but moved from 10pm to 9pm. This change in time opened up a whole world of new viewers who wanted to know what the big fuss was all about and kept the "Angels" right where they belong - on top of the ratings! Kris was introduced in the second season opening two part series titled Angels in Paradise. The 1977-1978 season ended with high ratings, proved that Kris, Cheryl Ladd, was every bit as popular with the viewers as Farrah. The third year was the only season that there were no cast changes. It was also the second season when we found out that where the Angels graduate from the police academy. Jill, Kelly and Sabrina were all former members of the Los Angeles Police Department. Kris went to the police academy in San Francisco. In the 1979-1980 season, the answer came with Shelley Hack, a model who had been prominent in Revlon's "Charlie" Perfume ads and commercials. Shelley entered The Townsend Office as Tiffany Welles, an Ivy League scholar who also was a graduate from the Boston Police Academy. Spelling and Goldberg had the idea that with this new Angel/model at the helm, she could bring an elegant and classy touch to Charlie's trio! Kate Jackson''s absence was explained by having Sabrina getting married and starting a family. Shelley Hack who graduated from the police academy and worked as a police officer in Boston replaced Sabrina. The writers treaded lightly as they tried to figure out how to make Tiffany Welles the new "Sabrina Duncan". The 1979-1980 seasons' problem was the sudden decline in ratings. The series found itself in the top 20's instead of the top 10 were it had been for the last three years. The ratings drop was directed at the new Angel and at the end of the season, Shelley was let go of her detective duties. Thus, beginning, another hunt for a new Angel! By 1980, Charlie's Angels was beginning to feel its age and was declining fast. Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg wanted to go with a fresh new image. After careful consideration, they decided to hire virtually unknown actress, Tanya Roberts. This time around, the character would be a model-turned-detective, street-smart Julie Rogers. The new Angel showed her face in the three-hour 1980-1981 season premiere on November 30, 1980. High hopes were placed on Charlie's newest Angel to pull the series out its failing ratings. To help give it an added boost, the Angels were sent to Hawaii for the first six episodes. Hawaii wasn't only chosen to intrigue the audience but to keep the Angels scantily clad in swimsuits! Charlie's opening monologue has now undergone a complete overhaul. It begins, "Once upon a time, there were three beautiful girls. Two of them graduated from the police academy. The other graduated from a top school for models. And they each reaped the rewards of their exciting careers..." For her "reward," Julie is shown jogging on a treadmill while promoting a drink called Joggerade. Kelly drives her third different identical Mustang of the series after the previous one was blown up in"Toni's Boys". Bosley looks over brochures of Hawaii in anticipation of the Angels' possible assignment there. Charlie arranges for Julie to receive a probationary investigator's license and begin working with Kris and Kelly. My all time favorite Charlie's Angel show titled Waikiki Angels. The Angels are not pleased to learn that Bosley and Charlie have tried to arrange for them to teach a lifeguard course at a new hotel. Claiming that they need practice on their rescues, they throw Bosley into the pool. Unfortunately, at this point, the audience was no longer keeping up with the Angels antics. In February 1981, the show went on hiatus and wasn't shown again until June of 1981. Charlie's Angels was not winning any viewers in the summer of '81 with its remaining episodes. The show that had made women crime fighters popular during the 1970's was taken off the air. Charlie's Angels was a huge success the moment it hit the airwaves in 1976. The Angels were on gum cards, doll boxes, T-shirts, board games, puzzles and posters. They also graced the covers of Time magazine on November 22, 1976 and TV Guide on September 25, 1976. Charlie's Angels has appeared on TV Guide Cover four times, Sept, 25, 1976; Jaclyn, Farrah and Kate, February 18, 1978; Jaclyn, Kate and Cheryl, December 29, 1979; Jaclyn, Cheryl and Shelley and the last on December 18, 1993; Kate, Farrah and Jaclyn. If you wanted to hire the Angels you had to call the office phone number was 555-0267. Kelly Garrett (Jaclyn Smith) was the only Angel to last the entire series. Kelly was an orphan. John Forsythe' was never on the set - his voice was recorded, and dubbed in later. The Angels all drove Ford automobiles. Jill (and later Kris) drove a Cobra, Kelly drove a Mustang, and Sabrina drove a Pinto. For the record, Bosley drove a Ford L.T.D. Although in most episodes Charlie was heard but never seen, he did actually appear in a couple of episodes, but his face was never shown. Kelly is the only Angel to have been shot throughout the run of the show. Sabrina was the only Angel that was previously married. She was married to a fellow officer when she was still a cop but the marriage ended in divorce."
Season three is great!!
Ken Gray | Texas | 01/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great DVD!! Angels in Vegas is fun because they really are in Vegas this time, and it's fun too see how much it has changed. The Tropicana is still there and so is the show Folies Bergere! My favorite episode of this season is "Angel Come Home". It's Farrah Fawcett first return as Angel Jill Munroe. Farrah looks beautiful and it's fun to see the interaction with her and little sis "Kris". My second favorite episode is "Mother Angel" which also features Jill, the little girl is too much , but the interaction between Kelly and Sabrina undercover is real fun to watch!! Another fun episode is "Angel in a Box". This one is when Kris is kidnapped to lure Jill back who is the real target from a moguel who blames Jill for his son's untimely death. Other standout episodes are Teen Angels,Angels in Springtime and Angel on my Mind. You won't regret buying this DVD. I highly recommend it and hope that seasons 4 and 5 are on the way soon!!! Get better everday Farrah!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Charlie's original angels still the best
daniel boey | singapore | 08/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"the original charlie's angels still rock, and season three just reinforces that. i can't wait for seasons four and five to be released on dvd !"