Charmed recaptured a period in the 1ate 1990s when television's WB network was particularly keen on series about the supernatural and specially-powered characters. The original home of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and future l... more »aunch pad for Angel and Smallville, the WB debuted Charmed in 1998 with many of the same intriguing ironies that made those other shows click. Specifically, the greater a character's powers, the more vulnerable he or she becomes; the more superhuman, the more painfully obvious one's lonely, fragile humanity. The Halliwells, a trio of witch heroines and siblings at the center of Charmed, are a case in point. Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) returns to her San Francisco family home after losing her job, and moves in with her older sisters Prue (Shannen Doherty) and Piper (Holly Marie Combs). On her first night back, Phoebe finds the Book of Shadows left for them by their late mother and recites a spell giving all three women unique powers they were always meant to have. Prue suddenly has the gift of telekinesis, Piper can make time stand still, and Phoebe can see into the future. All well and good, but along with those extraordinary abilities comes a new awareness of dark forces in the world from which mortals need protection. In some cases, those forces have been plotting a long time to steal the Halliwells? magical legacy once they awakened to it--and now they will never let up. Indeed, the forces of the Underworld never do let up in Charmed, giving the Halliwells a major headache for the next eight seasons. Yet the show became about so much more than that, blending (again, like Buffy) the sisters? personal lives with their responsibilities as protectors and stewards of magic. Jobs, lovers, marriage, and children were just as prominent in Prue?s, Phoebe?s, and Piper?s thoughts and emotions as warlocks and leprechauns. In fact, Charmed peaked creatively when the whole of season three concerned the fallout of Phoebe?s romance and marriage to a disguised demon (Julian McMahon). The series? focus at that point was quite gripping, but it was inevitable that subsequent seasons would back off on such a singular perspective and develop a broader range of storylines. A major change in Charmed accompanied the departure of Shannen Doherty from the show at the end of season three, replaced by Rose McGowan as a fourth sister, Paige, unknown to either Phoebe or Piper. While Paige had the same mother (herself a witch) as the other two surviving Halliwell girls, her father was a so-called Whitelighter, essentially an angel. That combination gave Paige unique gifts that made Charmed even more fun (if slightly less compelling). But the loss of Doherty--the show?s best actress, who gave at least one bravura performance per season--proved significant. Charmed wasn?t quite the same, but it carried on, continuing to make new fans and maintaining a breathless pace and intriguing mix of the arcane and ordinary. --Tom Keogh The Power of Three on DVD
Pete L. (PeteL) from MELBOURNE, FL Reviewed on 11/20/2013...
Some of the reviews of the smaller set is highly exaggerated. The discs are in pockets; as mentioned, but the only thing is that the discs are likely to have fingerprints, (which can wiped off.) Most of the photos of any set shown on various websites are different depending on where they are coming from. The major difference overall between the 2 sets are the size appearances, as well as the bonus disc.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Charmed Complete 'Book Of Shadows' edition small
A. Mayo | Seattle, WA USA | 07/26/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I've enjoyed this series for years now. I already own the box sets but I am a big enough fan to upgrade. I noticed from enlarged photos on another website that this version in addition to being smaller than the Deluxe Limited version appears to use cardboard sleeves to protect the discs. The Deluxe appears, at least in the photos to use snap on holders which I believe protect the discs from scratches better than card board. I suppose it's all in how you handle them though.
UPDATE 11/12/08- The Limited Deluxe Edition is now out of print. That is the other larger version with trays. FYI...I wanted to let you all know that someone posted pictures here of the Larger Deluxe edition. Specifically, the last three pictures are of that edition. If you order here, you will recieve the smaller (two discs high) version held onto the pages with simple slits.
UPDATE 11/19/2008- RE: Manufacturing issues
My underrstanding is that the folks at CBS DVD are aware and looking into the issues surrounding both sets.
My additional advice would be not to avoid your purchase, but rather purchase from Amazon or another trusted source who will work with you for your particular resolution if you are unlucky, as I and others unfortunately were. We are Charmed Fans and are very loyal to our favorite series. Doing without this set is just not an option for some of us, we've waited years watching special releases in various other countries. I purchased both sets and Amazon was extremely helpful at reaching a result that I could be happy with, while still allowing me the joy of owning the set(s) I had looked forward to for so long. Thank you Amazon...glad someone is looking out for the customer!"
Charmed Deluxe Limited ed.
A. Mayo | Seattle, WA USA | 07/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
My Review - Worth Getting.
Both the 'standard' 'Book Of Shadows' DVD release and this...the 'Collectible Edition' would satisfy your cravings for all things magical. However, if you are a true Charmie, then this is the only release that you should consider. Here's why.
Whlie we all know that good things come in small packages, if you are a Charmed fanatic then size matters! This is the only edition that is the exact size of the TV prop book. The regular edition is roughly the size of a photo album. The art reproductions of spell pages that are reproduced for this edition are exact copies. This meant that there was no need to reformat the columns etc to fit. The regular edition was changed significantly to fit the unusual page configuration.
The color of both editions is a true forest green and very close to the original. I was asked recently if the cover was an exact reproduction of the original and while the picture released for the presale mockup was definately different, the final version is much closer. They have added the cover corner pieces and also appropriate taping along the spine to match the original. Now for Charmies, the 'Triquetra' on the cover is a very important feature. Spelling Productions still owns the rights to the original art and although this was created using new art, it is the best I have seen, and I have seen many. It appears as it should aged appropriately as a book circa 1620. The edging of this edition is a beautiful guilded antique gold. The guilding is different from the ragged edge of the original but it would have been obviously costly to use true vellum sheets, so this is an excellent concession. One more point on the guilding...it stays put! I can't tell you how many costly leather bound volumes I have that leave sparkly residue on my fingers! There is none of that here as it was done very well and by a manufacturer with guilding experience. The standard release does have a 'ripped edge' but in my opinion since it doesn't look authentic, this is still a much better choice.
Now for the most important feature or difference between the two editions. Remember, all fancy packaging aside, you want protection for your discs! This edition features eight pieces of sturdy foam-core material in which your DVD discs are inset. There is an octagon shaped foam piece in the center of each slot which holds the disc firmly in place and does not permit uneccessary spinning. Each season in it's entirety is on a single page. The standard edition makes use of simple, thin cardboard slits cut two to a page. While the jury is still out on the long term effects of this type of protection, I believe it will scratch your discs over time, especially with repeated viewings. Another reason to only consider the Deluxe Collectors Edition.
Both releases feature excellent individual show descriptions for each episode and nice photos interspersed throughout. If you know of the earlier Australian release last year, the descriptions and photos are exactly the same. And while on the subject of that earlier release, they did away with the hokey LED lights on the Triquetra and this edition is near perfect. The edition is not numbered as was the case with the Australian release. I have been asked that question and I can now tell you while not numbered, it is limited and sold out already at most locations. My guess that it was produced in numbers significantly less than the 13000 pressed for the DVD region 4 release. Don't wait or you will be found wanting as the holidays rapidly approach.
Discs Ruined by Glue
EBond | Ontario, Canada | 11/20/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased this set in a store. When I got it home, I went online to look at the reviews for it and noticed that people were complaining about the glue from the sleeves having come off on the discs. I pulled all of my discs out, and realized that 21 out of the 49 discs were either ruined by glue (that doesn't come off) or had scratches. I went back to the store to see if they could switch out the discs with another set. 45 minutes and 4 opened sets later I realized that every single set had this problem. To the point that I wasn't even able to make up 1 good set. Luckily I was able to purchase the "Deluxe Edition" at another store for $50 more.
This set in very nice, and would have been worth the money if there wasn't such a bad manufacturers defect. My suggestion would be to try and get your hands on a "Deluxe" set if you can afford it (It has actual snaps for the discs, so glue won't be an issue. Also it is bigger and more sturdy feeling). If this is not an option, make sure you check over every disc in the set as soon as you get it so that you can either exchange or return it if necessary. Hopefully they issue some sort of recall so that people who purchased this can get it replaced with one that is not ruined!
Update: The Deluxe set seems to have small circular scratches on the discs, but so far these scratches have not affected how any of the discs play."
I am Completely And Forever Charmed!!!
Lauren H. Lavine | Cleveland, Ohio | 12/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let me start out by saying this is a different kind of review and as you read on you will find out why. I am assuming that anyone who has bought this edition or is thinking about it already knows what a marvelous show this was to have succeeded eight years on the air. anyone investing this kind of money knows this. There fore I decided to review the presentation of this most unusual and incredible packaging, etc... Read on:
I absolutely love this deluxe limited edition. Worth every penny. I repeat, Anyone who has invested this much money to purchase this copy already knows that the series is fabulous. I want to talk about the presentation of the book of shadows edition. I saw the much smaller one in a store. It was half the size and quite frankly disappointing looking. Plus I heard that there was a problem with glue getting on the discs. This GORGEOUS edition is just that gorgeous. It's just like owning your own Book of Shadows.
Beautifully and artistically rendered. I was an art major in college and am very critical about art in general. I was so impressed when I opened up this very heavy package I received in the mail that I knew what it was right away, as I get a lot of packages in general. This lovely rendering of The Book of Shadows does not disappoint. Whomever put this together should be very proud of themselves whether it be one person or a collaboration.
I was honestly sorry that I didn't buy a few books. When the descriptions came out for the two different versions they were the same and there was no way of telling what the differences were. One just had to take a gamble and I decided I best go with the more expensive one hoping that I wasn't making a mistake. Thrilled that I made the right choice I highly recommend any charmed fan or even a new watcher of the series to just not waste time and get this edition right off the bat. You won't in anyway be sorry.
The only thing I feel they could have done better was the packaging of the book itself. I feel that it should have had a cover on the box itself for protection. It's not too late for the manufacturer to make covers and offer them for a couple bucks. I bet they would fly right out of the warehouse as I cannot be the only person that feels this way. Something so beautiful really should be better protected.
Also, a small thing but nonetheless nice would have been if they had added a few more ribbon page dividers. All in all I couldn't be happier that I chose the full size authentic rendering of Charmed's "Book of Shadows" disc set. I'm just altogether THRILLED in case anyone didn't catch my opinion the first time. Just kidding!
This is truly a work of art worthy of displaying the artwork in the book itself. It goes without saying that the Series is the obvious reason anyone buys the seasonal collections. Yet in this particular case that Is why I chose to review the actual Book of Shadows packaging more than or at least equal to the DVD set. This reminds me of when I was a child and cared more about the wrapping paper than the gift itself. At least the principal holds up. I display mine in my living area of my home. It's as much a piece of artwork as the paintings I have hanging on my walls.
A real catch if you can still find one. A++++ rating."
K. Westover | 11/19/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Ok i love this series and i am not dis the series and the book i love it the bad part is that when i open it and took out the first DVD it had glue all over it so i look at the rest there was 15 Dvds with glue all over them i as soo mad i called and they gave me a replacement and the replacement had glue all over a few DVDS (my hubby wouldn't tell me how many) so what the store did was took the one from one set and the other set and peace it together so buy be were look at all your DvDs and that is why i only gave it one star the series is awesome just the book has some problems."