Strange Transmissions  

5-star rating EXCELLENT4-star ratingRECOMMENDED 3-star ratingGOOD 2-star ratingPOOR 1-star ratingDIABOLICAL
Warning! Probable spoilers ahead for readers outside the USA or Canada.

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Xposé #46
Charmed review here
SEVEN DAYS – Season Two
13: Déjà Vu All Over Again • Written by Alfonse Ruggiero Jr
Directed by Charles Correll • UPN, March 23 2000
4-star rating (Recommended)
Episodes 10 – 13 reviewed in this issue

Frank’s backstep mission is to reach a captured Talmadge before he takes a suicide pill. However, when Frank witnesses a shooting en route, he must decide who to save or find a way to do both.

Jonathan LaPaglia steps back in amazementObviously deciding that stealing ideas from German films is less likely to be noticed, the Seven Days team have ‘borrowed’ Run Lola Run, re-using the idea of a simple mission with a time limit that is repeated until Frank manages to save both people. This leads to the most stylish episode of the series so far, with all manner of unusual and interesting shooting techniques used to make Frank’s three similar efforts look new, and with different things slowing him down each time, from rickshaw drivers to funeral processions. It even has a thumping dance music soundtrack just like the movie.

It’s an idea that also bears some resemblance to season one’s Come Again?, but these kinds of story are invariably good fun to watch and this one is a particularly fast-paced story as Frank chases around Chinatown. A couple of aspects remain unexplained, such as the reason for the girl being gunned down, but they don’t spoil an enjoyable and frenetic story.

Paul Spragg


This season, our STRANGE TRANSMISSIONS review section has been covering the 1999–2000 seasons of: Buffy the Vampire Slayer • Earth: Final Conflict • Xena: Warrior Princess • The Pretender • Charmed • The X–Files • Seven Days • Stargate SG-1 plus the début seasons of Angel • Roswell • Now and Again • GvsE • Jack of all Trades and The Others, not forgetting all the latest fantastic films...

CHARMED – Season Two
16: Murphy’s Luck • Written by David Simkins
Directed by John Behring • WB, March 30 2000
5-star rating (Excellent)
Episodes 13 – 16 reviewed in this issue

When Prue saves a potential suicide, she inherits the woman’s bad luck curse, setting Piper and Phoebe on a race against time to prevent their sister suffering the same fate.

Shannon Doherty adopts dark, brooding tone in CharmedInfused with a dark, brooding tone, this excellent episode has more depth than many Charmed stories, and what begins as a vague Strange Luck-style tale becomes increasingly suspenseful up to a tense finale.

Arnold Vosloo guests as the Dark Lighter behind the curse, with more dialogue here than his entire turn as The Mummy, offering a wonderfully cold performance as the power that drives people to the edge, and then hopefully off it. It’s Shannen Doherty’s episode, and she convinces as someone who’s been to dark places and can be eroded by self-doubt.

As the story hinges around this, it was important it be well-acted, and a scene where Prue gets fired shows Doherty’s range goes far beyond wearing short tops and pouting. Her reactions to the curse are helped by a clever script; one cruel twist sees an attempt to save a life nearly destroying it.

And talking of curses, Piper’s love life develops another complication. As traditional for the second season, it happens almost in the background: at year’s end people will look back on all she’s been through and wonder why they didn’t notice it...

Ian Atkins

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Images © Paramount / UPN, Spelling Entertainment
Reviews © Visual Imagination Ltd 2000. Not for reproduction.
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