Charmed: Season 1 (TV)
R2 - United Kingdom - Paramount Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (23rd January 2016).
The Show

***This is an A/V and Extras review only. For reviews on the show from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

The discovery that they are descendants of a long line of witches finds three sisters battling demons and warlocks and occasionally each other.

When the beautiful Halliwell sisters inherit a house from their grandmother and discover a secret "Book of Shadows," they learn that they each have a unique power. The strong-willed Prue (Shannen Doherty) can move objects, reserved Piper (Holly Marie Combs) is able to freeze time, and the uninhibited Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) sees the future. Individually, each is strong, but it is only by putting aside their differences and banding together as the "Power of Three" that they will be able to protect the innocent and vanquish evil. Each exciting episode in this richly layered series is a supernatural adventure brewing with suspense and humour.

The Power of Three Will Set You Free.

Video

Major studio Paramount Home Entertainment have released the first season of "Charmed" on to DVD in the United Kingdom using the original non-anamorphic aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Produced by Spelling Television between 1998-1999, this first series looks good, but far from great.

"Charmed" was shot on film, and with that comes a natural layer of grain. Unfortunately though, the grain structure is rather heavy and can be surprisingly inconsistent, often becoming rather noisy in some of the darker scenes, especially earlier on in the season. It certainly isn't obstructive to the enjoyment of the show though. Although this DVD set is ten years old, the level of detail holds up to a respectable standard for the format for shows of this era and ilk. Blacks are generally deep and inky with minimal crush, and skin tones look natural. Lighting is consistent with no blooming, and although some of the special effects look a little dated, they hold up okay here. Details are at the higher end of average, with some clunkiness in backgrounds but typically solid mid-range and close-up details. Contrast levels leave no cause for concern, and despite packing four episodes per disc, compression is assuredly passable. There are no problems with damage such as scratches or dirt, and no obvious edge enhancement or aliasing. The transfer definitely won't wow anybody, but it also won't be too much of a disappointment.

Presented in PAL format, and uncut. The discs are region 2/4 encoded.

Audio

The following options are available:
- English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
- French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
- German Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
- Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
- Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono

For my viewing I obviously opted for the English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround track which I imagine sounds just as it did on original broadcast. Dialogue is very much focused towards the centre of the sound stage with the surround encoding used only to add some mild additional ambience from the score. Channel separation is minimal but directionality is good where required. Dialogue is clear at all times, and there are no inaudible mumbles or issues with inconsistent volume levels. Some of the music can appear slightly dominating, but never to the point of becoming overly imperious. As expected for a major network show, there is no damage to worry about here. No scratches, drop outs, crackles, pops, or background hiss.

Subtitles are available in Danish, Dutch, English, English HoH, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish.

Extras

Considering this is a show with a reasonable fan base, there is a surprising lack of extras here. Nothing at all.

Overall

The Show: C+ Video: C+ Audio: C+ Extras: F Overall: C+

 


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