The Women Of Charmed


Transcribed by: Shay Fitzpatrick


Narrator: Take three pretty young actresses...

[Cut to Alyssa.]

Alyssa: I think between the three of us, we have fifty years on television.

[They show some footage from "Morality Bites".]

Narrator: Add a touch of Aaron Spelling magic and a dose of good luck...

[Cut to Shannen.]

Shannen: I go into every project not having high expectations of how it's going to perform. That way I'm not let down.

Narrator: And you have the perfect potion for TV rating success.

[Cut to Alyssa.]

Alyssa: Just cute girls kicking butt. (laughs)

Narrator: It's Charmed, the WB's enchanting TV series starring Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano as three beautiful sisters who are also witches.

[Cut to Shannen in front of the camera.]

Shannen: We're not trying to send a huge message out there every single Thursday night. We're not saying like do this do that, we're saying look at us we're total goof balls and we're having a blast.

[They show a blooper from the episode "Wedding From Hell".]

[Cut to Alyssa in front of the camera.]

Alyssa: We're in a time that, that's about girl power, you know, and this is definitely three very strong women that are fighting evil and-and trying to save people.

[They show footage from "Animal Pragmatism" -- Phoebe: The good news is the spell worked...]

Alyssa: I also think witchcraft is in, you know, just rising because I think the kids, you know, the traditional religions aren't really holding true for the younger generation.

[Cut to Holly.]

Holly: Ever since we realised we have all these teenage girls and little girls as fans, we've tried to somehow put a moral message in, a family message or a value message in with, you know, our witchcraft.

[They show footage of "Witch Trial" -- Prue: How can it be good to be witches if all it does is get the people we loved killed?]

Narrator: Magical women have long been apart of American pop culture from the pointy nosed Villianess of the Wizard of Oz to the sexy young witches of the 60's, 70's and 80's. Charmed creator, Connie Burge and story editor, Robert Masello are trying to update the witchcraft myth for today's audience.

[Cut to a room where there are writers sitting around a table.]

Connie: (talking to the writers) It's not the weapon that makes them powerful, it's just, it's part of what Libris has.

[Cut to Connie Burge talking in front of the camera.]

Connie: I had only preconceived emotions about what a witch was and frankly I saw the pointed hat and the wart on the nose, so I bought an inordinate amount of books on the history of witchcraft, everything I could find.

[Cut to Robert talking to the other writers.]

Robert: Are you saying that she was holding it back purposely or that she knows where it is, she's pointing them at it.

[Cut to Robert.]

Robert: I must say that Charmed is the only show that has a licensed fully bonded demonologist, which is me, on staff and as a result because I've written books about demonology and the occult of witchcraft, I'm there to answer questions about how a demon would behave. Would he wear a hat to a party, what would he wear after labor day or before?

[Cut to Holly.]

Holly: I think with the show we try to base it more on fantasy stuff and not the real wiccan values because that tends to inflame a few people. We're either not technically correct enough or we're like too far away from the truth, so it's hard to kind of make everybody happy.

[Cut back to the room. Brad Kern is talking to the others.]

Brad Kern: The moment Phoebe says 'aha' she's taken by the demon, that leaves Prue and Piper, they have to scramble and figure out...

Narrator: Executive producer, Brad Kern, and the shows writers always keep one concept clearly in mind.

[Cut to Brad Kern.]

Brad Kern: It's a show about three sisters who happen to be witches, not three witches that happen to be sisters and that chronology is important because it tells what are focuses, it's about the sisters.

[The narrator talks while showing footage of "Morality Bites".]

Narrator: In fact, the Halliwell sisters of Charmed are actually based on the real life sisters of show creator, Connie Burge.

[Cut to Connie.]

Connie: I have two older sisters and, um, my older sister, Laura is very strong, very driven and so I attributed the characteristics that my sister Laura has to the character Prue.

[They show footage of "Witch Trial" -- Piper: Are you sure you're up to this? Prue: I'm sure.]

Connie: The middle sibling typically tends to be a real people pleaser and very funny, tends to deal with life with a lot of humour. That really applied to my sister, Edie and so I could see the character of Piper.

[They show footage of "Morality Bites" -- Piper: When we went back to the seventies, we saw ourselves as kids and now we'll be seeing ourselves walking around ten years older. All that vanquishing. Think of the wear and tear.]

[Cut back to Connie.]

Connie: Phoebe was honestly the easiest. It just grew to from within.

[They show footage of "They're Everywhere" -- Phoebe: What's the matter? Piper: He didnít bleed, heís not bleeding, thereís no blood, thereís nothing.]

[You then see behind the scenes footage of Alyssa getting her make-up put on.]

Connie: Alyssa was just the greatest piece of luck. She actually replaced another actor at the eleventh hour and so, you know, lucky. I felt charmed.

[Cut to Shannen.]

Shannen: We shot the pilot with a different girl playing Phoebe, Lori Rom, who I would sat is a great actress and whatever her personal reasons were for not wanting to continue, I, I understand. (They show some behind the scenes footage while Shannen is talking.) And it's really interesting because Alyssa and Lori are so completely different and the show is completely different because the dynamic that Alyssa brings into it.

[Cut to Alyssa.]

Alyssa: I was just jumping right in. (laughs) Um, and of course you know, the dynamic of the other girls not knowing if the girl that I replaced was their best friend or not. And I knew that the two of them had been friends for a long time, so I was nervous about that. But that lasted all of six hours.

[Cut to Brad Kern.]

Brad Kern: We didn't gain any lead time when we had to reshoot part of the pilot and fortunately the WB and Aaron was willing to, were willing to reach in their wallets because it wasn't cheap to reshoot a lot of that stuff.

Narrator: The investment paid off. TV impresario, Aaron Spelling and his partner E. Duke Vincent had another hit on their hands.

[Cut to E. Duke Vincent.]

E. Duke Vincent: This show had the biggest premiere in the history of the Warner Brothers television network. Now again, how did that happen? Suddenly we're doing a show about three young good witches.

[Cut to Aaron Spelling.]

Aaron: I remember when we were picked up after two episodes. By the way, that's never happened to me in my whole career, two episodes on the air and they call you and pick you up for twenty-two. Come on. And I called Alyssa and Shannen, got on the phone and I said we've been picked up and they said what. I said we've been picked up for the whole year and they started screaming, screaming.

[Cut to Shannen.]

Shannen: So I think I psyched myself up going 'God, we're gonna have really bad ratings and, you know, we're on a tough night' and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

[Cut to Aaron Spelling.]

Aaron: I'm holding the damn phone waiting and they ran away just screamed to the crew 'we're picked up for the whole year' and I could hear their voices scream and the crew started applauding, screaming. A great moment. Really great moment.

[Cut back to Shannen.]

Shannen: Then the second season when they moved us to Thursday night it was like, 'oh, we're dead, we're killed, we're getting cancelled.'

Narrator: And Shannen let the CEO of the WB, Jamie Kelner, know her feelings for a fan.

[Cut to Jamie Kelner.]

Jamie: Shannen called me all upset when we first announced that we're gonna move the show and, and I never promised her that the show would do as well or better in any time period and, and so she says 'well, I'm gonna be watching.' And I think right after we got our numbers on Thursday night I called her and said you were right.

[Cut to Brad Kern.]

Brad Kern: I think that we kind of caught lightning in a bottle with the girls and their chemistry. I like to think that we maintained it with good stories and good scripts and good production. But it starts out with the girls.

Narrator: Some have said that Charmed reminds them of another female driven Spelling hit.

[Cut to Connie.]

Connie: We have three attractive women who are, um, doing, doing good things every week, um, so yeah, I've, I've been told that this, this feels like Charlie's Angels with broomsticks.

[Cut to Holly.]

Holly: I can see the comparisons, especially when, you know, there's a Charlie's Angels shot of us like all three running down the street and you just feel it, you're like oh, here's the Charlie's Angels shot. We're three girls and it's a Spelling show and we always have great hair and make-up and great clothes. So it's hard not to draw the comparisons and it's, it was a great show so it doesn't bother us that much.

[They show some behind the scenes footage from the episode "Wedding From Hell".]

Holly: It's pure entertainment and we have fun doing what we're doing and that translates to the audience.

Narrator: In the next hour, you'll watch the magic happen. Meet Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs and their hunky male co-stars and discover how the writers, producers and production wizards help these lovely ladies bewitch America each week. So don't go away...

Commercial Break

Holly: This is Holly Marie Combs and you're back with the Women Of Charmed. Why would you want to be anywhere else?

[They show behind the scenes footage while narrator is talking.]

Narrator: It takes months to produce an episode of Charmed. From store development, through filming, to post production. And each show is unique. But one element remains the same. The women of Charmed. Let's get to know the actors who play the Halliwell sisters, starting with Holly Marie Combs. 

Holly started acting in commercials at the ripe old age of ten. She went on to appear in low profile movies such as 1992's teen slasher flick, Dr. Giggles. But in 1993, a little woman to woman kiss in a David E. Kelly Series Picket Fences, thrust Holly into the national spot light and ignited her career.

Younger Holly: (in an interview) The sexuality between two teenagers is just like so shocking.

[Then they show Holly talking in front of the camera.]

Holly: The difference was more sitting around the table and talking which is actually good and I thought all this action stuff would be a lot easier than it actually was.

[They show more behind the scene footage.]

Narrator: Holly's Charmed beginnings involved an old friend.

[Holly talking in front of the camera.]

Holly: Shannen and I have been friends for about seven years and we have the same business manager who also represents Connie Burge our writer. So it was kind of an in house production, our business managers getting fees from all of us now.

[Cut to Shannen talking in front of the camera.]

Shannen: The interesting thing is when my agent gave me the script, Holly had the script as well. And so when I went in to have my conversation with Aaron, I brought Holly with me. Aaron and I just sat there telling the network that Holly was perfect.

[Cut back to Holly.]

Holly: I auditioned and I tested for the network and I went through all the gates and ran the gamut and they finally hired me.

[Cut back to Shannen.]

Shannen: I had to be on the dark and serious side and Holly's middle of the road I would say. She could go comedic or go dark. (Shows more behind the scenes footage and the camera focuses on Holly.) Being around Alyssa, Holly's picked up a lot more comedy.

Narrator: Co-creator, Connie Burge, was seduced by Holly's charm.

[Connie Burge talking in front of the camera.]

Connie Burge: Holly, who had such a wonderful resume with Picket Fences, brought just the perfect amount of humour and the kindness and the gentleness that I always thought Piper would have.

[Holly talking in front of the camera.]

Holly: My character is the middle sister. She's somewhat the peace maker, she's always worried about something. She's very worrisome and, um, a little bit neurotic and she has the power to freeze time, which came out of her great ability to panic in special moments in time.

[They show some footage from the episode "They're Everywhere". -- Piper: Don't move. (She freezes Dan.) Okay, um, this is gonna hurt you a lot more then it's gonna hurt me.]

Holly: Piper's very different than me, she's a lot funnier than I am naturally. And she's a bit more high strung than me, can be exhausting to play her everyday for twelve hours. She can get exhausting.

[Cuts to Alyssa talking in front of the camera.]

Alyssa: Every episode that is about Piper I always love. Like the Wendigo episode where Piper turns into a werewolf. (They show some footage from "The Wendigo" episode.) It sounds ridiculous but for some reason she pulled it off beautifully, I thought that was really good.

[Cuts to Shannen in front of the camera.]

Shannen: She's definitely developed her own fan following and is a huge, huge asset to the show.

[Cuts back to Holly in front of the camera.]

Holly: (to someone out the back) Derek, shut up! Sasha, you tell your Derek, department man to be quiet. I can hear him all the way up here. (to the camera) That's just our A.D. staff. They're the one's that are supposed to... (to Derek) Excuse me? (to the camera) They're the one's that are supposed to keep things quiet. I hear his voice the loudest. (to Derek) Shush! (to camera) The atmosphere is crazy all the time. (They show behind the scenes footage and focus on Holly.) You know, what we do is funny stuff so it's impossible not to have fun with it. (to Derek) I still hear you! Shush! Don't make me come down there. (to camera) We have, we have... do such silly things. We have grape fights.

[Cuts to Tim Longsdale.]

Tim Longsdale: I think it was Holly, picked up these bunch of fake rubber grapes and just started throwing them at the crew.

[Cuts back to Holly.]

Holly: Friday night grape fight that I think I started or was it somebody else?

[Cut to Tim.]

Tim Longsdale: All of a sudden everybody's being bombarded by these grapes.

[Cut back to Holly.]

Holly: Yeah, it was me.

[Shows more behind the scenes footage of Shannen, Holly and Alyssa sitting together looking at the script.]

Narrator: When she's not cracking up her co-workers, Holly's in character breaking hearts.

[They show some footage of the episode "She's A Man, Baby, A Man."]

[Cuts to Connie Burge.]

Connie: Holly, she has such a gentle quality to her, so it's allowed us to explore a love triangle with her very successfully because we are really able to feel her pain and her struggle.

[Cuts to Greg Vaughan talking in front of the camera.]

Greg Vaughan: Holly's something. She's like the girl that, you know, she's like a girlfriend. She could be your girlfriend on any given moment. You just wanna show her to mum. Mum, this is the one.

[Shows more behind the scenes footage and the camera zooms in on Holly while narrator is talking.]

Narrator: If Holly had the power to cast a spell in real life, she knows exactly which poor soul she'd target.

Holly: I'd cast a spell on that A.D. down there to be quiet. He is so loud. He has the biggest voice. He's the one that calls 'rolling' and 'quiet' on the set. That's him making noise.

Narrator: Coming up next, the enchanting antics of Alyssa Milano.

Commercial Break

Alyssa: Hi, I'm Alyssa Milano and you're hanging with the women of Charmed. And if you're good and you stay right there, maybe we'll cast a spell on you.

Narrator: Each of the Halliwell sisters have a special power all on their own. Alyssa Milano's character, Phoebe, has the spooky ability to see into the future. (They show footage of "Morality Bites".) But off screen, Alyssa's very different from her character.

[Cut to Shannen in an interview.]

Shannen: Oh, God, I hope she doesn't kill me. My first memory of Alyssa, um, I think we were twelve, and there were like these sort of young kid Hollywood parties and Alyssa was in the middle of the dance floor... (she clicks her fingers side to side.)

Narrator: And Shannen's not the only one who remembers Alyssa's past. Most of us watched her grow up on television.

[Cut to Holly in an interview.]

Holly: Oh, Who's the Boss. Oh, God, she doesn't know this. (laughs) I used to watch Who's the Boss religiously as a child. Oh, I'm so embarrassed. (laughs) I did, I watched it, I loved it, every week I was there.

[Cut to Alyssa.]

Alyssa: I think that the great thing about Who's the Boss was it was obvious when that character needed to change because I was growing up. Um, which, you know, to go up through puberty in front of all of America. You know, I came in with a little training bra one week and the next I looked at the script and it said 'Sam's First Bra'. Something's very wrong with this.

Narrator: After a successful eight year run on Who's the Boss came to an end, Alyssa soon caught the eye of Aaron Spelling.

[Cut to Aaron Spelling.]

Aaron: Everyone talks about Alyssa's beauty and talks about her great figure and everything. I saw this, (he points to his eyes) I saw eyes that were windows and not mirrors. When we were looking for somebody for Melrose Place, bring in a young and exciting person and there's nobody else we thought of.

[They show some footage of Alyssa in Melrose Place.]

Narrator: When Charmed lost its first Phoebe and desperately needed to cast a replacement, Spelling picked up a phone and made a wish.

[Cut to Alyssa in an interview from season one.]

Alyssa: I was in Hawaii doing an episode of Fantasy Island and I got a phone call where, he, you know, I picked up the phone and I heard his assistant say 'Mr. Spelling is on the line for you.' Which is always a frightening phone call because you feel like you're being sent to the principal's office. (laughs) It's like, hi, Mr. Spelling.

[Cut to Aaron.]

Aaron: I talked and I talked and then I kept pausing waiting for a question so I would talk some more.

[Cut to Alyssa in an interview from season one.]

Alyssa: You could tell how passionate he was about the show and how much he believed in it.

[Cut to Aaron.]

Aaron: Tell you the truth, I don't know what the hell I said.

[Cut to Alyssa in an interview from season one.]

Alyssa: So I was, you know, on the phone with him kind of like, you know, just loving hearing this sweet man talk about witches and warlocks. (laughs)

[Cut to Alyssa in the present.]

Alyssa: So he sent me the original pilot and the script and that was it. I started work like five days later.

[They show some behind the scenes footage filming "Wedding From Hell".]

[Cut to Holly in an interview from season one.]

Holly: She was very nervous. Her stomach was all upset, she had butterflies. She was very nervous and very quiet. But she was so sweet immediately.

[Cut to Alyssa rehearsing her lines. Alyssa: I kept score incase you were wondering.]

Narrator: According to the cast, Alyssa didn't stay quiet for long.

[They show behind the scenes footage of "Wedding From Hell".]

[Cut to Shannen in an interview from season one.]

Shannen: She makes these faces and it's just the way that something will come out that she'll say...

[They show behind the scenes footage of "Give Me A Sign" and Alyssa messes up her lines.]

Shannen: She's just a naturally funny girl. She harasses people and it's funny.

Antonio: Oh, she's fun, man. You know, she's a-an Italian girl, you know, like, so I know about her.

Alyssa: Actually, Phoebe's a lot like I am in the sense that she finds humour in every situation and I think she represents that, you know, 22, 23 year old who is driven but doesn't know by what. And I think that the witchcraft sort of gave her a purpose.

[They show footage from the episode "Pardon My Past".]

Narrator: But Phoebe's power to see the future isn't one she's mastered.

[Cut to Alyssa.]

Alyssa: She can control it sometimes, when she's focused she can, you know, get a premonition when she calls one to her. Uh, but most of the time she can't which is part of the frustration. Phoebe doesn't think things through with any area of her life as mush as her sisters do, so. Especially the witch craft because that's exciting and so unknown to her.

Narrator: Like most witches in Hollywood, Pheebs can't cast a spell without wearing the latest fashions. And that's just fine with Alyssa.

Alyssa: My wardrobe is awesome. The only problem I have with it is that when I go out shopping now, I can't find anything to wear 'cause Phoebe gets all the cool stuff, (laughs) and Alyssa doesn't.

Narrator: And long time Spelling costume designer, Eilish, loves dressing Alyssa Milano.

[Cut to Eilish. She holds up a blue skirt and top.]

Eilish: This little skirt is Alyssa and this is her little top. She wore this to a night club. A lot of guys followed her home.

[Cut to Alyssa.]

Alyssa: When we go back to the 20's, I'm evil Phoebe. I wore a black wig, you know, very period. Um, we did very evil sort of make-up.

[Cut back to Eilish. She shows the dress that evil Phoebe was wearing in "Pardon My Past".]

Eilish: This was the dress and then this was the cape that she makes her big entrance in. She got into the character's part, the make-up and the way she walked, the way she talked.

[Cut back to Alyssa.]

Alyssa: It definitely makes it easier when you look in the mirror and you're like, whoa, that's not me.

[You see footage from the episode "Awakened" and then some behind the scenes footage.]

Narrator: Alyssa may get lost in her character from time to time but here in the present she's among friends.

[Cut to Alyssa.]

Alyssa: I feel that we're incredibly lucky that the three of us found each other. We all have horses so we all have things that are in common. Holly and I keep our horses at the same ranch so we go riding all the time together and we're very similar and, um, very close, we're blessed in that way. It's like a big slumber party every day. We giggle a lot.

Narrator: Coming up next... get personal with Shannen Doherty.

Commercial Break

[Shannen in front of the camera.]

Shannen: Hi, I'm Shannen Doherty and you're watching the Women on Charmed and I'm told that the show takes a lot of work and a little bit of magic.

[They show behind the scenes footage of the episode "Give Me A Sign" and zooms in on Shannen.]

Narrator: Shannen Doherty portrays the eldest of the three Charmed sisters, Prue Halliwell.

[Shannen talking in front of the camera.]

Shannen: I can move things with my mind (They show footage from "Give Me A Sign" of Prue using her power) and then I figured out how to levitate people. Prue is starting to branch out and take some chances and experiment. Experiment with love, experiment with her career. (They show more behind the scenes footage of "Give Me A Sign".) She's loosening up. Which, thank God is... it's like, ugh, God, you're just, you know, she's always getting onto Phoebe for casting a spell and it's-it's draining to play actually.

[They show a still of Shannen Doherty in Little House.]

Narrator: Demanding work doesn't phase this acting veteran. Shannen Doherty began her career in 1982, starring as Jenny Wylder on Michael Landon's Little House: A new beginning.

[Cuts to Shannen Doherty talking in front of the camera.]

Shannen: I was ten years old, it was a lot of fun. I loved Michael Landon.

[Shows stills of Shannen in Our House, Heathers and Beverly Hills 90210.]

Narrator: Next she did the TV series Our House and the critically hailed cult film Heathers. But it was Aaron Spelling's Beverly Hills 90210 that made Shannen a star. Though she left the hit series to make more films.

[Cuts to Shannen.]

Shannen: And then my agent called me and said, you know, there's a TV show called Charmed, why don't you read the script and I said alright. And then he told me it was Aaron Spelling and I was like okay. The combination was kind of interesting, me, Aaron, back together again, Charmed. You know, I walked into his office and he grabbed me and hugged me and said "welcome back, kiddo."

[Shows some behind the scenes footage of Shannen.]

Narrator: Shannen certainly dove head first into the witchy role of Prue Halliwell.

Shannen: I researched it until people started running away from me at bookstores because they thought that I was some scary, like, freak that was... God only knows what I was gonna do with them all (They show footage of "Witch Trial" while Shannen is talking.) and that stuff really scares me. I mean, there was like a spell in the book about how to bed down with Satin and have its child and that freaks me out, obviously. You know, I mean, you know, I've been hooked up with a couple of Satins in my life but I don't really wanna repeat that.

[They show Shannen and Antonio rehearsing "Give Me A Sign" while narrator is talking.]

Narrator: Fortunately, in this episode, Shannen doesn't have to snuggle up with Satin, but rather hunky guest star, Antonio Sabato Jr.

[Cuts to Antonio and Shannen talking in front of the camera.]

Shannen: It wasn't really a love scene, it sort of ended with a kiss and then it cuts to us the next morning and I'm wearing his boxer shorts, so let the audience, you know, come up with whatever happened on their own. By the way, where were the condoms in the abandoned house? He didn't bring them because he just got out of jail. So it's all on the irresponsible side, so I tend to think Prue did not sleep with him.

Antonio: Well, see I, you know, probably agree with her but we'll see what the public thinks.

Narrator: While Antonio still feels shy during his love scenes, Shannen takes them in stride.

Shannen: We didn't have to get half naked, we just had to make out.

Antonio: Yeah.

Shannen: So that was easy.

Antonio: It was still uncomfortable, you know, with people walking around and stuff, you know.

Shannen: I'm used to it.

Antonio: We try to make fun of it, you know. Try to make jokes and stuff like that.

Shannen: He's uncomfortable, I'm not. I couldn't care less.

Antonio: Yeah, she's okay with that kinda stuff, you know.

Shannen: I kiss crew guys all the time. Like, what do I care?

Antonio: Se knows the whole crew. Me, I'm just new at this.

[They show a little bit more of rehearsing "Give Me A Sign" and then Shannen talks in front of the camera.]

Shannen: Sometimes when I come to work and I want to bitch because I wanna be with my horses or something's happening. My dog needs to go to the vet or whatever it is, I'm like oh my God, you know, there's so much stuff at home that I need to take care of. But it's up to you to go in every single day and find something challenging and rewarding and inspiring about your job.

[Cuts to Holly.]

Holly: I guess she's got a little bit of a photographic memory which is really annoying because she can come in that morning and learn her lines in rehearsal and know them immediately. She has moments where she can pull out tears like it's nothing.

[You see footage from the episode "Witch Trial". -- Phoebe: You have got to figure out what your problem is otherwise we're all dead. Prue: That’s right, Phoebe, it’s my responsibility, isn’t it? The oldest sister, always supposed to be able to figure things out.]

[Then you see footage from "Ms. Hellfire" when Bane and Prue are dancing in the club.]

Narrator: Shannen knows her acting ability isn't the only reason viewers tune in.

Shannen: I have some really great clothes. I think Eilish does such a great job and she makes every outfit interesting. (Cuts back to Shannen.) I think the most casual thing is I don't have to worry about whether my stomach is sucked in or not. It's really nice.

[Cuts to Eilish.]

Eilish: We did a show with Shannen and she was playing a character as Ms. Hellfire and that was a lot of fun to do. And we had to make her almost trashy. (She shows the outfit that Prue wore in "Ms. Hellfire".) I had these leather pants on her that I made and they were completely opened up the side and then she wore this little bra with it.

[You see a little bit of footage from "Ms. Hellfire".]

Shannen: I think Hellfire is probably one of my favourite's because the tone of the show changed and it became more of what I had wanted the show to be. The lighting got a lot darker and shadows cutting in and out of my style of the show.

[Shows some behind the scenes footage.]

Narrator: It may be that delicate balance of light and dark that makes Shannen Doherty so fascinating. Her response to this light hearted question reveals the beguiling woman of contrasts.

[Cuts to Shannen.]

Interviewer: If you can cast a spell on anybody, who would you cast it on?

Shannen: (laughs) Oh, boy, I should really give the diplomatic answer for this one. Um, I probably would not. There's-there's honestly the cheesiest, corniest answer in the world which is why I hate saying it but it's one hundred percent true. And my dad has been struggling with his health for a really long time and I would probably cast a spell just to heal him completely and make sure that he was healthy and would live a very long time. And then if I had one petty one it would probably be something vicious or mean, cast a spell on like some guy that I can't stand. It would be some really ridiculous vindictive girly spell.

Narrator: When we return, the women of Charmed wouldn't have much fun without the sexy guys of Charmed.

Commercial Break

[Brian talking to the camera.]

Brian Krause: Hi, I'm Brian Krause, one of the guys of Charmed and you're back here watching the beautiful women of Charmed just like I do everyday.

Narrator: The women of Charmed wouldn't be as sexy as they are if they didn't have the men of Charmed to be sexy with.

[Cut to Alyssa.]

Alyssa: It's a very hard job having to look at those guys, having to look at their faces everyday. (laughs)

Narrator: Actor, Brian Krause, stars as Leo, a guardian angel type character known as a Whitelighter.

[Cut to Brian.]

Brian: Last season I started as a handyman, about half way through the audience found out I had powers. I have powers to heal, I can disappear, reappear.

[You see footage of "Morality Bites". Piper and Leo are kissing. Leo orbs out in the middle. Piper: I hate when he does that.]

Brian: I was like, oh know, everybody who has a power dies, you know. So I came in the day I'm supposed to do this magic thing and, you know, I had no idea if I was a good guy or bad guy and I'm like, 'okay, good guy, bad guy?' and they're like, 'Good guy, good guy'.

[Cut to Alyssa.]

Alyssa: Brian Krause was just the consummate professional. Always knows his dialogue and he's sort of got the worst of if 'cause he's the Whitelighter, he has to explain the demons of the week.

Narrator: Story editor, Robert Massello, tries to make sense of all these magical men.

[Cut to Robert Massello.]

Robert: The Whitelighters are kind of angelic creatures and in this case Leo is the Whitelighter who's been assigned to the three charmed sisters. And his job is to try and watch over them and help them but at the same time he is... as the story has developed, he's formed an emotional romantic attachment to the character Piper, so it's been very difficult for him to decide whether to remain on the higher plane as a Whitelighter.

[You see footage of Leo saving Piper in "Awakened".]

[Cut to Brian.]

Brian: What happens is I saved her when I wasn't supposed to and they clipped my wings, the elders, they clipped my wings and I'm like on suspension. We were dating last year and then she found out I'm a Whitelighter and it made it kind of difficult to kind of be together and have a normal relationship so we kind of broke it off, uh, and she met Dan the neighbour and they started dating.

Narrator: Actor, Greg Vaughan, portrays Leo's rival, next door neighbour Dan Gordon.

[You see footage of "Animal Pragmatism".]

[Cut to Greg.]

Greg: He definitely knows he's fighting to win Holly, to win Piper I should say, to win her heart, you know. And with somebody in my way it's constantly a challenge. I mean, I think Dan feels like he's going somewhere with her and then bam! it's a slap in the face, something else comes up and it's like Leo's back in the picture.

[You see more footage of "Animal Pragmatism" -- Leo: Dan. Dan: Leo.]

[Cut to Holly.]

Holly: Obviously Leo is the favourite because he's been around longer and, um, I don't know what's gonna happened with my live triangle.

[Cut to Greg.]

Greg: I don't know about any of the witchcraft, I don't know about anything.

[They show footage from "Awakened".]

Greg: So I'm kinda left in the dark in certain areas but, you know, each week is a different week and it just makes this constant roller coaster ride of where we're gonna go.

Narrator: Shannen Doherty's character, Prue, also has a new love interest, played by reoccurring guest star Antonio Sabato Jr., though the relationship seemed doomed from the start.

[They show footage from "Give Me A Sign" -- Bane: There's a lot about me you don't know. Prue: There's a few things that you need to learn about me too.]

[Cut to Antonio and Shannen.]

Antonio: I'm a bad guy turned good guy. You know, and I need her help.

Shannen: It's Charmed. They can't be bad for too long.

Antonio: No, just a little bad.

[You see footage of "Give Me A Sign".]

Narrator: After breaking out of jail and kidnapping Prue to help him fight demons, Antonio's character might end up back in the slammer indefinitely.

Shannen: It's the whole Patty Hurse syndrome right? You're like kidnapped and then all of a sudden you fall in love with your-your abductor.

Antonio: It's the only way to hang out with Shannen anyway, to kidnap her because she's so busy you know, it's the only way.

[You see footage of them filming "Give Me A Sign". Prue: I told you I'm not getting my sisters involved. Bane: Fine.]

[Cut to Antonio.]

Antonio: What's most important to me if you believe the work and, you know, and in this show it's sometimes kinda hard 'cause you're talking about witches and stuff.

[You see footage from "Ms. Hellfire". -- Phoebe: We're witches. We, we have powers.]

Narrator: Also struggling to come to terms with the witchcraft is police inspector Darryl Morris, played by actor Dorian Gregory.

[Cut to Dorian.]

Dorian: He just found out that these women are witches and he's just like, 'okay'. You know what I mean and he's slowly, slowly, slowly starting to discover this world that he never even knew existed.

[You see footage from "Ms. Hellfire". -- Phoebe: Someone tried to kill us. Morris: You see who it was? Prue: She's in there. Morris: She?]

[Cut to Dorian.]

Dorian: He's trying to keep things under control, he's trying to keep his life under control and he's trying to keep his sanity under control.

[You see footage of "Ms. Hellfire". -- Morris: And that's why you're standing here alive and she's in here riddled with bullets.]

[Cut to Shannen.]

Shannen: Dorian's, like, hysterical. Dorian is, uh, Dorian's probably got the loudest laugh of anybody I've ever heard.

[Cut to Dorian. He laughs.]

Dorian: Oh my God. (laughs) Alright.

[You see footage from "They're Everywhere". -- Phoebe: What's the matter? Piper: He didn't bleed, he's not bleeding, there's no blood, there's nothing.]

Alyssa's voice: Greg and I are really, really close, we're good friends.

[Phoebe: Of course he's not bleeding he's frozen, he's blood is frozen.]

[Cut to Alyssa.]

Alyssa: A friend of mine actually had a birthday party and she had a prom theme and I had never been to a prom so I asked Greg to be my prom date and he bought me a corsage. (laughs) He is really adorable.

[Cut to Greg.]

Greg: If I could have one of the girls cast a spell... I don't know, that's pretty tough. I mean... (a bell rings) uh, saved by the bell. (laughs) You know, I mean, I just feel like they've already cast a spell before I even knew it and now I'm here.

Narrator: When we return the women of Charmed show us the magic behind their magic.

[A preview of what's coming up.]

Shannen: There's a large snake with a demons head on top of it and it's swirling towards you and duck and scream.

Commercial Break

Narrator: Welcome back to the Women Of Charmed. Powers, spells, witches and demons. Charmed isn't your ordinary prime time television show. Each episode of Charmed is filmed with special effects, stunts and props, that help make those Halliwell sisters the witches they are. Director Jim Cottner, has seen Charmed grow into a supernatural phenomenon.

[Cut to Jim Cottner.]

Jim Cottner: People loved to be dazzled by special effects. I think the relationship with the three sisters work really well and I think people respond to that and the fact they're really good looking helps.

Narrator: Executive producer Brad Kern over sees the magic behind the magic.

[Cuts to Brad Kern.]

Brad Kern: Often times they're acting against a green screen and we're going to put in the demon later or the special effect and they have to somehow imagine what we're gonna be doing.

Narrator: Sounds easy but it's not.

[Cuts to Holly.]

Holly: You have to have such a sense of imagination and stamina to be able to look at a green screen and picture the scariest, biggest demon we've ever come up against a lot almost every week.

[Cuts to Shannen.]

Shannen: We're reacting to absolutely nothing and that's the bad part because I'm a very self conscious person by nature. So I look around and I see crew members like watching me act like an idiot and I get very uptight and self conscious.

Narrator: First A.D. Tim Longsdale, has had his share of long days as well.

[Cuts to Tim.]

Tim Longsdale: The last episode we worked with a lot of animals. We were in, uh, shooting in the P3 which is the club in the show. At one point the girls cast a spell and all of the extras became animals. So we had to get the knowledge of not only dealing with animals on the set but then doing it on green screen.

Narrator: With each new show, the Halliwell girls discover new spells and new demons.

[Cuts to Jim Cottner.]

Jim Cottner: We're always constantly striving to come up with a demon that looks different or has different powers than the last episode.

[Cuts to Holly.]

Holly: Turning into a hairy monster convincingly which is a lot harder than it sounds without making it look stupid or campy and make it seem scary and not laughable.

[You see some footage from "The Wendigo".]

Narrator: And if that's not frightening enough, in one Charmed episode, Shannen was transformed into a man.

[You see some footage from "She A Man, Baby, A Man". -- Piper: All you have to do is visualize a man that you admire and then you emulate him. You know, the walk will follow. Prue: A man that I admire. All right, I got that. Piper: The man you admire is Richard Simmons?]

Narrator: Show props are another important feature in making Charmed a reality. These props don't just materialize with a twinkle of a nose, they're created by a top notch prop department, including assistant prop master, Christy McGeachy.

[Cuts to Christy.]

Christy McGeachy: My most loved and my most hated prop is right here - The Book Of Shadows. (She shows you the Book.) This symbol here which is the triquetra meaning three sisters and they're the Charmed Ones. It's actually the spell book of all the witches and family members before them. (Then she shows you the page that was in "Give Me A Sign".) These are actually demons. This is one of our new pages that we just had made. And what we did to produce this is we took photographs of some of our crew members and producers along with our cast and they were able to distort some of the features and we got some great renderings that we're pretty happy about. This is Betty Reardon. (She points to a demon on the page.) This is our consulting producer. This is our ouija board. (She points to the board.) This is what our girls used to actually find our Book Of Shadows in the attic, which was how they found out they were witches.

Narrator: Visual effects supervisor, Steve LeBed, works his wizardry bringing objects to life for each show, like this fireball.

[You see the scene from "Give Me A Sign" where Litvack was standing there with the fireball between his hands.]

[Cut to Steve.]

Steve LeBed: We go ahead and stage the shot and talk with the director and plan out exactly where we're gonna... how we're gonna shoot it. (They show behind the scenes footage of them creating the fireball.) And then once we have those pieces then we go to stage later on and we have special rigs that we build that give us very stylish looking fire, flames and fireballs.

Narrator: Prue's telekinetic powers may seem effortless on screen but it's the result that pain staking labour from stunt coordinator Noon Orsatti and his team of dedicated professionals.

[Cut to Noon Orsatti.]

Noon Orsatti: We have a stunt coming up here where we're going to actually launch a person. He is supposed to be telekinetically moved through a window.

[Cut to Greg Vaughan.]

Greg Vaughan: I would not like to be pulled through a window and thrown into a wall, you know, and everything, falling face forth. I just, I think I got a better job.

[Cuts back to Noon Orsatti.]

Noon Orsatti: The girls actually are extremely game for, uh, you'd be surprised, I'm like, I bite my nails daily and yet we do have some stunt girls that are extremely qualified and do some of the more halacious stuff.

[Cuts to Encore Video. You see Christian doing the effects from "Pardon My Past" on the computer.]

Narrator: The final step for most special effects is done at Encore Video, a post production facility. Here, high tech seamlessly merges special effects with film footage, making witchcraft a reality. Associate producer Peter Chomsky and special effects artist Christian Budman, ensure that each scene possesses just the right amount of detail and intensity.

Peter Chomsky: Christian, with this plate of Prue, we'll be putting in the, uh, freeze power that we're giving her when she goes back to 1924.

Christian Budman: I've started building a deposit. I'll show you what I've got so far.

[The camera zooms in on the computer and you see Prue do her freeze power and Phoebe do her fire power when in 1924.]

Narrator: Executive producer, Brad Kern, is involved in the development and fine tuning of the shows effects.

Brad Kern: This is astral Prue, this is Prue's new power from telekinetic. She has the ability to project herself into a different room. She's actually literally in two different places at the same time.

[You see on the computer Prue astral projecting.]

[Cuts to Shannen.]

Shannen: I hope that they get fun with it, like sort of... what would of been great is in Antonio's nice love scene if she on accident like astral project in the middle of making love and ended up somewhere else. (laughs)

[Shows behind the scenes footage and the writers and producers in a room discussing upcoming story lines.]

Narrator: With another episode on the air the producers and writers are already working on shows months down the production pipe line. The Halliwell sisters will continue to master their craft and viewers can also look forward to them growing as women.

[Cut to Holly.]

Holly: I would like the sisters to involve and change and go through life changes like normal women do.

[Cut to Connie.]

Connie Burge: We need to find some resolution with Piper's romantic struggles. Her heart has really been torn over two wonderful men.

[You see some footage from the episode "Animal Pragmatism". -- Dan: When you were sick, you called out his name, not mine and I was right there with you.]

[Cut to Holly.]

Holly: I don't know what's gonna happen with my love triangle. I think she might get a mortal Whitelighter for a little bit.

[Cut to Connie.]

Connie Burge: With Prue, she struggles creatively to sort of figure out ways that she wants to do.

[Cut to Shannen.]

Shannen: I pushed for her to quit her job at Bucklands and to get into photography just to do something that sort of explores her creative, artistic side a little bit more.

Narrator: Alyssa's character is also in for some changes.

[Cut to Alyssa.]

Alyssa: When the show first started, she was just out of college and she didn't really know what she wanted to do and she's evolved now and gone back to college, so she's trying to figure it all out.

Narrator: Of course it's really the writers and producers who decide Phoebe's fate. And Antonio Sabato Jr's character may be gone but he's certainly not forgotten.

[Cut to Antonio and Shannen.]

Antonio: I'd love to come back, you know, my character goes back to jail again, so we'll see, we'll see.

Shannen: Antonio's great to work with so I don't think any of us would mind. He might be commanding too higher of a price so none of us will be willing to cut our pay cheques down for him. (laughs)

[Cut to Brad Kern.]

Brad Kern: Oh, he's coming back. There's a nasty side of Prue that we like to explore. That great chemistry on screen, so it was a natural to say "You wanna come back?".

[You see some footage from the episode "Morality Bites". -- Prue: Hear these words, hear the rhyme. Piper: We send to you this burning sign. Phoebe: Then our future selves will find. Prue: In another place and time.]

[Cuts to Shannen.]

Shannen: We have a stack of writers and executive producers that have the same desire that the three of us girls have which is just to see the show just get better and better and better. I don't think we have necessarily found our voice yet but we're close and we're on our way there and as long as we all wanna sort of like evolve and grow and make the show better, then-then we're gonna end up doing it.

Narrator: And we'll keep watching as the Charmed cast and crew continue flying high broomsticks and all. Thanks for joining us.

[Ending bit]

Alyssa: I have like weird dreams that'll come true and-and little things.

Robert Massello: The most magical event is that I got a job here.

Holly: We can't encourage the superstition rumours.

Dorian Gregory: My trailer moves around a lot. (laughs) Oh my God.

Shannen: I'm feeling a little tired, I can't cast any spells today. (laughs) I can't protect you from any demons.

End