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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth persevering with
This is an ambitious sci-fi show, original and intriguing. Charlie Jade is a great character, played well by Jeffrey Pierce. I was expecting a slightly cheesy show, because of the shiny action-man cover of the DVD, but this is distinctly cheese-free. This is a story-arc show, like BSG or LOST or Jericho, and there are only a couple of vaguely stand-alone epidodes. I...
Published on 31 July 2008 by shpadoinkle

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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: NO SUBTITLES
The 3 star rating goes to the poor DVD production. The series is very good and it deserves a very solid 4 stars - please check out the great reviews made here.
It's a shame that the subtitles in English, for the hearing impaired and for those, as me, that aren't English and need a little help to better understand the dialogs, are missing. It's discriminatory.
Published on 15 May 2008 by Pedro Veiga Grilo


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth persevering with, 31 July 2008
By 
shpadoinkle - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Charlie Jade - Complete Season 1 Box Set (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
This is an ambitious sci-fi show, original and intriguing. Charlie Jade is a great character, played well by Jeffrey Pierce. I was expecting a slightly cheesy show, because of the shiny action-man cover of the DVD, but this is distinctly cheese-free. This is a story-arc show, like BSG or LOST or Jericho, and there are only a couple of vaguely stand-alone epidodes. I liked this, and it definately draws you into the world.

However, there are flaws. It takes a long time to get going, and the tone is so serious and often grim, I nearly gave up after a few episodes. I think they really could have condensed the whole show into a few less episodes, to keep the viewers interested. And too much time is spent exploring the lives of characters we dont care about. Another thing I think would have really helped ease of viewing is if they had occasionally lightened the tone. There have been many sci-fi shows that have juxtaposed serious drama with humour (Stargate, Firefly..), and very successfully. It even enhances the serious bits, because you become more attached to the characters if they have shown a bit of a sense of humour. Plus it's just creates a more fun show.

Charlie Jade is worth watching, but it won't keep on you on the edge of your seat (until maybe the last couple of episodes). But if you are prepared to work a little for your sci-fi, you will enjoy this.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best series you've never heard of, 8 Mar 2008
By 
Mr. M. K. Gungaram-smith "MikeS" (East-Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Charlie Jade - Complete Season 1 Box Set (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
When the series Charlie Jade started on the FX channel I had a quick Google about the series and the title of this review was one of the things I found. Best Sci-fi series you've never heard of. Now I've watch the series I've got to say I agree 100%

The camera techniques used throughout the series and particularly its use of colours (each of the three universes or verses has their own feel, alpha where everything has a sickly green tinge, beta, slightly washout and over exposed feel, and gamma with its vivid primary colours) are exceptional and at times the series has an almost art like feel to it.

Also the series is intelligent in how it approaches both the characters and the story in general. Whilst occasionally the story can jump (at one point it actually jumps back and slightly changes how the previous episode ends, or at least puts a massively different spin on it) it always keeps you thinking. Have no doubts, if you like stories being spoon-fed Charlie Jade is not the series for you! You'll find yourself think about what has happened between episodes, and in my case discussing the social/political differences between the worlds with my wife (she's an understanding sole, but she loves the series too).

The series develops the viewer's relationships with the characters brilliantly, with your understanding of characters growing as you watch, and in one case completely turning on their head every few episodes (with 01 Boxer).

That being said this series isn't perfect! There are a couple of really duff episodes, and really I'm referring to the first episode here! Watching it was like having my teeth pulled without anaesthetic! It just picks up slightly towards the end but if I hadn't the second waiting for me on the planner I might not have bothered again. That being said by the end of episode 2 I was enjoying and by the end of the third I was hooked!

And whilst there are decent extras on the first box set (this complete series is the two box sets... well boxed) the second doesn't, which is slightly disappointing!

Overall I'd have to say Charlie Jade is the most original series I've seen in a long time. Not perfect, but let's be honest what is. Now to paraphrase the tag line of the series and make it useful to the review (its "Three Worlds, one hope") 4 stars, one hope - that the studio makes a second series!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Otherworldly, 26 Jan 2008
By 
Fantasy Lore - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Charlie Jade - Complete Season 1 Box Set (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
The first thing I'd have to comment on about `Charlie Jade' in a review, something that greatly contributes to it's alien/futuristic/otherworldly atmosphere (to me as a British viewer at least) is the fact that the series is filmed largely in South Africa, Cape Town with the majority of the cast coming from that country. There are a few notable exceptions including the title character himself, played by Jeffrey Pierce, who's American. I really like the accent, occasionally it's a little distracting in the beginning, but you quickly get used to it. So as the first South African-based TV series I've ever watched, it's really quite impressive and as other reviewers have mentioned- the cinematography is particularly effective, with the use of different hues to distinguish between the three main parallel universes (known as the Alpha, Beta and Gamma `verses') in the story. The camera work is also inventively sharp and adds to the fast pace of the show, while showcasing the visceral action very well. And last but not least- the theme tune and music in general are just awesome!!!

But after what I felt to be a promising story in the pilot episode in `Big Bang' (7/10), I struggled to remain gripped by the following few episodes stretched across the first and second discs. It was only the charisma and conviction of the lead character that kept me playing each new episode. Before episode eight the writing is not of a particularly high standard- the main problem being the lack of explanation of the greater themes in the series, which is still the case in later episodes, but in the beginning it's irritating, while later it's balanced by simple good story-telling. This means in the beginning the viewer has to work a whole lot harder than with the average sci-fi show. `Charlie Jade' throws the viewer in at the deep end and forces you to take on faith that the lack of coherency in the on-going plot will eventually grow clearer. So initially I was very disappointed that I didn't find this to be the type of show where I could stick on an episode, sit down and enjoy it in it's own right. Instead I felt like I had to devote time to `Charlie Jade' in order to eventually get some kind of return from a show that rarely offers a satisfactory viewing experience in the beginning.

But then I reached a turning point with episode 8- `Devotion' (8/10), which was the first episode (to my mind) that started the trend of providing small, but satisfactory resolutions to each episode and characters such as Reena (whom I initially disliked, because she was so under-written) became more well-rounded and so, more sympathetic. And by the end of part one, I was hooked! Episodes 17 `Spin' (9/10) and 19 `Flesh' (9/10) were also major highlights for me, because there's such great character and plot development in the final ten minutes of both epi's.

I honestly liked this series and I don't want to deter anyone from purchasing it, but I have to believe that the other positive reviewers on this page are either hard-core sci-fi fans, or simply have a lot of patience and appreciation for the finer points of the genre. I count myself among them, but in either case I'm not so sure that the average viewer would manage to muster half as much patience to stick with it for more than a few episodes. But while occasionally confusing, it's a rewarding experience if you stick with it and the cinematic quality of its visuals alone makes it a show worthy of experiencing in its entirety.

Just to add one other thing- the packaging for this set is incredible; it has a really high quality of thick card with a holographic design on the front cover and inside are two further card cases containing parts one and two of the series, which I expect are as you would buy them separately. But that's not a short-cut in this case, because all the cases match and are extremely durable, which only makes the current price of this set that much more impressive. You also get chapter booklets for each part and look out for an extra episode on the final disc of part one, entitled `16A' (8/10). It gives the viewer a much better understading of the themes of the show, but since it contains scenes from episodes taken from both parts one and two, it has a lot of spoilers and probably shouldn't be viewed until after the final episode, which is lucky considering episode 20- `Ouroborus' (9/10) is a very inventive and well-constructed finale that provides just enough satisfactory conclusion to the series, but will undoubtedly leave you wanting more, so that extra epi will be just the ticket ;)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow build-up to great climax, 16 Sep 2010
By 
M. Bond (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Charlie Jade - Complete Season 1 Box Set (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
Just finished watching this. I only caught this on DVD from Amazon so I'd never been influenced by any TV screening. This series takes a while to build up into the story, and the lead character, Charlie, does come over as a piece of self-interested, whiney, idiocy at times, with the typical seedy, low-life Private Investigator chip on his shoulder, but as you reach the climax you finally "get it" with his background in the "Alphaverse" and it's oppressive social environment, even so, he's not all that sympathetic a lead at the beginning.

As I said the story takes time to develop, this is 20 episodes with one principal story arc throughout, which probably contributed to its lack of mainstream exposure around the world, so settle down to enjoy the ride to a fulfilling climax.

The different "Verses" are nicely-realised, with distinctive colour styles for each, from twisted, dark, shadowy Alphavers, reminiscent of "Blade Runner", through our very own "Betaverse" to the richly green "Gammarverse", and beyond...

It's a pity there was no second season, although the scripts were supposed to have been written, perhaps one day?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Jade complete boxed set, 20 Mar 2009
By 
K. J. Evans "tech author" (Tyneside) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Charlie Jade - Complete Season 1 Box Set (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent value for all the series one episodes. But what about Charlie Jade? Well, if you didn't watch the series on TV, I can't imagine that you'd be buying the DVDs, but, just in case you got here because of a recommendation or just 'satiable curiosity...

The whole series has a dark, Bladerunner-style feel to it. It's not an easy watch; you have to work at it and concentrate. But it's well worth the effort. Not only does the story unfold and become clearer (or darker, depending on your point of view), but the characters also develop. Charlie himself changes from being "not very nice" to someone we'd probably consider heroic. All human emotion is there, from loss and despair to joy and innocence. Then, just when you think you know who everyone is and what their motivations are, it all changes. Go on, buy it. You know you want to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great intelligent series that deserves more recognition, 2 May 2010
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This review is from: Charlie Jade - Complete Season 1 Box Set (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
I only discovered this by browsing through Amazon reviews, and what a find! In a world where there's far too much mindless fodder for the masses, here's a series that's thoughtful, superbly scripted, superbly acted, with real believable characters, and has at least an internal consistency to the science.

If you want something that you can watch without using any brain cells, don't buy this. If you want something you can dip in and out of, don't buy this. That doesn't mean that it's hard work - it means that there's real solid content here. This series should be better known, and deserves a place in the library of everyone who cares about good sci-fi drama (and just good drama).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Jade grows on you - An interesting SciFi series, 16 Jan 2010
By 
This review is from: Charlie Jade - Complete Season 1 Box Set (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
Three universes are about to destroy each other, but Charlie Jade doesn't look like he can stop them as he doesn't have clue what is going on - luckily he's an extra tough PI who doesn't like being in the dark. Having watched all of Charlie Jade on DVD I can see why it may have lost a lot of viewers in the rather chaotic first 8 episodes. However, past that point this series morphs in to very good viewing as the story starts to come together. By the end of the season I was really sorry to know that there wouldn't be another season.

It's an odd series in that it is set in Cape Town in South Africa and must be the first African SciFi that I've seen. Jeffery Pierce as the lead character Charlie Jade is both very watchable and charismatic. He has the world weary PI down pat and I'm honestly surprised I haven't seen him more on TV. Michael Fipowich as 01 Boxer is a truly crazy-scary psycho and for most of the series the only world-walker with a connection to all 3 universes that that form the background plot to this series. He's someone who you go from hating to respecting (sort of) to wondering if you first impressions were correct after all. One of the more unlikely characters you'll meet on TV.

I recommend this series if you are interested in alternative universes or like movies like Blade Runner. It's a shame there will never be a season 2 and season 1 does not wrap up all its plot threads completely but it's still a very interesting TV experience for those who like SciFi TV.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars go for it!, 27 July 2008
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This review is from: Charlie Jade - Complete Season 1 Box Set (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
I have to agree with the positive reviews on this show. It is well worth persevering past the first - difficult to watch/see/understand/tolerate - episode. This is an adult, intelligent, atmospheric, gripping and - provided you can stomach the dismal fight scenes - well-acted show. Reminiscent of Blade Runner in parts - I really came to like and care about some of the characters, and was pleasantly surprised that 01 was one such. Won't spoil it for others who watch this but be prepared to be surprised and perhaps even disappointed but never bored. A good show and, like others, I really hope that there are more in the pipeline!
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: NO SUBTITLES, 15 May 2008
This review is from: Charlie Jade - Complete Season 1 Box Set (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
The 3 star rating goes to the poor DVD production. The series is very good and it deserves a very solid 4 stars - please check out the great reviews made here.
It's a shame that the subtitles in English, for the hearing impaired and for those, as me, that aren't English and need a little help to better understand the dialogs, are missing. It's discriminatory.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary series, 26 Jan 2008
By 
This review is from: Charlie Jade - Complete Season 1 Box Set (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
In reply to a previous post/review I'd like to confirm that this is a unique, intelligent, very atmospheric, beautifuly shot and well written show that must be seen by every sci-fi fan.
Too bad I'd already bought Part 1 of the season, 'cause at the time this "Amazon Exclusive" wasn't available yet. Now it's an even better deal and a relatively high price of two separate sets isn't going to stop an intrigued viewer.
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