Charlie Jade is a science fiction television program filmed mainly in Cape Town, South Africa. It stars Jeffrey Pierce in the title role, as a detective from a parallel universe who finds himself trapped in our universe. This is a Canadian and South African co-production filmed in conjunction with CHUM Television and the South African Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). The special effects were produced by the Montreal-based company Cinegroupe led by Michel Lemire.
The show started in 2004 and was aired on the Canadian Space Channel. It premiered on the Space Channel April 16, 2005 and is also currently being shown in Eastern Europe, France, Italy, on SABC 3 in South Africa, on Fox Japan (since November 30, 2006), and on AXN in Hong Kong. The show began airing in the United Kingdom in October 2007, on FX. The Sci Fi Channel in the United States premiered the show on June 6, 2008, but after 2 episodes on Friday prime-time, has moved it to overnight Mon/Tue.
Scripts for the second season of Charlie Jade were written; however, the show was not greenlit for a second season. Chris Roland and Robert Wertheimer are the creators of Charlie Jade; the original series bible was written by Robert J. Sawyer and the pilot script was written by Stephen Zoller and Robert Wertheimer.
Charlie Jade is a rogue private detective in a world dominated by greedy multinational corporations. While on an investigation, Charlie explores a secret desert facility. A massive explosion propels him from his own universe (alphaverse) to a strange parallel universe (betaverse). Soon, Charlie is drawn into a conflict that involves these two universes and one other pacifist universe (gammaverse) with unsuspected terror at its heart.
Though viewers may recognize a similarity to Blade Runner and the episode "Double Cross" of the series Sliders, especially in the scenes set in the Alphaverse, Wertheimer has said in interviews that much of the ethos of the series is primarily influenced by Derrick Jensen's book The Culture of Make Believe.
Charlie Jade had two teams of writers. The pilot and first eight episodes were overseen by executive producer Guy Mullally, Stephen Zoller and David Cole. Mutual creative differences led to an amicable parting of the ways, paving the way for the second team, consisting of head writer Alex Epstein, and story editors Denis McGrath and Sean Carley.
In addition to its Canadian writing staff, the show also featured the work of several South African television writers, including Dennis Venter and Collin Oliphant.
The majority of the directors who worked on the show were from Quebec, including Pierre Gill and Eric Canuel. The pilot was directed by T.J. Scott. Other directors included George Mihalka, Jimmy Kaufman, Anton Beebe, and South Africans Neal Sundstrom, David Hickson and Daryl Roodt.
Each universe has a remarkably different look:
Charlie Jade was considered one of the hot tickets at the MIP show when it was shown there in 2004. However, the series has yet to be picked up in some major territories, though the first three episodes did premier at Cascadia Con on September 2, 2006 in SeaTac, WA. In these areas, the show seems to enjoy a somewhat "underground" appeal, and the entire series has been widely distributed over Internet file sharing networks.
Charlie Jade's challenging narrative, and somewhat controversial take on issues, such as the presentation of a sympathetic "terrorist" character, may have made the show unpalatable for a wide audience. In June 2005, Canadian broadcaster CHUM took an unusual step. Admitting that the show required a great level of attention, CHUM commissioned a special catch-up episode, "Can of Worms". Despite the fact that principal photography had been wrapped nine months before, a small crew gathered in Montreal to film a wraparound story designed to bring new viewers up to speed. "Can of Worms" runs between episodes 16 and 17 of Charlie Jade. Including this episode, there are 21 episodes in Charlie Jade's first season.
First Season [Complete series]
|1.01||The Big Bang|
|1.03||You Are Here|
|1.04||The Power of Suggestion|
|1.05||And Not a Drop to Drink|
|1.11||Thicker Than Water|
|1.13||Through A Mirror Darkly|
|1.14||The Enemy Of My Enemy|
|1.16||The Shortening of the Way|
|Special||Can of Worms (Special)|