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Constance M. Burge , Brad Kern , Chris Long , Aaron Spelling , Krista Vernoff

Charmed (Series, S04E03): Hell Hath No Fury

YEAR: 2001

COUNTRY: United States of America

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Title of the work

Charmed (Series, S04E03): Hell Hath No Fury

Studio / Production Company

Paramount Pictures, Spelling Production Company, Viacom Productions, WB Television Network

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Worldwide

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2001

First Edition Details

Charmed: Hell Hath No Fury. Directed by Chris Long. Script by Krista Vernoff. Series created by Constance M. Burge and producted by Aaron Spelling, Brad Kern and E. Duke Vincent, October 11, 2001.

Running time

Each episode has a running time of 42 minutes (or 1 hour including adverts)

Date of the First DVD or VHS

February 26, 2006 (DVD with Season Four featuring ‘Hell Hath No Fury’)

Official Website

The official WB website is no longer active. The Charmed wiki maintained by fans includes additional information: charmed.wikia.com (accessed: August 17, 2018).

Available Onllne

Available on Amazon online (pay to view)

Genre

Fantasy fiction
Magic realist fiction
Mythological fiction
Television series

Target Audience

Young adults (aimed at young female viewers; the DVD was given a 15 rating)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk 

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com

Female portrait

Constance M. Burge , b. 1957
(Producer, Scriptwriter)

Constance M. Burge is an American television writer and producer. She is the creator of Charmed and Savannah, and has written episodes for a number of US series including Ally McBeal, Judging Amy, Boston Public and Royal Pains. Burge left her position as executive producer on Charmed after season one, although she remained as executive consultant up to season four. It was only after Burge left Charmed that Greek mythology-based stories started to appear.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk



Male portrait

Brad Kern (Producer, Scriptwriter)

Brad Kern is an American television writer and producer. He studied film and television at California State University, and began his television career as a writer on detective series Remington Steele. He has produced a number of series including Remington Steele, becoming supervising producer for the show. As well as working as executive producer for all eight seasons of Charmed, Kern previously worked on US fantasy series Beauty and the Beast and Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He has since worked on NCIS: New Orleans.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Male portrait

Chris Long (Director)

Chris Long is a British born television director and producer, who has lived in the US since 1995. He has directed episodes for a number of drama series including Gilmore Girls, The Mentalist, Without a Trace, Weeds, and most recently the spy series The Americans. He has worked on a number of fantasy and science fiction series including Charmed, Smallville, Dark Angel, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Roswell, Supernatural, Zoo, The Man in the High Castle.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Male portrait

Aaron Spelling , 1923 - 2006
(Producer)

Aaron Spelling was an American film and television producer. After completing a degree in journalism at the Southern Methodist University he started his career as an actor and scriptwriter in the 1950s. In the 1960s he turned to producing and produced many popular television series including Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, Dynasty, Beverley Hills 90210 and Charmed. He won a number of television awards including Emmys and BAFTAs. Spelling is well-known for his prime-time drama series rather than fantasy shows, and Charmed was conceived as a show about women who happened to be witches (see DVD special features).


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Female portrait

Krista Vernoff , b. 1974
(Producer, Screenwriter)

Krista Vernoff (1974) is an American television writer and producer. She began working on Charmed as story editor, and became co-producer. As well as writing Hell Hath No Fury, Vernoff also wrote other Greek mythology-based episodes Muse to My Ears, Siren Song and Oh My Goddess Part One. She wrote for and produced a number of series including short-lived fantasy series Wonderfalls and drama series Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless and Private Practice.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Casting

Phoebe Halliwell (Alyssa Milano);

Paige Matthews (Rose McGowan);

Piper Halliwell (Holly Marie Combs);

Leo Wyatt (Bryan Krause);

Cole Turner (Julian McMahom).

Summary

‘Hell Hath No Fury’ (4.3) is the first Charmed episode to include Greek mythological characters, in this case the Furies, although these Furies are described as ‘modern knockoffs’ of the classical originals. The episode starts after the death of eldest sister Prue, who was killed by a demon at the end of season three, and the discovery of new half-sister Paige, who is half witch, half ‘whitelighter’ (a guardian angel type character who looks after witches). Piper, who has become the eldest sister after Prue’s death, is struggling to accept that Prue is gone and that Paige is her sister. She therefore concentrates on fighting demons, and along with younger sister Phoebe and Phoebe’s fiancé and ex-demon Cole, she finds three female demons dressed in red rags with strange aboriginal-style markings on their faces, claws for fingernails, and breathing smoke, chasing after a man. Cole manages to kill one of the demons by throwing a fireball at her, but not before she has blown smoke into Piper’s mouth. The other two demons disappear. 

On returning home Phoebe starts to cough and calls the demons ‘cancer girls’, but Cole advises her that they are Furies. Piper asks if they are ‘like from mythology’ and Phoebe adds ‘the dog-faced women from hell?’ Cole says that they are ‘modern knock-offs’ but ‘their MO is the same’; punishing ‘evil-doers’, but go after any criminal, from a shoplifter to a murderer and ‘take great pleasure in the kill’. These Furies, in their red clothes, and appearing as a trio, and breathing smoke, would seem to be inspired by the Furies from Roman literature, rather than the Furies from Aeschylus’ Oresteia, who are numerous and dressed in black rags. Although they are not named as Megaera, Tisiphone and Alecto, as the three Furies are named in later sources, their smoke echoes the smoking torches carried by Roman Furies, as do their red clothes (see for example the Furies in Virgil’s Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses). Their description as dog-faced women does have its roots in Greek literature, however, as in Euripides’ Orestes and Elektra they are described as kunōpides, or dog-faced, a description that does not appear elsewhere.

Like the ancient Furies these modern Furies also have the power to drive an evil-doer mad, by making him/her hear the cries of former victims. When Phoebe retrieves the Book of Shadows, which has been borrowed without permission by Paige, who has used it to remove the spots from a co-workers face, and to torment an office lothario, she finds more information about the Furies. Not only do they victimise evil-doers, they can also make good people into one of their kind by finding ‘a portal of unexpressed fury’, like the anger Piper is feeling at Prue’s death. Sure enough, Piper starts to turn into a Fury. Her fingernails become claws and she joins the two remaining Furies. Piper, now dressed as a Fury, returns to her house with her Fury companions looking for Cole, who, as an ex-demon, is an evil-doer to be punished. To return her to her human self the portal of unexpressed fury must be closed. To do this Leo, Piper’s husband and whitelighter, and Paige, take Piper to Prue’s grave and Paige tells Piper that it is okay to hate her dead sister for leaving her. Piper eventually breaks down and returns to her former self by submitting to her anger and grief. The day after Piper finally accepts Paige into the family and calls her ‘sister’ for the first time.

Analysis

Charmed is a long-running fantasy television series featuring three young women who are also witches, known as the Charmed Ones, who fight demons from their home in San Francisco, while trying to maintain some semblance of normal lives, with careers and boyfriends/husbands. The series borrows from many genres and traditions, and includes characters and/or storylines from Greek mythology in a small number of episodes, primarily ‘Oh My Goddess’ (5.22 and 5.23) ‘Muse to My Ears’ (4.9), ‘Siren Song’ (5.4) and ‘Little Box of Horrors’ (7.18).

‘Hell Hath No Fury’ presents us with modern versions of the Furies who are slotted into the world of Charmed. These Furies are created drawing on ancient sources (as ‘dog-faced women from hell’) and are also used in an imaginative way in an episode dealing with the aftermath of the death of a sister. As this episode is primarily about dealing with grief following the murder of a relative the use of the Furies is particularly apt, rather than any other type of demon that could have been chosen as demon of the week. A key function of the Furies in Greek tragedy, including the Oresteia of Aeschylus, is to ensure that familial murders are avenged (and so Orestes is persecuted by the Furies for killing his mother). However in the Eumenides, the final tragedy in the Oresteia trilogy, order is restored without violence, with the help of Athena, as the Erinyes/Furies become the Eumenides/Kindly Ones, protecting Athens. In ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ order is restored as Piper is encouraged to accept her anger by her sister Paige. In both texts the violence of the Furies is ultimately rejected.


Further Reading

Beeler, Karin, ‘Old Myths, New Powers: Images of Second-Wave and Third-Wave Feminism in Charmed’, in Investigating Charmed: The Magic Power of TV, eds. Karin Beeler and Stan Beeler, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2007, pp. 100-111.

Feasey, Rebecca, ‘Watching Charmed: Why Teen Television Appeals to Women’, Journal of Popular Film and Television, 34.1, 2006, pp. 2–9.

Meyer, Michaela D. E., ‘“Something Wicca This Way Comes”: Audience Interpretation of a Marginalised Religious Philosophy on Charmed’, in Investigating Charmed: The Magic Power of TV, eds. Karin Beeler and Stan Beeler, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2007, pp. 9–18.

Potter, Amanda, ‘Unpacking Pandora’s Box: The Redemption of an Ancient Anti-heroine for a Twenty-First Century Audience in US TV Series Xena: Warrior Princess and Charmed’, in Classical and Contemporary Mythic Identities: Construction of the Literary Imagination, eds. Amina Ayal and Paul Hardwick, Lampeter: Edwin Mellen, 2010, pp. 97–122.

Addenda

Release Date:

Season 1, 22 episodes, first broadcast 7 October 1998 – 26 May 1999

Season 2, 22 episodes, first broadcast 30 September 1999 – 18 May 2000

Season 3, 22 episodes, first broadcast 5 October 2000 – 17 May 2001

Season 4, 22 episodes, first broadcast 4 October 2001 – 16 May 2002

Season 5, 22 episodes, first broadcast 22 September 2002 – 11 May 2003

Season 6, 22 episodes, first broadcast 28 September 2003 – 16 May 2004

Season 7, 22 episodes, first broadcast 12 September 2004 – 22 may 2005

Season 8, 22 episodes, first broadcast 25 September 2005 – 21 May 2006


Complete Season Box set (DVD) released 3 February 2014.

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Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Charmed (Series, S04E03): Hell Hath No Fury

Studio / Production Company

Paramount Pictures, Spelling Production Company, Viacom Productions, WB Television Network

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Worldwide

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2001

First Edition Details

Charmed: Hell Hath No Fury. Directed by Chris Long. Script by Krista Vernoff. Series created by Constance M. Burge and producted by Aaron Spelling, Brad Kern and E. Duke Vincent, October 11, 2001.

Running time

Each episode has a running time of 42 minutes (or 1 hour including adverts)

Date of the First DVD or VHS

February 26, 2006 (DVD with Season Four featuring ‘Hell Hath No Fury’)

Official Website

The official WB website is no longer active. The Charmed wiki maintained by fans includes additional information: charmed.wikia.com (accessed: August 17, 2018).

Available Onllne

Available on Amazon online (pay to view)

Genre

Fantasy fiction
Magic realist fiction
Mythological fiction
Television series

Target Audience

Young adults (aimed at young female viewers; the DVD was given a 15 rating)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk 

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com

Female portrait

Constance M. Burge (Producer, Scriptwriter)

Constance M. Burge is an American television writer and producer. She is the creator of Charmed and Savannah, and has written episodes for a number of US series including Ally McBeal, Judging Amy, Boston Public and Royal Pains. Burge left her position as executive producer on Charmed after season one, although she remained as executive consultant up to season four. It was only after Burge left Charmed that Greek mythology-based stories started to appear.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk



Male portrait

Brad Kern (Producer, Scriptwriter)

Brad Kern is an American television writer and producer. He studied film and television at California State University, and began his television career as a writer on detective series Remington Steele. He has produced a number of series including Remington Steele, becoming supervising producer for the show. As well as working as executive producer for all eight seasons of Charmed, Kern previously worked on US fantasy series Beauty and the Beast and Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He has since worked on NCIS: New Orleans.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Male portrait

Chris Long (Director)

Chris Long is a British born television director and producer, who has lived in the US since 1995. He has directed episodes for a number of drama series including Gilmore Girls, The Mentalist, Without a Trace, Weeds, and most recently the spy series The Americans. He has worked on a number of fantasy and science fiction series including Charmed, Smallville, Dark Angel, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Roswell, Supernatural, Zoo, The Man in the High Castle.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Male portrait

Aaron Spelling (Producer)

Aaron Spelling was an American film and television producer. After completing a degree in journalism at the Southern Methodist University he started his career as an actor and scriptwriter in the 1950s. In the 1960s he turned to producing and produced many popular television series including Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, Dynasty, Beverley Hills 90210 and Charmed. He won a number of television awards including Emmys and BAFTAs. Spelling is well-known for his prime-time drama series rather than fantasy shows, and Charmed was conceived as a show about women who happened to be witches (see DVD special features).


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Female portrait

Krista Vernoff (Producer, Screenwriter)

Krista Vernoff (1974) is an American television writer and producer. She began working on Charmed as story editor, and became co-producer. As well as writing Hell Hath No Fury, Vernoff also wrote other Greek mythology-based episodes Muse to My Ears, Siren Song and Oh My Goddess Part One. She wrote for and produced a number of series including short-lived fantasy series Wonderfalls and drama series Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless and Private Practice.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Casting

Phoebe Halliwell (Alyssa Milano);

Paige Matthews (Rose McGowan);

Piper Halliwell (Holly Marie Combs);

Leo Wyatt (Bryan Krause);

Cole Turner (Julian McMahom).

Summary

‘Hell Hath No Fury’ (4.3) is the first Charmed episode to include Greek mythological characters, in this case the Furies, although these Furies are described as ‘modern knockoffs’ of the classical originals. The episode starts after the death of eldest sister Prue, who was killed by a demon at the end of season three, and the discovery of new half-sister Paige, who is half witch, half ‘whitelighter’ (a guardian angel type character who looks after witches). Piper, who has become the eldest sister after Prue’s death, is struggling to accept that Prue is gone and that Paige is her sister. She therefore concentrates on fighting demons, and along with younger sister Phoebe and Phoebe’s fiancé and ex-demon Cole, she finds three female demons dressed in red rags with strange aboriginal-style markings on their faces, claws for fingernails, and breathing smoke, chasing after a man. Cole manages to kill one of the demons by throwing a fireball at her, but not before she has blown smoke into Piper’s mouth. The other two demons disappear. 

On returning home Phoebe starts to cough and calls the demons ‘cancer girls’, but Cole advises her that they are Furies. Piper asks if they are ‘like from mythology’ and Phoebe adds ‘the dog-faced women from hell?’ Cole says that they are ‘modern knock-offs’ but ‘their MO is the same’; punishing ‘evil-doers’, but go after any criminal, from a shoplifter to a murderer and ‘take great pleasure in the kill’. These Furies, in their red clothes, and appearing as a trio, and breathing smoke, would seem to be inspired by the Furies from Roman literature, rather than the Furies from Aeschylus’ Oresteia, who are numerous and dressed in black rags. Although they are not named as Megaera, Tisiphone and Alecto, as the three Furies are named in later sources, their smoke echoes the smoking torches carried by Roman Furies, as do their red clothes (see for example the Furies in Virgil’s Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses). Their description as dog-faced women does have its roots in Greek literature, however, as in Euripides’ Orestes and Elektra they are described as kunōpides, or dog-faced, a description that does not appear elsewhere.

Like the ancient Furies these modern Furies also have the power to drive an evil-doer mad, by making him/her hear the cries of former victims. When Phoebe retrieves the Book of Shadows, which has been borrowed without permission by Paige, who has used it to remove the spots from a co-workers face, and to torment an office lothario, she finds more information about the Furies. Not only do they victimise evil-doers, they can also make good people into one of their kind by finding ‘a portal of unexpressed fury’, like the anger Piper is feeling at Prue’s death. Sure enough, Piper starts to turn into a Fury. Her fingernails become claws and she joins the two remaining Furies. Piper, now dressed as a Fury, returns to her house with her Fury companions looking for Cole, who, as an ex-demon, is an evil-doer to be punished. To return her to her human self the portal of unexpressed fury must be closed. To do this Leo, Piper’s husband and whitelighter, and Paige, take Piper to Prue’s grave and Paige tells Piper that it is okay to hate her dead sister for leaving her. Piper eventually breaks down and returns to her former self by submitting to her anger and grief. The day after Piper finally accepts Paige into the family and calls her ‘sister’ for the first time.

Analysis

Charmed is a long-running fantasy television series featuring three young women who are also witches, known as the Charmed Ones, who fight demons from their home in San Francisco, while trying to maintain some semblance of normal lives, with careers and boyfriends/husbands. The series borrows from many genres and traditions, and includes characters and/or storylines from Greek mythology in a small number of episodes, primarily ‘Oh My Goddess’ (5.22 and 5.23) ‘Muse to My Ears’ (4.9), ‘Siren Song’ (5.4) and ‘Little Box of Horrors’ (7.18).

‘Hell Hath No Fury’ presents us with modern versions of the Furies who are slotted into the world of Charmed. These Furies are created drawing on ancient sources (as ‘dog-faced women from hell’) and are also used in an imaginative way in an episode dealing with the aftermath of the death of a sister. As this episode is primarily about dealing with grief following the murder of a relative the use of the Furies is particularly apt, rather than any other type of demon that could have been chosen as demon of the week. A key function of the Furies in Greek tragedy, including the Oresteia of Aeschylus, is to ensure that familial murders are avenged (and so Orestes is persecuted by the Furies for killing his mother). However in the Eumenides, the final tragedy in the Oresteia trilogy, order is restored without violence, with the help of Athena, as the Erinyes/Furies become the Eumenides/Kindly Ones, protecting Athens. In ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ order is restored as Piper is encouraged to accept her anger by her sister Paige. In both texts the violence of the Furies is ultimately rejected.


Further Reading

Beeler, Karin, ‘Old Myths, New Powers: Images of Second-Wave and Third-Wave Feminism in Charmed’, in Investigating Charmed: The Magic Power of TV, eds. Karin Beeler and Stan Beeler, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2007, pp. 100-111.

Feasey, Rebecca, ‘Watching Charmed: Why Teen Television Appeals to Women’, Journal of Popular Film and Television, 34.1, 2006, pp. 2–9.

Meyer, Michaela D. E., ‘“Something Wicca This Way Comes”: Audience Interpretation of a Marginalised Religious Philosophy on Charmed’, in Investigating Charmed: The Magic Power of TV, eds. Karin Beeler and Stan Beeler, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2007, pp. 9–18.

Potter, Amanda, ‘Unpacking Pandora’s Box: The Redemption of an Ancient Anti-heroine for a Twenty-First Century Audience in US TV Series Xena: Warrior Princess and Charmed’, in Classical and Contemporary Mythic Identities: Construction of the Literary Imagination, eds. Amina Ayal and Paul Hardwick, Lampeter: Edwin Mellen, 2010, pp. 97–122.

Addenda

Release Date:

Season 1, 22 episodes, first broadcast 7 October 1998 – 26 May 1999

Season 2, 22 episodes, first broadcast 30 September 1999 – 18 May 2000

Season 3, 22 episodes, first broadcast 5 October 2000 – 17 May 2001

Season 4, 22 episodes, first broadcast 4 October 2001 – 16 May 2002

Season 5, 22 episodes, first broadcast 22 September 2002 – 11 May 2003

Season 6, 22 episodes, first broadcast 28 September 2003 – 16 May 2004

Season 7, 22 episodes, first broadcast 12 September 2004 – 22 may 2005

Season 8, 22 episodes, first broadcast 25 September 2005 – 21 May 2006


Complete Season Box set (DVD) released 3 February 2014.

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