Recap Updates

Richard Porter informed me earlier today that the PopCritics website will be shutting down at the end of September.

While we will be losing what was fast becoming a fun site to frequent, Richard will continue with his Charlie Jade recaps being posted directly here.

The previous recaps and related interviews will also be posted here, in their entirety.


Episode 15 Commentary Delayed

Due to unforseen circumstances, the commentary for Episode 15 has been delayed.

When we have a commentary to post, we’ll get it into the feed ASAP.

Thanks for your support and understanding during this project!


Episode 110 Commentary available

Denis McGrath’s commentary for Episode 110 “Identity” should now show up in your feeds as being available for download.


Interview with Michael Filipowich

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Charlie Jade‘s Michael Filipowich

Sometimes cool stuff happens when you’re not even looking for it. Like how Mike and Jason were looking for writers to expand the roster on Pop Critics just a couple weeks before one of my favorite shows was premiering. And how even though Sci Fi saw fit to bury Charlie Jade after two episodes, we’ve managed to keep a nice little group of fans coming back each week to talk about the show.

A couple weeks back, Mike forwarded me an email he’d gotten from someone who’d worked on the show and wanted to thank us for taking an interest in it: Michael Filipowich.

We weren’t actively looking for another interview, but if we had been, he would have been top of my list. His take on 01 Boxer is…well…crazy. But after exchanging a series of emails with him, I’ll tell you this is about the most carefully crafted, well-planned crazy I’ve seen in a long time. He knew exactly what 01 was doing, why he was doing it, and what his endgame was. He took a character who had initially been written as a one-dimensional psycho and fleshed him out into the crazy, funny, scary dimension hopper we know and love.

He was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, taking the time to provide some really thoughtful responses. His take on his character and the show are quite different from everyone else’s and very interesting. One of the great things about film and television is its collaborative nature. It’s that collaborative nature that lets great ideas about characters filter up from the actor to the creators.
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Commentary Delayed

Due to technical difficulties, the commentary for “Identity” will be delayed, most likely until after the actual episode airs.

We apologize for this delay, and we hope to provide it before “Thicker Than Water” airs next week.


Interview with Alex Epstein

Interview with Charlie Jade Headwriter Alex Epstein

Charlie Jade

It’s no mystery that I’m a huge Charlie Jade fan. I don’t write those insanely long and detailed recaps on a show relegated to the 2am time slot for fame and fortune, that’s for sure. What is a little surprising is how I came to know and love the show.

Like many others, I’m an aspiring screenwriter. In some ways it’s harder to break in today because there are more competitors for the few available slots; however, we have resources that weren’t available even five or ten years ago. There are dozens of accomplished writers blogging about their experiences as staff writers, writers’ assistants, and show runners. Some write from decades of experience and some give us play-by-play as they learn on the job. One of the longest-blogging writers out there is Alex Epstein, who keeps an ongoing conversation with fans, newbie writers, and others at Complications Ensue. I’ve been reading Alex’s blog for at least two years now and also own his book “Crafty TV Writing”. If you want to write for television, I highly recommend it.

Once I started reading Alex on craft, I realized this was a guy who not only could teach me a lot, but who had similar sensibilities to mine. Odds were high that stuff he did, I’d like. And having seen a decent-sized chunk of his work now, I can tell you my instinct was right. Alex frequently discusses Charlie Jade, even using it to demonstrate how to break and beat a story in “Crafty TV Writing”. I’ve got to tell you, when I read about Charlie hopping dimensions, I knew this was a show for me.
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Official Charlie Jade website

For those of you long-time Charlie Jade fans, this will come as welcome news.

The efforts to reclaim from the netherworlds of Internet limbo failed, but from the ashes a new site has risen.

Robert asked, and razorbraille delivered. They have rebuilt the site they had originally created in 2005-2006, now at a new location:

Update your bookmarks!

update, October 2010: The site expired, but the original content can now be found at”


Charlie Jade article

Here’s an article on Charlie Jade from Genre Commentary, from November 2006:

The Best SF Series You’ve Never Seen: CHARLIE JADE
Submitted by Arwen Spicer on Tue, 2006-11-07 06:59. CHARLIE JADE | Introduction to the wonders of the TV series

Have you heard of Charlie Jade? Unless you live in Canada or South Africa, the answer is probably “no.” If it is, you’re missing out on an extraordinary show: original, intelligently conceived, and populated by refreshingly fallible heroes and ambiguous villains. Filmed gorgeously in and around Cape Town, this Canadian-South African co-production (2005, 20 episodes, plus one “recap” episode) centers on the adventures of the eponymous Charlie (Jeffrey Pierce), a private detective who, in the course of investigating a mysterious girl’s murder, gets catapulted into an alternative universe. Our universe. There he must unravel the machinations of the nefarious megacorporation, Vexcor, before… well, to say any more would spoil the surprise.

Charlie Jade breathes new life into the standard SF trope of the parallel universe. The show moves among three “present-day” universes: the Alphaverse, Betaverse, and Gammaverse. You won’t find Spock-with-a-Beard here; in fact, very few characters have alter egos. This—to invoke Spock again—is logical: given different life circumstances, most people’s parents wouldn’t have gotten together. Charlie comes from the Alphaverse, a Blade Runner-esque dystopia where Vexcor rules a totalitarian state of near-universal surveillance and corporate corruption. But Vexcor has a problem: the Alphaverse is running out of natural resources. Luckily for Vexcor, it has developed a universe-hopping technology that will allow the company to plunder the Gammaverse, a seeming utopian idyll of ecologically sustainable living. To reach the Gammaverse, however, Vexcor’s machine must punch a line through the Betaverse, our universe. And when Gammaverse terrorists blow up the Vexcor’s Gammaverse base, Charlie finds himself caught in the shock wave and stuck in Beta.

He’s not alone: one of the Gammaverse terrorists, Reena (Patricia McKenzie), has also been thrown into the Betaverse. A wanted criminal, she’s on the run, combating Vexcor, her “hellish” new world, and her own conscience. Charlie, meanwhile, has it somewhat easier. Befriended by conspiracy theorist Karl Lubinsky (Tyrone Benskin), he quickly finds his footing in the Betaverse and uses his Alphaverse detective skills to get the dirt on Vexcor.

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A Charlie Jade Podcast Forum

There’s now a new forum for the Charlie Jade Commentary Podcast, over at FarPoint Forums.

Direct Link:


Podcast Updates

Look forward to episode commentary by Alex Epstein, head writer and executive story editor for Charlie Jade, and writer of the books Crafty Screenwriting and Crafty TV Writing. He will be providing commentary on Episodes 10-16, perhaps with a little help from some friends.

Robert will be providing commentary for Episodes 1-9, and Episodes 17-20.

Now would be a good time to ask questions about the show, and maybe between Robert and Alex, all can be revealed!


Charlie Jade Rescheduled: The Future of Science Fiction Television

Charlie Jade

Yesterday morning we heard that The Sci Fi Channel is moving Charlie Jade to a new day and time. Starting next week, it’ll be taking over the coveted Monday 3am slot.

I can’t be too upset by this. Clearly the show was underperforming on Friday nights and the programming wizards at SciFi needed to move it. What impresses me is the depth of analysis they performed to figure out its new home. Who knew Charlie Jade did so well with insomniacs and people who buy Flowbies?

Taking its place on Fridays will be a repeat of the prior week’s episode of Doctor Who. I can’t say anything bad about the great British import other than asking how he keeps his neck warm without a proper muffler.

SciFi made several errors with Charlie Jade, some of them specific to this show and some of them indicative of systemic flaws. I figured I’d use this opportunity not just to look at the ways they went wrong, but also to discuss the future of science fiction television.
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