The power of three returns, ladies and gentlemen, and on first look at the new Charmed trailer, we've got a lot to look forward to.
News of a new Charmed series first broke back in January and now we finally have a whole trailer to unpick while we wait for the hotly anticipated new series to land on our telly screens.
In the trailer we're introduced to the new Charmed Ones. Much like the original series with Holly Marie Combes, Alyssa Milano, Sharon Doherty and later Rose McGowan, the reboot focuses on the relationship and obligations of three powerful sisters - witches with an intense responsibility to each other and the innocent, mortal world.
WATCH: The New Charmed Trailer
To be fair, a substantial amount is given away in this extended first look trailer. We learn that the sisters' mother dies after unbinding the girls' powers. We find out that one of the sisters grew up alone and was kept a secret from the other two, and we also discover that it's not long until the demons come a'knocking. Excited yet? We are. Here's everything else we know about the series so far.
Who's In The New Charmed Cast?
The three sisters, Macy, Mel and Maggie Vera are played by Madeleine Mantock, Melonie Diaz and Sarah Jeffery respectively. All of the actresses are relatively new to the scene although you may recognise British actress Madeleine from Casualty and Sarah from Jennifer Lopez's crime drama Shades of Blue.
When Does The New Charmed Series Air?
The trailer promised an autumn release, which admittedly isn't much to go on but at least we know we're not going to be waiting all the way until next year to get stuck into the series.
What's The Difference Between The New And Old Charmed?
There are lots of similarities between the original Halliwell story lines, so it seems there is potential for the Vera sister's storyline to at the very least exist in the same narrative as the old one.
Once again the three sisters are referred to as 'The Charmed Ones' as Prue, Piper and Phoebe were before them. All of their names start with the same letter, (such is the tradition of trios of witch sisters apparently) and weirdly the house that the sisters live in seems to be the mirrored image of the old manor house where much of the Halliwell action took place back in the 00s.
How Can I Watch Charmed In The UK?
The show is being run on American broadcaster The CW. While we won't know for sure until more details of the show's release are shared, we do know that The CW seems to have a good relationship with Netflix (see: Riverdale, the Sabrina The Teenage Witch reboot, and so one), so here's hoping Charmed follows suit.
MORE: How Does Netflix's The Crown Compare To The Real Life Monachy?
Did Prince Philip want his children to take his last name?
As well as nodding to the global crises of the day, The Crown is about balancing the political with the personal, and this is seen nowhere better than in writer Peter Morgan's take on the dynamics of the Queen's marriage. The first series sees the pair struggling with the power shift that comes after Elizabeth's accession to the throne – a shift that, for Philip, made to walk several steps behind his wife, seems potentially emasculating. While many of the scenes alluding to this (Philip's reluctance to kneel during his wife's coronation, for one) are pure speculation, the Duke of Edinburgh did want his children to take the name Mountbatten – and wasn't happy when this was denied. In fact, Philip is thought to have told friends, 'I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children. I'm nothing but a bloody amoeba.'
This clearly remained a point of contention for the couple in real life, with these tensions continuing to bubble well into season two of The Crown. While expecting her third child, the Queen asked then Prime Minister Harold Macmillan for his help in reaching a better solution. In 1960, it was announced that while the Royal Family would remain as 'the House of Windsor,' any future grandchildren who lacked the title of 'Royal Highness' would take Mountbatten-Windsor as their surname.
Did the Duke of Windsor really have nicknames for the Royal Family?
In taking on the story of the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson, Morgan has stuck closely to historical fact - as this is one storyline that barely needs embellishing. Forfeiting his place on the throne for marriage with the twice divorced Simpson, Edward VIII's abdication in 1936 (after less than a year as King) was one of the biggest scandals to ever grip the nation.
It's no surprise, then, that the Royals didn't look kindly upon the black sheep of the family - nor is it surprising that the newly titled David, Duke of Windsor pulled no punches when discussing his relatives in private. Episode Two of The Crown Season One sees the Duke using a handful of nicknames, ranging from the mildly patronising (the Queen becomes 'Shirley Temple,' in reference to the curly-haired child star) to the outright offensive (the Queen Mother, played by Victoria Hamilton, is dubbed 'Cookie', thanks to Simpson noticing a likeness between her and the couple's Scottish cook). This is entirely true to life - the Duke and his wife would use code names for the Royals throughout their correspondence. Even Churchill, it seems, wasn't immune - he was referred to as 'Cry Baby' by the couple.
To paraphrase the old adage, the truth is often nastier than fiction, and the Duke of Windsor's letters in The Crown (often read in voiceover as he reports back to Wallis) are 100 percent authentic. And as for the messages in which the Duke describes his relatives as 'a smug stinking lot [...] a seedy worn-out bunch of old hags' and 'ice-veined bitches?' Those are real, too. Talk about bad blood...
Did Prince Philip take flying lessons?
After having to give up his promising naval career in order to support his wife, Philip is shown to become obsessed with learning to fly. His lessons, led by his sister-in-law's lover Peter Townsend (a Group Captain in the RAF during World War Two), are shown to be a way of blowing off steam for the Prince. Philip did begin his training in 1952 at White Waltham airfield in Berkshire, though he wasn't helped by Townsend – Flight-Lieutenant Caryl Ramsay Gordon was in charge of his training. Philip earned his 'wings' a year later (a badge awarded to members of the RAF upon their completing flight training).
In The Crown, Churchill is outraged upon learning of the Prince's apparent 'recklessness,' while a tragedy within Philip's own family (his sister Cecile and her husband were killed in a plane accident in 1937) makes his mania for flying all the more unusual. Were the lessons really such a source of concern for the Prime Minister? Probably not, although Philip was never permitted to fly with the Queen alone. By 1997, when he hung up his pilot's goggles for good, he had accrued 5,986 hours in the air.
Did King George really have emergency surgery in Buckingham Palace?
From the very first scene of Episode One, which opens with the King coughing up blood (albeit very decorously) into a palace toilet, it's made pretty apparent that George VI is not a well man. After being diagnosed with cancer, the King undergoes an operation - shown in graphic detail - to remove his left lung, which takes place not in a run-of-the-mill hospital, but in Buckingham Palace itself. This did actually happen - and to keep things as realistic as possible, director Stephen Daldry decided that a team of surgeons from Guy's Hospital should carry out the procedure. According to registrar Pankaj Chandak, 'once we settled in, it felt like a normal day in the operating theatre. The prosthetic body was incredibly life-like, complete with a beating heart, and there was meticulous attention to detail on set to recreate the surgical world from 1951.'
Did the Queen stop Princess Margaret from marrying Peter Townsend...
The Crown paints Princess Margaret and Group Captain Townsend as a pair of very posh star-crossed lovers; the Queen meanwhile, with her deference to tradition and 'the done thing,' is cast as an obstacle to their happiness.
Having her sister marry a divorcé could have caused an uproar on the scale of the Wallis Simpson affair and Elizabeth, acting under pressure from Churchill's government, dispatched Townsend to Brussels, where he would remain for the next two years.
Once this period was up, the then Prime Minister Anthony Eden (who had himself divorced and re-married) was keen to reach a compromise, suggesting that the Royal Marriages Act could be amended in order to remove Margaret and her future children from the succession. The Queen agreed, and in a letter sent by Eden to Commonwealth leaders, he wrote that 'her Majesty would not wish to stand in the way of her sister's happiness.'
Or did Princess Margaret change her mind?
It was actually Margaret who pulled a volte-face, which came shortly after her first meeting with Townsend in over two years. In October 1955, she announced that 'I would like it to be known that I have decided not to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend [...] Mindful of the Church's teaching that Christian marriage is indissoluble, and conscious of my duty to the Commonwealth, I have resolved to put these considerations before any others.'
The reason behind Margaret's decision, of course, can only be speculated upon (though it's likely that having to forfeit her Royal title and income would have had something to do with it.) Both the Princess and Townsend went on to marry others: Margaret's volatile marriage to photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones, which ended in divorce in 1978, will doubtless receive attention in future seasons of The Crown...
Who Was Venetia Scott?
That blonde-haired secretary who catches Winston Churchill's eye in The Crown's opening episodes, then (spoiler alert) meets her end in melodramatic fashion during the 'Great Smog'? Venetia Scott is one of very few characters who are entirely fictional, and has been conjured up by Morgan to help shift the plot along (in this case, she's basically a catalyst for Churchill to finally take action, adding a little emotional heft). And if you recognise actress Kate Philips, it's probably thanks to brief turns in other prestige period pieces like the BBC's take on Wolf Hall (where she also co-stars with Claire Foy, playing Jane Seymour to her Anne Boleyn) and War and Peace.
Did Princess Margaret really pose 'naked' for her portrait?
After crossing paths with Anthony Armstrong-Jones in season two, it's not long before Princess Margaret is headed to the photographer's studio to shoot a more experimental (read: slightly risqué) portrait. The image we see on screen has not one but two real-life counterparts. Tony did shoot Margaret's birthday portrait in 1959, and while the resulting picture is not identical to The Crown's (it's more traditional in style), it did crop in on the Princess with bare shoulders, lending the appearance of nakedness.
While this earlier picture is certainly an influence, the image which Margaret's on-screen portrait most resembles is one which was in fact taken in 1967, seven years in to her marriage to Armstrong-Jones. In this portrait, the Princess stares over a bare shoulder, her face framed by the dark background.
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