Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Charlie's Angels was a television series broadcast from 1976 to 1981, about three women who work for a fictional private investigation agency, the Charles Townsend Agency. Their boss, Charlie (voiced by John Forsythe), was never seen--except in some episodes from the rear only (where you only saw the back of his head and his arms) and on the series finale where he appears in Surgeons mask and outfit--and contacted them only by phone.
The three original "angels" were played by Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and Jaclyn Smith. Later, when a character left (because the actress went on to other projects, etc) another "angel" was brought on to keep the number at three: Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack, and Tanya Roberts also starred as angels. David Doyle played Charlie's assistant, Bosley.
Because the show's premise focused on the angels using a combination of sexual wiles and fierce knowledge (of seemingly every subject in the entire world) the show became known as "T&A T.V." (or "Tits and Ass television"). The angels would often be seen scantily clad for no apparent reason other than to showcase the figures of the actresses.
The television series inspired two feature films: Charlie's Angels (2000) and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003). Each was directed by McG and starred Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu as the three angels, with John Forsythe returning to voice Charlie. Bosley (John of that ilk) was played in the first film by Bill Murray, and in the second (as John's half-brother Jimmy) by Bernie Mac.
The second movie had more nods to the TV series than the first movie in the series did, perhaps due to complaints from fans of the TV series. Whereas most movie remakes of 70s TV shows, like Starsky and Hutch, are actually remakes, the Charlie's Angels films are set in a different time. The mythology goes that whenever an Angel leaves, she is replaced so there is always three (seen in the TV show). Liu, Barrymore and Diaz's characters are not based on the Angels in the show, but are their "descendants". To prove this fact, Demi Moore's character, who is a 'fallen' Angel, quotes; "Back in my day - we used guns", which refers to the lack of martial arts in the TV series, while it is the preferred form of combat in the films. In the TV series, the Angels were more police-like, and never fought physically, only with guns.
Also, in an inspired move, Jaclyn Smith reprised her Kelly Garrett role from the TV series, who Dylan (Barrymore) meets in a Mexican cafe when she decides to leave the Angels. Kelly persuades her to rejoin the Angels with an inspiring speech. This reinforces the fact that there were not just three Angels (in fact in the TV series we saw six different Angels!), but there have always been three Angels at any time.
- Internet Movie Database
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