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ODYSSEY 5: THE COMPLETE SERIES
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: David Carson, others

Starring:
Peter Weller
Sebastian Roche
Christopher Gorham
Leslie Silva
Tamara Craig Thomas

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A crew on a 'routine' space mission watches the earth apparantly explode, and with the help of a mysterious alien being called 'the seeker', they are sent back to earth, pre-explosion in an attempt to stop the imminent destruction.
Is it good movie?
It's always tough when being asked to review an entire series of a show that was cut away before its time. To properly do justice to any kind of review, it iss important to encapsulate all of the good and bad points, and that can be tough when there are multiple episodes, and some are better than others. I've chosen not to give an episode-by-episode breakdown of Odyssey 5, but rather an overview of what works and what doesn't, and why you should or should not check this out.

I have to be honest as I write this: i'd caught a few episodes of this when it was still running on TV, and thought it was neat, but could never grasp what was going on because i'd missed the first episode. It's very, very important that you watch these discs in a chronological order, because the plot is rather intricately layered.

I particularly thought that the episode "Dark end of the Tunnel" was a great example of character development. Also, "The Choices we Make" is a great, tense episode which deals with the worst deeds of each character's past. The show is structured in such a way that character development is key, as the crew gets a chance to re-live moments from their past and see how their changes affect the future.

I'll tell you, I thought the story worked. I really dug the way that our seemingly one-dimensional characters evolved as the story went on and they were faced with the difficult tasks of adapting to their lives, knowing what would happen, while trying to make the moral decisions they deem necessary to change or sustain their lives. It's often handled in a very mature way, and on top of this, our characters must decide to work together, or abandon their cause, and on top of all of THIS, they must discover exactly WHY the earth is going to blow up!

Not every episode is a winner, and some of them can be slower-paced or almost entirely skippable, but I must say that I wholeheartedly recommend this set. The acting is a bit shaky at first, but the cast really starts to gel as the season progresses. Our characters, while they aren't exactly groundbreaking (The steadfast captain, his inexperienced son, the jackass, etc), get developed quite well as the story progresses. I would like to specifically commend Sebastian Roch and Leslie Silva for their fine acting, and would also unfortunately like to express my sadness at the casting choice of Peter Weller. I know, the dude's Robocop, and he'll always be awesome because of it, don't get me wrong, but unfortunately, I think he may have been cast as Murphy because he really is that wooden and robotic with his delivery. The guy just didn't do it for me.

Really, it's unfortunate that this odyssey didn't really get to see completion, because I thought it really had some steam going, but it never really found its audience. If you're a sci-fi buff, you should really check it out.
Video / Audio
Out video is presented in Widescreen with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. This show is often visually heavy, and to have such a crisp picture is really a blessing.

In the audio department, we get a dandy Dolby Digital 5.1. track , or for the stereo-challenged, a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. It's serves its purpose, but the mix is a little heavy on the front speakers, I thought.
The Extras
Here's the bummer..this awesome set has hardly any extras. We're treated to a pilot commentaryfrom the show's creator Manny Coto and Peter Weller which is pretty good, but can veer off-track a bit, as the two talk about their work on the show 24 together, but is still quite full of behind the scenes stuff.

Seriously though guys, where's the MEAT? No trailers, no EPK, no deleted scenes, no actor's interviews, no ep-by-ep commentaries, no storyboards, no script-to-screen, NATHING!

What a disappointment.
Last Call
This show was cut short, way before its time. If you dig sci-fi stuff, it'll definetely be right up your alley. It's Canadian, shot with a low budget that they squeezed every single dollar out of, and has a great story backed by solid acting and some fleshed out characters. I can't help but be bummed that the whole thing remains incomplete. I'd heartily recommend catching the show in syndication somewhere, but can't tell you to run out and buy this set, because it's so very bare bones.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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