Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Odyssey 5 - The Complete Series|
Actors: Peter Weller, Sebastian Roché, Christopher Gorham, Leslie Silva, Tamara Craig Thomas
Directors: Adam J. Shully, David Carson, Jim Michaels
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent Release Date: 04/25/2006 Run time: 935 minutes
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Exceptional series cut down by the idiots at Showtime
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 04/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An intelligent well written series that was cancelled too soon "Odyssey 5" only ran one season on Showtime before the network in its infinite wisdom (much as the Sci-Fi Channel did with "Farscape") to pull the plug before writer/creator/producer Manny Coto had a chance to resolve the story. Coto went on to revive "Star Trek: Enterprise" surprising the best two seasons of that show and providing one of the most compelling story arcs "Enterprise" had. He's since gone on to co-producer and writer "24". Even without its resolution "Odyssey 5" is a worthwhile show to watch. Working on a shoestring budget compared to most shows Coto managed to produce a number of intelligent episodes with some outstanding acting and effects work. Although the DVD set lacks the powerhouse extras we see on some releases it does include a terrific commentary track on the pilot episode with Manny Cotto and Peter Weller providing the play-by-play on the shooting of the show and unshot episodes.
While completing a routine mission to service a satellite the crew of the Space Shuttle Odyssey 5 Commander Chuck Taggart (Peter Well), biologist Kurt Mendel (Sebastian Roch?), Neil Taggart (Christopher Gorham), astronaut Angela Perry (Tamara Craig Thomas) and TV newscaster Sara Forbes witness the implosion of the Earth. Suddenly the human race with the exception of these five individuals has been wiped out. Running out of oxygen and with no options the crew wait for their end aboard the Space Shuttle. They're saved by an alien who calls himself the Seeker (John Neville "Baron Munchausen" and "The X-Files") whose own world was also wiped out by a mysterious force referred to as Leviathan. It seems the Seeker has been trying to contact other intelligent species for 300 years but each time he arrives it's the same-the world has been destroyed with all its inhabitants. The Odyssey 5 crew are the first survivors he's run into and he offers them the hope of averting Earth's destruction by sending their consciousness 5 years into the past so they can unravel who and what was behind the Earth's destruction.
While some episodes of the show could be a bit routine (for example the one where the crew begin losing their memory had a lot of potential but fails to deliver)the overall quality of the show was extremely high with intelligent scripts that dealt with difficult ethical and moral issues within a science fiction frame work. For example the series frequently deals with the impact when the crew tries to change tragic or difficult events in their own past and how things don't quite work out the way they had planned. Overall the show had much promise and I'm hoping that Coto returns to the show again either in a TV mini-series format (hopefully with the original cast) or film to resolve the cliffhanging conclusion of the show.
Sony has provided us with "Odyssey 5" on five dual layered single sided discs. Although there's some minor digital artifacts overall the show looks splendid. With sharp, bold colors and a strong 5.1 mix. The dialogue is clear and crisp while direction effects are particularly nice during the pilot episode.
While short on special features the show is presented as it aired on Showtime not the version that was broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel. Manny Coto and Peter Weller provide an intelligent perceptive commentary track on the two hour pilot episode. It's a pity that Sony chose not to have them do a commentary track on any of the other episodes but I'm grateful that we got some extras with this set. I'm sure that Showtime probably had a behind-the-scenes featurette that they aired prior to the show's premiere but Sony would probably have to license that from Showtime. The price for the 19 episodes is a bit steep (but not out of line with other shows of its type) however given the excellent transfer, 5.1 mix and commentary track it's worth it. Coto doesn't share how the series was going to conclude in the commentary track as he has hopes that he might be able to revive the concept for a made for cable movie (Sci-Fi this is your chance to make up for screwing the pooch when you cancelled "Farscape") or a series of movies. I'm hoping that he can pull it all together as this series (and its fans) deserves to have a resolution worthy of its intriguing concept.
A terrific show that certainly deserved better treatment than it received from Showtime (hey if Showtime can keep on some of the trash they've committed to over the years they certainly should have lived up to the commitment to allow Coto to close out the series), "Odyssey 5" may frustrate a few fans because it doesn't have a resolution but the show's terrific writing and acting make this a worthwhile show to pick up for science fiction fans. I knew there was a good reason why I cancelled Showtime.
So why not 5 stars? The transfer is exceptional (5 stars) with great 5.1 audio. The show deserves it but without a resolution and only 1 extra (Manny Coto and Peter Weller's commentary track which is exceptional)the set gets four stars. Hopefully Coto can convince the Sci-Fi Channel (which ran the series recently) to spring for a six hour minin-series to tie up the loose ends much like "Farscape" (a show that Sci-Fi idiotically cancelled and then returned to for the concluding mini-series).
One of the best sci-fi series...
V. Heath | 02/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This series is quite possibly my alltime favourite, Manny Coto is somewhat of a genius.
The five main characters (Chuck Taggart, Neil Taggart, Kurt Mendel, Angela Perry and Sarah Forbes) are played by great actors, and are deep interesting and the series explores each background.
The overall plot has been well thought out and is unpredictable so the audience doesn't get bored. The action doesn't ever stop, and there is a fair amount of humour between the characters too, especially in the episode featuring Ted Raimi.
It is definitely a show designed for a more mature audience, as the slightly excessive swearing and naked women make it unsuitable for children.
Seriously worth getting.
The Executives At Showtime Should Be Fired For Cowardice!
Happy Camper | Baltimore, Maryland USA | 08/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is absolutley one of the best series I have ever seen in my 40 years of watching television! It's obvious why the executives at Showtime paniced: The show was way too subversive for a politically conservative medium like cable t.v.! The political and philosphical statements Odyssey 5 were literally making in each episode were just too much for the spineless creatures that rule the cable airwaves!
My favorite genre is science fiction & fantasy. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly over the years. Nothing, except for Star Trek, Farscape and Babylon 5 comes close to the genius and passion of Odyssey 5! I can think of few television series where I cared so much for each main character, or the extensive range of emotions felt. The series was like theater! There's no other way to describe it!
Had those responsible at Showtime kept Corporate at bay, instead of canceling the series literally in mid-sentence, the eventual controversey Odyssey 5 might have generated would've been good for business!
The only drawback the series had was the importance of watching each episode in sequence. But with all the recording technology now available, this minor obstacle would not have been very difficult to overcome!
The loss to science fiction was incalcuable by the obnoxious cancelation of this unique series. Perhaps, someone soon will have the courage to pick up the pieces and write a book, or make a movie, and finish the series with the same amount of passion and subversiveness as the creators of Odyssey 5 did! One can only hope!"
One Of The Best
cearl52 | PA | 03/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Reviews usually aren't my thing, but I couldn't pass this up. Odyssey 5 was probably the most intelligent sci-fi show to ever be aired on tv. Extremely well written, the mix of science, paranoia, humor and pathos always gave the viewer something to think about until the next episode. This is not a series for the strictly ray-guns and rocketship set or for kids. No neat package of happy endings was ever offered throughout the series, and some real human tragedies were handled with seemingly heartfelt emotion. There was plenty of action, and more real science than most fictional tv offers, however, the soul of the show was real people balancing their altered lives with the burden of an impossible situation and an awesome responsibility. I highly recommend this series for any sci-fi buff or anyone who enjoys a really good drama and won't be put off by the science/techie talk."