REVIEW: ODYSSEY 5

MAIN CAST

Peter Weller (Robocop)
Sebastian Roche (The Originals)
Christopher Gorham (Ugly Betty)
Tamara Marie Watson (Cold Squad)
Leslie Silva (Fools Rush In)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Gina Clayton (Degrassi: TNG)
John Neville (The Fifth Element)
Kenneth Mitchell (Star Trek: Discovery)
Lindy Booth (Kick-Ass 2)
Sonja Smits (American Gods)
Damon D’Oliveira (Earth: Final Conflict)
Barry Flatman (Just Friends)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Series)
George Buza (Mutant X)
Andrew Gillies (Orphan Black)
Vladimir Jon Cubrt (Hannibal TV)
Rick Worthy (The Vampire Diaries)
Clé Bennett (The Tick)
Jonathan Potts (Jason X)
Ted Raimi (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Fiona Highet (Bitten)
Michèle Duquet (The Virgin Sucides)
Fulvio Cecere (Valentine)
Sherry Miller (Open Heart)
Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects)

Kyle Schmid (Arrow)

Michael Flipowich (Earth: Final Conflict)

Dominic Zamprogna (Stargate Universe)
Bronson Picket (Wild Card)

Image result for odyssey 5Before Manny Coto took over as head writer of Enterprise in the fourth season, he had his own SF show on the air. Odyssey 5 was Coto’s brain child, and it was an intriguing program that lasted for only one season on Showtime. (Less actually… it took Showtime a couple of years to broadcast the last four episodes which are included in this set.) It certainly deserved to go on longer. This show about a group of five astronauts who have only five years to save the Earth from destruction was creative and engrossing and had some wonderful actors in the lead roles. The US space shuttle Odyssey was performing a routine mission, snagging a satellite for repairs before docking with the international space station when something very unexpected happened. The Earth imploded. In a matter of moments the Earth went from a blue/green planet to a swirling cloud of dust. The only people who were left alive were the five members of the Odyssey: Commander Chuck Taggert (Peter Weller) and his son Neil (Christopher Gorham), Nobel Prize winning geneticist Kurt Mendel (Sebastian Roche), newscaster Sarah Forbes (Leslie Silva) and shuttle pilot, Angela Perry (Tamara Crag Thomas.) With no place that they can go to they resign themselves to their fate and wait to run out of oxygen.

Moments before the end comes however, the Odyssey is taken aboard an alien spaceship. There they meet The Seeker, an ancient being (machine?) that has been searching for intelligent life. He’s found evidence of many advanced cultures, but whenever he gets to the planets he’s detected, all that’s left is a swirling cloud of dust. The Seeker offers to send the five astronauts back in time five years, so that they will have a chance of averting whatever it was that caused the Earth to die. Naturally they accept but five years isn’t a long time, and they have very little to go on.

They soon discover that there are incredibly intelligent entities living in the internet called Sentients. They have no bodies, since they are just computer code, but they have designed artificial people to carry out their bidding. These ‘Synthetics’ are stronger and faster than real people and can be programmed just like a computer. The only external difference from humans is that they are cold blooded. Trying to discover what the Sentients and Synthetics are up to is hard and dangerous, but it’s even worse than that; there’s no evidence that they are responsible for the Earth’s destruction. It could very well be related to a military project that was on the satellite the shuttle was adjusting, related to the covert group inside NASA known as the Cadre, or something else all together.Image result for odyssey 5This is one of those shows that starts off a little slow, but really draws you in. One of the things I really liked about the show was that they didn’t forget that the Odyssey 5 have home lives. When Taggart skips out on a party his wife had been wanting to go to (in order to stop a Synthetic plot), he not only ends up in the dog house but she also thinks that he has a mistress. Sarah spends a good amount of time taking her son to doctors so they can cure the stomach cancer that killed him in the original time-line. The only thing is that it hasn’t shown up yet and her husband and doctors think she’s crazy. It’s touches like these that add a lot to the feel of the show.

Image result for odyssey 5The ensemble cast is responsible for that to a large extent. All five of the main characters do a very good job portraying their idiosyncratic characters and make them seem like real people. Peter Weller (Buckaroo Banzai, Robocop) has the temperament and attitudes of a military pilot down pat, probably because his father was a pilot (as he discusses in the commentary), but in any case he really nails the part and gives the show it’s focal point. Sebastian Roche also does well as the goofy but brilliant scientist, walking that fine line between making him a caricature and a believably irreverent character. The one person in the cast who impressed me the most though was Leslie Silva. She was magnificent as a mother who had seen her child waste away and die, only to get him back again. You could tell what she was thinking by just a look, and the scenes where she would break down were heart wrenching. This is an enjoyable show. The acting is very good and the plots are engrossing. Though there isn’t a lot of continuity in the first few episodes they refer to past events more and more as the show goes on, which makes the program even more interesting. A fun show that deserved a longer run.