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"Odyssey 5" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 06/24/2002

I don’t know what it is about time travel stories that fascinate me.  Some of my favorite science fiction movies are movies like Back to the Future and The Terminator, and my favorite science fiction TV shows are shows like “Quantum Leap” and “Sliders” (I know, technically that wasn’t a time travel show, but it felt like one.)  My favorite Star Trek movie was part 4, The Voyage Home, where the crew went back in time to get some whales from the past to save the future.


Now we have Showtime’s new series “Odyssey 5.”  It is the story of a crew of a space shuttle on a routine mission in the near future.  They witness the Earth below them explode in a maelstrom.  They fight to stay alive as they run out of oxygen.  Right before they run out of oxygen, an alien being named the Seeker saves them.  The crew finds out from the Seeker that Earth is just the latest planet to explode mysteriously.  The Seeker’s own planet had exploded previously.  The crew is sent back in time five years by the Seeker to find out what caused the explosion and to try to stop it.  Only they are not sent back in their current state.  They are sent back to their former selves of five years ago, but with the memory of what happened.


That plot alone would have hooked me, but it got more interesting when the main characters had other issues to deal with while reliving the last five years.  The commander, Chuck Taggart (Peter Weller), has to deal with his fellow crew member and son, Neil Taggart (Christopher Gorham.)  While Chuck is mainly concentrating on the mission at hand, Neil is dealing with the fact that he is 17 again and back in high school.  The science officer, Dr. Kurt Mendel (Sebastian Roché), decides to take advantage of the situation by correcting all the mistakes he made in his life.  A correspondent from fictional news cable channel CNT named Sarah Forbes (Leslie Silva), who happened to be on the shuttle doing a report of the mission, decides to try to save her son who had originally died from cancer.


Aside from the always-great Weller, the acting in this series was not the best.  Roché specifically is a little cheesy in his role.  The story is compelling enough to keep me hooked though.  I have to find out what made the Earth explode!  The only clue given so far is the discovery of a mysterious organism known only as "Leviathan” (which a fellow geek pointed out to me that Leviathan was the name of one of Weller’s movies.)


Odyssey 5” is a show that keeps you glued to the story, even if some of the acting is not the best.  Sometimes a good story is all you need.

Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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