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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mr., Mrs., Ms., Master, and Jr. Barclay (The Barclays)--Part I

I was a little scared to do a post on the Barclays, because I was afraid I'd either make it way too long or way too short, and since the Barclays are the most popular family in Odyssey, I figured I should do it right if at all. But I think I got it figured out. I think I'm going to go through some of their biggest family events, and then go through character by character.

We first meet the Barclays in Family Vacation where we are immediately introduced to each one of the characters' personalities which remain almost exactly the same throughout the entire show. We learn that Jimmy and Donna love to argue, and aren't exactly best friends, we learn that George Barclay is the king of sarcasm, and that Mary Barclay is as pleasant and submissive and motherly as any man would want his wife to be. In this episode however, the parents were played by different actors than they would be for the rest of the show, but apparently due to their unpopularity, they were changed by the next show. Chuck Bolte, producer of Odyssey for a long time, has ever since been Mr. Barclay, and has been one of the best actors on the show. I don't know what it its about Mrs. Barclay though, because in the next show, she was played by an actress who was only around for the next four shows, and then she was changed again to an actress who played her for eleven shows. And finally, after those episodes, Carol Bilger came along who continued to play Mary until the Barclays went off the show on her eighteenth episode. I think this last Mrs. Barclay was my favorite one, but probably just because she's in the most episodes that I own.

Anyway, in the next few episodes, Jimmy and Donna play minor parts in episodes, usually hanging out at Whit's End, helping with a play or asking Whit or Connie for advice. Also, Jimmy goes to camp where he is seen hanging out with the friends that he seems to have for this period in time. But the next big Barclay episode is one of most fans' all-time favorite episodes--Our Best Vacation Ever. In this episode, because the family doesn't have enough money, and all of the kids' friends are going somewhere, Whit suggests that they have a vacation at home. This results in a massive water fight, camping in the living room, a trip to the zoo and then Trickle Lake, and then helping out at Tom Riley's barn-raising party. I personally am not a huge fan of this episode, but that's just because I've listened to it countless times as a result of it being in my first Odyssey collection ever. However, I am fairly entertained every time I hear it, and it's a favorite of my younger siblings. We've even gone on local vacations of our own a few times, as I'm sure other listeners have.

Over the next couple episodes, Jimmy goes to Nicaragua and helps Dan Isidro, one of Whit's missionary friends (oh yeah, did I mention it's a dream? ;D), and Donna is forced to host the Fall Festival, which she is hesitant to do because of bad memories about her deceased friend Karen. The next Barclay family episode features them shuffling off a homeless family to Whit at Christmastime. But they are reminded of the bad Christmas they had the year before, and realize that they don't want that family to suffer the same way. Then, continuing the winter theme, in the next show, the Barclays go on yet another vacation to a ski resort, where the main concept of the story is a crush Donna has on her ski instructor, later leading to heartbreak when she realizes he already has a girlfriend. It kind of makes sense that the writer of this episode never wrote any others. :) Nevertheless, the escapade leads to a bonding between Donna and George, and George realizes that his daughter really is growing up.

Throughout the next section of the Barclays' lives in Odyssey, Jimmy goes on an Imagination Station adventure and meets Abraham Lincoln, the Barclay house almost burns down (not really, but according to the kids. ;D), Jimmy gets bad advice from Connie, has some Trouble with Girls, and then, in one of Odyssey's most intense shows, his cousin pulls him into a "fantasy, role-playing game" called Castles & Cauldrons. This is the only AIO episode that features a parental warning from Dr. James Dobson at the beginning of the show, telling parents about the danger of such games and how they often lead to contact with the spirit world. This episode scared me when I was younger, but now I think that it was one of the most well-done episodes Odyssey has ever produced. It really accomplishes its goal in getting kids concerned enough about these types of games, which were apparently popular back then, that they wouldn't want to follow other kids into these foolish activities. Whit ends up destroying the game, the Barclay family goes back to normal, and the game and the topic of spirits and demons, aren't really ever mentioned in Odyssey again.

Well, this gets us about one-third of the way through the Barclays' time in Odyssey, and I don't have any more time to write, and this'll probably get too long if I go any longer, so I'm going to save the rest for next week, and maybe even into the week after that.

I hope you enjoyed this first part of the review on the Barclay family, and Lordwilling, there will be more to come! Please comment!

P.S. The Odyssey Scoop has reported that there is a new Odyssey collection that has been released on the FOTF store's website called The Adoption Collection that features the three Odyssey episodes about adoption: Clara, and The Chosen One Parts I and II. I'm pretty confident that it is legitimate, but I don't think it looks all that great, and it's weird that we haven't heard about it until now. But here it is if you're interested.

Also, on the latest Official Podcast, we were told that we should go back to the podcast page on February 1st for a big surprise. I'll post about it as soon as possible.

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Title of Album 54 Has Been Released!!!

I went into the newest Official Podcast today not knowing at all what to expect. The subtitle to the podcast is

Dave [Arnold] and Paul [McCusker]answer your probing questions, such as “What is the title of album 54?” “Who is the Stilletto?” “What are the appropriate ages for album 53?” “When will Katrina return?” and “Why don’t the episodes in album 53 have titles?” Plus, hear another exciting preview!

I was thrilled with the new things that we are told in this podcast. I guess I won't tell you anything so that you can hear it for yourself, but it's some good stuff. So get over there and listen to it! Oh, and at the end of the podcast, and on the podcast page, we are told to be sure to come back for another surprise on February 1st. I can't wait to see what that is!

Also, FOTF is giving out an entire album for free! Welcome to Odyssey was a special album released about two years ago containing a conglomeration of classic Odyssey episodes to introduce people to the show. You can go here to get a free download of the whole album off the CBD website. And you can also get a free download of Promises, Promises, an episode off the very first Odyssey album. You can go here to do that. And, finally, if you're interested, The Odyssey Scoop has a list of all of the AIO episodes free for downloading here.

I'll be sure to keep you updated on anymore news gets out. And just so you know, I think I might be reviewing the Barclay family on Saturday. That's all for now!

P.S. If you want a quick look at the title for Album 54 go here. : D

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Album 53 Scene!

I don't have much to say, nor do I have much time to say it, so I'll just say, get over to the Odyssey Scoop and listen to the latest Scoopcast! I just learned that it contains a new scene from The Green Ring Conspiracy! I actually haven't even listened to it yet myself, so I hope the person I heard it from is telling the truth. : D

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mr. Walton

For most of the week I was planning to do a post on Tom Riley, but I changed my mind yesterday because I realized I didn't have much to say about him. I also don't have that much to say about Bernard, but I think he'll be a bit more interesting than Tom would have been. I do think this will be quite a bit shorter of a post than other one's though because Bernard hasn't had all that many twists to his life since we've met him.

Well, we first met this window washer in By Any Other Name, but unfortunately I don't own that episode, and I haven't heard it in a long, long time, so I won't be able to say much about it. I do know that he wasn't the star of the episode, and he wasn't introduced with fanfares or an episode with his name. And that really suits him because that's exactly how he is. Whenever he's washed windows he's always behind the scenes, and he doesn't like to seek recognition. He's a good example of how we Christians should be in all of our good works.

One thing that I always remember Bernard for is his Bernard and... episodes. He's the best storyteller. He tells stories to kids with all kinds of problems, even though they often come and ask for help while he's working on windows. He tells the biblical stories of Joseph, Esther, Job, Saul, and Jeremiah, and so many others when he gets on BTV. He always keeps the stories very close to the Bible, adding a little humor here and there, and then always applies it directly to the life of the kid(s) who asked him for help. Some have said that he's even better at giving advice than Whit!

Throughout the first few years of Odyssey, Bernard isn't involved very much. He usually makes appearances washing windows in the background of Whit's End, throwing his two cents into whoever's having a conversation's conversation. He had a few episodes centered around him, but I think the first big event that I can remember with Bernard was his trip with Eugene to California. They've recently learned that they're cousins, so Bernard's pride still hurts, and he doesn't want to bring Eugene. But after Eugene gives up his bus ticket, Bernard reluctantly gives him a ride, and they spend the rest of the trip together. They go on five different adventures, each of them with a differently numbered title--First-Hand Experience, Second Thoughts, Third Degree, It Happened at Four Corners, and Fifth House on the Left. Over these few episodes, Bernard gets thrown in jail, handcuffed to a rock miles into a cave, and goes through an earthquake while being a babysitter for the daughter of a Hollywood movie producer! Finally, he gets his new truck and drives back to Odyssey (Ohio).

But he and Eugene meet a big surprise when they return home. Whit has left Odyssey for the Middle East, and no one knows when he'll be back! Bernard sticks around for the next episode or two when Jack Allen is introduced, and Jason Whittaker comes back to town, but then he disappears. From then on he again isn't that involved, and then during the Darkness Before Dawn saga, he seems to disappear, and we only see him two or three times.

And then comes BTV, a TV show named after him that was created to fill up a spot on Mr. Feldstein's channel. It became wildly popular, and the Odyssey writers seem to use the idea whenever they're an episode short on an album. Bernard is always the host, and he always has a great old story that ties into the theme of the episode. He's done episodes on compassion, grace, thanks, envy, Christmas, and temptation, and all of them are very entertaining. But other than these shows, sometimes it seems like Bernard doesn't exist anymore. For a long time, these were the only episodes he was in. And even during the Novacom saga, Bernard is only in one episode when he hands BTV over to Novacom Broadcasting, but then, after much encouragement from Whit, takes it back.

So for a long time, Bernard appeared to have gone off the show. But then came Wooton. And he and Bernard became as good of friends as Eugene and Bernard were at one time. From Do or Diet to Basset Hounds to The Other Side of the Glass, Wooton and Bernard go on many adventures together, and those episodes are always very funny. They either work together to lose weight, go on a trip to Alaska for a family reunion, or solve a big mystery.

The last time we see him, Bernard is giving romantic advice to Kurt Stevens. You'll have to hear the episode to see how that goes. ;) And then he disappears. It makes you wonder who washes the windows at Whit's End now. With all the new families in Odyssey, you'd think that they'd be getting a lot more dirty. Oh, but that's right, we have Red Hollard now, who seems to be doing maintanence work at Whit's End as a replacement for Bernard. Or at least that's how it seems in The Jubilee Singers.

I think most people are sad to have seen Bernard go. At least I am. He was a great, unique addition to the show, and Dave Madden did a phenominal job as his voice over the years. It'd be great if he was the old character who's going to return in Album 53. I'd be so happy you'd have to "stuff me with feathers and call me a pillow!" : D

Well, that's it for this week's review. Come back next week for the review of...hmmm.... I don't really know whom I'm going to review next week, so you'll just have to come back!

P.S. Since news is slow, I decided to start a new page called Special Videos to put mostly Odyssey fan videos on. I've gotten most of them from the Odyssey Scoop, but at least one of them so far is one you won't find on any other Odyssey sites.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Brittini mentioned to me over at Marvin's blog that she was having problems commenting on my posts. I haven't been having much of anyone commenting, so I'm wondering if you all are having the same problem. I'm setting up a poll on the right side of the page to see how many are having problems. I'm going to try to fix it, but I don't know what the problem is.

If you have any advice, please tell me on Marvin's blog, since you probably can't tell me here. Hopefully Marvin won't mind. ; )

But if you're not having problems, please comment and say so. : )

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mr. Bassett

Wooton, from what I've seen and heard, is by far Odyssey's most popular character, kid or adult (since he's kind of a mix). And I think, even though he's only been around for nine years, he has the most episodes with his name in it. I could be wrong though. I wish I could have listened to all of his episodes before writing this review so I could be better prepared. But we have this policy at our house that each night a different child picks the CD for the night, and because there are seven children in the house, usually I only pick once a week. So I've only been able to listen to Welcoming Wooton and Tuesday's with Wooton. Hopefully I can review from the rest from memory.

Well, from his very first episode that I listened to last night, Wooton is introduced to be a "neat freak", "toy geek", Whit's End's regular mailman, and a quirky, odd man who all the kids love. We also learn that he loves fresh licorice, he had an childhood that he doesn't like talking about, he's lived in Alaska, he's obsessed with Powerboy, and he's a Christian who isn't afraid of it. He even applies things in Powerboy to the Christian life. I think that's the first hint about his true connections to Powerboy. And another hint comes later in the show when he tells Whit that he doesn't really need the money his mailman job was getting him. Anyway, in Welcoming Wooton, within the first ten minutes, Wooton has lost his job, and Whit tries to help him get it back and then find a new one. Wooton ends up resigning from the job Whit gave him after the first day because he can't be as "speedy" as he'd need to be for Speedy Package Express because he loves people too much. It's part of his personality that he has to stop and talk to everyone he comes in contact with. I love that about him, and it's a quality that Christians need to work on in today's world--caring enough about people we know or meet to be willing to stop what we're doing and help them. In fact, Wooton cares so much that he even goes to fulfill a commitment to the man who fired him, and fixes his car! This changes Mr. Rose's heart, and he works it out so Wooton gets his job back.

And so from since that first episode, Wooton is Odyssey's favorite mailman. And he's always been played by Jess Harnell, a man with amazing talent. I can't really express how much talent this guy has with just words; you'd have to hear it for yourself. If you weren't around to hear it back then, the Official Podcast did an interview with him a long while back. You can go here to listen to it. It's amazing all the voices that man can do!

After the Novacom saga is over, Wooton appears in quite a few episodes here and there at Whit's End or at the BTV studio or on his mail route. But there are a couple episodes like For the Fun of It and Bassett Hounds where the whole episode is centered on Wooton and members of his family. Both of those episodes are some of my favorites probably just because of all of Wooton's hilarious dialogue. And then there's Do or Diet that almost every Odyssey fan loves because of the hilarious place it puts Whit, Wooton, and Bernard in--being trained by Connie to lose ten pounds in a small amount of time. Throughout all these episodes, Wooton's character is developed a lot, and he begins to win a place in the hearts of most Odyssey fans.

The next episode we see Wooton in is Tuesdays with Wooton. Album 44 was either my second or third album ever, so this is one of the first episodes I ever heard after that Special 10 CD Set. This is also the second episode Grady McKay was ever in. This story has a really great plot, and it's one of my favorites, but in it, we see a few problems with Wooton. Even after he learns that Grady has been stealing mail, he keeps rewarding him with more comic books, and doesn't discipline him any more than a small threat (if you can call it that) that stealing mail is a federal offense. And even when he learns that Grady still kept all of the issues he stole from the Hamptons, he doesn't get mad at him. And while there is some good to his not losing his temper, and being patient and merciful to Grady, I think he still needed to be punished at least a little bit. On a lighter note, we also see a little more into Wooton's connections with Powerboy in this show. He's able to get Grady some comics before they hit stores, he can get double issues, he can pinpoint exact issue numbers when certain events happen, and he has an amazing knowledge of the characters. Hmm...

From here on, until Album 50, a big chunk of Wooton's episodes are with the McKays, where he acts as a father to Grady and Samantha. The relationship seems to go a little too far in Like Father, Like Wooton (yet another episode with his name in it), where Grady brings Wooton to the carnival, and tells everyone that Wooton's his dad. Wooton is slow to catch on, but when he does, he becomes the fatherly mentor again, like Whit, to Grady, and tells him that he feels honored that he'd want him to be his dad, but that he needs to make it right. And Wooton continues to be a mentor to Grady throughout many shows that they're in together, and they become really good friends.

But that friendship nearly comes to an end in Wooing Wooton when Grady throws his Bible in the trash because of Wooton's Christianity. In this episode we see how grounded Wooton is in his principles when his dad tries to get him to marry an unbelieving woman who is just like him, as a business arrangment. Wooton badly disappoints his father when he refuses to go back on what he believes to marry Victoria. Grady sees how hostile Wooton's dad is to him and Christianity, and he decides that that's not going to happen with him and his mom.

But finally, in The Highest Stakes, after a lot of action with his real father, Grady decides that he's ready to become a Christian. He asks Wooton to help him, and he "prays the prayer" and gets saved. Many have said that it seemed like Wooton did a poor job of giving the Gospel to Grady in this particular episode. They say that he didn't put much, if any, emphasis on sin, but rather what Jesus was going to do for Grady. But I think a fair arguement to that is that Grady had gone to Sunday School and church for weeks and months before this time, and had probably heard it many times with Mr. Whittaker as his teacher. But I do think that Odyssey needs to do a better job with explaining salvation, especially since there are youngish children listening who may get the wrong impression if they're not told the right things.

In Album 50, Wooton almost leaves town for a year when his authorship of Powerboy is discovered, and it is going to disqualify the town of Odyssey from the Best Small Town in America contest. But Odyssey shows its great love for Wooton when Connie gathers hundreds of people to file a petition that Wooton needs to stay in Odyssey, even if it means that Odyssey would be disqualified from the contest. Wooton is thrilled that he doesn't have to leave, and that's the last place we see him in before the hiatus.

So far in the new seasons, we haven't seen Wooton in his mailman office much at all, except in Fast As I Can. He's mostly been tagging along with the other characters like in Target of the Week, For the Birds, and Opposite Day. But he did get his own episode with Wooton's Broken Pencil Show, which I loved! He was back to his usual, quirky self and was making me laugh again.

I hope he gets to play a part in the new season, which is building up to be an awesome, very intriguing album. Thank you for reading! Please comment!

P.S. Marvin has informed us that an Odyssey fan named Manfred thinks he has found Odyssey! This is what he says:

In The Perfect Witness a specific road number is mentioned. Based on this I started searching for that road. I then began looking for other things that would fit with the area of Odyssey.

Road: Route 29

Other options: We need a former swamp near by that was cleaned up with cannals.

This is what I discovered. There is lake named Grand Lake St. Mary's. I did some research on this lake and discovered that at one time this was a marsh land! Also, it was drained with canals, but then someone got an idea to make a lake there!

There is a route 29 that runs nearby. Which, by the way, runs through a town named St. Mary's and incidentally intersects with another large road at the outskirts of St. Mary's,

Route 33, one number off of the road number 32 mentioned in The Perfect Witness. Route 33 runs directly to a town with an Indian name! This town is named Wapakoneta.

Now here is what becomes even more interesting, Near the town of Wapakoneta is a small township called.... Duchouqet. It rhymes. Duchouqet was a guy who lived with the Indians when no other whites lived in the area.

Now if you go another 10 miles to the east you find a small town called Uniopolis. At this point I believe that either Duchouqet or Uniopolis are the most likely candidates for the town of Odyssey.

Yay! Odyssey has been found! I always knew it was in Ohio! Whit says so in Whit's Visitor. I'm glad that's finally been cleared up. Maybe Uniopolis is where Ethan and Phil from the Ceiling Fan will end up in their search for Odyssey. Or is that done? I don't know, I haven't been following that podcast recently. Anyway, thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You've Got to Hear the New Podcast!

On the 112 Official Podcast that came out yesterday, Bob and Jesse interview Todd Busteed of Gap Digital about his work in Odyssey sound design. That takes up most of the podcast, but I have to admit that I skipped past that because of what was said to be coming after the interview.


I won't give anything away, but it definitely seems like we're going back to the Novacom and Darkness Before Dawn days of deep plots and sinister villains. And we know from Nathan Hoobler (or was it Paul McCusker?) that we'll hear from a character we haven't seen in a while. I can't wait!

Also, you can now vote in the Avery Awards for Best Script, Episode, Sound, Scene, Actor, and Actress.

So get over to and listen to the podcast!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mystery Image

This picture was posted on the AIO Facebook page a few days ago as a teaser picture. I'm not on Facebook, so I didn't know about it until AIO Wiki posted it the other day. The only clues we are given about what it might be a picture of are the initials RC and VS. Also, as someone else pointed out, you can see the word "Fingerpainting" in the grey rectangle at the top left.

People over at AIO Wiki speculated that since this looks very similar to the Kidsboro Book #3: The Creek War cover, RC and VS might stand for "Ryan Cummings" and "Valerie Swanson". Commenters were saying that there may be a repackaging in store for the book series with Gary Locke illustrations, since this picture definitely appears to be by Gary Locke. Here's the cover for The Creek War:

I've read the book, and I know that in that picture, Alice is driving the sled, Ryan is in the second spot, and Jill is in the third. The characters have the same hair color and positions in the new picture, so I think it is highly probable that this scene is what we're looking at. And the "Fingerpainting" part may just mean that this was a finger painting that Gary Locke had done. From the video we've seen before where he drew Eugene, we know that he uses a touchscreen to do all his painting.

I don't know for sure, but this is definitely going somewhere, and I'll be looking for more news to share should any more come up. Thanks for reading! Please comment!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mr. Meltsner (Jr.)

Eugene Meltsner--probably Odyssey's most popular character next to Wooton Bassett. Probably because he is so extremely unique. We'd never seen anyone like him before, and haven't seen anyone else like him yet (unless you include Katrina and/or the "Room Full of Eugenes".) He is a know-it-all who can be arrogant, but he has a big heart, and has gone through some big changes throughout the years. Although I wish I could, I won't be able to cover all of the many adventures he has with Bernard and Whit and Connie, but I'll try to hit the biggest highlights.

We first meet Eugene in Connie, Part I, when he is looking for a job for credits at Campbell College. And he shows us his geekiness when one of the first things he does after getting the job is to computerize everything in the shop, even things Whit didn't know could be computerized. He soon gets everything back to normal, but that episode introduced us to aspects of his character that are still going strong after over 20 years.

As the years go by, one of the biggest parts of Eugene's character was his argumentative nature, especially around Connie. That received two kinds of feedback from fans of the show. Most people really liked those parts of the show, when he and Connie would go on and on about ridiculous things, and have to be stopped by Whit. But some people, like I mentioned in Connie's review, didn't like it that Connie, a brand-new Christian, got into so many disputes with Eugene that ended up coming to nothing; and they never seemed to learn! I don't really mind the arguing. I'm often very entertained by it, and it reflects a lot of how my younger brother and I argue some of the time, so I don't think it's necessarily un-Christian.

The first big event in Eugene's life as we know him comes in Truth, Trivia, and 'Trina, when he meets Katrina Shanks at the college library. They immediately hit it off when they realized that they both had heads full of knowledge about the same nerdy things. However, later in the episode, Katrina is annoyed with Eugene's trying to impress her with all his knowledge. And she continues to work on him for the many years to come as their relationship develops. Katrina cuts off the relationship when she becomes a Christian, and realizes that she cannot continue with Eugene as long as he isn't a believer. These events along with many other things said by Whit and Connie lead to Eugene's conversion during the dark Album 25, Darkness Before Dawn. And slowly, he and Katrina get back together. But in Album 28, after Eugene comes back from his trip to the Middle East, they have a big misunderstanding, and Katrina starts seeing a different guy. By the end of the two-part episode, Katrina is going back home to Chicago, and she has said that her heart wants her to be with Eugene, but her head wants her to be with Brandon, but she tells them both that she will not marry them. But by the end of the next album, she is back with Eugene, and they get engaged after she has an accident with a football and a German toddler.

Their marriage takes place under very suspicious circumstances when Katrina's father is on his deathbed after a very sudden struggle with a mystery virus. Eugene believes that his father-in-law's death was a result of his support of Eugene's work at Campbell County Community College. He was working on a top-secret project that involved experimenting with turning brain waves to radio waves. But Eugene, through Armitage, discovers a plot to reverse the process with the ultimate goal to take over the world with mind control. So the night of Mr. Shanks's death, he goes back to the college, steals all the research and puts it on a disc. Then he mails it to Jason Whittaker in Alaska and goes into hiding. The rest of the Novacom saga goes on without him, but later we learn that while the gang at Whit's End is solving that dilemma, Andromeda seeks him out, and tries to give him the same virus as killed Armitage Shanks. It results in Eugene developing amnesia, and he has to return to Odyssey under the cover of darkness, looking for help from Mr. Whittaker. After three very moving episodes that are some of my personal favorites, Eugene's memory is restored, and he and Katrina stay in Odyssey.

Very soon after that escapade, the writers introduce the first few episodes in a fairly long series about Eugene's father, Leonard, called Prisoners of Fear. In these episodes we learn many things about Eugene that were only touched upon in past episodes. His father and mother were archaeologists near the Ashanti tribe in Africa, but were then kidnapped and forced to be slaves to Dalton Kearn, a rival archaeologist. While at the site, both Everett, Eugene's younger brother, and his mother are said to have died in captivity. But Leonard devised an escape plan and has gotten away just three months before Eugene and Katrina's visit. This saga continues for five albums, and we learn that Leonard believes both his sons to be dead, leaving him alone in the world, so he retires to be a homeless man in Connelsville where his father recently died (Last of a Long Line). Throughout Album 47, Leonard is living in hiding from Dalton, and he and Eugene find each other, eventually leading to Leonard's moving in with Eugene and Katrina. In Album 48, Eugene's relationship with his father deepens as they go on an adventure with Whit and Jason to New York to retrieve a crucial video recording from Dalton's house. Throughout these episodes, Leonard confronts Eugene about his religious beliefs, and tries to convince him to trust science, rather than a "mythological God". And Eugene tries to witness to his father and show him that Christianity is not just a superstition. Also in this episode, we find out that Everett did not actually die in Africa, and the family is reunited after Dalton Kearn is convicted and sent to prison. Then at the beginnning of Album 49, we learn a lot more about Leonard and his struggles between archaeology and family. In fact, this struggle was so strong that he almost made his wife abort the child that was to be Eugene. This fact rocks Eugene's world, but when his father falls very ill because of a bad kidney, he decides to undergo the operation to donate his own kidney to his father. This act of sacrifice, especially in light of what has just been revealed about his early intentions, changes Leonard's heart, and he surrenders his life to Christ. And he decides to use his life for the Lord as a missionary to the Ashani tribe.

After this saga was over, the Best Small Town album aired, and Eugene was very involved with getting the town ready for the judges and convincing Mayor Faye that Mr. Whittaker owned the land where Whit's End sits. But in the newest albums, the writers seem to have nothing for Eugene to do. Especially in Album 51, he appears in only a few episodes, and doesn't seem to be doing much of anything anymore. At the beginning of Album 52, in The Mystery of the Clock Tower, he is the main character in a very engaging mystery, but after that, he is not present, or a very small character. I'm hoping that he gets to play a big part in The Green Ring Conspiracy.

So, in summary, Mr. Meltsner Jr. is an amazing character who has grown greatly as he's been on the show, and I look forward to seeing him grow more in the future. Please comment!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Better Album 53 Cover!

I know, I know, I'm posting before Saturday again, but AIO Wiki just posted an much better version of the cover for Album 53. Here it is:

Now we can clearly see the ferris wheel in the background that you may have seen Original Joe mention yesterday. We also see that Matthew has a cell phone, and that he, Emily, and Whit are standing in front of a fence in some tall grass. And we can see that the theme of the album is "Recognizing Deception". Hmm...

Also, for those of you who haven't found it yet, there is another new blog, started by Trent DeWhite in the style of Mandy Straussberg's Life, The Agent's Blog, The Odyssey Muchacha, Around the Corner in Odyssey, and The Life of Nelson. I really like the direction Odyssey blogs are going. We didn't really need anymore news and reviews blogs, so these bloggers decided to start their own style, and I really like it. So go check out Trent Chat--A Blog by Trent DeWhite.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Album 53 Cover!

Okay, I know I said I wouldn't be writing again until Saturday but this is big news! And I'm not going to say much. But here's the cover:

It's really grainy and it's hard to see some things, but it's still really cool, and it's the first new artwork we've gotten in a long time.

Also, just a couple days ago, Jacob at the Odyssey Scoop released the new covers for the fifth and sixth Passages books.

And finally, for those of you who enjoy getting off-topic in the comments at the Odyssey Scoop, Jacob has created a new section of the website called Interact, where he has set up nine different commenting sections about Odyssey. And he says that there are more to come.
Unless there's some more huge news before Saturday, this is Christian A. signing off.
Please comment!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to School

I don't know about any of you guys, but today's my first day back at school, so I probably won't be able to write as often or as long as I have been more recently. The character reviews take a lot of thought, and most of my brain is now dedicated toward school, so I don't think they'll be coming as often.

I think I'm going to start doing a character review once a week, most likely on Saturdays, and when there's news about Album 53 or something, I'll include that. So if I do a post on Saturday there's a good chance that there won't be another one for at least a few days, so you don't have to check back every day if you don't want to.

But I should be able to have enough time to check for comments once in a while, so you can still leave those.

One other thing I wanted to mention is that Luke at the Odyssey Times recently discovered a new blog called Around the Corner in Odyssey. This blogger has only been around for a few months, but he has some very interesting posts, and a spin on blogging that we haven't seen since The Odyssey Muchacha. Also, I don't know if I've mentioned this one before or not, but Mandy Straussberg's Life is also a very interesting blog. "Mandy" does her posts in a very similar way to the other two blogs I just mentioned, and they're always an interesting read.

Well, that's all for now. Check back on Saturday, because by then I should have my post up for "Mr. Meltsner (Jr.)"

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!

It's going to be so weird to see 2011 written everywhere. And just as we were all getting used to writing 2010 from coming from 2009! : ) I have to date everything I do for school, so it's going to be hard to get used to.

I got to sleep in until ten this morning! I had a great time with a bunch of friends last night, and I hope you did too. I think my dad would be okay if you tell me in the comments how your New Year's Eve was.

I'm not really a fan of new year's resolutions, because while they can be good, especially if it's something like deepening your relationship with God or getting rid of a certain sin, they usually aren't goals that we think about throughout the rest of the year, and we make them only to boast about what we think we can get done. So I'm not going to make a resolution, but my prayer is that God will bless this blog and bless all of my readers as I try to honor Him in all I do with it.

Thank you all again for being faithful readers, and hopefully, I can keep this blog going for all of 2011. Please comment!