Beyond the Mask, a Christian film which is set to be released in theaters on April 6th of this year, was scripted by longtime Adventures in Odyssey writer Paul McCusker. The story is set in colonial times and follows a former assassin for the British East India Company as he tries to redeem his past by thwarting a plot against a young nation's hope for freedom. Focus on the Family's Plugged In Magazine has now released an interview with screenwriter Paul McCusker about the film. Paul talks about how he got involved in the project, how he incorporated faith into the story, what he hopes viewers will take away from the film and more. You can check out the interview here. And in case you missed it, you can also read our news article called "Goodbye, Paul McCusker" where we fill you in about Paul's recent departure from Focus on the Family.
The next Adventures in Odyssey episode review from the AIO Update is of the show Isaac the Courageous from Album 7: On Thin Ice. In this episode Isaac Morton is determined to join teenage bully Rodney Rathbone's gang—the Bones of Rath—in order to prove his courage. Read the episode review below.
Last September we told you that Adventures in Odyssey and Focus on the Family Radio Theatre writer Paul McCusker was set to pen three novels featuring the character of Father Gilbert. And now we have some more information to share on that topic. The first novel in this new book series will be called The Body Under the Bridge and will be released in November 2015. Keep in mind that these mysteries are intended for a slightly older readership than Adventures in Odyssey's target age range. You can check out the book's full summary below.
A former Scotland Yard detective, Father Gilbert knows about death. But, now a priest of a modest Anglican church in the small town of Hailsham, he didn’t expect it to show up like this – in the suicide of a man who threw himself off the church tower, and in the discovery of a two-hundred-year-old body beneath an ancient bridge. The deaths are linked. The mummified corpse under the bridge, a murder victim, reignites a centuries-old battle between two local families – the Todds and the aristocratic Hayshams. Then both David Todd and Lord Haysham begin to act strangely. They are fearful for reasons they won’t explain. When Lord Haysham is murdered, David Todd is the prime suspect. But Todd is acting maniacal, claiming great forces of evil are at work. An entire history of violence and depravity begins to emerge – interweaving the history of several local families with a secret occult society that engages in Black Masses. Has the Society emerged again?
Stay tuned for future news updates. We'll let you know when this first book's front cover artwork is completed. Have you listened to Focus on the Family's Father Gilbert Mysteries audio dramas? Leave a comment below.
On this week's edition of the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast, hosts Bob and Jesse interview actor Keith Silverstein, the voice of the FBI agent Peter Bourland during the Novacom Saga. He most recently plays an Iditarod racer named Lewis Scott in The Cure, a three-part Odyssey Adventure Club exclusive episode. In the podcast he talks about auditioning for the role, how he creates the voices for the characters he plays, one of Agent Bourland's most iconic lines, and more. They also discuss how the actors in The Cure helped to create the atmosphere of being caught in a snowstorm in Alaska, all the while sitting in a studio in California. You can check out the podcast interview.
Today's Adventures in Odyssey episode review from the AIO Update is of Lincoln, Parts 1 & 2 from Album 7: On Thin Ice. In this story Jimmy Barclay takes an Imagination Station adventure to see President Lincoln and the end of the Civil War. You can go ahead and read the full episode review below.
Have you ever heard Eugene sing the song O-D-Y-Double-S-E-Y? How about I Just Met a Girl Named Katrina? Or maybe The Rose of Antelope Valley? These and fourteen other catchy ukulele tunes sung by Adventures in Odyssey's very own Eugene Meltsner were released in 2005 on a special musical album called Eugene Sings! around the same time the episode Odyssey Sings! from Album 45 aired on the radio. In addition to those seventeen songs, another seventeen holiday songs performed by Eugene were released in a sequel album called Eugene Sings! Christmas. It featured songs such as Seasonal Felicitations, Out with the Old Year, and Adeste Fidelis. But if you didn't snap up the CDs at that time, unfortunately you're now out of luck. You won't find either set of Eugene's songs in stores anymore because Focus on the Family has ceased producing these two musical albums. That's why we at the AIO Update have created this latest poll question. Should Eugene Sings! finally be re-released for purchase? Let us know and vote here.
The Spanish language version of Adventures in Odyssey, also known as Aventuras en Odisea, originally began airing on the radio and online in September 2013. Now a total of forty episodes have been created, all adapted from various early AIO episodes. You can download them for $1.99 each. And very soon Odyssey Adventure Club members will be getting access to these Spanish episodes as part of their membership package. Beginning in April, Aventuras en Odisea episodes will start showing up on the OAC and be available for on-demand streaming. If you speak Spanish, are you planning on checking out these episodes? Let us know down below in the comments. If you're not already part of the club, now is a great time to join. For $15 a month you'll not only get access to the Spanish version of AIO, but you'll also be able to listen to nearly every single AIO episode ever created, including exclusive club adventures, as well as devotionals and more. You can sign up at oaclub.org. Use the promo code BIRTHDAY to get your first month for only $5, as well as digital downloads of the Last Chance Detectives and an autographed Odyssey poster.
Besides Adventures in Odyssey, there are many other great Christian radio dramas out there. In 2013 we told you about an exciting new audio drama called Under Drake's Flag, the first in The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty series. It followed the story of the sea captain Sir Francis Drake. In 2014 the second installment, In Freedom's Cause, told the story of William Wallace of Scotland. And now in 2015, Heirloom Audio Productions is releasing two brand new dramas. With Lee in Virginia, which follows the story of General Robert E. Lee during the Civil War, is already available for preorder and features the voice talents of actor Kirk Cameron (Fireproof, Left Behind), Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Chris Anthony (Adventures in Odyssey), and many more. And finally, the fourth production in this acclaimed adventure series has been announced. It will release sometime this fall and will be entitled The Dragon and the Raven, a story about the sea battles between the Saxons and the Danes for control over England in the 9th century. Have you read the works of author G.A. Henty or heard any of these audio dramas? Leave a comment down below.
We at the AIO Update have officially closed our 17th poll question and tallied the final results. We asked Adventures in Odyssey fans who their favorite Parker family member was and the vast majority was almost evenly split between two choices: Matthew and Olivia. Ultimately, Olivia won by one vote, with 40% of the total.
Olivia Parker was originally voiced by Hope Levy but is currently voiced by Kelly Stables. Similarly, Matthew was first voiced by Zach Callison, but is now voiced by Gunnar Sizemore. Interestingly, Matthew Parker, the member of the family who has appeared in the most episodes to date, did not win this poll as some might have expected. Instead, Olivia came out as the fan favorite. Perhaps Olivia should appear in more episodes in order to better match her popularity among the fans? You can leave your thoughts on this in the comments. Meanwhile Camilla, who has appeared in the least shows among the Parker children, was left far behind with just two votes. Grandma Lucia managed to surpass her with three votes. And finally, the Parker parents tied for last place. Thank you to everyone who voted in this latest Adventures in Odyssey poll question. We will have a new poll posted online soon.
The next Adventures in Odyssey episode review from the AIO Update is of Front Page News, which is included on Album 7: On Thin Ice. In this episode middle-schooler Curt Stevens ropes Oscar Peterson into a scheme to get out of gym class by joining the school newspaper. Their first assignment? Interview the gym teacher! You can read our review below.
In Adventures in Odyssey's very first album, The Adventure Begins, the show began and the three major characters of Whit, Connie and Tom were introduced. Now over 25 years later, the AIO team has produced almost 60 regular albums and told hundreds of entertaining and uplifting stories. But what's next for the show? In this new editorial from AIO Update called The Adventure Continues, we come up with twenty ideas for future Odyssey albums. Each has a title and deals with a particular set of themes or storylines. To avoid spoilers, you will want to have first listened to Album 58. After reading the editorial, you can give it a rating out of 10. You can also let us know what you thought of it by leaving a comment on this news article, and you can even submit your own suggestions for other editorials you think we should write. Thank you so much for visiting this website and leaving valuable feedback.
On this week's edition of the Official Adventures in Odyssey podcast, hosts Bob and Jesse talk to actor Tony Amendola, the voice of Chief Tom in the exclusive Odyssey Adventure Club episode, The Cure, Part 2. They discuss the creation of the Alaskan character of Chief Tom, the benefits of recording actors together in the studio as a group, and how Tony transitioned from theater work to films and television, and eventually to voice acting. He also talks about his various roles in The Mask of Zorro, The Legend of Zorro, Once Upon a Time, and much more. You can check out the podcast interview.
Today's Adventures in Odyssey episode review from the AIO Update is of Scattered Seeds and is included in Album 7: On Thin Ice. In this episode Connie Kendall deals with nothing but trouble when she tries to direct a church play called "The Sower and the Seeds." You can read our episode review below.
A new boxed set of the first six books in the Imagination Station series is set for release in September 2015. The titles included will be Voyage with the Vikings, Attack at the Arena, Peril in the Palace, Revenge of the Red Knight, Showdown with the Shepherd and Problems in Plymouth. Buying one Imagination Station book separately costs around $4.99, which would total $29.94 if you bought the first six. A couple of years ago omni-books were released which each included three books and cost around $14.97 each. Again, if you wanted to get the first six books that would total $29.94. But this new boxed set of six books will cost just $19.97. That's only $3.33 per book. Will you take up this special offer? If you'd rather not wait until September for the boxed version, you can buy the first sixteen books in the series from Christian Book Distributors for $57.99, or $3.62 per book. Let us know in the comments if you read the Imagination Station series.
Also coming in September 2015 will be a new Adventures in Odyssey Christmas album called the Countdown to Christmas Advent Collection. It will include 8 CDs. Stay turned for more details on that in the future. There will also be some AIO Christmas calenders released, including an Advent Activity Calendar and a Journey to the Manger Advent Calendar.
The next Adventures in Odyssey episode review from the AIO Update is of Ice Fishing from Album 7: On Thin Ice. In this episode Monty feels as if he's in competition with his gifted sister, Jenny, so Whit, Tom Riley, and Eugene take him on an ice fishing trip to Summit Lake. You can read our episode review below.
It's time again for a special edition of the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast called the Avery Awards. Hosts Bob and Jesse travel to Odi-con, an Odyssey fan convention, and they announce the winners for best actor, best actress, best scene, the most surprising moment, best new character, and best overall storyline from Album 58: The Ties That Bind. You can hear about all the winners on the podcast episode.
Today's Adventures in Odyssey episode review from the AIO Update is of The Barclay Family Ski Vacation from Album 7: On Thin Ice. While on a ski vacation with her family, Donna Barclay develops a crush on her ski instructor. Her father George, meanwhile, comes to grips with his daughter growing up. You can read our full episode review below.
Beloved Adventures in Odyssey writer and director Paul McCusker, author of numerous Odyssey-related novels, and Peabody Award-winning dramatist for Radio Theatre, has left his position as Creative Director at Focus on the Family. Paul has taken the new job of Senior Director of Content Creation at the Augustine Institute, a Catholic graduate school located in Denver, Colorado. According to their website, "What began as a graduate school has quickly expanded into a multi-faceted Institute providing strategic disciple-based parish programming and leadership formation to dioceses and parishes across America." During his time at AIO, Paul wrote nearly 300 episodes from 1987 to 2015, the most of any writer on the show to date. According to Focus on the Family, Paul also completed the writing and directing of the upcoming Album 59: Taking the Plunge episodes and was involved in the planning of future stories before he left. You can read an excerpt of an email sent to the AIO Update from Focus on the Family below:
It was a very difficult decision for Paul to make, and although we aren’t sure whether he will have the time to write for Adventures in Odyssey or Radio Theatre as a freelancer (as he has done several times in the past), we'll always stay in contact with him as friends. Paul has said that he's not leaving Focus so much as moving on to the next thing the Lord is calling him to accomplish.
Thank you Paul McCusker for all your hard work on Adventures in Odyssey over the years. The show would not be the same without your contributions and you will surely be missed by all AIO fans.
The next Adventures in Odyssey episode review from the AIO Update is of The Visitors from Album 7: On Thin Ice. In this episode the Barclay family's Christmas celebration is disrupted by the arrival of three unexpected "guests" in their shed. You can read our review below.
Can't afford to pay fifteen dollars a month for a subscription to the Odyssey Adventure Club? There have been various promotions in the past allowing people to get their first month of access to the OAC for just $5. But those are temporary deals and eventually the price goes back up again, causing some members to leave the club. What's the solution? In a new email blast from Focus on the Family, they say, "We've heard from many of those that have left or not joined the club yet that money is tight and for some $15 a month is a sacrifice. But we also realize that your child's faith is an eternal investment. That's why we want to extend a special offer to you. When you sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today using the promo code WHIT, you'll receive the Odyssey Adventure Club for just $9.99 per month. That's a $60 savings each year!"
Until the deadline of March 31st, 2015, you can either join or rejoin the club for this new price. Will you take advantage of this latest OAC offer? Let us know down below in the comments.
UPDATE: The Odyssey Adventure Club is now available internationally. Before only people with a U.S. address could join, but now people from any country can be members. Join today at oaclub.org.