On today's edition of the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast, hosts Bob and Jesse talk to Dave Arnold, the writer and director of the two-part Odyssey Adventure Club episode called Pinocchio: The Tale of a Foolish Puppet. They discuss the origins of the Pinocchio story in the 1800s, how they went about adapting it into an audio drama first for Radio Theatre, the various AIO characters that show up in the story, and some of the changes that occurred during the casting process. Dave also talks about this OAC episode's tribute to Odyssey window washer Bernard Walton, the lessons he hopes listeners will take away from the story, and much more. Listen to the full podcast interview.
The Odyssey Adventure Club, the one place on the internet where you can listen to every single Adventures in Odyssey album on demand, including brand-new monthly episodes which are exclusive to the club, has today just expanded its archive a little more. Last April the first volume of AIO's Spanish language episodes was released on the OAC, and today Volume 2 has been added. It includes another 13 episodes, bringing the total of Aventuras en Odisea episodes on the club to 26. This latest batch of shows has been adapted from English shows such as Stormy Weather, Kids' Radio, Camp What-A-Nut, The Case of the Secret Room, Karen, Connie, and more. Volume 3 is set for release on the OAC this November. Have you heard any of these episodes? What do you think of the Spanish version of the Odyssey universe? Write a comment down below. If you're not in the OAC, you can sign up at oaclub.org.
Adventures in Odyssey's latest release, Album 59: Taking the Plunge, is now available to listen to on the Odyssey Adventure Club, can be purchased via digital download or on CD, and begins airing on the radio and online next month. That means many in the AIO community are already looking ahead to the show's next album. In July the AIO Update revealed its title, Album 60: Head Over Heels. It will air on the OAC in December, come out on download in February and then on CD in March. And now Christopher 164 has announced the first episode title on his website. According to Christopher's information from Focus on the Family, the first episode of Album 60 will be titled "Words from the Wise." You can learn more about this upcoming release by reading the album summary. Album 60 will contain a total of six episodes and is already available for preorder on Amazon and Christianbook.com.
The next Adventures in Odyssey episode review from the AIO Update is of Doing Unto Others from the Officer Harley Collection. In this show from 1988, sixth-grader Johnny Bickle tries to figure out how to practice the Golden Rule. You can check out the review below.
On this week's edition of the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast, hosts Bob and Jessie unveil Album 59: Taking the Plunge on CD. We get to watch a behind-the-scenes video from a recording session featuring Wooton and Mrs. Kramer, plus we hear writer and director Paul McCusker answer a few questions about this latest release. He talks about the themes of the album and how they continue on from Album 58, his favorite scene to write, and more. Watch the full video podcast.
Fans of the show Adventures in Odyssey will probably be familiar with the Odyssey Adventure Club, which gives members access to unlimited streaming of every album. At around 800 episodes that amounts to a retail value of $1,500. On top of that it adds twelve new exclusive AIO episodes every year that can't be heard anywhere else, as well as early access to regular album releases. If you've tried out the OAC, you may be interested in hearing some exciting news about Lamplighter Theatre, which are high-quality Christian audio dramas similar to Odyssey and Radio Theatre. A brand new initiative called myLamplighter Book & Audio Club has just been launched. Unlike the digital library the OAC provides, this new club offers members a discounted way to get Lamplighter products delivered in the mail. Whether you want to grow your collection of Lamplighter's rare books or audio drama CD sets, this Book & Audio Club offers a variety of different plans you can choose from. Plans start at $21 a month and allow you to receive whichever book or audio titles you want. And for whatever monthly rate you choose, you'll always get free shipping to addresses in the U.S. You can find out more about the club here and by watching the promo video below.
The AIO Update has been reviewing episodes from regular Adventures in Odyssey album releases a lot lately, but for the next few weeks you'll be seeing reviews of episodes from The Officer Harley Collection, which is available only on the Odyssey Adventure Club. The character of Officer David Harley was a bumbling policeman and the producers loved him for his comic potential, but not everyone felt the same way. After parents complained that he gave a bad impression of law enforcers, the team decided that Officer Harley should leave the show. Many of his episodes were later rewritten, retitled, and rerecorded without him. A few others were dropped completely and never aired again. But now they're all available to members of the OAC. This week's review is of Lights Out at Whit's End. If you don't have the OAC, you can also listen to the episode for free at this link. In this episode a huge power failure leaves Odyssey without any light. Several kids stranded at Whit's End find out what life without electricity is all about, and how much fun it can be. You can read the full episode review below.
You may remember that in February the AIO Update announced a new special Adventures in Odyssey collection called Countdown to Christmas, and then in April the summary was posted online. It comes out on CD in September, but the album is already available for sale via digital download as of this month. You can get it for $35.49 on Amazon or $24.99 from Christian Book Distributors. It has a total of twenty-four episodes, from 1987's Gifts for Madge and Guy to 2010's Grandma's Christmas Visit. It even includes the show Caroling Caroling, a special episode featuring Whit and the gang on a sleigh ride through town singing Christmas carols. You can check out the full list of episodes here. What's your favorite Christmas episode Adventures in Odyssey has produced? Write a comment down below.
Also, the official AIO Facebook page and The Odyssey Scoop have announced that Album 59: Taking the Plunge is finally available in stores on CD. It contains six episodes on two discs. In other news, Album 60: Head Over Heels is now available for preorder on Amazon. It will air on the Odyssey Adventure Club in December, come out as a download in February, and release on CD in March.
In January the AIO Update posted a news article about an upcoming book about C.S. Lewis which features some writing from Adventures in Odyssey's own Paul McCusker, and now it's time to announce that the book has been released. It is called Women and C.S. Lewis: What His Life and Literature Reveal for Today's Culture. The book includes contributions from nearly thirty authors, each of whom write a chapter. Paul McCusker's chapter is entitled "What do we make of Lewis' relationship with Mrs. Moore?" and is included in a larger section of the book under the heading: "Lewis, the man — and the women in his life." Other writers featured include Michael Ward, Devin Brown, Kathy Keller and Randy Alcorn. The book has already received endorsements from Walter Hooper of the Lewis Estate, Eric Metaxas (best-selling author of Bonhoeffer) and J. Stanley Mattson of the Lewis Foundation, among others. You can learn all about the content this new book covers by listening to an interview with the editor, Carolyn Curtis, on the podcast All About Jack. You'll find Women and C.S. Lewis available for sale on Amazon and Christian Book Distributors. If you're interested in reading more about C.S. Lewis, don't forget to pick up Paul McCusker's other book on the subject, C.S. Lewis & Mere Christianity: The Crisis That Created a Classic. And just in case you missed it, you may also want to take a look at this article from February about Paul McCusker's recent departure from Focus on the Family.
Lately the AIO Update has been adding some new features, such as the Catch Up on Adventures in Odyssey section and a page for Free Downloads. But that of course doesn't mean other features such as news, episode reviews and editorials are going to slow down. A new episode review was just posted last Monday, and today it's time to unveil the website's 25th editorial. This latest opinion piece is entitled An Odyssey Conundrum and it discusses a few unanswered questions about AIO that have arisen as a result of some of the behind-the-scenes information provided to fans in the Official Guide. It lists four main areas of interest, but this is by no means a complete list and please feel free to come up with your own and write them down below in the comments section. After you've read this editorial you can also give it a rating out of ten and you can even send in your ideas for future opinion pieces via the AIO Update's contact page.
The next Adventures in Odyssey episode review from the AIO Update is of Better Late than Never from Album 9: Just in Time. In this episode Robyn Jacobs has developed a habit for being fashionably late, but gets a taste of what life would be like if her tardiness turned into an epidemic. You can read the review below.
Today the Adventures in Odyssey team was again in the studio in California recording shows for the next season of the Odyssey Adventure Club. This time they worked on a two-part episode called "The Boat People," written and directed by Phil Lollar. OAC adventures often team up with Christian organizations and charities, and this show features World Vision. The episode is based on the true story of a Vietnamese family in the 1970s as they tried to escape the country to make a new home in the United States. Longtime AIO fans will know that Whit's son Jerry died in Vietnam during the war. This new episode promises to provide us some scenes with "a deeply emotional John Avery Whittaker," as well as a mysterious "startling revelation." Also in this show is a new character to Odyssey named Renee Carter. Renee is a non-Christian college student from Scotland who arrives to intern at Whit's End and first appears in the upcoming episode "Things Not Seen," which also airs on the OAC next year. Could she become a regular character on the show? Time will tell. You can find more information and tons of photos and videos of the cast and crew from these latest recording sessions on the official AIO Facebook page. And to find out how to listen to OAC-exclusive monthly episodes, get access to the entire archive of past Adventures in Odyssey shows, daily devotions, and much more, visit odysseyadventureclub.org.
The Parker family is back for Season 3 of the Odyssey Adventure Club. Today the actors recorded an upcoming episode entitled "Un-Tech the Halls," which will air on the OAC in 2016. This show takes place at Christmas time and follows the Parkers as they go on an outing to cut down a live Christmas tree. It includes the return of the Parker kids' grandma, Lucia Ortaga, who we last heard from in 2013 on Album 57: A Call to Something More. This recording session also marks a milestone for the character of Matthew Parker, who is now being voiced by actor Justin Felbinger. He was previously played by Gunnar Sizemore from Album 58 to Album 59, and the character was originally voiced by Zach Callison. You can check out plenty of photos of the cast and crew on the official Adventures in Odyssey Facebook page. The Odyssey team also recorded another OAC adventure today, this one called "Things Not Seen." This episode "will introduce a brand-new character to the world of Odyssey." The character is named Renee D. Carter and is a non-Christian "computer-savvy college student from Scotland beginning an internship at Whit's End." All these exciting episodes and more will be available to hear exclusively on the Odyssey Adventure Club next year.
For the next few days the Adventures in Odyssey team is back together in the studio in California recording some new shows. During this latest session they're working on episodes for Season 3 of the Odyssey Adventure Club, which will air in 2016. One upcoming episode written by Dave Arnold and directed by Phil Lollar will be called "The Journal of John Avery Whittaker," which will take a look at Whit's past. You can check out the Official AIO Facebook page for photos of the session, including a snapshot of the script, and pictures of the actors playing the young Jack Allen and the young Whit, as well as those voicing Whit's grandfather Jackson, his father Harold, his stepmother Fiona, and his stepsister Charlotte. You'll be able to hear this show and more next year on the club if you sign up at oaclub.org. Also recorded today was an episode titled "The Good Soil," which tells the true story of real-life missionary Dr. William Leslie. This adventure was written and directed by Phil Lollar and is set in the Congo.
On today's edition of the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast, hosts Bob and Jesse interview Joel McCrary, the voice of Simon Jones. He talks about his roles on various shows and movies, including The Princess Diaries, Kickin' It, Over the Hedge and Charlotte's Web. Joel also discusses the advantages of voice acting, how working as a writer has affected his acting, how he first got involved with Adventures in Odyssey, playing some interesting characters on the show B-TV: To Tell the Truth and much more. Plus we hear Joel's audition for his first episode in Album 51: Take it From the Top. Listen to the podcast interview.
Today's Adventures in Odyssey episode review from the AIO Update is of What Happened to the Silver Streak? from Album 9: Just in Time. In this episode young Traci Needlemeyer's model train car mysteriously disappears, and Curt Stevens points a suspicious finger at Michelle Terry, a girl with a reputation for taking things that don't belong to her. You can read the review below.
Besides Adventures in Odyssey episodes and devotions, a membership in the Odyssey Adventure Club gives you access to lots of different Focus on the Family content, including the three audio dramas in The Last Chance Detectives series, as well as the three films produced. And now for a limited time OAC members will be able to read the novel Canyon Quest, which serves as a prequel to the show. The first six chapters are up on the club as of July 16th and more will be uploaded every Thursday until the book is completed and the mystery is solved. But make sure you don't delay your summer reading too long. Canyon Quest will only be available to read on the OAC through October 1st. After that it'll be more difficult to get your hands on this out-of-print book. If you're thinking about checking it out, you can read the novel's summary here:
Fans will learn how the Last Chance Detectives club was formed in Canyon Quest, the prequel to the Last Chance Detectives series. When Mike Fowler and his mom move to the dilapidated small town of Ambrosia in the Arizona desert, he is still agonizing over the loss/disappearance of his dad in the Gulf War. Determined to ferret out the truth about his dad's fate, Mike begins studying books on detective work. As a mystery crops up in Ambrosia, Mike is drawn into the case and, in the process of solving it, comes to know Ben Jones, Wynona Whitefeather, and Spence Martin. Their success together in this adventure leads them to form—at the book's conclusion—the Last Chance Detectives.
Over the past few days the AIO Update has been posting the cover artwork of various upcoming Adventures in Odyssey releases, including Album 60: Head Over Heels, Volume 3 in the Candid Conversations with Connie book series, and Book 17: In Fear of the Spear in the Imagination Station book series. And now Tyndale House has unveiled the summaries describing these new products. (Thanks to The Odyssey Scoop for releasing these summaries first.) If you've already listened to Album 59: Taking the Plunge, which is available for digital download, check out the summary for Album 60: Head Over Heels here:
Love me . . . love me not? In the world of Odyssey, life’s issues rarely come together without a hitch. For Penny and Wooton, the answer to a marriage proposal leads to even more questions. Will Wooton meet with Penny’s family’s approval? And will Penny believe the best about Wooton even after the evidence seems to pile up against him? Meanwhile, others in town are asking questions of their own: The Parker family wonders if Mom will ever learn how to ride a bike, Whit unexpectedly questions whether his daughter should move to town, and Emily wonders how an unknown hero is thwarting the robberies across town. Throw caution to the wind and find the answers as the folks in Odyssey jump head over heels into the path of truth and discernment.
Adventures in Odyssey's Imagination Station series has a few new releases on the way. In September a boxed set of the first six books will be released and then in May of next year an omni-book featuring books 10 to 12 will come out. But in terms of individual book releases, there's finally some news on that front as well. The next installment in the series will be called Book 17: In Fear of the Spear. The title features an internal rhyme, similarly to the previous release, Book 16: Doomsday in Pompeii. In Fear of the Spear is written by Marianne Hering and will be available in stores in January 2016. As you can tell from the cover artwork, this story features the characters Patrick and Beth on an adventure in the jungle. You can come back to read the book's summary when it is posted online.
If you want to catch up with what's been happening in the Imagination Station series lately, you can read the first chapter of Book 16: Doomsday in Pompeii in this free download. Or if you're thinking about starting the series from the beginning, you can read Book 1: Voyage with the Vikings here.
The next Adventures in Odyssey episode review from the AIO Update is of The Big Broadcast from Album 9: Just in Time. In this episode Whit and Tom reopen the Kids' Radio studio with the Good Samaritan story. You can read the show's full review below.