Maybe this is a stupid question, but is the Lost Episodes version of No Stupid Questions different from the Family Portraits version? Maybe not but the Lost Episodes version is definitely different than the Family Portraits summary available in The Complete Guide to Adventures in Odyssey. That summary said that Whit tells Chris Gottlieb in advance that Meg is coming to the library and implies that Meg and Chris did not first meet at Whit’s End in that version. But anyway, let’s carry on with the Lost Episodes version. From that version the story seems like it should have been a short sketch or a scene, not a full-length episode. It carries on in a predictable way and gives the audience far too much detail so by the time the episode is over nothing much has happened. It has probably the fewest scenes of any AIO episode so far but those scenes are so incredibly long and tedious to listen to.
Meg Stevens, the girl who may not ask stupid questions but certainly asks too many questions, doesn’t sound like she’s played by a 10-year-old kid at all but by an adult. That’s a bad combination for a character who is supposed to be young, innocent and full of curiosity. It doesn’t work as well when she doesn’t sound very young to begin with. Meanwhile Chris Gottlieb, the bad-tempered man who doesn’t want people to feel sorry for him for being in a wheelchair, slips into Whit’s End for no other reason than for the purpose of the story. Considering Chris doesn’t appear to enjoy social interaction or hanging out with kids, why would he visit Whit’s End? You would think a building where all the kids go to play would be the last place he’d want to enjoy a coffee. I bet he’s since learned to avoid the place.
For an episode as slow-paced as this one, of course it would end up in the library. What’s more exciting than a quiet evening at the library? A radio drama about a quiet evening at the library, of course. Not that libraries are boring, they’re actually quite interesting. But they’re not the best setting for a drama. It felt awkward when Chris told Meg to get away from him at Whit’s End and then at the library for Meg to call Chris “mean.” The only benefit from that long library scene was we got to witness the evolution of Chris from a grumpy man to a jovial one. But I still think it could have been done in a more interesting way.
This is a very simple story. I think either the characters should have been expanded on or this should have been a subplot of an episode with a better main storyline. The message of this episode appears to be don’t be afraid of asking questions, or in Whit’s case don’t be afraid of setting up encounters between people who you really think would get along if only they spent some time together looking up words in the reference section at the library. This episode gets 1 out of 5 stars.