Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Response to the Latest Official Podcast

In case you haven't heard, the latest edition of the Official Podcast was just released. In it, Paul McCusker and Dave Arnold discuss some of the upcoming changes to the show. Click play to listen and then check out my commentary on the highlights.

1. Farewell to the Washingtons

This comes as no surprise, as the actors for Tamika (Courtney Brown) and Marvin (Kendre Barry) have reached the point-of-no-return age. I feel both could have remained for at least one more season, but I don't think most listeners will be shedding too many tears over their departure. It will, however, make for an awkward scenario if Kelly stays. Perhaps she will be returning to her mother? Paul and Dave did not address whether or not Kelly would remain, but at this point it doesn't look good.

2. The Return of ... Clara?

Many listeners, myself included, quickly became fans of actress Aria Curzon when she made her Odyssey debut in the episode, Clara. It's understandable why the writers haven't brought back Clara to this point, since Aria also played Mandy Straussberg. Having both characters existing concurrently would only confuse the audience. But if the Straussberg family is written off as we are expecting, then this would be an excellent way of retaining a talented voice actor in Aria while re-introducing a beloved character.

3. Video Footage on AIO Live! DVD

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, Nathan Hoobler mentions an added incentive to purchase this incredibly jam-packed set. Seventeen minutes of live video footage from the live show will be included on the DVD, which will come as a pleasant surprise to those who were not able to attend the show last August. As one who had the privilege of attending all three shows, I'm anxious to see which takes they used for the final cut. Trust me - this is something you won't want to miss.

4. The Return of ... Malachi?

Those who have read the Official Guide already know that Philip Glassborow played the voice of Malachi in Album 32. In many ways, Malachi's Message kick-started a number of changes in Odyssey, not the least of which was the Timothy Center. Of course, the inspiration for the retreat center was Tom's son, Timmy - the co-discoverer of the alternate reality, Marus, in Passages. With all this news about Passages returning to the airwaves, it makes me wonder if Malachi is somehow connected to it all. Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part. And maybe Philip Glassborow just randomly happened to be visiting when they recorded the Official Podcast. Hmm.

5. Passages

Paul McCusker confirmed Passages will be the newest installment of Odyssey to hit the radio this fall. This time, however, it will be an adaption of his novel, Darien's Rise. No word yet on the length of the dramatization or whether it will be contained within Album 51. I would like to think it'd be included in the next album, but that may not be the case since Dave Arnold stated that episodes for Album 51 won't be out until next year.

6. Album 51 Releases March 2010

In an earlier podcast, the producers had alluded to the possibility of putting the the albums out earlier. It appears they've made their decision as Album 51 is slated to release one year from now and will be available while the episodes are airing. Obviously, the upside to this format is that we won't have to wait for each new weekly show. We can simply order the album and hear them all at once. But the downside is evident - we have to wait six months longer than what was previously announced before we can hear any episodes for the new season.

Assuming Passages ends up being a 3-part series airing at the beginning of September, it means listeners will have to wait an additional five months before getting to hear any new episodes. I'm disappointed it's going to take that long, especially since it'll be nearly two full years between Album 50 and Album 51. But if it provides the writers with the opportunity to fine tune their scripts and the producers a chance to create a better product overall, then I'm all for it.