|Genre||Science fiction, time travel|
|Created by||Manny Coto|
Tamara Craig Thomas
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||19 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||44 mins
92 mins (Pilot)
|Production company(s)||Manny Coto Productions
Columbia TriStar Television
|Distributor||Sony Pictures Television|
|Original release||21 June – 15 October 2002|
Odyssey 5 is a Canadian science fiction series that first ran in 2002 on Showtime in the United States and on Space in Canada. The premise involves five space travelers who witness the destruction of the Earth; they are given the opportunity to travel to the past to identify and prevent the cataclysm.
Odyssey 5 is the brainchild of Manny Coto, who served as a script-writer and executive producer during the series run. Through his website and in interviews, Coto has expressed his interest in returning to the series at some point, either continuing it or giving it a conclusion.
The story follows six people on a routine flight of the space shuttle Odyssey, on August 7, 2007: four astronauts, a scientist, and a television news reporter. During the flight, the Earth rapidly dissolves into a fiery ball and implodes. Control of the Odyssey is momentarily lost, and one astronaut is killed. The remaining five crew members resign themselves to death, but an inorganic being called the Seeker rescues them. The Seeker tells them that fifty other worlds have been destroyed in the same way as Earth, and the Seeker has always arrived too late to observe it; this is the first time he has found survivors. He offers to send them five years into the past (to 2002, the year the series aired), so that they can prevent the disaster. He sends only their consciousnesses back, because physical time travel is impossible. The mission commander learns a codeword associated with the disaster: Leviathan.
The villains are a race of disembodied artificial intelligences known as "Sentients". These AIs are trying to learn about humanity through artificial humanoid robots called "Synthetics", which are nearly indistinguishable from humans. Another group of Synthetics are discovered to be from Mars. In the original timeline, a previous race of Synthetics created by humanity was destroyed by a secret US government agency. Whether the destruction of the Earth was retaliation for this act by the Sentients is never revealed.
While they search for the truth, the team must also revisit their pasts while retaining past knowledge of what is to come. Reporter Sarah Forbes tries to save her five-year-old son, who died of cancer in the original timeline. Her efforts in this direction alienate her husband, who leaves her and takes their son with him. Astronaut Angela Perry must deal with the knowledge that her father is a corrupt U.S. Senator whose malfeasance destroyed her family in the original timeline. Commander Chuck Taggart must try to keep his family together. His son, Neil, a computer technician on the Odyssey, must adjust to being seventeen again, when he was a poor student who hadn't yet discovered his talents. Pessimistic scientist Kurt Mendel believes they cannot change history and spends his time indulging every desire.
The series is different from most science fiction[which?] because it is set in the present – similar to Stargate SG-1 and Sliders – and also because the characters are not friends and frequently disagree; the humanity of the team is shown through arguments, jokes, and their attempts to maintain social lives and help the world with their limited knowledge of the future.
A recurring theme is that the actions of the group may hasten the cataclysm they are trying to avoid, or alter history in undesirable ways. A character who was supposed to live until 2007 dies in the first episode after helping the group. In one episode, Sarah and Angela protect a girl they know will be kidnapped. Although this prevents that individual's kidnapping, the kidnapper takes a different child. Kurt makes a large bet on a football game whose outcome is already known to him, but the pressure of knowing has a negative effect on a player instrumental in winning the game, and the team loses.
- Peter Weller — Chuck Taggart, commander of the Odyssey mission and leader of the group when they jump back to the past.
- Sebastian Roché — Kurt Mendel, Nobel Prize-winning behavioral geneticist whose atheistic outlook and hedonistic tendencies often bring comic relief to the story.
- Christopher Gorham — Neil Taggart, Chuck's son. NASA's youngest astronaut at age 22, he succeeded where his older brother, Marc, had failed. He constantly has to deal with the struggles of growing up again and the repercussions that came with his High School delinquencies.
- Tamara Marie Watson — Angela Perry, an astronaut who was rendered unconscious when the Earth imploded, waking up disoriented five years in the past, in her MMU about to burn up in the atmosphere. Her issues following their return have a repercussion on her career altering her future.
- Leslie Silva — Sarah Forbes, a reporter who tagged along with the Odyssey for a report, finding herself back before her son died from cancer and threatens to tear her family apart through her determination not to let him die again.
- Gina Clayton — Paige Taggart, the matriarch who struggles to believe that her husband and son are time travelers.
Series 1 (2002)
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Pilot"||David Carson||Manny Coto||21 June 2002|
|Five astronauts are sole survivors of an inexplicable apocalyptic event that caused Earth to suddenly blow up. An alien AI construct that's investigating similar incidents arrives and sends them five years into the past to stop the event.|
|2||"Shatterer"||Randy Zisk||Manny Coto||28 June 2002|
|The crew tries to prevent the suicide of a notable mathematician who developed sentient AI programs. Sarah and Angela investigate a suspicious gene therapy treatment. Neil returns to high school and meets his now underage girlfriend.|
|3||"Astronaut Dreams"||David Straiton||Manny Coto||5 July 2002|
|Fearing it might destroy Earth, Chuck plans to sabotage NASA's new satellite project Bright Sky. Sarah tries to prevent a crime that happened in the original timeline but now it happens differently. Kurt finds a way to detect synthetics.|
|4||"Time Out of Mind"||David Straiton||Tracy Tormé||12 July 2002|
|The Odyssey crew begin to lose their memories of the future and their present mission to save the Earth.|
|5||"Symbiosis"||Randy Zisk||Lindsay Sturman||19 July 2002|
|Someone tips the crew on how to find the missing deaf niece of a scientist who worked on mind control technology. Sarah meets the man whom she married in the original timeline. Marc passes NASA's first test. Angela deals with her folks.|
|6||"The Choices We Make"||Peter Weller||Tim Foreman||26 July 2002|
|The crew has visions of people asking them if they believe that anything is possible. This leads to Chuck and Neil confronting a painful memory, Sarah dealing with her son's cancer and Kurt and Angela seeing the future they could've had.|
|7||"Rapture"||Stephen Williams||Edithe Swensen||2 August 2002|
|Neil's classmate hooks Niel's girlfriend and some other kids on a strange psychoactive drug that seemingly makes people smarter. Chuck learns that NASA's new flight director is part of "The Cadre" cabal. Angela's psych evaluation is up.|
|8||"L.D.U. 7"||George Mendeluk||Tommy Thompson||9 August 2002|
|Chuck, Kurt and Sarah infiltrate a private high tech prison called Lock Down Unit 7 to find the convict who claims that the people he killed were synthetic replicas of his parents. Neil's brother is having identity crisis.|
|9||"Flux"||Ken Girotti||Edithe Swensen||16 August 2002|
|Chuck gets infected by a synthetic and starts turning into one. The other synthetics want him to join them. Sarah tries to get joint custody of her son, after his father takes him away. Marc is tested by his supervisor.|
|10||"Kitten"||Milan Cheylov||Lindsay Sturman||23 August 2002|
|Neil is being stalked by Kit-10, an insane all-powerful female AI. Sarah loses her visitation rights. Angela is on a new joint space mission with a friendly Russian astronaut, Tatianna Kosviskova. Kit-10 uses them as hostages.|
|11||"Dark at the End of the Tunnel"||Peter Weller||Tracy Tormé||30 August 2002|
|As Texas is plagued by a heatwave that did not exist in the original time line, Kurt is led to a town that is waiting for the arrival of God.|
|12||"The Trouble with Harry"||Stephen Williams||Alan Brennert||6 September 2002|
|The Odyssey 5 team forms an alliance with a friendly geeky sentient, who calls himself Harry Mudd and has a great lust for life, to stop a powerful insane female sentient, who plans to destroy Earth.|
|13||"Skin"||Bryan Spicer||Lindsay Sturman & Edithe Swensen||13 September 2002|
|Man-made artificially intelligent synthetic organism that imitates human skin and can attach itself to a person and take them over jumps from one person to another in an attempt to kill Angela's father. Chuck's worst nightmare comes true.|
|14||"Begotten"||Terry Ingram||Lindsay Sturman & Edithe Swensen||1 October 2002|
|Chuck takes a trip down memory lane with a young female hitchhiker. Kurt grows a human-synthetic hybrid. It attacks him and escapes. He suffers a mental breakdown and becomes convinced that the crew has been replaced by synthetics.|
|15||"Vanishing Point"||David Winkler||Melinda M. Snodgrass||1 October 2002|
|Chuck suddenly wakes up in a hospital with his dead wife by his side. She claims that it was he who almost died, not she. Sarah and Angela investigate a mass grave tied to a Transhumanist group. Neil looses his virginity - again.|
|16||"Follow the Leader"||George Mendeluk||Jonathan Glassner||8 October 2002|
|A group of children who all visit the same computer lab receive a strange signal over the Internet and become obsessed with it to the point of killing anyone who tries to interfere. Chuck's estranged sister helps him deal with his grief.|
|17||"Half-Life"||Stephen Williams||Lindsay Sturman & Edithe Swensen||8 October 2002|
|Angela believes that the ghost of her dead ex boyfriend, a pilot who got killed in an experiment, is haunting her. Sarah starts dating a colleague she ended up marrying in the original timeline.|
|18||"Rage"||Ken Girotti||Michael Cassutt||15 October 2002|
|Dr. Chandra dies under suspicious circumstances and leaves the crew a disk that synthetics want. The crew investigates what caused a strange riot in a peaceful suburbanite neighborhood in the original timeline and tries to prevent it.|
|19||"Fossil"||Peter Weller||Manny Coto & Jonathan Glassner||15 October 2002|
|Chuck analyzes a strange Moon rock concealed by NASA and finally gets some answers. Angela is kidnapped. A cop falsely suspects Kurt. Sarah's wish comes true - as well as her worst nightmare. The show ends on an unresolved cliffhanger.|
In the United States, the initial run of the series ran for 14 of the 20 episodes, leaving the six remaining episodes unaired for a period of roughly two years. (They aired in 2004 on Showtime as "missing" episodes, which ostensibly included the open-ended series finale.) The series made a full run of all 20 episodes in the United Kingdom on Sky One and on Sci Fi Channel and in Canada. In 2004, the series aired in Finland on Nelonen and thus could also be seen in Estonia, and in June 2004 it premiered in Germany on Sat.1. In 2005, it aired in the Netherlands on NET 5 after midnight. In addition, Odyssey 5 is being or has been aired on RTL Klub in Hungary, and premiered in Australia on the Sci Fi Channel in December 2006 and on channel TV6 in Lithuania in 2008.
It has aired on Cadena 3 (channel 28) in Mexico, the Sci Fi Channel in the United States, SIC Radical in Portugal, Mega Channel in Greece, tv 3 in Estonia, extreme tv in Spain and AXN Sci Fi in Romania, Poland and Bulgaria.
The series was released as a Complete Box Set (Region 1) on April 2006, and in Region 2 territories on 26 June 2006. As an extra feature, the DVD set has a commentary track on the pilot episode by Manny Coto and Peter Weller.
- "Odyssey 5". Retrieved 2007-02-03.
- (Hungarian) List of shows in RTL Klub, retrieved on 2006-10-21