VR.5 DVD cover
|Created by||Jeannine Renshaw|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13 (3 unaired in original run) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||44 min (approx.)|
|Production companies||Samoset Productions|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original release||March 10 –|
May 12, 1995
VR.5 is an American science-fiction television series first broadcast on the Fox network from March 10 to May 12, 1995. Ten of its thirteen episodes were aired during its original run. The title of the show refers to the degree of immersion the protagonist experiences in virtual reality.
Prior to the events of the series, Sydney Bloom was the daughter of Dr. Joseph Bloom, a computer scientist who was working on developing virtual reality. His wife Nora Bloom, a neurochemist, was also involved in the project. Sydney's father, and her sister Samantha, died in a car accident in 1978.
Now in 1995 Sydney is a telephone lineworker and computer hobbyist. One day she accidentally discovers that she can enter an advanced type of virtual reality, where she can interact with other people. Her actions in the virtual world have an effect on the real world. She subsequently agrees to use her abilities to help a mysterious secret organization called the Committee. She receives her covert assignments from Frank Morgan, and later from Oliver Sampson. Sydney's friend Duncan advises her and helps her when he can.
The show frequently uses inconsistencies in continuity and a distinctive color scheme as clues to suggest what is actually happening at various points throughout the series.
- Lori Singer as Sydney Bloom
- Michael Easton as Duncan
- Will Patton as Frank Morgan (episodes 1-4)
- Anthony Head as Oliver Sampson (episodes 5-13)
- David McCallum as Joseph Bloom
- Louise Fletcher as Nora Bloom
- Tracey Needham as Samantha Bloom
The show's visual effects for when characters were inside virtual reality were created by shooting on black-and-white film and then manually adding color to each image. This effect took four weeks to create for each episode and added to the cost of the show, which was about U.S. $1.5 million per episode. While distributor Rysher Entertainment never confirmed it, the high cost of the production, coupled with a difficult time slot, contributed to the show's commercial failure.
The music for VR.5 was created by composer John Frizzell. The opening theme music came to Frizzell in a dream. Dee Carstensen and Eileen Frizzell provided the vocals in the opening theme. The music supervisor of the series was Abby Treloggen. A soundtrack CD was released in 1995 on the Zoo Entertainment/BMG Music label.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original US air date||UK order|
|1||"Pilot"||Michael Katleman||Thania St. John||March 10, 1995||1|
|Guest stars: David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Louise Fletcher (Nora Bloom), Kimberly Cullum (Young Samantha Bloom), Kaci Williams (Young Sydney Bloom), Noah Verduzco (Unknown), Chris Owen (III) (Harassing boy), Penn Jillette (Orwell Kravitz), Adam Baldwin (Scott Cooper), Stephen Mills (The Committee's Agent), Robert Picardo (VR Engineer), Gammy Singer (Nurse Jackie), Matthew Koruba (Young Duncan)|
|2||"Dr. Strangechild"||Michael Katleman||Eric Blakeney||March 17, 1995||2|
|Guest stars: Louise Fletcher (Nora Bloom), David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Dan Riley (Orderly), Elya Baskin (Dr. Zoloft), Tom Towles (Shepard), Nicholas Cascone (Unknown), Erick Avari (Boise), Aaron Michael Metchik (Stuart Fischer), Kate Zentall (Mrs. Fischer), Cully Fredrickson (Unknown), Danny Goldring (Traxell), Jason Azikiwe (Unknown)|
|3||"Sisters"||John Sacret Young||John Sacret Young||N/A||N/A|
|Guest stars: David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Kimberly Cullum (Young Samantha Bloom), Kaci Williams (Young Sydney Bloom), Colleen Flynn (Janine Messersmith), Willie Garson (Pervert)|
|4||"Love and Death"||Rob Bowman||Thania St. John||March 24, 1995||3|
|Guest stars: Louise Fletcher (Nora Bloom), David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Kimberly Cullum (Young Samantha Bloom), George DelHoyo (Jackson Boothe), Carl Strano (Mr. Spire), Louis Turenne (Larry Oldman), Jessica Hendra (Megan Fellows), Peter Spellos (Albert Fellows, Jr), Shane Sweet (Albert Fellows, Sr), Bethany Clifton (Unknown), Wendi Westbrook (Unknown), Sandra Robinson (Monique Fellows)|
|5||"5D"||D.J. Caruso||John Sacret Young & Thania St. John||March 31, 1995||4|
|Guest stars: Louise Fletcher (Nora Bloom), David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Kimberly Cullum (Young Samantha Bloom), Kaci Williams (Young Sydney Bloom), Dan O'Herlihy (Dr. Alloysius Hunnicut), George DelHoyo (Jackson Boothe), Matthew Koruba (Young Duncan), Jim Holmes (Unknown), Keith Mills (Unknown)|
|6||"Escape"||Jim Charleston||John Sacret Young & Thania St. John||April 7, 1995||5|
|Guest stars: David Selburg, Aileen Fitzpatrick (Nurse), Dayton Callie (Unknown), Robert Kempf (Unknown)|
|7||"Facing the Fire"||Lorraine Senna Ferrara||Jeannine Renshaw||April 14, 1995||6|
|Guest stars: Shirley Knight (Dr. Margo Hirsch), Frank Converse (General Jackson), Neal McDonough (Lance Jackson), Blair Renshaw (Aircraft Mechanic), Richie Fenner (Young Lance), Kevin Carr (Unknown)|
|8||"Simon's Choice"||Steve Dubin||Toni Graphia||April 21, 1995||7|
|Guest stars: Kaci Williams (Young Sydney Bloom), Robert Davi (Simon Buchanan), Dustin Nguyen (Ky Buchanan), David Brisbin (Unknown), Jack Rader (Unknown), Robert Phelan (Unknown), Endre Hules (Spy Chief), Edmund L. Shaff (Unknown), Westin Blakeney (Unknown), Benjamin Jurand (Unknown), Yuan Gee Wong (Unknown)|
|9||"Send Me an Angel"||Jim Charleston||Naomi Janzen & Jeannine Renshaw||N/A||10|
|Guest stars: Louise Fletcher (Nora Bloom), Tracey Needham (Samantha Bloom), Armelia McQueen (Unknown), Barbara K. Whinnery (Unknown), William Forward (Unknown), Jamie Renee Smith (Rebecca), Stephen Mills (The Committee's Agent), Kenneth Robert Shippy (Unknown), Gammy Singer (Nurse Jackie)|
|10||"Control Freak"||Michael Katleman||Naomi Janzen||April 28, 1995||8|
|Guest stars: Markus Flanagan (Kyle Jarvis), Tom Mardirosian (Ed Paterson), Stephen Root (F.A.A. Negotiator), Richard Penn (Unknown), Carol Kiernan (Unknown), Frank Whiteman (Unknown), Johnny Moran (Unknown), Cynthia Avila (Matilda)|
|11||"The Many Faces of Alex"||John Sacret Young||Jacquelyn Blain||May 5, 1995||9|
|Guest stars: Mark Phelan, Kathleen Misko, Jeannine Renshaw, Markie Post (Alex Miller), Tracey Needham (Samantha Bloom)|
|12||"Parallel Lives"||Michael Katleman||Jeannine Renshaw, Thania St. John, John Shirley & John Sacret Young||N/A||12|
|Guest stars: David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Will Patton (Dr. Frank Morgan), Tracey Needham (Samantha Bloom), Penn Jillette (Orwell Kravitz), Billy Burke (Marco)|
|13||"Reunion"||Deborah Reinisch||Thania St. John||May 12, 1995||11|
|Guest stars: Louise Fletcher (Nora Bloom), David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Kimberly Cullum (Young Samantha Bloom), Kaci Williams (Young Sydney Bloom), Tracey Needham (Samantha Bloom), Turhan Bey (Abernathy), Stephen Mills (The Committee's Agent), Gammy Singer (Nurse Jackie), Matthew Koruba (Young Duncan)|
"Sisters," "Send Me An Angel," and "Parallel Lives" were not broadcast on Fox. They are called the "missing episodes" and were broadcast in countries such as Canada, Norway, France, and the United Kingdom. The series was eventually shown in its entirety on the Sci Fi Channel. The episode "Sisters" was not aired in the UK to make room for an "X-Files" documentary.
Despite its poor production values, low ratings, and failure to have all its episodes air during its short run, Virtual Storm, an online community, lobbied Fox to develop a movie featuring the cast and crew of VR.5, but the project was dropped after the scripting stage.
- "VR, a Trip into Cyberspace". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (66): 272. January 1995.
- "Abby Treloggen". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- "VR.5 on CBS Drama". Chello Zone/CBS Broadcasting, Inc. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "Looking back at VR.5", Den of Geek, 2011-04-19. Retrieved on 2013-11-30.