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 company(s)||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.
US order of episodes
|1||"Pilot"||March 10, 1995|
|2||"Dr. Strangechild"||March 17, 1995|
|4||"Love and Death"||March 24, 1995|
|5||"5D"||March 31, 1995|
|6||"Escape"||April 7, 1995|
|7||"Facing the Fire"||April 14, 1995|
|8||"Simon's Choice"||April 21, 1995|
|9||"Send Me an Angel||N/A|
|10||"Control Freak"||April 28, 1995|
|11||"The Many Faces of Alex"||May 5, 1995|
|13||"Reunion"||May 12, 1995|
- "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, and the United Kingdom. The series was eventually shown in its entirety on the Sci Fi Channel.
UK order of episodes
Sky Television in the United Kingdom broadcast VR.5 out of order:
|UK no.||Title||US no.|
|3||"Love and Death"||4|
|6||"Facing the Fire"||7|
|9||"The Many Faces of Alex"||11|
|10||"Send Me an Angel"||9|
- The episode "Sisters" was not aired 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.