Feedback time! We are considering making a slight change to
the way the Odyssey Scoop's blog looks. Instead of being
able to see the entire blog post as it is now on the home
page, an excerpt of the day's post would be posted with a
link to the actual permanent link to the blog entry. On the
actual blog entry page you would be able to comment on each
post without having to click "Comments" and waiting for a
popup comments box to appear. Instead, the comments would
appear on the page below the post and make it easier for
people to post. One negative outcome is that visitors would
need to click on each blog entry to see the whole entry and
comments. On the other hand, people would enjoy being able
to see comments without any effort when viewing a post...
and comments would appear in real-time as they do now in the
popup box. To see a similar example of what we're talking
about, please visit the website
of Phil Vischer, mastermind behind the VeggieTales
What would you like to
see us do? Should we keep the blog as it is or give posts a
permanent link? Submit your thoughts below and discuss with
others. Your feedback is important!
much AIO news is happening that it's hard to keep up! Though
I didn't specifically talk about it yesterday, we updated
some of our Merchandise
section's listing of products. The repackaging for albums
1-15 is continuing as planned.
The first collection to be released from those albums is
album 3, Heroes.
Since artist Gary Locke originally illustrated the original
Gold Audio Series version, the cover art will remain
the same, but updated to the typical rays and arches format.
It's all about consistency and offering AIO at one familiar
look so fans can recognize the series more easily. Heroes is set for
release any day now.
You can see both the
front and back covers of this release here. If you're confused
about any aspect of the Adventures in Odyssey repack
project, I recommend you read about it in our Product FAQ. Also you can see the tentative release
schedule for upcoming albums at our Repack Schedule.
You'll notice that we've talked more in depth about how to
be on the lookout for the new repacks. If you're a
collector, you may want to see what we have to say.
As for other things going
on, the back cover of album 51, Take It from the Top,
is finally available. Be sure to check it out. Speaking
of which, time is ticking down and you need to get your
entry in as soon as possible for our latest contest! Don't delay!
news keeps flying in for a landing here at the Odyssey
Scoop. If you haven't read yesterday's post, I highly
recommend you do that. But today, I'm excited to present a
60-second audio preview for
Take It from the Top. Have a listen:
This audio preview, along with a couple video previews,
are now available prominently at the product page.
Also, AIO Wiki
has posted an exclusive preview of what's coming up in the
season premiere. Listen here:
We're just 10 days away from the new season, and these
short mini-episodes, podcasts, and audio previews are just
making the wait harder. As you wait, head over to ourScoopYourselfContest
to win a free copy of
Take It from the Top! We're accepting entries
until 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, March 3rd! It's time to
get going on your entry!
promos for other upcoming episodes are now available on our
our post on February 19th, I talked
about the new sampler
to Whit's End. Well, it looks like more info has
been made available regarding the release. Best of all, you
can even listen to it before the new season airs! The latest
Official Podcast is giving away this episode early
so you can hear it free!
Join host Chris Anthony in "Welcome to Whit's End," a
new 11 minute tour of Odyssey. Plus, be the first to hear
the opening scene of "The Inspiration Station," the first
episode in album 51.
I must say that after hearing Andre Stojka in this
special mini-episode, I think he's going to fill the shoes
of Whit really well. Hats off to Andre!
This is the first time, since the beginning of the
podcast, that the theme song has been changed. And after
you've heard the first scene of The Inspiration Station, don't forget to enter ourScoopYourselfContest
to win a free copy of the latest release from Adventures
your chance to participate in the Odyssey
Scoop's first-ever ScoopYourself contest... and win a
cool prize in the process!
Basically it's just a fancy name, but the concept will be a
challenge for you to be the Odyssey Scoop's top winner. In
each ScoopYourself challenge, you'll have the
opportunity to incorporate yourself into your contest entry
and be the most creative to win exciting prizes!
We want to see your Adventures in Odyssey collection.
Yes, that's right. We want you to come up with the most
creative display of your Odyssey albums, books, videos,
DVDs, action figures, T-shirts, and more!
What should I do?
First, it is necessary that you have access to a digital
camera and your Odyssey collection. You might also want to
have access to some props. Anything you would like to use in
making your photo more creative is fine by us. If you don't
have a very large AIO collection, you are certainly welcome
to use what you have. If you aren't camera-shy, you might
consider posing with your Odyssey collection too, though
that's not required. You also may find it helpful to take
several photos and choose your favorite before submitting.
Keep in mind that lighting, location of the camera, and
placement of Odyssey items will make a huge difference.
What will I win?
The contestant with the most creative arrangement of his/her
Adventures in Odyssey collection will win a free copy
of the highly-anticipated new album,
Take It from the Top. Your winning photo will be
featured here at the Odyssey Scoop for years to come! Even
if you don't win, your photo will be posted along with every
other contestant's so fans can see it... and everyone
else's. In other words, it's time to show your stuff!
When is the deadline?
You have until 11:59 EST on
Wednesday, March 3rd, to enter. Entries will be judged and
the winner will be announced on Friday, March 5th - the day
before the new season of Adventures in Odyssey
How to Enter
Send us an
email with your Name, Age, Location,
Mailing address, and photo attached. Be sure
you put "ScoopYourself" in the subject line. The
higher resolution the photo is, the better.
Only one entry per person.
You can enter even if you live
outside the United States.
If you have participated in a
similar photo contest in the past, you may participate
again. However, we require you to submit a different
most of you, the new season of Adventures in Odyssey
can't get here soon enough. And for many of you, you're just
getting involved with the series and could care less because
you have so many albums to collect you don't know where to
start! That's exactly what the new season is about... new
beginnings. New characters. New horizons. And a new look and
sound for the timeless series. We touched on this in the
past, but I figured it'd be a good day to bring it up again.
Focus on the Family is releasing a new AIO sampler, Welcome
to Whit's End, in the very near future. Unlike all
other samplers of the past, this one comes with a brand-new
episode, Welcome to Whit's End. It's considered a
mini-episode; that is, it's shorter than the usual 20-24
minute episodes we're used to hearing. I know some of you
older listeners are shrieking because we've been down the
road of shorter episodes before (a time referred to as split
episodes). Don't worry. This is just a special episode to
introduce new listeners to the series. And for you old-time
listeners who may have just shrieked at the unwanted thought
of something resembling a split episode of the past, don't
worry. It won't be released in a collection. A special bonus
feature in a future album I can see. However,
I know many AIO collectors are going to get their hands on
this sampler. Where can you get it? Well, click here
to learn more about this tie-in release to the new season.
Of course, the highly-anticipated album on
everyone's lips is
Take It from the Top (collection #51). Episodes from this
collection begin airing on March 6th - just 15 days away!
Yet, we're only one day away from a special
surprise here at The Odyssey Scoop! What is that surprise?
Come back in one day and find out!
The upcoming season of Adventures in
Odyssey is getting closer and closer! In just 16 days,
we'll get to hear the first part of the season opener, The Inspiration
Station. Until then, it seems that more and more AIO
blogs are popping up, one right after the other. I'd just
like to highlight two more.
First, we have the
Campbell County Connection, brought to us by a
blogger and AIO fan. Presenting the latest Odyssey news,
this blog also features an "Odyssey Connection" which
parallels day-to-day experiences with events in Odyssey.
It's got a human side to it that you may find interesting.
Odyssey Way is a relatively new blog, containing
Odyssey news as well. So far, this blogger describes his
reaction to new AIO artwork and other changes going on in
I must wonder, as the new season is nearly
upon us, will there be more blogs or do we have enough
already? I've added both blogs to our Links Outward page, respectively.
So would you? It's been a while since we've
talked about the
Ceiling Fan podcast. In fact, they just released a
special show within the show. One of the podcast's
listeners decided to create his own parody of the podcast...
with hilarious results! In a wacky attempt to poke fun
at the podcast "where Odyssey hits the fan," you'll get to
hear special appearances with Connie Kendall, Guy Feldstein,
Arthur Dent, and more. And it looks like Connie has landed
herself in Hillingdale Haven! Apparently, Connie and
Arthur are a little loopy these days. Don't miss it!
I would like to mention that I was pleased to
hear that the Scoop's Where Odyssey Is
Not feature was mentioned in the podcast. Thanks,
guys! There's no doubt in my mind that some of you may be
craving a muffin by the end of the podcast. Would you like a muffin?
we've got some news you can use! A preliminary version of
the cover art for the second book in the popular Passagesbook series has been released.
features an intriguing new cover graphic with wonderful
One minute, Wade Mullins is in Odyssey,
attempting to burn his friend's top-secret drawings for the
atomic bomb. The next, he is staring at a strange prophet
from an alternate world who says Wade is the final sign—an
end-times omen of a culture on the verge of annihilation.
Can Wade stop the production of a bomb and a madman's reign
Most likely the only revision to the cover in
the days ahead will be an update to the logo featured on the
book, as well as a removal of the unrolled scroll behind the
book's title. This third edition of the book
will also contain six interior
color pictures and a new 2-page color map of Marus and
outlying areas. I think it would be
safe to say that many Adventures in Odyssey fans are
looking forward to a future release of an audio
dramatization of the book as well. When will that day be?
Only time will tell.
Judgment is scheduled for a May 2010 release. The
first book in the series,
Darien's Rise, is planned for release in April.
here to learn
more about Arin's Judgment and see the new cover up
close. Visit our February 8
post regarding the new edition of Darien's Rise.
Surprise! Today I'm excited to
officially unveil the brand-new, updated site design for the
Odyssey Scoop I've been talking about during the past few
weeks. Call it a pre-Valentine's Day special a la Scoop. But
what's so exciting about this update? Well, take a look
around the website and see. You'll notice we have an
updated, but familiar, look. It's more consistent, more
modern, and easier to navigate. See people? We were
listening to your suggestions after all. Best of all, it
looks like the home page and the majority of the site
content has been cleaned up, polished, and shined! Here's
some of the new site updates you'll experience here at the
Actor Brandon Gilberstadt shares his
adventure in Odyssey
sure many of you are familiar with
Gilberstadt, voice of Jared DeWhite. Jared
became one of Odyssey's biggest mischievous
characters... and one of the most loved. In our latest
interview, Brandon shares his adventure in Odyssey --
from his perspective! Read on as Brandon shares memories
from his time at Adventures in Odyssey, his brief
departure from the show, and his surprising return
during the fast-paced, plot-driven Novacom Saga. Don't
miss our latest interview.
Listen to New Audio
Have you checked our Audio
section today? It's definitely getting bigger and
better. Today you'll notice that we've added quite a few
audio clips. Some you may have heard, while others may
be a surprise to you. Some teasers before you actually
visit the section: listen to some of Chris's forgotten
wrap-arounds, listen to product promos, Professor
Snitzelbonker returns, and much more! Give it a go and re-kindle audio
from Adventures in Odyssey's past... then submit
some of your own if you happen to have it.
Articles Galore Yes, with a completely new Scoop experience comes an
updated look to the Articles
section. Written pieces are sorted by date with improved
organization. Have you read our latest article? Stay
informed and zip over that
way. And remember... this site's all about fan
contributions. You have an opportunity to submit an
article of your own!
Episodes Redesign It's about time we gave it a new look. All 650+
episodes (but who's counting?) are now complemented with
a stylish new look and the section is much easier to
navigate. Don't miss out.
Merchandise Modernized Learn about Adventures in Odyssey releases in
style. We've given this section
a long-needed makeover. It's certainly going to be a
valuable resource in the days ahead.
I think I've covered all the major redesign
news. It's probably difficult to digest everything I just
told you, but just take it all in piece by piece and love
every minute of it. You may notice that the current home
page is more fluid and adjusts, depending on the width of
your browser window. Let me know if you'd like that option
to stay for the home page or go as all the remaining pages
of the site have done. The rest of the site is set in width.
Feel free to comment.
As with all site redesigns, some things may
have gotten lost in translation. If you notice anything
that's out of place, missing, or doesn't belong (images or
pages), be sure and let us know so we can get the Scoop up
to par. Somehow I think it already is... but your
contributions are greatly appreciated and I know some things
need re-linked, etc. You will also probably see some minor
tweaks here and there in the days ahead as a webmaster's job
is never done.
And... enjoy the new look of the Odyssey
Scoop! Also be watching in the days to come for new and
improved site sections. We'll be keeping an eye on AIO as
the new season approaches!
decisions have been made regarding the future of Adventures in Odyssey over the past few weeks and
months, but those decisions have not all be made yet. In the
Official Podcast, you'll get to hear, for the first
time, the new AIO theme that will appear in album 51 and beyond.
Composer John Campbell details his account with the
excitement and challenges of creating and improving the Adventures in Odyssey theme for the life of the show.
John Campbell has certainly contributed to the success of
AIO, with both his creativity and persistence for
excellence. But that's not all you'll get to hear. Find out
how you can vote for the new theme for the Official Podcast as
well. It's a fan-dictated decision to get the best theme
song. Also, as I mentioned Tuesday, a short announcement
regarding Paul Herlinger's passing has been made available,
along with photos and information. A special tribute podcast
will follow in the future.
On the other side of town, others are faced
with decisions as well. The relatively recent message board,
Campbell County, has created jobs for its users. If
you're one who likes to interact with Odyssey fans, this
might be a nice hangout for you, and a good place to get
The Town of
Odyssey is also another fan gathering you may want
Of course, many are discovering that the
AIO Blog's brand-new "AIO Blogcast" is a fun
attraction, too. Austin Peachey and "sis" are discussing the
future of the show in their third edition. It's good to hear
what the fans think.
Meanwhile, in my corner I'm getting closer to
a launch date for the upcoming redesign for the Odyssey
Scoop. As of today, the largest site section was finished
(the last on my plate of jobs). What does that mean? All of
the site is ready to go, but I'm working with last minute
tweaks before it's ready. When will it be released? Well...
maybe you'll just have to check back another day soon
to find out when the big day is! I'm certainly excited to
get it up and running!
by now, many of you have heard the saddening news, but for
those of you who don't know yet, I must inform you that
we've lost one of the best of us.
voice of Adventures in Odyssey's central character
from 1996 to 2008, passed away on February 2, 2010. His
death is certainly having an impact on many of the online
fans - myself included.
Paul Herlinger resigned from his role as Mr.
Whittaker after the production of album 50 due to health
concerns. I think it would be safe to say that the news of
Paul's passing is like that of Walker Edmiston,
voice of Tom Riley. Walker passed away in February 2007, and
his death was noticed by many fans. Who would have thought
that Paul Herlinger would follow shortly two years later.
Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to his family and
Paul was a very well-received and loved man
during his time at Adventures in Odyssey. Having been
with the team since 1996, Paul stepped into a very difficult
role as Whit and served it faithfully for roughly twelve
years. He has appeared in 218 episodes of AIO. Hal Smith, the
original voice of Whit, appeared in 260 episodes before his
passing in 1994. Truly, Paul Herlinger's days at AIO will be
appreciated for years and decades to come, just like that of
Hal. His life's impact and lessons taught will live on in
our hearts as we connected with Paul through the powerful
tool of radio drama.
You can read Paul Herlinger's obituary here. It's interesting to note that in a
behind-the-scenes interview for one of AIO's features, Paul
revealed that working for Odyssey was one of the most
gratifying things he did in his life. Has saw firsthand that
God was at work in the lives of the many AIO writers,
directors, actors, and the ministry of Focus on the Family.
Paul's passing should be a constant reminder to us that life
truly is a vapor.
Actor Andre Stojka has agreed to step in as
the new voice of Whit, and the show continues. For more
information on Whit, you may want to listen - or re-listen -
to a special Official Podcast dedicated to the character of John
Avery Whittaker. Also you may want to listen to a
podcast with Paul Herlinger about his days at
Odyssey. I think we'll be hearing more about Paul Herlinger
in the very near future (probably very soon) on an upcoming
Podcast. Keep your eyes and ears tuned.
Farewell, Paul Herlinger. Thank you for
everything you did to make AIO great.
of you read the book and listened to the
Now is your chance to get a first high-res glance at the new
cover design for Darien's Rise, the first book in the
Summary: Passages, the legendary series from the creators of
Adventures in Odyssey, lets kids enter a world where ancient
history comes to life . . . and faith in God becomes the
adventure of a lifetime!
In book 1, Darien's Rise, Anna and Kyle are transported to
the mysterious land of Marus—and caught in the middle of a
dangerous conflict between a brave army general and a
powerful king. Will their newfound powers be strong enough
to save the rightful heir to the throne . . . and return
them safely home?
The new cover has a very similar look to the
Riseaudio drama. It features the same cover art,
with the new Adventures in Odyssey logo. I'd say it's
not going to be hard for readers of the book series to find
the radio drama version now or vice versa. If I'm not
mistaken, the new book release
will also contain six interior
color pictures and a new 2-page color map of Marus and
outlying areas. It's also interesting to note that this will
be the first time AIO has published a third edition of one
of its book series. Passages is here to stay!
According to Tyndale,
Darien's Rise is scheduled for an April 2010
release. Book 2
is set for release in May 2010.
I would have updated the
book's product page today, but frankly, I'm weary from all
the work involved with the site redesign. As an update to
all of you, I'm working on the final and largest site
section here at the site: our Merchandise section. Once it's finished, the release
of the new site will be very imminent. Expect the new Passages cover, along with a brand-new section... very
soon! How soon? Be watching in the days ahead. For now,
click here to see the high-res image of the new
since we've arrived at Super Bowl weekend, I figured it'd be
nice to talk about the ministry which brings AIO to life.
First of all, you may have noticed that Focus on the Family
recently launched their brand-new website. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they
incorporated the new AIO logo into the look (yes, it's there
- look at the bottom of the page). I must say, with a white
border, the logo really pops when placed on darker
backgrounds. I almost like it as is, without the
Secondly, plan on watching the commercials
early during the Super Bowl game as Focus on the Family will
be airing its new "Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life"
30-second ad. Apparently, it has caused some controversy in
the media already, and it hasn't even aired yet! I guess
when you hit a touchy subject, people start talking.
As for me, I'm excited to witness my first
Super Bowl game in five years. You bring the pizza and I'll
provide the snacks! Meanwhile, visit the new and improved
FocusOnTheFamily.com and I'll keep plugging away
at the redesign of the Odyssey Scoop!
Summary: Connie loves spending time in
Whit’s newest invention, the Inspiration Station. But when a
glitch shuts down the machine, her obsession may go too far.
Meanwhile, Eugene traces the source of the malfunction to
Matthew Parker, who apparently has been "fixing" everyone’s
electronics, with disastrous results.
Summary: After nearly being mauled by
the junk in his own garage, David Parker declares that his
family is going to have a yard sale. Will the entire Parker
family survive parting with their treasures?
Summary: Simon Jones just wants the
hedge trimmed, but his son Barrett can’t tear himself away
from his portable video game – until it disappears without a
trace! Emily, along with trusty sidekick Matthew, takes this
as a case for the newly‑formed "Jones & Parker Detective
I have a feeling things are going to start
picking up as we get closer to the long-awaited season of Adventures in Odyssey! I've also added the
Even those who consider themselves not to be
"religious" find themselves coming back for more Odyssey
episodes. On January 27, 2005, a blogger named Chris
explained his new fascination with the series the best way
he knew how:
It's called Adventures in Odyssey, and
it has to be heard to be believed . . . It's a Christian
show that illustrates lessons from the Bible against the
backdrop of a small town (Odyssey), centered on an ice cream
shop, and it's exactly as bizarre as it sounds. I'm not what
you'd call religious at all, but I swear, I can't
stop listening to it. Ever since Tavis Smiley left NPR, it's
the most entertaining half hour on the airwaves...
But it actually has pretty tight internal
continuity which appeals to me, and, as Warren Ellis would
say, it's well-done, of its type. There was an episode where
Connie kept bugging Eugene about becoming a Christian, and
Whit finally had to sit her down and say: "Look, cool out
with that." The message was that heavy-handed and constant
pressuring, while done for the right reasons, is the wrong
way to help people find Jesus, which is pretty
forward-thinking and tolerant compared to most of the stuff
on the Bible Broadcast Network. And the fact that they had
an agnostic character who was portrayed so positively speaks
But back to the point, it's pretty goofy most
of the time, and the more you listen and the more you find
out, the weirder it gets. Whit's End is absolutely crazy.
It's a small-town ice cream shop that has insane
technological innovations like the Imagination
Station--essentially the Christian Holodeck which functions
in the stories to let the kids hang out with a computer
simulation of Jesus. It's nuts...
Seriously, some of the plots they were coming
up with were mind-blowing. I was trying to explain
them to Tug, and he said it sounded like they'd found their
own version of Geoff Johns to come in and tie all the
continuity together in a massive story...
Still, if you get a chance, listen. You might
get a story where Connie and Eugene use the Imagination
Station to go back in time and help St. Patrick drive the
snakes out of Ireland. But then again, you might get
Before I post the link to his blog, I must
first explain that his blog entry contains a couple
expletives/inappropriate words. For that reason, if you are
offended by such language, I would recommend that you not
read the full blog entry or read at your own discretion. I
merely posted the highlights above to show you that
non-Christians find Odyssey intriguing as well. Just keep in
mind that this blogger doesn't come from a Christian
background, so it is acceptable (in his eyes) to use it in
his speech. With that being said, visit the full blog entry (if your convictions will allow you).
Since we've been on the topic of other Odyssey blogs lately,
I thought it would be nice to share another blog link with
you. This time, you'll get another perspective through the
eyes of a blogger and AIO fan who named his dog Odyssey. Be
sure and check out The AIO Fan's Life, now prominently displayed at our
Links Outward section.
As for this AIO fan, I am beginning to
realize just how daunting the Odyssey Scoop redesign project really is. The
overall layout is taken care of, and now the arduous journey
of updating all the content on well over 1,500 website pages
lies before me. Right now, I am aiming to be done and ready
to post the site during the month of March, at the earliest.
The goal is to be ready for launch before or during the
Spring 2010 season of Adventures in Odyssey. But
don't quote me. This is a painful process and deserves some
time. I guess that's what I get for starting one of the
biggest fan sites on the net and keeping it alive for nine
years. Then again, when I put my mind to something like
this, I tend to get things done sooner than later.
But as I said, don't quote me. Just be
watching in the days ahead!