|Jack and Lucy use their imaginations to their fullest, when Whit tells them the story of Jonah and his encounter with a "big fish".
Written By: Chandler
A sampler version of this show released in 1989 has a skit in the intro. Chris is at Odyssey's art museum, which claims to be home to the works of the great artists. The curator gives Chris a personal tour. The first "masterpiece" he shows her is called Fantasy on a Theme for Adventures in Odyssey. Chris describes it as "interesting," but the man interjects that she should hear how it sounds. The Odyssey theme starts playing. When it's over, the man shows Chris a painting that she says looks like graffiti. Denying that, the man says it's called Phone Number on Canvas also known as 1-800-A-FAMILY. Chris comments that the number sounds familiar (it's the number for Focus on the Family) and the man excitedly exclaims that Chris knows more about art than he thought. Chris attributes it to frequently radio listening. As he walks away around the corner, the man tells Chris that she'll really like an "original drawing by Rembrandt. He owns the deli at the end of Main Street."
If one doesn't know the timeline of the early shows, the introduction to the show is confusing. Chris says that a lot people wonder how Jack and Lucy can remain friends since Jack's always getting Lucy into some kind of trouble. If you listen to the tapes by album order, this is the first show in which you hear Jack and Lucy, thus making Chris' statement subjective. However, "Rumor Has It" was actually released before this episode, validating the statement.
The frame for the show is a little weak. It seems odd to make a big deal about church cleanup day and the guilt associated with skipping it. When I was little, the church I attended had a church cleanup day once a year, but they didn't even want the kids underfoot. Also, Whit, normally more sensitive, seems rather oblivious to Lucy's objections to hearing his story.
Jack and Lucy get to participate in a cute retelling of the story of Jonah. It sounds like an Imagination Station trip, but since the machine wasn't invented yet, the kids are somehow transported to Jonah's time as Whit tells the story. Unfortunately, the idea that kids can participate in a story just by listening to a narrator isn't very believable. Especially since the kids express guilt for not participating in church cleanup day part way through. Why didn't they (or Whit) just interrupt the story? The story itself has some funny lines, especially the whole "big fish" exchange. Interestingly, the sailor who suggests that the children be thrown overboard is done by the same actor who does Whit. He also does the man who brings Jack and Lucy before the king of Ninevah.
When the story is over, Lucy and Jack express guilt for not going to the church but Whit tells them that the cleanup day has been postponed for a week. The kids are elated at their second chance and try to decide what to do with the rest of their Saturday. Whit offers to take them fishing. which Lucy flatly refuses after her experiences with Jonah.
Overall, this is one of my least favorite Bible shows but there are still some enjoyable parts of the episode.
The crowd of sailors was performed by only three actors: Hal Smith, Walker Edmonston, and Will Ryan.
This episode was written in story form, with characters becoming part of the story. This format wasn't incredibly strong though, and not long after we got the Environment Enhancer (ep 46) to make it realistic to put a character in a story. That format didn't prove quite right either, and shortly after we got the Imagination Station (ep 66 and 67).