News: November, 2004

November 29, 2004
I've answered a handful of Talk to the Paw questions and have some news regarding the upcoming Tyndale repackaging. All albums will be slightly tweaked with new text, colors and logos (Tyndale as opposed to Tommy Nelson).

And The Soda Fountain Boards continue to grow, as each passing day The Town Hall becomes more like a memory. Since it's been nearly a week, and I can't guarantee a time frame for when The Town Hall will return, The Soda Fountain Boards may very well stick around for quite some time. If you haven't signed up, what are you waiting for? It's not only free, but you get to chat with fellow fans of AIO!

November 26, 2004
The Town Hall continues to be in suspended animation, so The Soda Fountain Boards will continue to be your home for the next little while!

I've also removed Dave's AIO Site from the links section (as it's been inactive for quite some time and I'm told it will be this way for a while) and have replaced it with a new Adventures in Odyssey website called: AIO Wonderworld. So have a gander! (Or leftover gander from yesterday's American Thanksgiving)! :o) Also a reminder that there is no new AIO episode tomorrow. So don't be distressed if you tune into the radio and discover it's a repeat :o).

November 23, 2004
The Town Hall started displaying a message claiming the account had been suspended earlier today. I have no further details at this time, but as I always like to do, I have re-linked The Soda Fountain Boards to hopefully accommodate those who need a place to visit and chat about AIO! Spread the word and bring those lost souls to our fair home where conversations are brewing right around the corner! (I hope, cause man these boards need some activity... don't be shy!) I even updated the boards to phpBB 2.0.11, the latest version which also happens to be 8 installments (and a couple of years) newer than the The Town Hall's ;o)

November 22, 2004
As promised, I've uploaded my review for the Odyssey Video Games. I didn't get a chance to take the screen shots (I had a research report due today that took up most of my weekend), but I'll try and have some for you later in the week (after I get three other assignments finished).

I also answered one more Talk to the Paw question and am researching a Tom Riley timeline for next week.

November 20, 2004
Along with five Talk to the Paw answers, I've also provided everyone with my latest review! This time it's about "True Calling", today's episode, which can be found at someplace called Oneplace! Check back Monday for my review of the Odyssey Video Games.

November 19, 2004
Tomorrow we can look forward to "True Calling" which features Mandy trying to figure out what to do with her life and Liz attempting to bring Irving and Solly out of retirement. My full review will be available then, along with some Talk to the Paw responses. Then on Monday, I will post my full review of both "Treasure of the Incas" and "Sword of the Spirit".

November 18, 2004
If you take a look around the Album Section, you'll find a new addition! I've added direct links to both Amazon and Christianbook.com so you can quickly find albums you'd like to order. Just to be up front with you, anything you order when you visit those sites (Odyssey related or not) provides me with a small amount of money to put towards The Soda Fountain's web costs. I've never asked for donations, nor will I ever, but if you do have some Christmas shopping planned via either of those sites and don't mind coming here first... it's greatly appreciated! Again, you don't have to purchase anything Odyssey related... you just need to initially head to either Amazon or Christianbook.com through the Soda Fountain and they will invisibly track the rest. Thanks for your patronage!

November 17, 2004
Do you enjoy Radio Theatre? Here's some information regarding the upcoming production "At the Back of the North Wind":

So what's this 'North Wind' thing all about -- "I'm a fantasy fan and I've never heard of this particular story" you're saying? True, George MacDonald is more known for 'Phantastes' than this novel. Everyone won't like it, I'll say that much (but then critics said such things about 'The Lord of the Rings' before the films released). It's a very simple, beautiful story about death, poverty, and imagination.

A sick boy named Diamond lives up in a cold hayloft, and the highlight of his chilly evenings are the sporadic visits by a mysterious spirit: North Wind. The actress who plays her, Juliet Stevenson (the mom from 'Bend it Like Beckham'), finds a way to be kind and terrible all at once. In a Scrooge-like way, North Wind takes Diamond on aerial tours of London. The boy meets a girl, Nanny, about his age (they're both about 10 years old... nothing romantic here), and they have a few adventures together.

Diamond's family goes through several transitions in the story, including moving, having a baby, and adopting a child. Through it all, Diamond looks to the North Wind as his only constant hope (definitely some spiritual parallels there... in fact, Paul McCusker says that 'North Wind' was chosen for its similarity to C.S. Lewis' Narnia: it "shows" virtue rather than "tells".) It's no exaggeration to say that this story greatly influenced Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien; the package has a few quotes from them to prove it.

'At the Back of the North Wind' is the first Radio Theatre project in Surround Sound, though it still plays well in stereo. (Cassette players don't have this feature.) And FYI, that bit on the cover about "Innovative Audio Entertainment" will be on all Radio Theatre projects from now on.

So, come January 2005, put a little fantasy into your new year and pick up 'North Wind' -- the CD version.

November 15, 2004
Now that you've all digested the piece of news I posted on Sunday, here's some more information I've received from someone with connections:

Because misinformation works against the exciting plans for AIO in 2005 (as far as packaging, new formats), here's a brief heads-up on what AIO releases might look like for the foreseeable future:

There *will* be a DVD-style case coming... but not for The Gold Audio Series. The Complete Albums (i.e. #44, #45) will be in case that's DVD, though not at all Radio Theatre. (It doesn't snap shut.) The wait will be a while to see one of these -- October.

Why say "Complete" Album? Well, what if it was decided to split the albums into 2 sets, 2 discs each? It might bring the price down a bit for people who aren't die-hard AIO fans, and for fans it gets the episodes in their hands a little faster. Imagine "Album #44 A" and "#44 B" if you will, in a more typical CD-size case.

Ever wanted to share AIO with your friends, but couldn't afford to get them a $25 album? The solution is coming. In June, look out for one-CD projects with lots of color and the best-of-the-best Highlight episodes as determined by the first-generation AIO writers/producers.

(Yes, there's more.) Moving from Tommy to Tyndale means more than just little tweaks to The Gold Audio Series covers -- and the new ones coming are quite cool. The fans who missed the Passages series first time out are in for some amazing new covers and... better just leave it at that.

Last thing: plans are set for a $1.99 sampler in March, with the episodes "No Way Out / In". Just one more way for The Town Hall fans and others to introduce the wonder, excitement and discovery to their friends.

AIO may be hitting its 17th Year, but this one will be among the show's best.

So there you go. Some rather large changes to expect in the coming year! I'm a little undecided about having Albums A and B... but it is certainly more cost effective for consumers who can't afford a complete album and you can always purchase the complete version if you'd like. I'm all in favor of everything else and look forward to a new generation of AIO fanatics!

November 14, 2004
Well, you're probably curious to know what my news is regarding the upcoming gold audio albums. Well, combined with what we've learned from Nathan Hoobler on The Town Hall and knowing that Tyndale is the new publisher for Adventures in Odyssey, here's what I can share: The next three gold audio albums will each contain at least one bonus episode! Here's how it will break down:

Album 6: "Mission: Accomplished" - "But, You Promised"
Album 7: "On Thin Ice" - "Thanksgiving at Home" and "One Bad Apple"
Album 8: "Beyond Expectations" - "The Adventure of the Adventure"

You can also expect the usual Odyssey Scrapbook material including clips from "Backwoods Jacobs" (an unfinished episode) and some old Focus on the Family radio dramas like "Gone Fishing". These albums are all scheduled to go on sale March 2005.

In addition to the extra episodes, the packaging will also undergo a renovation. From what I've gathered, the typical jewel cases we've come to expect will be replaced with something similar to the Radio Theatre packaging. This is all the information I currently have, which is still subject to change. Hope you enjoy the news!

November 13, 2004
My review for "Call Me if You Care" is online, though I can't say it's very enlightening. The episode is at Oneplace, and tomorrow I intend to reveal some new juicy details about the upcoming gold audio albums. So check back then!

November 09, 2004
As I mentioned in my review for "Potential Possibilities", Tom Riley's comedy routine is now available at The Official Site. It's just under two minutes and was cut from the original broadcast. After hearing it, it's no wonder Tom wasn't cast in the Silverwind Amateur show! And I take back my comments in the review... this scene would not have saved the episode for me ;o)

November 06, 2004
"Potential Possibilities" aired today! My review is available here on the site. If you want to listen to it, Oneplace has it available as will (I assume) your local Christian radio station.

I've also nearly finished "Anne of Green Gables" which I received in the mail earlier this week. It's a good show, though I'm not a fan of the large number of silent transitions from scene to scene. There's a good number of music cues which will bridge from one scene to the next, but there's also a lot of awkward moments where once the scene is over, there's a brief pause before starting the new scene without any musical interlude whatsoever. It almost feels like listening to a voice track and I'm not entirely sure why they did it this way. But the acting is terrific and the story is a classic, so there's plenty of good stuff to be found.

November 03, 2004
I've posted six more Talk to the Paw responses and have played a tiny bit through "Treasure of the Incas". And I received a shipment notice informing me "Anne of Green Gables" is finally coming my way, so I looked forward to getting that in the next few days.

And on an unrelated note, with all the drama surrounding the Presidential Race... all I can say is I'm glad I live in Canada! :o)

November 01, 2004
I finally received my copies of "Treasure of the Incas" and "Sword of the Spirit". I'll do my best to get through the games within the next couple of weeks (when I find the time) and will have a full review along with screen shots posted at that time.

Also, I'll have a couple more Talk to the Paw responses posted either tomorrow or the next day.


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