Creating "Adventures in Odyssey
“Adventures in Odyssey”
“Adventures in Odyssey” (AIO) is a sometimes comical, Evangelical Christian radio drama series hosted by “Focus on the Family” which began airing in 1987. “Focus on the Family” is a global Christian ministry providing resources for couples to build healthy marriages and raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.
The Odyssey series is located in the small mid western fictional town of Odyssey. Most events in Odyssey center around a “turn of the century” styled ice cream emporium called 'Whit's End' and its’ grandfatherly proprietor, John Avery Whittaker, who everyone simply refers to as “Whit.”Whit is also an avid scientific inventor. Connie Kendall, Whit’s young assistant, runs the ice cream parlor in his absence. Eugene Meltsner, Bernard Walton, Tom Riley, Jason Whittaker and Jack Allen are a few other Odyssey characters.
Being an industrious inventor, Whit designed his famous “Imagination Station,” which functions basically as a time machine into the past. Characters on the program often take trips back to biblical times where they become part of historical events. The Imagination Station is also frequently closed due to various bugs which Whit seems to be continuously trying to work out of the system.
These fictional dramas are created by an award-winning team using stories to teach biblical truths. However, the show’s creators did not want a preaching show. Instead, they desired to teach by entertainment. The series is bracketed towards an 8 to 12 year audience however, people of all ages have enjoyed its’ moral Christian based value entertainment.
According to an AIO spokesperson, the show “…has been a strong mentor to Christians since its beginnings. The Radio drama can be a very good way to shine a light on what Christianity is all about.” Ever since, AIO has been a popular and safe Christian alternative to other types of entertainment.
Focus on the Family began a special radio drama series in 1987 called “Family Portraits.” Although successful, the show was short-lived, ending after 13 episodes. However, it became the forerunner of what shortly after became an internationally acclaimed mini-series with over 650 episodes. It’s estimated over 1.2 million listeners in North America alone, tune in daily.
By the end of its second year, the show was being broadcast on 634 radio stations in North America and by 1995 it was the second most popular Christian radio show in the United States. By 2002, the show was being aired internationally on over 6,000 stations.Adventures in Odyssey is a 30-minute drama combining valuable faith lessons families are grateful for with characters and stories they are sure to adore!
The Adventures in Odyssey team consists of over two dozen writers, producers, and sound designers. Although they may not have much in common, one thing they do share is a passion for entertaining stories. Their goal was to create a "values based" radio show surpassing those of other mainstream audio dramas.The team labors long and hard to produce each individual story. In the beginning each thirty-minute episode typically took over one hundred hours to produce.The radio episodes were widely released on both cassette and CD collections and by 1992, almost a million cassettes had been sold. The Adventures in Odyssey audio series includes 53 volumes of 12 episodes on each 4 CD set. Additionally, there are episode samplers, re-mastered Gold Series, best of Classics sets, DVD’s, computer Games and books. Odyssey is broadcast worldwide. Focus on the Family welcomes visitors to their Welcome Center in Colorado Springs. There, guests can learn about the ministry with a self-guided walking tour as well as have fun with their children in the Kid's Korner play area and Whit's End Soda Shoppe.
The Welcome Center has had more than three million visitors since its opening in 1994, and is located next to their on campus book store.
Guided tours of the Focus on the Family Administration Building are available to visitors Monday through Friday at 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. There, guests can enjoy films like “Welcome Home,” “The Last Chance Detectives” and other presentations in a modern 170-seat theater.
Other attractions available for visitors include a kids' play area with a three-story slide, Whit's End Soda Shoppe, birthday party room, G. Harvey Art Gallery and the Solid Grounds coffee bar.
The Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcasts can be downloaded at:http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-official-adventures-in/id193181775 .
If you are interested in attending a broadcast taping, call their24-hour visitor hotline at (719) 531-3328. To reserve one of their free Birthday Party rooms, call (719) 531-3400 ext. 1906.
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