Adventures in Odyssey
Adventures in Odyssey is a radio program produced by Focus on the Family. Its stories take place in a fictional town called Odyssey and especially at a place called Whit's End. It commonly teaches biblical and moral truths. Main characters on the program are John Avery Whittaker, Connie Kendall, Eugene Meltsner, Bernard Walton, and Tom Riley. Many talented voice actors such as Hal Smith, Will Ryan, Dave Madden, Walker Edmiston, and Katie Leigh have appeared on this program. The program has been on radio, released on video, and sold as novels.
Creation of Odyssey
The show was originally created by Steve Harris and Phil Lollar. The idea for the show came about when Dr. Dobson, President of Focus on the Family, met with Bruce Wilkinson in spring, 1986. Wilkinson told Dr. Dobson that to attract people away from the programming he was denouncing he would have to provide alternate entertainment. Harris and Lollar, after having decided to create a 30-minute radio drama, that it should happen in a small town called Odyssey. The name Odyssey was chosen because means "a long voyage, especially one filled with notable experiences." It was just what the writers wanted Adventures in Odyssey to bring from a Christian perspective. The central character was chosen as John Avery Whittaker (nicknamed "Whit") and actor Hal Smith was chosen to portray the character. Lollar says "Whit needed a place to call his own." Whit's End came about as a ice cream shop and discovery emporium where "kids could just be kids."
During this time the program developed and became well known. It was popular among Christians who wanted quality entertainment. Several pleasant characters such as Tom Riley, Eugene Meltsner, Connie Kendall, and Bernard Walton were created. Several unpleasant characters such as Bart Rathbone, Rodney Rathbone, Philip Glossman, and Dr. Regis Blackaard were also developed here. The show did well and also had setbacks (the original actor for Whit died in 1994.) They nevertheless continued the radio program until the break during 1996.