Reviews for
"The Inspiration Station I & II"
[#655, 656]

*All ratings are based on a 5 star scale unless otherwise noted.


Review by AIOREVIEW2010



I like the Parkers, they are a little unnormal, now that I think about it! But I love Matthew Parker, he is a lot like myself!! One difference I only mess with my own stuff!!! Or maybe that's because I get my stuff free or near free. for example I worked for a guy that installs computer systems!! My computer came from the dump and I installed win7 and added new hardware!! and I\'m 12!! Now working on a DIY air conditioner that only uses 80 watts!

We jumped from album 50 to album 55 so it was strange, the new Whittaker is hard to get used to! We did not like that the change of the characters so quick! But now we like all the new characters.



Part One


Review by Aaron



I have to admit that I'm disappointed so far with the new season. The Inspiration Station 1 and 2 was vague, I still don't know what the Station really is. Also, Eugene sounds very much like Whit. I'm going to keep listening and hoping that the seasons will get to be like the old ones. I'm still happy that they still made new ones, hope they get better!



Review by Aaron



I felt like this new episode was really was fun . I like the new Parker family. I think the new voice of Mr. Whittaker needs just some getting used to. Connie getting obsessed about the Inspiration Station was quite funny. I liked it, its not like my favorite, but all together a great way to start a new season.



Review by Abbie



It seems the Inspiration Station just isn't up to Odysseys normal standards. Whit doesn't seem as technical and seems to let Eugene do everything with the new Station. I'm not an expert or anything, but I think that the Inspiration Station I and II just isn't as good as all the other episodes before.



Review by Luke



The biggest thing that I didn't like is that Andre Stojka is playing Whit. Andre's voice sounds way different than Paul Herlinger. ,,,Also something kind of confused me. Connie told Whit that she had talked to his friend. However she didn't explain anything else about this remark. What's up? We'll probably find out in part 2. ,,,The episode seemed to explode with newer electronics. The computers and phones in older episode made funny noises and sounded very un-computer-ish. Sarah at the Unofficial Odyssey Podcast noticed this too. "It is definitely weird," she said, "hearing stuff about all these electronic devices...BAM! you have headphones, cell phones, DVR, GPS, laptop, dvds...",,,She also noticed a goof alert that the Odyssey team made. After the computers and displays all malfunctioned, Whit said that he had never seen anything like that happen before. But he had. When Dr. Blackgaard and Richard Maxwell used Whit's modem to hack into the Applesauce program. ,,,Anyway, I liked most of the new characters. Connie acted kind of mean though. She doesn't usually do that. Especially to Whit. Eugene was rude to Matthew. Even so, I can't believe what Matthew did to Whit's electronic stuff. Hasn't he ever heard that it's rude to mess around with other peoples laptops/iPod's/phones. ,,,In conclusion Focus did a good job with their new episode.



Review by Christian A.



I really liked this episode a lot! I think Andre did a great job as Whit, but I'm the only member of my family who thinks so. It started out kind of weird, but ended up being a great episode. It is Odyssey's most technical and modern episode to date in my opinion. It reminded me a lot of Whit's Flop. I'm not sure if that was intentional or not, but with the theme of inspiration, and Matthew Parker acting so much like Danny, I think that Paul McCusker intended it. All things considered, this episode left me feeling...INSPIRED.



Review by Jess



I really didn't think this was up to Paul McCusker's or Odysseys work, first of all, the acting wasn't what Odyssey is like, second, Andre sounds like Whit going though a mid-life crisis with a frog in his throat. But the on the upside, the sound effects sound more life like than the last 654 episodes.



Review by Drew L.



I enjoyed finally hearing a new episode, but I'm not sure that it was exactly the episode I was looking for. Whit just didn't seem very Whit-like. He seemed to have more questions then answers about the Inspiration Station. I thought he invented it? Also I don't think it was a very good ending. As much as I hate cliffhanger endings I think they should have had one in this episode.



Review by American Eagle (Town of Odyssey)



I just listened to it with my brother! I enjoyed it, but I'm hoping the episodes continue to improver; some of it was a little messy. My favorite part was, "Phew, that's a good thing! We were going to miss you around here." I love that kid, whoever he is, already! Overall, a good show. I'd say 3/5 stars.



Review by American Eagle (Town of Odyssey)


Ok, it didn't take me long to come around to Andre. I love his delivery and the warmth of his voice. But, why go through all the hooplah to re-do the Odyssey theme and then not play it? Also, since the "Welcome to Odyssey" mini-episode used Chris in the way she used to interact in the old intros I was hoping we were returning to that but we were just dropped into the new episode. A little disappointing.


Review by Laurie (Town of Odyssey)



I've wanted to hear this episode since the preview in the last podcast. I loved it!! I'm so very happy to have AIO back, it has been way too long!! Andre is going to do a wonderful job as Whit. 5/5



Review by JoyElectric (Town of Odyssey)


Andre's Whit is quite amusing - it's kind of like if Hal Smith was a bit younger and kept a lot of the loopiness of the first few years. He's also got that "smile" that Hal brought to the character. I loved Paul, but this reminds me of the other side of Whit.

There are other episodes I'm looking forward to, but this was a nice start. I still wish we had some better idea of what the Inspiration Station did, but maybe that happens later.



Review by Trixie Belden (Town of Odyssey)


That was good! Not phenomenal, The Imagination Station, Exit, Malachi's Message kind of great, but very enjoyable. Was I the only one who thought that Camilla Parker sounded like a boy, not a little girl? I thought that Connie's obsession with the Inspiration Station wasn't carried very far, so hopefully we'll see some more of that in the next episode. All in all, though, it was a good episode, and a nice way to kick off the new season.



Review by King Butter Turtle (Town of Odyssey)



Main Thoughts
  • Overall, I was impressed. The inspiration station is very intriguing and I'm excited to find out more about it. While the Parkers are new and it seems somewhat awkward having them around, I can definitely see getting used to them in the future as we find out more about them. What most impressed me, though, was the classic feel of it; with a little Connie and Eugene bickering and a little advice from Whit, it felt like it could fit right in Secrets, Surprises and Sensational Stories.
  • Andre Stojka was very good. There's still a little inconsistency but, he fit very well in the regular swing of things (not passages). He has elements of Hal and Paul, while adding his own new and unique perspective to the roll.
  • I thought Matthew sounded a little like Doug Underwood from The Pushover.
  • Katie Leigh and Will Ryan were phenomenal as always, of course; jumping right back into their characters as if the last two years never happened.
The Parkers
  • Overall, I liked each character but, as a family, they seemed a little fake and cheesy; similar to the Schmidts. What made the Barclays so great was that they were so normal. Jimmy and Donna drove each other crazy and George and Mary made mistakes and learned lessons just as much as the kids. The Parkers, on the other hand seem to be the type of family whose perfect parents are very concerned when their son gets a little upset and have magical teaching moments in their kitchen like they're Mr. Whittaker. Of course, we don't have much to judge them on yet so, we shall see.


  • All the music within the episode was great.
  • I, too, was surprised to not hear the new theme in the intro. I know that it'll be in most of the other episodes but, it seems weird to me that the new theme that starts in Album 51 isn't in the premier. Of course, it was probably a time issue, so I'm glad they didn't sacrifice part of a scene for it.
  • The closing music was not nearly as impressive as the opening theme. The new theme is very exciting and welcoming which goes well with Chris' upbeat perkiness but, the closing music seamed to have a similar mood which clashed with Chris' more calmly stated credits.
Other Notes
  • What happened to the red button?!?!  Is it just me or did that go totally unresolved? Was it supposed to start the inspiration station?
  • I, also, wonder who Whit's friend was that Connie met. Hopefully that will be answered in part II.
  • What was that sound at 22:22? It certainly sounds like they replaced the bell above the door with a train whistle and we all know what happened last time they did that; some one nearly had a heart attack.  Please tell me they didn't get rid of the bell so, that doesn't happen to some poor fan like me.
    EDIT: I just noticed that the familiar bell occurs at 11:25 so, it looks like we're safe. Maybe that was an upstairs pager type thing.
  • There's exactly 5 seconds between Eugene's 15 second warning and his 10 second warning. At first, it seemed a little short so, I checked but, it's exactly 5 seconds. 
  • I found it interesting that one of the story lines (Matthew's) was very everyday, slice-of-life that we're expecting for this season, while the other (Connie's) is, while it's not a villain saga, much more serious and has a large aspect of character development. I thought they rolled together nicely but, I don't remember that ever being done before on Odyssey.

Prediction for Part 2

  • Connie will continue to use the Inspiration Station but, in her discussion with Whit, will realize that her 'niceness' is dependent on it. Then she somehow hears nice things the kids have said about her (fan submissions) and is inspired to do some big thing (I have no idea what). As for Matthew, he will start to fix things for friends again, being much more careful.

One more note after listening for the... fourth time.  (I just love days with new Odysseys) Whit says he's never seen anything like this before, referring to all the displays shutting down but, what about applesauce? Probably, with the whole fresh start thing, references to the past will be limited to purely comedic ones that don't take away from the story if they're not understood by newer fans.

Also, I love the line; "Why? Did she like unfair South American trade policies?"

Review by Amethystic (Town of Odyssey)

Though I'm not sure I liked it as much as I liked previous episodes, I still thought it was interesting. It was a lot more simplified, I guess, and it sounded like the AIO staff was trying to show off their computer know-how. I love Matthew Parker as a character; Olivia is kind of whiny, though. Oh, and I'm really starting to like the new Whit--he just sounds so friendly, and Passages really helped me adapt.

Review by Mandy Straussberg (Town of Odyssey)



I was overall pleasantly surprised by the episode. I wouldn't say it'll go on my list of favorites, but it was a good episode. I'll have to hear the second part to REALLY decide, though.

As far as Andre is concerned, there were honestly handful of lines where I forgot he was new. He definitely sounds more like Hal to me than Paul. But either way, I think I'll get used to him real quick. (He drove my sister crazy though. Something about his articulation didn't connect with her as Whit.)

I think I'm really going to like the Parkers. Though Olivia's voice kind of bothered me, I'll wait and see how they develop her character before I decide whether or not I like her specifically.

I give it 3/5 'cause it felt pretty average to me. Again, I'll have to wait till the next part before I can REALLY decide.



Review by EMBEE (Town of Odyssey)


I liked it. So far, it wouldn't be one of my first choices when deciding on an Odyssey to listen to, because its a little boring and doesn't really have anything that makes it stand out to me, but its still very good. It definitely felt like one of the older Odyssey episodes. I mean, if you replaced the Parkers with the Barclays, it probably wouldn't change that much. I'd give it a 4/5.



Review by 31899 (Town of Odyssey)


Whenever the new Whit started talking I kept thinking "When did Jack get here?"

The kids voices are way too consistent.

The Parker family is way too perfect, the siblings barely fought, and the parents were way too concerned.

The writing seemed choppy, and inconsistent. You would think that with 2 years they could at least produce a good script.

The editing was a bit too obvious at spots.

The theme/end music didn't feel like AIO, although the music throughout the episode made up for the crumby theme.

I don't know what happened to AIO but it seems like they either think that listeners don't have the capacity to think or are trying to loose listener.

Over all I did not like the episode in the least bit.



Review by DanP740 (Town of Odyssey)


The episode wasn't too bad. Andre's Whit wasn't too far off, but the story was kind of... strange. Since when did Eugene work at Whit's End, too?



Review by WindowWasher (Town of Odyssey)



I found myself focusing so much on Andre that I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the storyline. But here are my intial thoughts:

-There were some moments that Andre actually gave me chills, I thought I was listening to Hal but other times not. Either he will get better over time or I'll just have to get used to it. I agree though with some people that it felt like one of the "classic" episodes. I'm very curious to see how Andre sounds when he's angry or scolding. He seems to have a very soft voice.

-The Parkers were ok. I liked the voice of the father. He reminds me of Dale Jacobs. Hopefully over time, I'll really start to like them.

Overall, 4 out of 5! Great job! Odyssey is finally back!



Review by Dallas R. (Town of Odyssey)


I wondered about Eugene too, I guess Hand's Up isn't getting enough business.

I thought the episode was pretty good! It's one of those things where it will still take getting used to the changes, but we'll adjust. I kind of found it hard to imagine it taking place after album 50 though. It seems like it was an older episode that I just hadn't heard before or something.

As far as Andre goes, I'll agree with WindowWasher in that there were a few lines where Andre talked and it was like Hal was back. At one point when Whit laughed I literally had chills because it reminded me of Hal. Then again, while I'm quickly getting used to the new Whit, I'm finding myself almost creating a whole new 'Whit.' It's like a similar character with the same name, who does a great job filling the needs of Whit's character, but I can't picture Paul's Whit saying half of the lines in the way Andre did.

All the same I really do like Andre as Whit, Connie and Eugene were great to hear from again, I'll get used to the Parker's, though I don't like either Camilla or Olivia very much yet, I'm sure they'll grow on me. I'm really looking forward to part two.


Review by jennifertwt (Town of Odyssey)


I thought it was a decent beginning. Not one of the all time greats, but not one of the worst (The Great Wishy Was) either. I wish we had a better idea of what happened inside the Inspiration Station. Maybe this should have been a three parter with the first part being Connie's experiences inside the new invention as bridge between the 'old series' and the new 'series'. Sorry, to me, it's a new series with familiar characters. I like Andrť and look forward to seeing him relax into his new role. He still sounds like the 'young' Whit used in previous episodes like 'Silent Night' but I can't get anyone to agree with me on that. My husband was probably like Matthew in his younger years, so I look forward to seeing more of that family. I look forward to hearing the rest of the episodes on Album 51!



Review by profg11 (Town of Odyssey)


It was not my fav... but what do I have to complain about?.... ODYSSEY IS BACK! =D I have so much to look forward to! =) I can see they are really trying to make everything new but also make it the same old odyssey, with the whole thing with the "new connie" and whit has a new voice, and they bring in a new family... like almost instantly.... i mean, come on - you would think they would go back to where they left off with kelly and wrap things up there or something... and also maybe introduce the new family in a different way. Like, well, ok... they have the whole family in that one room - it was hard to tell who was who - they were all new voices and all talking at the same time. But... whatever. I am just glad AIO is still up and kicking after all these years. LONG LIVE ODYSSEY!!!!!!!! =D



Review by H Tide (Town of Odyssey)


I really enjoyed the first new episode in nearly two years! It had such a classic feeling to it, with Connie and Eugene bickering. I wouldn't say it's the greatest episode ever, but it had such a fresh, new feeling to it while still remaining true to form. I enjoyed the few references to past episodes. And it was great hearing the Parker family as well. I really like the mother. Her voice reminds me of Christy McKay (Grady's mom), which is a good thing. And the two younger kids, especially Matthew Parker sounded natural, and like normal kids. As for Olivia, I'm not super excited about her being voiced by an adult, but I'll get used to it. Definitely not a deal-breaker for me.

I also enjoyed, as others have pointed out, the dual nature of this episode and how mixed a slice-of-life lesson in with something a bit more serious. I can't wait to hear part 2, especially with fan submissions included! All in all, a great opener to what looks like an awesome season.



Review by KODY 105 (Town of Odyssey)


This episode skipped the opening music that FOTF had attempted to hype. What was the point of that exercise? Perhaps they think they need more time to soften up the audience. (I think they do-- about 50 more years.)

The new family seems fine, but one of the girls has a really strange voice. I'm not sure which girl it was, but she reminded me of Bethany Sheppard with the croup but without a cough.

As another user has already pointed out, are both Eugene and Connie back to full-time on the schedule? I thought Eugene had last been working with Manus Sursum and Connie was a counselor at (the now shut-down?) Timothy Center.



Review by NateMaxwell (Town of Odyssey)



Andre = Superb

Parkers = A little too perfect but promising

The Storyline : Stunk compared to what I've heard. Connie's obsession wasnt really that well...creepy. I was hoping for some Arthur Dent Muffin Line/An Intriguing Question Break-in style insanity. They just kind of downplayed it. While many of you like the "Going back to basic" approach, I HATE it. I don't want to go back to the 10 minute half shows from early AIO. The newer ones were much more exciting.

2/5 Stars, I hope the Second half REALLY wows me or I may start doubting this season's Awesomeness.



Review by Jonathan (Town of Odyssey)


With all my talk about not being too excited for the return of AIO, I couldn't help but make time to listen.

This is the first time I have heard Andre as Whit, as I haven't gotten around to listening to the recent Passages series (a local bookstore here is selling that album, I just haven't felt like shelling out 20 bucks for it). I am not going to be pessimistic about this, I've learned my lesson in the past. The AIO team has a great find in Andre, but I listen too closely for the differences not to be noticeable. This isn't bad, says nothing about Andre (myself, maybe), I'll just need time. That said, there were times--not many, but a few times where he sounded remarkably like Hal. Again, not often, but still, it was kinda fun to hear. Paul certainly grew on me over the years, but Andre brought a level of warmth I didn't hear in Paul.

Hearing Eugene was fantastic. Will Ryan jumped right back into that personality with remarkable ease. There is some inconsistency here though--since when and why is Eugene working at Whit's End? I suppose if AIO is attempting to make a "fresh start", ok, I understand, things'll be different. And considering the removable of nearly all previous characters and the question over what to do regarding Tom (and the Timothy Center, for that matter), perhaps this type of seemingly inconsistent change is inevitable. I understand that and can live with it. If there is an explanation given, cool. But if not, that's fine too. On another note, where's Katrina? Hopefully she will be making appearances in later episodes.

Changing trains of thought here, kinda, some have said the Parker family seems "perfect". Really? Did no one else here the bickering in the first scene? The "they won't know where to find your body" line? They didn't come across as perfect to me, and if folks want a good example of what that would have sounded like I suggest listening to ep 243 (I think that's the number), Family Values in album 18. Specifically pay attention to the Johnson family.

They've got potential, that's for sure.

There is a question I had regarding the story at the end. What exactly is the purpose of the Inspiration Station? To relax people? To make Connie not Connie (I liked the conversation she and Whit had while agitated)? Was this invention really a good idea? I'm sure these questions will be worked out in part 2 when Whit inevitably straightens things out with Connie.

Several other things I really liked:

The Eugene voice on the security code pad. Something he'd do, that's for sure. I really wish my pad at work sounded like that, all I get is a weird beeping if I don't shut it off quick enough letting me know it won't be long before the alarm sounds and I go deaf (I haven't heard it yet, but I've been told it's insanely loud).

The pace and feel of the episode. I'd venture to say we haven't heard such a great pace since 1996. 1997 and 1998 were both close, we completely lost it during the split era, and we had it intermittently in the decade following. Granted, this was written by Paul McCusker, a man who know the feel of the early years better than anyone currently associated with the show, so this was to be expected. But I really hope it continues.

Someone else in this thread--can't remember who--said it was nice to hear an episode with longer scenes and music that wasn't overbearing (hear hear!, and hear!). I would add to that realistic, believable, driving dialogue. It was really appreciated by this listener.

Just a few more thoughts to round up my review: First off, I'm genuinely looking forward to part 2. And it's nice to have actually written a review again, it's been far too long since I've written a long, in-depth one (something like four years), and I want to continue. This was fun.

And lastly, AIO, despite the fact that I'm not as big a fan as I was pre-hiatus, it sure is good to have you back.



Review by Pseudonym (Town of Odyssey)


Initial Thoughts
It's... okay. I was kind of confused by the Parkers because I have no idea who they are and how many of them there are. I should probably look them up on AIOWiki.  Connie is weird. Eugene is cool. The small bickering betwixt the two brought back good memories. Andre sounds really good, actually, but there were a couple times I got the feeling his voice sounded a little forced. As others have mentioned, the pacing and minimalistic music really made it feel like classic AIO. I was pretty surprised by that, honestly; I thought it would be all FUTURISTIC WHIT'S END -- BLAM SCENE CHANGE -- CONNIE IS A ROCK STAR -- BLAM -- WHIT IS DYEING HIS HAIR -- BLAM -- WOW THIS NEW ODYSSEY IS SO HIP AND COOL AND APPEALS TO TODAY'S KIDS. But it was laid back and relaxed. I was impressed by that.

The Parkers
I really liked the father, although I'm not certain why. Apart from that, I have no idea what is going on. There's like a forty-year-old kid, a tomboy girl, and a geek who sounds like his tomboy sister. I was pretty confused. I think they had a podcast explaining all about them, but I must've missed it. I'll really have to learn more about them. They weren't anything particularly new, just... some regular family. I guess that's not bad.  I wasn't terribly impressed, but I haven't heard much of them so I'll hold off on the final word.

Obviously, they're being deliberately ambiguous as to what this PHENOMENAL "Inspiration Station" thing is to presumably get people EXCITED.  But it ended up making Connie sound like a nut.  She would ramble on and on about the greatness of this machine, and as soon as Whit asked her a question, she'd be like, "NO. I am not ready to announce the official state of my relationship with that machine." The whole thing seemed weird. I assume this will end up being some message on moderation or addiction, and to their credit, it's difficult to give that message without getting into some touchy subject material. It reminded me of the Twilife Zone episode with everyone getting addicted to that toy chicken, except this time it's trying to be serious.

What I Liked
The Parker father, whatever his name is. Eugene. The geek Parker whose name I keep forgetting could end up becoming pretty cool. Less focus on huge musical intermissions between scenes. Good pacing. Andre is better than when I heard him on the Passages preview on the podcast.

What I Didn't Like
Older people trying to sound like kids. I wish every kid show in the world would stop doing this; it's just awkward. Why in the world would they hire a 38-year-old to voice an 11-year-old? Good voice actors might be hard to come by, but I really think this wasn't a good idea. I hope she goes off to a boarding school or summer camp for the rest of the season or something.  I thought it was weird that Geek Parker (Matthew?) was going around haxing Whit's End. I can totally understand his trying to help his family's equipment, but messing around in Whit's End seems weird if he was really just trying to help. How old is he? Maybe he's a nine-year-old technical genius who doesn't quite understand that he shouldn't be messing with a business's equipment. Connie's obsession with this machine is creepy. She's going crazy over some blissful machine that does... something? The Parker family could become okay, but I'm getting confused with their voices. Something I've always liked with AIO is the distinct and usually natural voices, as opposed to DGL or Jonathan Park where I can't tell who is speaking to whom because they all sound the same. I'll learn with time, I suppose.

Other Thoughts
Keep up the olde school and less weird hippie Connie obsessed with the drug simulator thing. Moar Eugene-Connie banter, as long as it's good! Moar Parker family exposition (not a complaint, since it's only the first episode; I'm sure they're planning to flesh them out more later)! Moar Dad Parker! Less 38-year-old 11-year-olds!

I can't help but think this isn't the best way to start the season after a two-year hiatus. On one hand, there's a goodly amount of "slice-of-life" and all that, but I wish they had started perhaps with a Parker family episode to get us better acquainted with them instead of "HERE ARE A FAMILY. THEY HAVE A GEEK SON. GO!" Plus, in case you didn't understand this part, I REALLY did not like weird Connie.

It's better than I expected, but I was expecting some pretty bad stuff.  We'll see where it goes from here. I don't want to be too harsh since it's the first episode.



Review by Luke F. (Blog)


Finally! Odyssey is releasing new episodes to play over the internet and the radio.  It's so exciting!  Anyway, here's my review of the Inspiration Station.

The biggest thing that I didn't like is that Andre Stojka is playing Whit.  Andre's voice sounds way different than Paul Herlinger.

Also something kind of confused me.  Connie told Whit that she had talked to his friend.  However she didn't explain anything else about this remark.  What's up?  We'll probably find out in part 2. 

The episode seemed to explode with newer electronics.  The computers and phones in older episode made funny noises and sounded very un-computer-ish.  Sarah at the Unofficial Odyssey Podcast noticed this too.  "It is definitely weird," she said, "hearing stuff about all these electronic devices...BAM! you have headphones, cell phones, DVR, GPS, laptop, dvds..."

She also noticed a goof alert that the Odyssey team made.  After the computers and displays all malfunctioned, Whit said that he had never seen anything like that happen before.  But he had.  When Dr. Blackgaard and Richard Maxwell used Whit's modem to hack into the Applesauce program. 

Anyway, I liked most of the new characters.  Connie acted kind of mean though.  She doesn't usually do that.  Especially to Whit.  Eugene was rude to Matthew.  Even so, I can't believe what Matthew did to Whit's electronic stuff.  Hasn't he ever heard that it's rude to mess around with other peoples laptops/iPod's/phones. 

In conclusion Focus did a good job with their new episode, and I can't wait for part 2.  Plus keep watching this blog for new reviews as new episodes come out.



Review by Audrey (Blog)

Here are my thoughts on The Inspiration Station:

  • Matthew Parker's voice doesn't go with the illustration
  • When my brother messed with our electronic stuff, he got into far more trouble then Matthew (funny thing too, my brother's middle name is Matthew).
  • Andre does an AWESOME job of playing Whit.
  • The new characters are great!
  • The conflict between siblings in realistic
  • This episode is one of the first "normal" episodes in a long time.
  • I was nervous to hear the new episode (I was concerned they might change "the essence of Odyssey") But it reminded me of Donna and Jimmy or Melanie on Robin!
  • Connie is scaring me.
  • Eugene is smart again!
  • The Connie and Eugene banter is back!
  • The new machine sounds far-out!

Review by Freddy Jay (Blog)

After hearing this episode for the third time here are some of my thoughts/questions.

I noticed they didn't include the new theme. Maybe we'll hear it in later episodes in this album..I guess. 

Andre is a great Whit. He sounds a little different than Paul, but it still works somehow. To me Whits sounds a little older now.

What does the inspiration station do? Connie says she walks around in it, so does that mean it's somewhat similar to the imagination station? Who is Whit's friend that Connie meets in it? It seems after going in there she starts thinking about her pet peeves, but she's not bothered by them. Very intriguing.

Once again in this episode we begin to see more of Eugene's smart side again.

Then it starts having problems, and all the inventions start acting up, like in the applesauce episodes, although Whit says "I've never seen anything like it." At first I thought it was a goof because there was an incident similar to it in the Apllesauce and Blackgaard episodes. Then I listened to the episode "The Battle" and I noticed that Whit was in Whits End at the time of the incident in Applesauce or the time in The Battle when Blackgaard hacked the computer.

I like Matthew Parker. He seems like a modern kid that likes our type of technology. Which brings another point. This episode brings Odyssey suddenly to a new age. With all sorts of our technology. DVR, GPS, Laptops, burning DVDs. I like it. Back to Matt. Somewhere someone made a reference to Matt almost like a kid Eugene. Matthew kinda talks like Eugene in a way. I think the picture for Matthew is pretty close to how I imagine him. Great chemistry between him and his parents and sisters. Almost reminds me of the Barclays.

Connie and Eugene have petty arguments again.

This episode brings back old times in a way. A kid does something wrong and Whit is there to advise.

It's interesting that Connie is hesitant to share her experience in the Inspiration Station. She's worrying me. What is going on in there? She seems different too. All her pet peeves don't bother her as much anymore. She's being considered as the "new Connie." Concerned about her addiction for it though. Also her agitation when she finds out it's fixed but isn't told is worrying.  Then  she sneaks into Whits End! Aaaaah! What will happen next? I can't wait for the next part.

Overall I think this episode is pretty good. I give it a 4/5.

Review by Marvin D. (Town of Odyssey)

Wow! This is great! The only thing that confused me is, "What happened to the red button?" And I also want to know what's so special about it. I liked the music, Andre was great, so I cannot wait!

Review by Dale Jacobs (Blog)

Hmmm, i don't know??? This is what i think. Andre Stojka was getting used to the whole Odyssey thing. But i think at the end of album 51 he'll be just like the whit we know and love. But its kind of overwelming. Usually they make gradual changes with odyssey but with this here are the changes they made. A new Whit, which they couldn't help. Two new families, the Jones and Parkers. Got rid of people and families, i'm pretty sure they got rid of Mandy and Trent, and also the Washingtons. I loved the Washingtons by the way. They brought family time back into Odyssey. Also, Jimmy Barclay and Donna Barclay fought too much. Marvin and Tameka Washington still fouhgt but they seemed to get along better than the Barclays. (Just my opinion) They also added a new character named Red. I don't know what to expect out of him. I hope he's as funny as Wooton. They also possibly got rid of Bernard. I hope to see the Washingtons in previous episodes like we heard the Barclays in It's a Pokenberry Christmas and in the In Hot Pursuit album. Also they got new drawings. ,,Okay, now back to the review of the episode. ,,Well, the begining kind of starts out a little odd. I also feel that Connie and Eugene sound different when they're talking to Whit (Andre). And also ,Eugene seems to be like a little kid when he's yelling at Mathew for messing with his laptop and he just seems really immature. Now moving onto the Parker's. When we first hear the Parkers Mathews listening to heavy metal music. Now lets stop there. What is a kid his age doing listening to heavy metal music? And on Odyssey! And it just seems more modern with the DVR and the GPS that they're talking about. They are also very mean the sisters were talking about how noone would know where to look for Mathew's body if he erased all of they're shows on the DVR. And the littlest girl was saying "we were going to miss you around her" and the parents didn't do anything about the sisters saying those things. Well thats my review on the first part ill write one on the second part too. Also, check out my Odyssey website at: to find the latest Odyssey news and my reviews. ,,-Dale Jacobs


Review by Christian A.



Great reviews! Some of you friek me out with how attentive you are to minute details. Thank you to all the diehard fans who think Andre is a great replacement. Also, you who think the Parkers are too perfect, please listen again and pay attention to their first scene. They are not perfect. I like Connie and Eugene's banters and I think their actions in this episode fit their characters from 10 or so years ago which is awesome! Andre does a magnificent job and I agree with those who think he sounds like a younger, fluffier Hal. I think he will end up a great addition to the show. I reeeally hope that he is truly saved because Odyssey truly wouldn't be the same with a heathen playing the main character. I really don't like the actors chosen for Olivia or Camilla. I actually like Camilla's better than Olivia's! Olivia sounds way too old and whiny and doesn't fit the illustration. Maybe I'll start liking them more in the episodes to come. Great job to Paul McCusker for a great episode. Go Odyssey!!!


Review by Irwin (Town of Odyssey)



I loved the episode, ten out of five stars! Andre fits in so perfectly I hardly noticed it. I even got excited for the Whit scenes in the episode, as I wanted to hear how great he played the part. 

The music was also great, it just worked.

This episode had references (intentional or unintentional) to "A Bite of Applesauce", "Promises, Promises", and "Connie, Part 2". I love references of this type that aren't IN YOUR FACE, as some were in album 50.

Another plus was that Grady wasn't in this episode, I never liked Grady.

As for all of the unfinished points from 2008, just relax. I really wouldn't care if AIO dumped every storyline, basic to complex, and started over with a Whit's Flop type thing.





I am so sad!!! This was not at all what I expected from the new season!!! Whit will never be the same again, Connie & Eugene were ok, but they've changed!!! I do not like the new Parker family, (except for Camilla, she's pretty cute. ) But overall this is very upsetting. By the way, since when does Whit drink COFFEE?!?!?!?!?! He has always been a tea & hot chocolate guy!!!!



Review by Noah



This was an interesting episode. I don't really like the new voice of Whit very much, but he's okay. The Parker family seems interesting and I am looking forward to knowing more about them.



Review by Sarah (Podcast)



Whoah - forgot about different Whit voice, but I think it works ok for me.

Who is Whit's friend? Ė no answer. Sad day.

When the computer shuts down, it strikes me as odd that Whit doesn't seem to know whatís going on - like his tech iq has dropped a bit...but at least Eugene is back to his intellectual self.

GOOF ALERT!!! They have too seen stuff like this in applesauce and in the Blackgaard's castle episodes.

It is definitely weird hearing stuff about all these electronic devices. This seems like such a slice of life episode from the early days and then BAM! you have headphones, cell phones, DVR, GPS, laptop, dvds lol!

lol Ė I love mom saying let dad handle things then jumping right in to take over. Typical mom - I love it! I think this family - least parents to kids have great chemistry. Gotta wait a little on the bro-sis stuff. Olivia reminds me of Sarah from the middle years. Matthew reminds me of a young Eugene. Dad is a mix of Dale Jacobs and George Barclay. Overall, I like the Parkers. The parents definitely remind me of the Barclays.

Connie reminds me of ďPromises PromisesĒ changing herself for the better - only it seems to be working this time. Ok I take that back - meltdown. Her addiction is also like Zachary when Jason made him walk (ďWhere is Thy Sting?Ē?... whoah great foreshadowing with Connie telling Whit about her pet peeves then they all happen.

Connie - Eugene banter. YAY! Whit is still kinda off for me but getting there. He still sounds too much like other actors (so far I've heard Bernard and Jack in Darienís Rise. and Tom a little here). However, when Whit asks Eugene about changing the shop he totally sounded like Hal's Whit - awesome! I think this is going to work out fine. 

lol at Connie not being ready to talk about it. This happened in another episode that I canít remember right now. Help?

Whit wanting to talk to Connie about her experience in the Inspiration Station hearkens back to Whit wanting to talk to Eugene about his trip in the imagination station in the Mortal Coil and following episodes... (Note Ė Eugene took the trip in MC and whit wanted to discus it with him in the episodes in On Earth as it is in Heaven.)

Uh oh - Connie sneaking in to Whit's End doesn't sound good.

Background music during closing reminds me a lot of the video theme.

Ok well that wraps up my play by play thoughts. I listened twice through, first just to listen and the second to take notes. I really enjoyed this episode. It was a total slice of life with a hint of mystery added in for fun. If this first episode is any indication of the rest of Album 51, then we are in store for some good stuff in my opinion. I love that I could listen to this twice in a row and it wasnít boring.

I thought the acting was great and I LOVE the Parker family. The dadís voice to me is a blend of Phil Lollar and Dave Arnold. Ok maybe Iím weird, but Iím ok with that. It works and it is a great dad voice. Mom is wonderful too. I think this family has more potential to be the new Barclay family than any we have had so far. Great chemistry between mom and dad and parents and kids. As I mentioned earlier, Iím not so sure the kids as siblings have that chemistry yet, but I think it will come and will be great. Let me hear a good fight or two and Iíll let you know. I hope the Parkers are around for a long time. Matthew reminds me of a young Eugene and because of that their interaction is great!

As for Andre Ė I think this is going to work out fine. It will take me a little getting used to still I think, but Iím excited for the day when he does become Whit for me. I donít think it is too far off.

Story so far is great, Iím excited to hear part two. Also, loved the sound design and score in this episode. It really reminded of the early days of AIO where there was little music and it was only there when needed. Not over the top or even noticeable. I heard it when I listened for it, but when I wasnít, it just blended in. Maybe I have it all wrong, but to me thatís a good thing. It added to the show, instead of taking away from it. It wasnít over the top, but just right.

So as of right now, I give this show 4/5 stars depending on how the rest of it plays out.

Great job AIO Team and Welcome Back!


Part Two


Review by Marvin



Connie made me feel so...sad for her, and I really enjoyed how everybody inpsired her. ,,Mortimer was awesome...where was the red button?!,,And...why the big fuss over the Inspiration Station?



Review by Audrey (Blog)


These are my thoughts on The Inspiration Station:
  • Now we know what the machine does.
  • Whit's inventing a lot more.
  • I really like Mortimer. He reminds me of the librarian from lamplighter theater. 
  • I loved the way Connie made Eugene take over "Candid Conversations"!
  • It was cool to hear Whit's inspiration for the imagination station
  • I feel so bad for Connie! 
  • I WAS IN THE INSPIRATION STATION!!! (I can't think of anyone who doesn't like Connie). That was my voice! Oh wow!!!! Out of sight! Yay!

Review by 31899 (Town of Odyssey)


Whit sound more Whit like, but still needs quite a bit of work.

Why didn't they just turn Connie into a druggie. Also why does Connie always learn the same thing over and over again?

The inside of the Inspiration Station was fairly interesting. I enjoyed it being a big library.

I still don't like the bratty genius child. I don't like unrealism

The Connie inspiration messages from the fans were interesting.

I think there is a lacking in characters.

Is Whit's friend in the inspiration station?

Still am not liking the music.

Not as rough as the last episode.

2.5 out of 5 ( if I had to choose, I'd round down).

Review by Jeremy (Town of Odyssey)

The unscripted fan submissions part was fantastic! The Paul McCusker scripted parts not so much. He seems to have lost his touch.

Part 2 was worse than part 1, when I was hoping against hope that it would be better, as part 1 was very average...


Review by American Eagle (Town of Odyssey)


I agree on this. Not many characters in the episode (pretty much just Whit, Connie, Eugene and Matthew). I did like Mortimer! It was good to have a fresh character. I'd prefer the return of Wooton, though.

Overall, a good episode. 3/5 or 4/5 stars, like part 1.

Review by Sapphire (Town of Odyssey)

I love it!



Review by WindowWasher (Town of Odyssey)

Really enjoyed this second part. It was great to hear the new Whit get to say "oh, Connie". I'm already used to Andre, I was able to focus on the story without being distracted by his voice. I loved the "talk" he had with Connie, Andre has that emotion in his voice that Hal did. The fan submissions were great and with the music, my eyes actually started to get a little watery! Great job guys!



Review by King Butter Turtle (Town of Odyssey)



Main Thoughts
  • It was just as good as part one. It was a little heavy on the Whit/Connie discussions; not that that's a bad thing but, I think one lesson-teaching moment per episode is a good rule of thumb. I also didn't like the scene in the inspiration station. It seemed a lot like Truth Chronicles. But, overall, it was pretty good. The fan submission thing worked really well!
  • Andre's awesome! He seems to be fitting in better and better every episode which is very cool!
  • I love Jess Harnell!
The Inspiration Station
  • It's fine but, I was kind of expecting it to be a regularly used invention. I don't see how it could be used again unless... they want to do a whole bunch of shows on inspiration.
  • What was with the very first part of the intro. It wasn't bad but, my initial instinct upon pressing play was, "this isn't Odyssey."
Other Notes
  • What about the red button?!?!

Review by Mitch



I liked Mortimer a lot. I think Mathew's visit to the inspiration station was better than connie's. I hope i can see Mortimer more in the episodes to come!!!



Review by Meisha K.



I like the show but was kind of confused what the inspiration Station was/is. Also I really want to know what Connie experienced in the machine. I also want to know what happens in the machine. The show seemed to leave alot out. ,Althoug the Parker family is new I think that there should have been more of them in the story. It seemed the story revolved around whits end instead of odyssey. But I'm pretty picky all in all it was a good episode.



Review by Christian A.



That episode was awesome! I almost don't want to say anything else. I agree with most in saying that Matthew's adventure sounded like something out of the Truth Chronicles. I like Mortimer a lot and I wish there were some way we could here from him more. The music rocked! (not literally) I loved the scene with the callers' comments about Connie. It gave me major goosebumps. I have to say that it is very high up there among my favorite Odyssey scenes ever. This was a great two-parter and a great debut for Andre Stojka. He did wonderfully and I am looking forward to gearing more from him. This was a very touching episode and I look forward to hearing it again and again. Great job, Paul McCusker and GO ODYSSEY!



Review by Nelle



While I thought Andre did a good job, I didn't think the episodes were that good.,,They just didn't seem to flow; like Connie's supposed "embarrassment" on her radio show, really wasn't that big of a deal. ,,The Parkers also seemed to make a much bigger deal out of their son's halt to tinkering than should be.,,The Parkers seem a little, well, annoying to me. They certainly aren't very realistic.,,The whole thing just seemed like a step backward from their most recent seasons.



My review of the whole episode (Parts 1 and 2) is as follows:
Let's start with Andre. I personally think that he is really good (not awesome, but close) I definitely detect more Hal in there than Paul.

Connie and Eugene were fantastic in both parts (and I actually liked Eugene's return to full nerddom)


Review by Jumpman256 (Town of Odyssey)



My review of the whole episode (Parts 1 and 2) is as follows:
Let's start with Andre. I personally think that he is really good (not awesome, but close) I definitely detect more Hal in there than Paul.
Connie and Eugene were fantastic in both parts (and I actually liked Eugene's return to full nerddom)
But now to the meat of this review--The Inspiration Station itself.
Ever since the end of the last season, I'd been mulling over one fact: Whit said point-blank to Connie that this invention was BETTER than the Imagination Station. High praise indeed. I was a little dissapointed that we didn't see how the Inspiration Station worked in Part 1--until I realized that we were going to get to experience it as it should be--through the eyes of a customer. Good for them.
So Matt goes in, pushes the red button (and yes, those of you who asked, the red button is there, on the wall of the Station) and...
My friends, IMO.....Whit was exactly right. The Inspiration Station is the Imagination Station on steroids. For the person who said that they couldn't see it being used more than once....are you kidding? It could replace all his other inventions with the library alone. Think of it: They could see consequences of actions (ROC) they could see history unfold (Imagination Station) step into someone else's shoes (Transmuter)....the list goes on. I can see this used a lot of ways, especially if there's a trip that involves more than one history stop (ie: Something Significant) In short, this machine is AWESOME. I want more!



Review by Jonathan (Town of Odyssey)



Whit seems to enjoy the color red, as two inventions of his now have that color button.

I am still rather unsure of what the purpose of the Inspiration Station is. Not because things were resolved with Connie--that actually cleared a lot up. Rather, it was because of Matthew's trip. I liked that part of the episode, Mortimor is one of the more unique one-time(?) characters we've seen in--a while, really, and the point was taken. However, it sounded almost like a Room of Consequence adventure. Matthew didn't act anything out, especially since he was getting a lesson regarding something he'd already done, but still.

Perhaps, if the Inspiration Station sticks around, we'll find out. If Connie's trips and Matthews trip were that different, perhaps there is more to that invention then meets the eye. It is, after all, an invention of Whit's.

Speaking of Whit, I'm afraid it may take me a while to get used to Andre. He's continuing to do a good job, but he still sounds very different most of the time. Just as it took a while with Paul, I'm sure I'll get used to Andre over time as well.

Eugene was classic. His fumblings after he was given the reins of Connie's show was funny. Props to Will Ryan.

Finally, and this is the main reason I liked part 1 more than part 2, I was kinda unsure of what the message of this episode was at the end. Sure, things were resolved with Connie, but was the message? That we should be comforted by our own works? The Lutheran in me thinks that sounds just a tad too humanistic.

Overall, not a bad start to the season. I'll give a preliminary ranking of 3 for both parts, though this may change after we've heard more of the season and can give this two-parter some context.



Review by Mandy Straussberg (Town of Odyssey)



I said it for last week's episode, and I'll say it again: I'm really impressed with Andre. There are times when he sounds so much like Hal to me it's ridiculous. I told my sister last night that I'll have to hear him laugh before I can fully accept him as Whit, though. And she still contends it'll take her awhile to get used to him, but I said, "I got used to Paul, so I know I can get used to Andre."

I wasn't a huge fan of the Inspiration Station . . . it kind of freaked me out. But then I realized if I'd heard the Imagination Station for the first time now as a twenty-one-year-old I'd probably feel the same. So I tried to imagine hearing it as a kid, and I was impressed. I think it'll grow on me.

Overall, I think it was a pretty average couple of episodes. 3/5



Review by Laura Ingalls (Town of Odyssey)


I don't know quite what to think of this episode - I did like it well enough. Mortimer sounded just a tad too much like Wooton, but he wasn't too bad. The radio show was quite funny with classic Connie/Eugene interaction.
Congrats to the people whose entries were chosen for the episode!



Review by SivartM (Town of Odyssey)


I liked this episode almost as much as the first one. I love the Inspiration Station. It's my new favorite invention, although I'm not sure how Whit found the time to build it and the new Imagination Station at the same time. Maybe he'll combine the two in the future?



Review by Dallas R. (Town of Odyssey)


Yep. I'll have to agree with most of us. It was a decent episode. I'd rate it about the same as part one.

In the Inspiration Station with Matthew, Mortimer tells the story of Whit messing with the clock and then getting the idea to make inventions that showed different parts in history and stuff. Is this supposed to be a reference to Back to The Future, because for some reason that's what it reminded me of; Doc on the clock tower, trying to create the lightning rod that would power his time machine.



Review by Over the Rainbow (Town of Odyssey)


Andre's voice is just lovely. He has Herlinger and Smith's voice combined, yet with his own style added, although there is a bit more Smith in his tone. Some lines Andre speaks sound so much like Hal, I forget I'm listening to a newer episode. =]



Review by DanP740 (Town of Odyssey)


Wasn't too bad of an episode. Whit still isn't Whit.... Isn't Mortimer that guy from that Lamplighter Theatre or something?

Also, I heard that mini-episode thing or whatever, and people are right. Wooton was... not.



Review by V-lady (Town of Odyssey)


I liked it. Especially the classic Eugene and Connie moments. I'm still not quite sure about the Inspiration Station, but that's usual for me; I'm often unimpressed with the inventions in AIO.

I think I'll be able to adjust to Andre's voice quickly; his playing the character already sounds fairly natural to me.



Review by Smaug the dragon (Town of Odyssey)



I loved this episode! I didn't like the first part, it felt a little bit awkward or something. But part two, it was brilliant. I felt inspired just listening to it. It was funny and exciting, the music was magical and the characters were lovable, just like Odyssey should be. I really liked Mortimer too.

Maybe it's just me... 5/5.



Review by The Top Crusader (Town of Odyssey)


...great job by the actors once again. I was worried as the episode started that we were having a relapse of "A Touch of Healing" with Connie being weird and sneaking into the machine, but that resolved itself quickly I suppose. I thought it was kind of weird that as soon as Connie was out practically, Whit threw a kid in there, after Connie was having weird psycho withdrawal from the machine. Not really the typical overly cautious (when it comes to kids) Whit. I just thought that seemed out of place. Otherwise though it was a fine episode.

I actually really like Mortimer, too. I despise Wooten because he is supposed to be a real person but acts like he belongs in a cartoon or something. Mortimer can be as crazy as needed because he is just an invention from Whit to help teach kids a lesson or whatever.



Review by Taq (Town of Odyssey)

  • The Inspiration Station I and II had a classic feel. Whit teaches kid a lesson. Connie learns a lesson. Eugene is geeky. The two-parter was reminiscent of Whit's Flop (Whit encourages a kid who has given up) and A Touch of Healing (Character relapses) as Top mentioned.
  • As King Butter Turtle mentioned, I also thought the show had a Truth Chronicles feel, mostly because of the Mortimer character in the Inspiration Station. Jonathan expressed his desire for more clarity on the Whit's new invention and the red button; I would agree. I concur with Mandy Straussberg that the rest of the season will likely help.
  • Zach Callison did a great job acting as Matthew Parker! It's great to have another inventive mind in Odyssey. I'm looking forward to hearing him as a gumshow with Emily Jones. By the way, I just Googled "Zach Callison" to find out he was a kid in one Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? show, haha.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Parker were good as well. Nothing about Olivia and Camilla stood out to me, but then again this episode wasn't about them; I look forward to hearing episodes with each of the sisters in the limelight.
  • I've no qualms about Andre; he's great! I'm conscious of the difference but cool with it.
  • I LOVED how the fan clips about how Connie inspires everyone were used!
To sum up, The Inspiration Station was a good introduction to AIO, the new season, a new family, and a new invention. I look forward to the rest of the season.

Review by Trixie Belden (Town of Odyssey)

I really enjoyed this episode! It's not up there with "The Imagination Station" or "Malachi's Message", but it was good. Was it just me, or was it a bit confusing what the Inspiration Station actually did? What was the world like inside it? I take it that Connie didn't spend nine hours inside Mortimer's library, as much fun as that would be.

Yes, the clips were great and really cute! I especially enjoyed the ones that were "set inside Odyssey" like the kid saying that Connie helped him when he fell off his bike.

I also liked Andre. No, he isn't Paul or Hal, but I could really get used to him. He is totally his own person, but he still seems like Whit. Was he on some weird ADD causing medication on Darien's Rise or something?

It was nice to see good old Odyssey with Eugene being normal, Whit giving advice, and normal kids. Although.....Matthew Parker sounds a bit too much like Trent DeWhite for my tastes.

Review by Freddy Jay (Blog)

The opening scene was very intense. It seemed like something very bad was going to happen.

The conversation with Connie about her experiance in the Inspiration station seemed really heavy..

Mortimer is a very interesting character, and we can assume that he is the person Connie was referring to in Part 1.Is he going to be a one time only character? Or are they gonna somehow bring it back in other episodes..? "That lead to...which lead to..which lead to this and that and there we are!"

We learn of Whits "town clock mistake. "

My favorite part of the whole episode is with the clips of the different people saying how Connie inspires them. Congrats to all the people who made it in, including Audry from AIO Insanity, to find out what she said, click here.

Over all this two part episode was pretty good. I give it a 4/5. It was great, can't wait to hear the rest of the season.

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