1 9 9 2 – 1 9 9 4 (Canada)
39 x 30 minute episodes
Following a fall from a friend’s tree fort, 12-year-old Jay Ziegler (Illya Woloshyn) falls into a coma.
While Jay lies in a radical treatment centre in the real world (the “Upworld”) – where his mother (Janet Hodgkinson) and two friends, Donna (Ashley Rogers) and Keith (Tony Sampson), are trying to wake him up – Jay also finds himself in the parallel “Downworld” trying to find out about the events surrounding his father, Brad’s, death.
The “Downworld” is the world of Jay’s imagination, where tribal kid clubs – such as the Pool Club and the Library Club – replace adults. No one in Downworld reaches the age of 16.
The biggest and most powerful club is “The Tower”, a brutal, despotic police state run by the oldest kids, with Brad (Robert Wisden) as the absolute ruler because he is 15 and “knows everything”.
Aided by his Downworld friends Alpha and Flash – who are identical to his Upworld friends Donna and Keith (and also played by Ashley Rogers and Tony Sampson) – Jay embarks on a journey to return home.
By the end of the first series, viewers had no idea whether Jay would wake from his coma or find his father. Many fans were indignant at the cliffhanger ending, and the phones at CBC rang hot with people asking, “Does he wake up?”
The second series brought some new plot twists.
The Odyssey won six awards during its first season, including the prestigious Gemini Award for Best Youth Programme. The series was broadcast in the UK on Channel 4 in 1995 (and repeated in 1998).
Ashley Rogers (then known as Ashleigh Aston Moore) died on 10 December 2007 in British Columbia, Canada, from an accidental heroin overdose. She was just 26.
Illya Woloshyn died suddenly at home in Barrie, Ontario, on 19 January 2023, aged 43.
Dr Max Oswald
The Fall | No Fair | Out of the Woods | By the Book | Checkpoint Eagle | The Believers | A Place Called Nowhere | Wanted | Galileo & the Gypsies | In the Dark | The Brad Exchange | Welcome to the Tower | The One Called Brad || Lands End | To the Lighthouse | Some Place Like Home | Whispers Like Thunder | The Hall of Darkness | The Prophecy | The Greatest Show on Earth | But Where is Here? | The Big Picture | Tick Tock | Run for Your Life | Who Do You Believe? | You Decide || No Way Out |
Dart to the Heart | Learning Curve | Night Life | Cry Justice | King for a Day | The Cauldron | Styx and Stones | Tug of War | Tangled Web | No Holds Barred | The Plague | Time Bomb