VR.5

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VR.5
Sydney Bloom sitting at a computer and wearing virtual reality glasses
VR.5 DVD cover
Created byJeannine Renshaw
StarringLori Singer
Michael Easton
Will Patton
Anthony Head
David McCallum
Louise Fletcher
Tracey Needham
Composer(s)John Frizzell
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes13 (3 unaired in original run) (list of episodes)
Production
Running time44 min (approx.)
Production company(s)Samoset Productions
Rysher Entertainment
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkFox
Original releaseMarch 10 –
May 12, 1995

VR.5 is an American science-fiction television series first broadcast on the Fox network from March 10 to May 12, 1995. Ten of its thirteen episodes were aired during its original run. The title of the show refers to the degree of immersion the protagonist experiences in virtual reality.

Plot[edit]

Prior to the events of the series, Sydney Bloom was the daughter of Dr. Joseph Bloom, a computer scientist who was working on developing virtual reality. His wife Nora Bloom, a neurochemist, was also involved in the project. Sydney's father, and her sister Samantha, died in a car accident in 1978.

Now in 1995 Sydney is a telephone lineworker and computer hobbyist. One day she accidentally discovers that she can enter an advanced type of virtual reality, where she can interact with other people. Her actions in the virtual world have an effect on the real world. She subsequently agrees to use her abilities to help a mysterious secret organization called the Committee. She receives her covert assignments from Frank Morgan, and later from Oliver Sampson. Sydney's friend Duncan advises her and helps her when he can.

The show frequently uses inconsistencies in continuity and a distinctive color scheme as clues to suggest what is actually happening at various points throughout the series.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

VR.5, a mid-season replacement, debuted shortly after the rise to popularity of The X-Files, and executive producer Thania St. John stated that "VR will try to capture that same, creepy feeling."[1]

Filming[edit]

The show's visual effects for when characters were inside virtual reality were created by shooting on black-and-white film and then manually adding color to each image. This effect took four weeks to create for each episode and added to the cost of the show, which was about U.S. $1.5 million per episode. While distributor Rysher Entertainment never confirmed it, the high cost of the production, coupled with a difficult time slot, contributed to the show's commercial failure.[citation needed]

Music[edit]

The music for VR.5 was created by composer John Frizzell. The opening theme music came to Frizzell in a dream. Dee Carstensen and Eileen Frizzell provided the vocals in the opening theme. The music supervisor of the series was Abby Treloggen.[2]

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal US air dateUK order
1"Pilot"Michael KatlemanThania St. JohnMarch 10, 1995 (1995-03-10)1
Guest stars: David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Louise Fletcher (Nora Bloom), Kimberly Cullum (Young Samantha Bloom), Kaci Williams (Young Sydney Bloom), Noah Verduzco (Unknown), Chris Owen (III) (Harassing boy), Penn Jillette (Orwell Kravitz), Adam Baldwin (Scott Cooper), Stephen Mills (The Committee's Agent), Robert Picardo (VR Engineer), Gammy Singer (Nurse Jackie), Matthew Koruba (Young Duncan)
2"Dr. Strangechild"Michael KatlemanEric BlakeneyMarch 17, 1995 (1995-03-17)2
Guest stars: Louise Fletcher (Nora Bloom), David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Dan Riley (Orderly), Elya Baskin (Dr. Zoloft), Tom Towles (Shepard), Nicholas Cascone (Unknown), Erick Avari (Boise), Aaron Michael Metchik (Stuart Fischer), Kate Zentall (Mrs. Fischer), Cully Fredrickson (Unknown), Danny Goldring (Traxell), Jason Azikiwe (Unknown)
3"Sisters"John Sacret YoungJohn Sacret YoungN/AN/A
Guest stars: David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Kimberly Cullum (Young Samantha Bloom), Kaci Williams (Young Sydney Bloom), Colleen Flynn (Janine Messersmith), Willie Garson (Pervert)
4"Love and Death"Rob BowmanThania St. JohnMarch 24, 1995 (1995-03-24)3
Guest stars: Louise Fletcher (Nora Bloom), David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Kimberly Cullum (Young Samantha Bloom), George DelHoyo (Jackson Boothe), Carl Strano (Mr. Spire), Louis Turenne (Larry Oldman), Jessica Hendra (Megan Fellows), Peter Spellos (Albert Fellows, Jr), Shane Sweet (Albert Fellows, Sr), Bethany Clifton (Unknown), Wendi Westbrook (Unknown), Sandra Robinson (Monique Fellows)
5"5D"D.J. CarusoJohn Sacret Young & Thania St. JohnMarch 31, 1995 (1995-03-31)4
Guest stars: Louise Fletcher (Nora Bloom), David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Kimberly Cullum (Young Samantha Bloom), Kaci Williams (Young Sydney Bloom), Dan O'Herlihy (Dr. Alloysius Hunnicut), George DelHoyo (Jackson Boothe), Matthew Koruba (Young Duncan), Jim Holmes (Unknown), Keith Mills (Unknown)
6"Escape"Jim CharlestonJohn Sacret Young & Thania St. JohnApril 7, 1995 (1995-04-07)5
Guest stars: David Selburg, Aileen Fitzpatrick (Nurse), Dayton Callie (Unknown), Robert Kempf (Unknown)
7"Facing the Fire"Lorraine Senna FerraraJeannine RenshawApril 14, 1995 (1995-04-14)6
Guest stars: Shirley Knight (Dr. Margo Hirsch), Frank Converse (General Jackson), Neal McDonough (Lance Jackson), Blair Renshaw (Aircraft Mechanic), Richie Fenner (Young Lance), Kevin Carr (Unknown)
8"Simon's Choice"Steve DubinToni GraphiaApril 21, 1995 (1995-04-21)7
Guest stars: Kaci Williams (Young Sydney Bloom), Robert Davi (Simon Buchanan), Dustin Nguyen (Ky Buchanan), David Brisbin (Unknown), Jack Rader (Unknown), Robert Phelan (Unknown), Endre Hules (Spy Chief), Edmund L. Shaff (Unknown), Westin Blakeney (Unknown), Benjamin Jurand (Unknown), Yuan Gee Wong (Unknown)
9"Send Me an Angel"Jim CharlestonNaomi Janzen & Jeannine RenshawN/A10
Guest stars: Louise Fletcher (Nora Bloom), Tracey Needham (Samantha Bloom), Armelia McQueen (Unknown), Barbara K. Whinnery (Unknown), William Forward (Unknown), Jamie Renee Smith (Rebecca), Stephen Mills (The Committee's Agent), Kenneth Robert Shippy (Unknown), Gammy Singer (Nurse Jackie)
10"Control Freak"Michael KatlemanNaomi JanzenApril 28, 1995 (1995-04-28)8
Guest stars: Markus Flanagan (Kyle Jarvis), Tom Mardirosian (Ed Paterson), Stephen Root (F.A.A. Negotiator), Richard Penn (Unknown), Carol Kiernan (Unknown), Frank Whiteman (Unknown), Johnny Moran (Unknown), Cynthia Avila (Matilda)
11"The Many Faces of Alex"John Sacret YoungJacquelyn BlainMay 5, 1995 (1995-05-05)9
Guest stars: Mark Phelan, Kathleen Misko, Jeannine Renshaw, Markie Post (Alex Miller), Tracey Needham (Samantha Bloom)
12"Parallel Lives"Michael KatlemanJeannine Renshaw, Thania St. John, John Shirley & John Sacret YoungN/A12
Guest stars: David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Will Patton (Dr. Frank Morgan), Tracey Needham (Samantha Bloom), Penn Jillette (Orwell Kravitz), Billy Burke (Marco)
13"Reunion"Deborah ReinischThania St. JohnMay 12, 1995 (1995-05-12)11
Guest stars: Louise Fletcher (Nora Bloom), David McCallum (Dr. Joseph Bloom), Kimberly Cullum (Young Samantha Bloom), Kaci Williams (Young Sydney Bloom), Tracey Needham (Samantha Bloom), Turhan Bey (Abernathy), Stephen Mills (The Committee's Agent), Gammy Singer (Nurse Jackie), Matthew Koruba (Young Duncan)

"Sisters," "Send Me An Angel," and "Parallel Lives" were not broadcast on Fox. They are called the "missing episodes" and were broadcast in countries such as Canada, Norway, France, and the United Kingdom. The series was eventually shown in its entirety on the Sci Fi Channel. The episode "Sisters" was not aired in the UK to make room for an "X-Files" documentary.

Legacy[edit]

The series was broadcast on CBS Drama in Europe in early 2014.[3]

Despite its poor production values, low ratings, and failure to have all its episodes air during its short run, Virtual Storm, an online community, lobbied Fox to develop a movie featuring the cast and crew of VR.5, but the project was dropped after the scripting stage.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "VR, a Trip into Cyberspace". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (66): 272. January 1995.
  2. ^ "Abby Treloggen". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  3. ^ "VR.5 on CBS Drama". Chello Zone/CBS Broadcasting, Inc. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Looking back at VR.5", Den of Geek, 2011-04-19. Retrieved on 2013-11-30.

External links[edit]