The creative mind that helped introduce hundreds of Christian children to Whit’s End and the town of Odyssey is world-building for the airwaves once again—only this time, it’s off to Iliad.
Iliad House is an independent audio drama written by Phil Lollar, the co-creator of Adventures in Odyssey. Though the project has no official affiliation with Focus on the Family, which created and produced Odyssey, listening to the promos reveals a similar feel. Lollar and his team launched the project on Kickstarter at the beginning of August. While they garnered a lot of support, they didn’t quite meet their goal. Lollar is re-launching his project on Kickstarter this week with a lower goal, but high hopes to create a show aimed at an older audience.
“I think that it’s going to be a bit more edgy,” he said. “When I say edgy, I just mean we’re going to deal with adventure in the way we’ve always done it, just more of it. And we’re not going to be afraid to take on other topics that a program that’s geared towards younger kids, like Odyssey, might not be able to take on.”
Iliad House tells the adventures of an orphan named Jessie Davidson and his friends, Stu and “Crazy” Cassandra. Jessie lives with his eccentric, genius uncle at the mysterious Iliad House on an island just off the east coast of the United States. The first few episodes will deal with topics Lollar thinks will be fresh to young Christian audiences: Time travel, government intrigue, and other dimensions.
“Iliad House is this place where strange things happen, interesting things happen, the odd, the unusual, and even the supernatural things happen,” Lollar said. “Jessie learns that he and his uncle are at Iliad House for a reason. It’s not just happenstance that they’re there.”
The allusion to Homer’s epic poems isn’t accidental. The Odyssey is about a journey and Adventures in Odyssey is a journey of discovery. The Iliad, by contrast, is about a battle, and Iliad House will deal with the topic of spiritual warfare. The reference to Cassandra, the prophetess no one believes in Iliad, isn’t coincidental either.
“I love referring back to classic works in my work,” Lollar said. “There’s a lot of references to Greek mythology in the pilot series.”
Lollar and his team aren’t hiding their Christian worldview, but he said that Iliad House is less a “Christian audio drama” than a radio drama written by Christians.
“Christian themes are universal themes; they’re what everybody deals with,” Lollar said. “And it doesn’t really matter what your political bent is, it doesn’t even really matter what other religions you are. You still deal with life in terms of the way God has designed it, whether you like it or not, whether you want to acknowledge it or not.”