Ulysses 31 Redux

There are many reasons to love Ulysses 31. There’s its sense of genuine narrative progression – a series of standalone adventures that formed a coherent arc way before Doctor Who started on such things (and no, the Key to Time stuff doesn’t count). There’s its interesting and varied character roster and comparative faithfulness to The Odyssey. There’s the fantastic episode where Ulysses travels back in time and meets up with the original Ulysses, bending the bow in the banqueting hall in front of Penelope’s suitors. There’s the story with Sisyphus, who ventures beneath the hill upon which he resides only to discover the entire planet is just one massive factory producing more boulders for him to push. There’s the one with Chronos, in which the sleeping companions begin to age in the midst of their cryogenic slumber – an episode which gave me nightmares for years. There’s the dazzling soundtrack. There’s the sense of scale, and the hope – the vain hope – that one day it might be revisited, preferably in feature film format, in a trilogy starring Brad Pitt, with Brian Blessed as the voice of Poseidon.

Until that day, we’ll have to be content with this, and as far as reasons to love Ulysses 31 actually go, this might just be the icing on a very rich cake.

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