Just as recently as March 29, Marshal Younger agreed to join one of the TOO’s live chat sessions for a live discussion with fans. This slipped under my radar as I have been MIA from the online Odyssey fan community and have neglected to listen to the show itself (until this past week, that is). As I was reacquainting myself with the forums I used to frequent daily, I was surprised and excited to see that such a fun event had occurred. @Bookworm on the TOO transcribed the discussion with Marshal and I had no choice but to spend time reading through the interactions.
I have seen scarce discussion online about the topics Marshal discussed in the chat and the implications he has made for the future of Odyssey. Thus, I have taken it upon myself to highlight the most interesting bits from the transcript of the chat and eliminate the unnecessary bulk that comes with a transcription of a live chat.
One of the first questions posed that evening was a question pondering the difference between Dave Arnold’s job as executive producer and Marshal’s job as showrunner. He put it succinctly as follows: “The showrunner is in charge of the overall direction of the program. I work with all of the writers on their stories. Executive Producer meets with important people who don’t know my name to talk about the brand of Odyssey. Dave also reads through all the scripts and has final say. He’s my boss. I have more to do with the shaping of storylines.”
It is in this chat that Marshal Younger confirms the existence of 28 Hours, the mysterious Odyssey album that was revealed on Amazon. Here’s what Marshal had to say about the album: “28 Hours is a six-part episode written by Kathy. And it’s going to blow your mind.” He was asked if 28 Hours was specifically album 73 to which he replied, “Yes. 73. On the Club in July, I think. Kathy outdid herself on 28 Hours. I didn’t know she had it in her. […] Kathy wrote a pretty major part for me in “28 Hours”, and I felt like an idiot next to Phil Proctor, who has been acting in audio drama for 60 years!”
When asked about the future of Eugene Meltsner, Marshal replied, “We discussed what we’re going to do with Eugene in the February meetings. And we made a definite decision, but I really can’t say much more than that. We considered all possibilities, and there are no good answers. […] I’ll tell you right now, you probably won’t be satisfied with anything we do about Eugene, because what we really want is Will. And we can’t have that.” Bren remarked that they were in the camp of killing Eugene off. Marshal replied, “That came up, and there were people on your team in your camp, Bren. Not going to say if we’re going that way, but I will say that much.” He confirmed Nathan Hoober is working on the Eugene tribute now (I’m unclear as to whether that means a Eugene episode or perhaps something else but I assume it’s the official episode where it’s made clear the future of Eugene on the show).
Marshal was asked about the plans for the upcoming 35th anniversary of the show and he had this to say: “We don’t have much planned for the 35th, but I just pitched something HUGE for the 1000th episode. Can’t say, though… Sorry. […] But 1,000 should be recorded in the summer 2024. [..] The 35th is going to be low-key. I’m hoping we put all of our eggs in the 1,000th episode basket.”
In regards to future Rydell episodes, Marshal touched on the topic briefly throughout the chat. Bren asked, “Will we see any stories showing the dynamic of Morrie and Suzu at Whit’s house?” Marshal confirmed that Phil is currently writing a story about Morrie and Suzu interacting with Whit “some at the house” and that it should be on album 74. One fan expressed concern on behalf of most of the fandom that their questions and concerns toward the Rydell Saga haven’t been satisfactorily been addressed. Marshal said as follows, “We talked at length at the writer’s meeting in February about a plan for Morrie and Suzu. For some, the damage is done and I don’t know if any answer we give is going to satisfy, but we are planning on addressing some of those questions.”
Aiorocks101 asked, “Are you going to recast Wyatt? I’m really enjoying him and the Perkins, but would be sad to hear him get recast like others, since I know his voice is changing.” To my personal and truly deep utter disappointment, Marshal replied, “Yes, Tucker is, unfortunately, growing up.” He was asked if Wyatt could simply be aged up and essentially be given the Jimmy treatment. He said, “Not sure if Wyatt’s personality would work being older.”
Other random tidbits include Marshal confirming that Jason’s love life has been discussed but that he will divulge no more, that Jay’s home life will be shown in an upcoming club episode, that no Valerie episodes were pitched recently, and that the possibility of Leonard Meltsner’s return hasn’t been discussed.
In closing, I have saved the best part of the chat for last. To my many fellow “Jillian-is-secretly-evil” conspiracists, you’d be pleased to hear that some fans began fooling around in the chat, briefly discussing how Jillian could be the Chairman. When asked if Jillian is the Chairman, Marshal simply asked in reply, “Did the Chairman sound like Jillian?” You all may sleep soundly at night knowing that the possibility has yet to be outrightly denied. 😉
I hope this was both informative and interesting to you all! Marshal Younger was so gracious to spend time with fans and answer their questions. @Polehaus53 and @asmouseinthehouse were even in attendance for some of the chat! The information that Marshal divulged has certainly excited me. What do you think about all of this? Leave a comment below and discuss!
Have a blessed day!