003: Lights Out at Whit's End Review

Episode: 003: Lights Out at Whit's End
Originally Aired: December 5, 1987
From Album: Uncollected

This episode is not collected on album. To find out how to listen to it, check out this post.

Because Whit’s End is a fictional location and not a physical building (yes, I’ve visited “Whit’s End” in Colorado Springs, but I’m talking about the radio Whit’s End), the possibilities are endless. There’s not one Whit’s End. There are a million Whit’s Ends. For anyone who’s ever listened to Adventures in Odyssey, there exists a Whit’s End they imagined that’s unlike any other Whit’s End. There are an infinite number of rooms in Whit’s End. In a physical building, you can only walk so far before you bump into a wall. In the Whit’s End you imagine, there is always just-one-more-room. Only you can answer what’s behind the door.

One of the purposes of Whit’s End is to encourage children to create. Whit supplies tools for the children to create with. In the Whit’s End I envision, there are basic tools such as crayons and paper in a corner of the dining room and costumes to dress up with in the theater. There are also more advanced tools such as professional audio equipment in the Kid’s Radio studio and Arduino microcontrollers, LEDs, and electric motors in the inventor’s corner.

VTR Video Switcher

I also envision that behind one of those infinite doors is a fully-equipped video editing bay. In 1987 there was probably a VTR and video switcher in that room. I’m sure Whit’s kept up with the times though. Today, you’d probably find a Mac Pro with Final Cut Pro or maybe even a PC running Ubuntu with PiTiVi and OpenShot installed. At the beginning of “Lights Out at Whit’s End,” the children have borrowed a couple cameras and lights from this hypothetical AV room and are making a movie.

One of the things that makes Adventures in Odyssey unique is that it encourages its listeners not only to be consumers—listening to episodes of Adventures in Odyssey—but also producers creating their own work. It’s why Odyssey has such a vibrant fan community. When the power goes out and the kids are no longer able to operate the cameras, Whits enjoins, “Used to be that fun was something you created. Didn’t come delivered to you. You had to go find it for yourself. And you know what? That was the most fun part of all!”

Whit then explains to the kids how to construct footlights that the kids listening (with proper adult supervision) can make. Place a pie tin behind a candle so that it reflects the light. Use electrical tape to attach the pie tin to the candle holder. I hope some parent listening to this episode with their children in 1987 went out and bought pie tins, candles, and electrical tape and made footlights with their kids the next day.

I’m a Bible teacher at a camp for 9-14 year olds each summer. Every year on Wednesday, the night before the last night of camp, the counselors put on a skit night for the campers. The skits are often hastily thrown together that afternoon. Props and sets consist of whatever the exhausted counselors can scrounge together during the week. A lot of the skits are the same year to year. It doesn’t matter how good the skits are. Never fail, the children have a blast watching their teenage and adult counselors just be goofy. The whole night is filled with laughter. I know the kids at Whit’s End would have had a blast watching Whit, Tom, and Officer Harley doing skits as well.

And that brings us to the infamous rap—easily the weakest element of an otherwise strong episode. I did get to cross “Listening to Hal Smith Rap” off my bucket list. I do wonder where they got the power for the drum machine when the power was out. I really think this episode belongs on a album. If the writers find the rap embarrassing, maybe they can hire tobyMac or Lecrae to record a replacement for the album version of the episode.

Matthew's Rating: 8 (out of 10)
More info about 003: Lights Out at Whit's End:


Haha, I always thought they should get tobyMac on AIO, especially since he is starting to get into acting. (That's a hint if anybody from the AIO team is reading this.) If you want to hear a remade version, listen to episode 28 of the AIO fan podcast The Ceiling Fan at www.ceilingfanpodcast.com . It starts at 3:36 and sound really professional.

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