tek's rating:

Voyage of the Unicorn, on Odyssey
IMDb; Mill Creek Entertainment; Sonar Entertainment; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; iTunes

Based on a book called "Voyage of the Basset," which I'd never even heard of. Just skimming a bit about it on Wikipedia tells me that the miniseries is somewhat different from the book, though, including the time in which it's set, the ages of the daughters (or at least of the actresses playing them), the name of the antagonist at the university, and the name of the ship in the title- which in the miniseries, obviously, is the Unicorn rather than the Basset. Also I think some of the events of the story may transpire differently. But whatever, like I said, I haven't read the book, so I don't really care.

In any event, there is this professor of antiquities (mythology and so forth) named Alan Aisling (Beau Bridges), who has been recently widowed. So he's left to raise his two daughters, Miranda and Cassandra, by himself. Meanwhile, there's this guy at the university named Mr. Banebridge, who is imminently to become dean, and once he does, it seems likely that Aisling will be out of a job. But then some trolls show up looking for Aisling, who want to prevent a prophecy from coming true. They're led by Skotos, who also wants to unite the various tribes of trolls, become king, and lead them in a war of conquest of their own world as well as others, including our own. But that's getting ahead of myself. Skotos and a few other trolls chase the Aislings, who are rescued by a dwarf named Malachi and an elf named Sebastian. They are the captain and first mate, respectively, (and the entire crew) of a magical ship called the Unicorn, which transports the Aislings to a world where myths are real. It should also be mentioned that while the ship isn't that large abovedecks, belowdecks it's much larger, which rather reminds me of the tardis from Doctor Who. In any event, the ship contains large rooms and wardrobes for everyone, plus a library full of priceless books, which is of great interest to Professor Aisling, of course.

They sail to the island of the faerie court, which is presided over by Queen Titania (Ocean Hellman) and King Oberon. There they also meet this old turtle sage named Seneschalor, who tells them of the prophecy which concerns the Aislings. They're supposed to find a missing dragon, which served as protector against the trolls, and thus save the world and stuff. In the course of their adventures, they'll be joined by Medusa and the Minotaur, and also receive some help from the Sphinx (though personally I thought she looked kinda more like a harpy), and an actual unicorn. And I don't really know what else to say, I don't want to spoil anything. Except of course, there's much about this world that is the same as pictures the professor's late wife, Lily, had drawn. Cassie is the one to constantly point that out to her family, and she's the one who believes the most that they're supposed to be there. They all feel closer to Lily in this world, but still, ultimately they all want to return home. You know, once they've managed to defeat the trolls and save the world of the faeries, thus fulfilling the prophecy.

Anyway, I thought it wasn't that good at first, but still reasonably passable. And I got more and more into it as it went on. The story got better, the acting got better, the characters got more interesting, the makeup and wardrobe weren't bad at all, and um... Yeah, I dunno what else to say. I found it kind of inspiring, in a cliched sort of way, I guess... But I also felt some plot points kind of went unexplained, leaving the way open for a possible sequel. But I don't expect there would be one, unfortunately....

miniseries index