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Archive-name: tv/vr5-faq/survival-guide
Posting-frequency: weekly
Comments-to: (John Dobbin)
Last-updated: January 2006

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge

Welcome to, an unmoderated newsgroup devoted to the discussion of
Fox's science fiction/drama TV series "VR.5."

Please read this Survival Guide before posting.

News For 2006
- - - - -

FAQ News

1.) I have completely gutted and cleaned up the FAQ.
2.) All of the websites listed have been checked and the ones no longer
around are cancelled.
3.) Email addresses have been checked and/or updated.
4.) All cast and crew bios are updated.

****STATUS OF VR.5**

+ VR.5 no longer airs on any broadcaster in the world and there are
currently no commercial reproductions of the series to be had except on eBay

+ Many new fans now enjoy the series through illegal downloads using bit
torrent technology. 

+ The Virtual Storm organization that nearly brought back the series as a
movie is defunct. The group did eventually lobby the cable network Sci Fi
( to air the full thirteen episodes with success.
Members of Virtual Storm more or less migrated to a general sci-fi forum
called Milliways in the 1990s. (

+ There are some new as well as old fans that are setting up websites or
maintaining the old ones through thick and thin.

+ One new project is the VR.5 Wikipedia encyclopedia article

VR.5 fans everywhere should help to make the article the most definitive
VR.5 resource out there.


* Lori Singer (Sydney Bloom) returned to TV and film after a long absence.
In 2005, she starred in the 8 minute short Little Victim. In 2006, she will
appear in I.R.A: King of Nothing.*

* Michael Easton (Duncan) has starred in several TV series since leaving
VR.5. He has been a regular on a few soaps such as Port Charles and One Life
to Live. He headed up two TV series in Canada called Two in 1996 and Total
Recall: 2070 in 1999. In 2006 he appears in a movie called They're Just My

* Tracey Needham (Sam) has starred in a few TV series since leaving VR.5.
Her last series role was in The Division (2001) airing on the Lifetime
Network. Her character's name: Inspector Candace (C. D.) DeLorenzo finished
off the series in 2004. She was also a series regular on JAG (1995) and
Total Security (1997). In 2005 and 2006, she has made guest appearances on
several series.*

* Anthony Stewart Head (Oliver) has been mainly doing film work in Britain.
His latest movie is Imagine Me & You in 2005. His best known work after VR.5
has been Buffy: The Vampire Slayer where he played Giles from 1997 to 2001.*

* David McCallum (Dr. Bloom) has been a regular on the very successful NCIS
since 2003. He was a favorite for his role in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in 1964.*

* Louise Fletcher (Mrs. Bloom) has appeared in numerous film roles since
VR.5. She has had three movies coming out in 2005: Fat Rose and Squeaky,
Aurora Borealis and Dancing in Twilight. She played Kai Winn in Deep Space 9
through to 1999.*

* Will Patton (Dr. Morgan) is one of the busiest of the VR.5 actors with
extensive film roles since VR.5. His last TV series was The Agency in 2001
which ended 2003. He is in two movies in 2006: The Dog Days of Summer and
Road House 2: Last Call.*

* Markie Post (Alex) has guested on several TV series in recent years. Her
last film role was Till Dad Do Us Part in 2001. She was in "There's
Something About Mary" (1998) playing Mrs. Jensen.*

* Jeannine Renshaw, creator of VR.5, is co-producer of Charmed in 2006. She
worked on the Canadian series Tracker in 2001.  Previous to that she was
story editor on the series Level 9 for the UPN Network.*

* Thania St. John, executive producer of VR.5, was executive producer of
Huff for the Showtime Network in 2005.

* John Sacret Young, producer of VR.5, is a producer of The West Wing in
2006. In 2004, he wrote and directed Deceit (2004).  He co-created and
served as executive producer of the landmark television series "China Beach.
In 2005, he wrote a memoir called Remain: Non-Viewable.*

* John Frizzell, composer of VR.5, is composer for four films in 2006: Black
Irish, Stay Alive, First Born and The Woods.*

* Rhino Records ( issued video/DVD releases of the
VR.5 series.  It is no longer in stock. Some people who have ordered the
movies say that they do not have the music in some scenes because they have
not acquired the rights. For people who love the music from Sarah McLachlan
or Dee Carstensen, the best bet for the full 13 episodes uncut lies in
trading with people who originally recorded the series or finding someone
with a bit torrent copy.*

* The Sci-Fi Network ran VR.5 in 1999.*

* The Space Channel in Canada repeatedly ran VR.5 for the year 2000.


 [Some definitions:  Samoset Productions created and produced VR.5;
  Rysher Entertainment distributed VR.5; Fox broadcast VR.5 on
  U.S. TV.]

+ Fox Broadcasting Co. ( cancelled VR.5 on
22 May 1995 because of low ratings, internal friction between members of the
cast and crew, disagreements between VR.5's production companies and Fox,
high production costs, and cost overruns.  Each episode had cost up to $1.5
million to produce, and the dismal ratings picture couldn't justify the expense.
+ Nine days later, fans organized themselves into an Internet-based group
called Virtual Storm, dedicated to keeping VR.5 alive. After six months of
intense lobbying by phone and mail, Virtual Storm's members had succeeded in
persuading VR.5 producers at Samoset Productions to begin working on a
two-hour, made-for-TV VR.5 movie for Fox.  European backers supported the
idea and had the money in place for Rysher Entertainment to go ahead with
it, and Fox had approved the movie and given Samoset/Rysher the go-ahead. It
looked as if the movie was all set to be produced.  VR.5 writer Jeannine
Renshaw even confirmed it at an America Online conference. But for reasons
that remain unclear, Fox reportedly pulled out at the request of Bob
Greenblatt, Fox's vice president for programming.  This effectively put the
movie in limbo.

***Rysher, VR.5 Executive Producer John Sacret Young, and a few members of
the cast/crew are still eager to do the movie.  But without Fox's support,
it's dead.***

Writers at Samoset had completed at least two drafts of the movie's
storyline by the time Fox withdrew its support.


 + Virtual Storm sent a formal proposal to Rysher to obtain the rights
     to produce VR.5-themed T-shirts, mugs, keychains, acoustic modems
     and other related items.  Rysher rejected the proposal.
     We can only speculate that they believe the rights to VR.5 could be
     valuable in the future.
 + In a letter related to the merchandising situation, Paul Eagleton,
     vice president of domestic television marketing at Rysher,
     expressed his support for Virtual Storm's efforts.


 [The following people, who have contributed much to the online VR.5

 + Jonathan Gan.
 + John Dobbin.
 + Augie De Blieck Jr.
 + David Shaler.
 + Lisa Cunningham.
 + Michele Santiago.

   VR.5 FAQ

 * Jonathan Gan began writing and organizing the FAQ in September 1995.
    Augie De Blieck Jr. took over the project. The FAQ is available at:

A more complete list of contributors to VR.5 can be found there.

sources say...
- - - - -
 No one has stepped forward, non-anonymously, to either confirm or deny
 any of the following.

 + John Dobbin says the VR.5 movie's storyline "was to feature stronger
     roles of Anthony Head and Michael Easton.


    VR.5 FAQ.

    The main FAQ is your definitive guide to VR.5, with character
    biographies, episode summaries, reviews, resources, trivia, and
    answers to your most niggling plot questions about the show.

    Everything you need to know about the series can be found here:


Help us in our quest to convince Fox and that they should produce and
broadcast a two-hour VR.5 movie.

 [1]  Sign the VR.5 Movie Petition.

A new VR.5 movie petition has be submitted to
( in 2006.

"The VR.5 movie petition:
Bring Back the VR.5. 

In 1995, the FOX network aired the TV series VR.5. On online organization
called Virtual Storm succeeded in getting FOX to consider making a movie
only to have the project unexpectedly dashed. The organization did succeed
in getting the full thirteen episodes aired on cable channels around the
world, including the Sci Fi Channel and Space, the Imagination Channel. 

At present, there are no broadcasts available anywhere of VR.5. The series
is unavailable on DVD. 

This petition is a new plea (originally started in 1995) to get VR.5
released on DVD in its original form, to get a movie made of VR.5 and to get
VR.5 back on television somewhere...anywhere in the world."

In 1995, a VR.5 movie petition was started. Up until a few years ago, it had
nearly 1000 people who had signed on. Countries represented were Portugal,
Canada, the United Kingdom (including Scotland), the United States, Germany,
Norway, Ireland, South Africa, Estonia, Belgium, France and Australia.  

 [2]  Write short letters to Fox Broadcasting expressing your support for a
two-hour VR.5 movie.  Also, please mention that you're a member of Virtual
Storm, the Internet-based fan group dedicated to promoting VR.5.
        Send your letters to:

        President, Fox Entertainment Group
        Fox Broadcasting Company
        10201 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035
        Phone: 310-369-3553

quick q&a
- - - - -

 + What episodes were broadcast, and in what order?
 + I forgot what happened in episode [something].
 + I missed some episodes.  Where can I get copies of them?
 + I live in the U.S., and didn't get to see the missing episodes.

   Here are all the episodes that were produced, in order:

         1.   Pilot
         2.   Dr. Strangechild
         3.   Sisters (*)
         4.   Love and Death
         5.   5D
         6.   Escape
         7.   Facing the Fire
         8.   Simon's Choice
         9.   Send Me An Angel (*)
         10.  Control Freak
         11.  The Many Faces of Alex
         12.  Parallel Lives (*)
         13.  Reunion

       (*) = "Sisters," "Send Me An Angel," and "Parallel Lives" were
             not broadcast in the U.S.  They're called the "missing
             episodes," and were broadcast in countries like Canada,
             Norway, and the U.K.

   Descriptions of all 13 episodes are included in the main VR.5 FAQ.

      Sky TV in the U.K. broadcast VR.5 out of order:

         1.   Pilot
         2.   Dr. Strangechild
         4.   Love and Death
         5.   5D
         6.   Escape
         7.   Facing the Fire
         8.   Simon's Choice
         10.  Control Freak
         11.  The Many Faces of Alex
         9.   Send Me An Angel (*)
         13.  Reunion
         12.  Parallel Lives (*)

      They left out "Sisters" to make room for an "X-Files" documentary.

VR.5 Quotes


Sydney Bloom: I want to know how virtual reality works.

Dr. Frank Morgan: Are we communicating right now?

Sydney Bloom: I guess.

Dr. Frank Morgan: But you can't see me and I can't see you, is that right?

Sydney Bloom: Yeah.

Dr. Frank Morgan: We're both having an experience that requires each of our
minds to fill in the blank. Isn't that correct?

Sydney Bloom: Yeah.

Dr. Frank Morgan: Well, that's it. You just had a virtual experience.


Sydney Bloom: Virtual Reality is real. 


The Ten Levels of Virtual Reality

      VR.1: Computer screen. Flat two-dimensional projection.

      VR.2: Interactive (e.g., video games). User-controlled manipulation of
items on a      screen.

      VR.3: Flight simulator. The user manipulates items and objects on a
screen and the simulator responds physically to those actions. This level
controls the space and place containing the individual, but not the
individual's senses.

      VR.4: Cyberspace. User is transplanted into an electronically created
world. Does not involve user being in controlled environment. Equipment that
can neutralize the user's sensory input necessary to alter reality (e.g.,
helmet, gloves, bodysuit).

      VR.5: Level at which Sydney initially operates. It provides a window
to the subconscious mind. User is taken into the virtual world, accessed at
the subconscious level. Experiences, for all intents and purposes, are real
for the user. Results in little or no conscious recall of virtual
experiences for participants unwillingly brought into virtual plane, yet
subconscious behavior is altered, affecting real-world behavior.

      VR.6: This level, much like VR.5, brings the user and participant into
the virtual plane. Access is at the conscious level, with both user and
participant having full recall of virtual experiences.

      VR.7: Telepathy. Communication/experience via the mind, rather than
via hardware. A cyberlink formed between the minds of two people without the
need for a computer, monitor or mouse/keyboard.

      VR.8: The level Dr. Bloom reached. The ability to transplant or
implant a single or multiple personality and life experience within the mind
of the participant. Total mind manipulation.

      VR.9: The ability to manipulate the real world via the mind.
Telekinetic abilities. The virtual becomes real, and reality becomes just
one of the operating planes of the user.

      VR.10: All knowing, all seeing, the ability to transcend normal,
natural, and physical laws governing experiences. 

 + I'm new to the Net.

                      Summary of Things to Remember

      Never forget that the person on the other side is human.
      Don't blame system admins for their users' behavior.
      Never assume that a person is speaking for their organization.
      Be careful what you say about others.
      Be brief.
      Your postings reflect upon you; be proud of them.
      Use descriptive titles
      Think about your audience.
      Be careful with humor and sarcasm.
      Only post a message once.
      Please rotate material with questionable content.
      Summarize what you are following up.
      Use mail, don't post a follow-up.
      Read all follow-ups and don't repeat what has already been said.
      Double-check follow-up newsgroups and distributions.
      Be careful about copyrights and licenses.
      Cite appropriate references.
      When summarizing, summarize.
      Mark or rotate answers or spoilers.
      Spelling flames considered harmful.
      Don't overdo signatures.
      Limit line length and avoid control characters.
      Please do not use Internet as a resource for homework assignments.

 + What are the asterisks?

      If asterisks surround a word, like *this*, read the word as if
   it's emphasized.

 + What is a flame?

      An emotional, often personal attack on another person's article.
   "I disagree with your statement because of X" is not a flame,
   whereas "I disagree with your moronic statement and the fact that
   you would say such a thing proves you're a moronic idiot" is.
      Flames are strongly discouraged (and rarely appear) in

 + What is a lurker?

      Someone who reads a group, but doesn't post.  Doing so is called

 + What is VR.5?

      Fox says it's "a science fiction/drama series that follows an
   ordinary telephone lineswoman who tinkers with the technology of
   virtual reality and is enlisted by a secret organization to aid in
   assignments that require more than conventional methods of solution."

 + What is Virtual Storm?

      A group of fans who like and promote VR.5.  For information on
   what they do, and how to join, please see the VR.5 Mini FAQ.

 + What is:
      Syd?             Sydney Bloom
      Sam?             Samantha Bloom
      Dunc?            Duncan
      VR?              virtual reality
      TC?              The Committee
      The Other?       the person who is brought into VR
      PTB?             the Powers That Be (like: "Oh, if only the PTB
                         renew VR.5...")
      OS?              Oliver Sampson (usually: "OS/ASH")
      ASH?             Anthony Stewart Head
      VS, VStorm?      Virtual Storm
      JSY?             John Sacret Young, VR.5 executive producer/creator
      TSJ?             Thania St. John, VR.5 co-executive producer
       Stormers?       members of Virtual Storm
      SaRF?            Samoset/Rysher/FOX
      LS?              Lori Singer
      MOW?             Movie of the Week.  The abbreviation is used
                         here to refer to the two-hour VR.5 movie
                         that's now in limbo.

 + Tell me about used to receive over 500 posts a week.  Now we're down
   to around  2 posts on a good week.  :-)
      The newsgroup seemed to hit periods of peak traffic -- 120 posts a
   day in July 1995. has now been accepted at thousands
   of Usenet sites worldwide.
      It's received thousands posts since it was created on 26 March
   1995 and re-created on 7 May 1995 (following accepted procedure).
   There have been participants from the United States, Canada, the
   United Kingdom (including Scotland), Norway, Australia, Germany,
   Switzerland, Portugal, Ireland, Argentina, South Africa and
   Mexico, Singapore, Israel.

 + Tell me about the Survival Guide.

      This Survival Guide is compiled and updated by John Dobbin and
   posted weekly to, alt.answers, and news.answers.  You can
   also find it:

      + By e-mail:
          Send a message to <
<>> containing the
          command "send usenet/news.answers/tv/vr5-faq/survival-guide"
          (without quotes).  Leave the subject blank.

Thanks for visiting, and welcome to the Game!


John Dobbin

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

(With the assistance of Jonathan Gan.)

          "With all this talk before Congress about
           installing "V" chips in future TVs so parents
           can block out violence for their children, it
           gave me an idea.
             The VR.5 Chip.  No matter what channel you
           tune to, you get nothing but VR.5.
             I could live with this, as long as the TV
           had a Babylon 5 chip installed too."
                            "Spokesman for the Committee,"
                                       28th August, 1995

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM