The greatest epic of the ancient world, Homer’s Odyssey, is now magnificently recreated for television, filmed on breathtaking locations and brought to life with never-before-seen special effects. Homer’s engaging and edifying tale recounts the journey of Odysseus, king of Ithaca and mastermind of the Greek victory in the Trojan war, who survives ten years of trials and temptations thrown in his way by angry gods and makes his way home at last to his kingdom, his loyal wife and son with something more valuable than the spoils of war--wisdom.
Odysseus, known as a man of exceptional cunning and ingenuity, leaves his wife, Penelope, and infant son, Telemachus, for what becomes a ten-year siege of the distant city of Troy. Where brute force fails, cunning prevails: Odysseus forms the famous plan to infiltrate the city with a giant wooden horse filled with Greek soldiers, and Troy is taken. That night, in the drunken revelry of victory, Odysseus blasphemes the gods, boasting that his own ingenuity, not the help and intervention of the gods, has brought this glory. Poseidon, god of the sea, is deeply offended, and lays on Odysseus a curse, that he will never reach home again.
Thus the stage is set for the legendary travails of Odysseus and his men, who no sooner set sail for home than Poseidon’s curse makes itself manifest. They land on an island looking for food and fresh water, and instead are imprisoned by Polyphemous, a brutal man-eating Cyclops. Odysseus manages to free his men, but this is just the first of many such trials, as they encounter the artful enchantress Circe; the Sirens, beautiful temptresses whose songs lure sailors to wreck their ships on the rocks; the narrow straights between the monsters Scylla and Charybdis; and the irresistible sea nymph, Calypso. Eventually, through the intervention of his protector Athena, Odysseus reaches his home on the island of Ithaca, where more trouble awaits.
While he has been lost, ten years have passed, and a company of suitors has descended upon his home, seeking the hand of Penelope and the kingdom of her lost husband. For ten years she has put them off, refusing to give up on the chance that Odysseus will return. In the meantime, they feast and cavort, laying waste to Odysseus’ estate as they form plots to kill Telemachus, his heir. Odysseus, disguised with the help of Athena, plots his revenge. With Telemachus and a few loyal servants, he defeats the treacherous suitors, slaying them all in a mighty display of strength, resolve and guile.
After twenty long years, the family is reunited. Odysseus has learned that there is a difference between cunning and wisdom, and that the latter is key to life and happiness.