Episode 5 : 'The Eternal Punishment'

The episode starts with the view of a bleak desert planet (The Desert of the Tartars). There is one man who lives here. This man is Syssipus, and he must perform a seemingly endless task of pushing balls of debris into a deep pit.

After another tiring session, Syssipus rests for a while and recollects his past, before is current situation. When he was living happily with his wife, he talks of a goal he was determined to achieve. That of discovering the secret of the Gods' immortality.

This being the reason for his punishment and exile, he then cries out to the Gods' asking them why he must continue to live out this punishment when he believes he has paid for his crime. The Gods' then tell him of the coming arrival of a man that can take his place on the planet, and so Syssipus can be free. This man is Ulysses, he has approached the planet and is carrying out checks for life. He is astonished to find that there is life on the barren planet. Once the Odyssey has landed, he then proceeds to investigate with the use of the shuttle.

Upon arrival, Ulysses is attacked by Syssipus and loses his belt that lets him fly. Syssipus then gets into the shuttle and pilots it back to the Odyssey while Ulysses is left clinging on to the edge of the pit. The children and Nono are suspicious when they see the errattic flight pattern of the little shuttle. On close-up display, they discover that it is Syssipus flying the craft and they are worried as to what happened to Ulysses.

When Syssipus arrives at the Odyssey he orders take-off. But the computer, Sherka, will not be commanded by a stranger. The children then face him with the help of the ship's robots and force him to take them onto the planet and find Ulysses.

Unfortunately, Ulysses has disappeared when they get back to the deep pit. After the explanation from Syssipus, Telemachus decides he must go into the pit to try and find his father. Although when Syssipus tries to save Yumi and Nono from being crushed, a tumbling ball of debris sends him into the pit as well.

Inside the pit, there is an assortment of machinery that seems to be recycling the debris that has fallen in and sending it back to the desert to be pushed back again. Syssipus is there and he has discovered this.

He gets very angry.

Eventually, Telemachus is reunited with Ulysses and they, with Yumi and Nono, return to the shuttle. The planet is being sent to another dimension, so they must hurry, or they will be cut off from the Oddyssey.

Syssipus, however, accepts his fate of eternal punishment and remains back where he started, on the edge of the pit, next to a newly recycled ball of debris.

Written by Mike Grove

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