The Odyssey is a 1997 American mythology–adventure television miniseries based on the ancient Greek epic poem by Homer, the Odyssey. Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, the miniseries aired in two parts beginning on May 18, 1997 on NBC. It was filmed in Malta, Turkey, parts of England, and many other places around the Mediterranean, where the story takes place. The cast includes Armand Assante, Greta Scacchi, Irene Papas, Isabella Rossellini, Bernadette Peters, Eric Roberts, Geraldine Chaplin, Christopher Lee and Vanessa Williams.
Arriving at the Underworld, Tiresias (Christopher Lee) torments Odysseus, recognizing his courage and wit, but criticizing his ego and foolishness. After Odysseus sacrifices a goat into the River Styx, Tiresias tells him that the only way home will take him past a treacherous isle where Scylla (sea monster) and Charybdis (tidal pool) live. As he is running in terror from the underworld, he meets his mother Anticlea (Irene Papas), who committed suicide due to the pain of losing her son. She informs him that back on Ithaca there are multiple suitors, including Eurymachus (Eric Roberts), vying with each other to marry Penelope for her money and power.
Odysseus' boat nears the isle of Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla's six serpentine heads wreak havoc on the crew, killing many. Everyone but Odysseus is killed when Charybdis creates a whirlpool and destroys his ship. Odysseus arrives on the island where the goddess Calypso (Vanessa Williams) lives and becomes her prisoner. Meanwhile, Odysseus' now 15-year-old son Telemachus (Alan Stenson) tries to find his father and is told by Athena (Isabella Rossellini) to travel to Sparta and seek out one of his former comrades that fought with him. When Telemachus finds Menelaus (Nicholas Clay), one of Odysseus' comrades, he learns that Menelaus doesn't know what happened to Odysseus but believes him to be dead.
Two years later, Hermes arrives, telling Calypso to release Odysseus, and she provides him with a raft to get to Ithaca. Another storm causes problems for Odysseus as he calls out to Poseidon, who reminds Odysseus about what he said the day he left Troy, and to remember his place as a mere mortal. The next morning, Odysseus washes ashore and is found by some Phaeacians girls. With help from Phaeacian King Alcinous (Jeroen Krabbé), they help Odysseus back to Ithaca. They deliver him at night while he is fast asleep, to a hidden harbor on Ithaca. Upon awakening the next morning, he finds himself on Ithaca where is reunited with Telemachus. Using a peasant disguise provided by Athena, Odysseus meets up with Penelope where she decides to hold a contest to find the person who can string Odysseus' bow. After Odysseus wins the contest, Athena lifts his disguise and Odysseus is assisted by Telemachus in slaying Eurymachus and the suitors. Once the suitors are dead, Odysseus is finally reunited with Penelope.