Show Type: Sci-Fi
First Telecast: March 10, 1995
Last Telecast: May 12, 1995
Sydney Bloom..... Lori Singer
Duncan Magnum..... Michael Easton
Dr. Frank Morgan..... Will Patton
Oliver Sampson..... Anthony Head
Dr. Joseph Bloom..... David McCallum
Mrs. Nora Bloom..... Louise Fletcher
Sydney Bloom (child)..... Kaci Williams
Samantha Bloom (child)..... Kimberly Cullum
Samantha Bloom (adult)..... Tracey Needham
Sydney Bloom was only a child when her father, Joseph, a brilliant computer scientist worried about someone or something that was after them, had accidentally drove their speeding car into a river and drowned along with her twin sister, Samantha. Ever since then, the horrible experience has haunted her. Now, 20 years later, Sydney was a lineperson for the Tel-Cal Telephone Company in San Francisco. She had no social life, instead opting for her crammed apartment filled with personal computer equipment and the latest virtual reality (VR) "toys". By putting on the special goggles and gloves attached to her PC, she could escape into a vivid, computer-created fantasy world.
While doing this, she stumbled into the fabled "fifth level" of virtual reality, a fantasy world that affected events in the real world and she wasn't always in control of the outcome. When she called someone and connected the phone into her computer's modem, they too were pulled into her VR world. This level of VR was brightly colored, surrealistic, and not always a nice place to be. She might see how a real-life murderer had committed his crime but almost become the victim herself, or a neighborhood bully might almost be killed before her eyes by giant blue rats. She also used VR.5 to search for her own dangerous demons, as when she tried to communicate with her mother, who had been institutionalized in a catatonic state since her father and sisters' drownings.
As people found out about her discovery, they too wanted to use her unique ability to enter VR.5. The first was Dr. Frank Morgan, a professor of computer science at a local university who was her original contact with The Committee, a secretive organization with mixed motives that made use of her ability and sent her on missions into the world of VR. Another was the mysterious Oliver - the same man who had terrified her the night he had died. Morgan was killed by an assassin as a result of one of Sydney's assignments for The Committee and she felt responsible. Her only true friend was her neighbor, Duncan, a free spirted, insightful guy she had known since childhood.
In the last original episode in May 1995, Sydney found out that her father and sister were still alive, prisoners of an evil faction of The Committee that was trying to use Dr. Bloom's discoveries to take over the world. The "accident" which she so vividly remembered was a "false memory" they had implanted in her brain. In the cliffhanger ending, Sydney fought off evil Committee soldiers with the help of Oliver and Samantha and used the truth to bring her mother out of her coma, but then plunged into unconsciousness herself.
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