Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: Wikis

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Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
A darkened mountainous scene with dark clouds overhead. A lone man is standing to the left of the scene. Above the scene in golden capital letters is the title of the show.
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Titles
Genre Supernatural, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Drama
Created by Christian Williams
Starring Kevin Sorbo
Michael Hurst
Country of origin  New Zealand
 United States
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 111, plus 5 pilot Television movies (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 41–44 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Syndication
Original run January 16, 1995 – November 22, 1999
Chronology
Related shows
  • Hercules and Xena – The Battle for Mount Olympus
  • Xena: Warrior Princess
  • Young Hercules

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys is a television series, filmed in New Zealand and the United States. It was produced from 1995, and was very loosely based on the tales of the classical Greek culture hero Heracles (Hercules was his Roman analogue). It ran for six seasons, producing action figures and other memorabilia as it became one of the highest rated syndicated shows in television history.

It was preceded by several TV movies with the same major characters in 1994 as part of Universal Media Studios's Action Pack: in order, Hercules and the Amazon Women, Hercules and the Lost Kingdom, Hercules and the Circle of Fire, Hercules in the Underworld, and Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur, the last of which served mostly as a "clip show" of the previous movies as a lead up to the series.

Contents

Description

Two men, the one on the left has long brown hair and is taller than the one on the right. The man on the right has long blond hair and is wearing a tunic top and leather trousers and a gauntlet on his right arm. The man on the right is wearing a waistcoat, leather trousers and a medallion around his neck.
Kevin Sorbo (left) and Michael Hurst (right) as Hercules and Iolaus

The series is set in a fantasy version of ancient Greece not precisely located in historical time. Although set in ancient Greece, the show also has a mixture of Oriental, Egyptian and Medieval elements in various episodes. The show stars Kevin Sorbo as Hercules and regularly features Michael Hurst as his sidekick Iolaus. Robert Trebor often rotates with Iolaus as Hercules' other sidekick, Salmoneus – ever looking for a way to make a quick dinar.

Typical plot lines involve Hercules and Iolaus (or Salmoneus) saving rustic villagers from monsters, evil warlords or the often selfish whims of the gods. There was also comedy and episodes often had "in-jokes" about modern themes. In a Come Dancing style contest (episode And Fancy Free), Michael Hurst wore drag throughout to play "The Widow Twanky" and was billed as Edith Sidebottom in the credits. In the episode Beanstalks and Bad Eggs, which is a Jack and the Beanstalk parody, three baby harpies who look like Gremlins do a Three Stooges routine. In the earlier episodes, as mentioned in the show's opening title, Hercules' main nemesis is his evil stepmother Hera, the powerful queen of the gods, who seeks to destroy Hercules using various monsters, because he is a reminder of her husband Zeus' infidelity. As the series progressed, a wider range of enemies was used; notably Hercules' half-brother, the malicious god of war Ares, replaced Hera as the show's primary antagonist. Towards the end of the series Ares is himself replaced by the evil god, Dahak, who is the main villain in the show's fifth season and sets off a story arc that has Hercules traveling to Sumeria, Norseland and Éire. Although Zeus, Hercules' father, is frequently cited by Hercules as a neglectful father, Zeus' love for Hercules is well-documented in the show (In one episode, Hercules explains to a friend that he looked to father figures because Zeus was never around when he was younger. When confronted about this by Hercules, Zeus revealed that he specifically chose Alcmene to be Hercules' mother because he, unfortunately, knew that he could not be there for his son and knew that she would provide him with the love, strength, and support he deserved, thus revealing he had put more thought into Hercules' birth than any other child he ever had). Indeed, Hercules is often referred to as "the favorite son of Zeus". Zeus makes several appearances on the show, even saving his son's life and restoring his superhuman strength on one occasion when he needs it the most. Hercules, for his own part, is always there for Zeus when his father needs him, and in the end, Hercules reconciles with his father and buries whatever issues he has with the father he has come to understand and love. This, however, is changed in Hercules's last appearance on Xena: Warrior Princess, when he is forced to kill Zeus with the rib of Cronus.

The show had a successful spin-off, Xena: Warrior Princess, with which it shared recurring characters such as Ares (Kevin Smith), Autolycus (Bruce Campbell), aforementioned Salmoneus (Robert Trebor), Aphrodite (Alexandra Tydings) and Callisto (Hudson Leick). Both shows, although produced in New Zealand using mostly local actors who strove for American accents, were syndicated worldwide. The success of the show also saw a number of similar ancient-set series being commissioned, such as The Adventures of Sinbad, Conan the Adventurer, The New Adventures of Robin Hood, BeastMaster and Jack of All Trades.

Episodes

Characters and cast

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Main

Recurring

International broadcast history

  • In Australia, this show was shown on Network Ten on Saturdays at 7:30pm back in 1997. Right after it, at 8:30pm, Xena: Warrior Princess was aired.
  • In Brazil, the show was previously shown on SBT from 1997 to 2000 and reruns being shown on Rede Record along Xena from February, 2006.
  • In Dominican Republic, the show was shown along Xena on Telesistema 11, and its female-oriented brother channel Coral 39.
  • In Egypt, the show was previously shown on Egyptian TV Channel 2 and also received reruns due to its huge popularity among Egyptian viewers.
  • In France, the show was shown on TF1 and is currently repeated on NRJ 12.
  • In Germany, it was shown on RTL in the afternoon programme and on weekends.
  • In Greece, it was shown along Xena on Star Channel.
  • In Indonesia the show was shown on RCTI Every Sunday in the morning complete all seasons.
  • In Israel, it was shown along Xena on Channel 1 and AXN.
  • In Italy, it was shown along Xena on Italia 1, now is re-aired on AXN.
  • In Malaysia, it was shown along Xena on nt7 in 1999 and the show was shown on TV3 Every Sunday in the afternoon complete all seasons..
  • In Norway, it was shown on TV3.
  • In Singapore, it was shown on MediaCorp TV Channel 5.
  • In the Netherlands, the show was shown on Yorin and Veronica.
  • In the Philippines, it was broadcasted in the late 1990s at GMA Network alongside Xena The Warrior Princess.
  • In Poland, the show was shown on Polsat, TV4 and AXN.
  • In Portugal, the show was shown on SIC, and it is currently shown on Sci Fi Channel.
  • In Russia, the show was shown on NTV, STS and TV3.
  • In Slovakia, on TV Markíza.
  • In Slovenia, the show was shown along Xena on POP TV and Kanal A, usually weekend afternoons.
  • In South Africa, it is shown on SABC 3 on late Friday nights, and SABC 2 late Sunday nights.
  • In Spain, the show was shown on the public TV station TVE, then it started broadcasting in regional TV channels. It is sometimes been broadcast along Xena.
  • In Sweden, the show was shown along Xena on TV3, together they were branded Äventyrssöndag (Adventure Sunday).
  • In Thailand the show was shown on Channel 3 Every Monday-Friday in the evening complete all six seasons.
  • In Turkey, the show was shown along Xena on Kanal D.
  • In the United Kingdom, the show was broadcast by subscription service Sky, who also ran Xena. It was also run by terrestrial Channel 5 (who also broadcast Xena), in a Saturday tea-time 5:50 p.m. slot. For a while, some fourth season episodes were broadcast in a Sunday evening 8 p.m. slot, and some later re-runs of earlier episodes aired on Tuesday evenings, with the odd episode turning up late on during the night-time schedules. However, both shows abruptly disappeared from their schedules mid-way through the show's run, leaving several seasons unbroadcast (although they have since repeated the earlier episodes several times, edited (often quite heavily) for a Saturday morning youth-aimed slot). It is currently being shown on satellite/cable channel Bravo 2 on weekdays.

DVD releases

Anchor Bay Entertainment released all 6 Seasons of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys on DVD in Region 1 for the first time between 2003-2005. As of 2010, these releases have now been discontinued and are out of print as Anchor Bay no longer has the distribution rights.

On January 12, 2010, Universal Studios Home Entertainment announced that they plan on re-releasing Hercules: The Legendary Journeys on DVD. Season 1 will be re-released on April 20, 2010. [1]

In Region 4, Madman Entertainment has released season 1 on DVD in Australia. Season 2 will be released on February 17, 2010.[2]

Season Ep # Release Dates
Region 1 Region 4
Season 1 13 April 20, 2010 September 9, 2009
Season 2 24 TBA February 17, 2010

See also

External links


Simple English

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Format Supernatural/Fantasy/Drama
Created by Christian Williams
Starring Kevin Sorbo
Michael Hurst
Country of origin United States
New Zealand
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 111, plus 5 pilot Television movies
Production
Running time 41–44 min.
Broadcast
Original channel USA Network
Original run January 16, 1995November 22, 1999
Chronology
Related shows Xena: Warrior Princess
Young Hercules

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys is an American cult television series. It aired from January 16 1995 until November 22 1999. The series was created in 1995 by writer-producers Christian Willians under his production tag, Pacific Renaissance Pictures LTD with later co-executive producers being Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, John Schulian and R. J. Stewart, the series is a Spin-off from the TV movies series aired in 1994, Hercules and the Amazon Women, Hercules and the Lost Kingdom, Hercules and the Circle of Fire, Hercules in the Underworld, and Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur, the last of which served mostly as a clip show of the previous movies as a lead up to the series, was very loosely based on the tales of the classical Greek culture hero Hercules. It ran for six seasons, producing action figures and other memorabilia as it became one of the highest rated syndicated shows in television history.

Contents

Plot Summary

File:Kevin
Kevin Sorbo, the main actor as Hercules.

The series is set in a fantasy version of ancient Greece not precisely located in historical time. Although set in ancient Greece, the show also has a mixture of Oriental, Egyptian and Medieval elements in various episodes. The show stars Kevin Sorbo as Hercules and regularly features Michael Hurst as his sidekick Iolaus. Robert Trebor often rotates with Iolaus as Hercules' other sidekick, Salmoneus.

Typical plot lines involve Hercules and Iolaus, or Salmoneus, saving rustic villagers from monsters, evil warlords or the often selfish whims of the gods. In the earlier episodes, as mentioned in the show's opening title, Hercules' main nemesis is his evil stepmother Hera, who seeks to destroy Hercules using various monsters, because he is a reminder of her husband Zeus' infidelity. As the series progressed, a wider range of enemies was used; notably, the malicious Ares, god of war, replaced Hera as the show's primary antagonist. Towards the end of the series Ares is himself replaced by the evil god, Dahak, who is the main villain in the show's fifth season and sets off a story arc that has Hercules traveling to Sumeria, Norseland and Éire. Although Zeus, Hercules' father, is frequently cited by Hercules as a neglectful father, Zeus' love for Hercules is well-documented in the show. Indeed, Hercules is often referred to as the favorite son of Zeus. Zeus makes several appearances on the show, even saving his son's life and restoring his superhuman strength on one occasion when he needs it the most. Hercules, for his own part, is always there for Zeus when his father needs him, and in the end, Hercules reconciles with his father and buries whatever issues he has with the father he has come to understand and love.

The show had a successful spin-off, Xena: Warrior Princess, with which it shared recurring characters such as Ares, Autolycus, aforementioned Salmoneus, Aphrodite and Callisto. Both shows, although produced in New Zealand using mostly local actors who strove for American accents, were syndicated worldwide.

Characters and cast

Main

  • Hercules: Kevin Sorbo, Ian Bohen
  • Iolaus: Michael Hurst, Dean O'Gorman

Recurring

  • Alcmene: Elizabeth Hawthorne, Liddy Holloway and Kim Michalis
  • Althea: Willa O'Neill
  • Aphrodite: Alexandra Tydings
  • Apollo: Scott Michaelson
  • Ares: Kevin Tod Smith
  • Artemis: Rhonda McHardy
  • Atalanta: Cory Everson
  • Autolycus: Bruce Campbell
  • Callisto: Hudson Leick
  • Cassandra: Claudia Black
  • Charon: Michael Hurst
  • Cupid: Karl Urban
  • Daedalus: Derek Payne
  • Dahak: Michael Hurst, Mark Newnham
  • Deianeira: Tawny Kitaen
  • Demeter: Sarah Wilson
  • Dirce: Lisa Chappell
  • Discord: Meighan Desmond
  • Falafel: Paul Norell
  • Gabrielle: Renée O'Connor
  • Hades: Erik Thomson, Mark Ferguson
  • Hera: Meg Foster
  • Iphicles: Kevin Smith
  • Jason: Jeffrey Thomas, Chris Conrad
  • Joxer: Ted Raimi
  • Kernunnos: Stuart Devenie
  • Mabon: Nicko Vella
  • Morrígan: Tamara Gorski
  • Nebula: Gina Torres
  • Nemesis: Karen Witter, Teresa Hill and Kimberley Joseph
  • Odin: Peter McCauley
  • Orestes: Michael Hurst
  • Persephone: Andrea Croton
  • Psyche: Susan Ward
  • Salmoneus: Robert Trebor
  • Serena: Sam Jenkins, Kara Zediker
  • Strife: Joel Tobeck
  • Xena: Lucy Lawless
  • Zeus: Roy Dotrice, Peter Vere-Jones, Charles Keating, Anthony Quinn.

International broadcast history

  • In Australia, this show was shown on Network Ten on Saturdays at 7:30pm back in 1997. Right after it, at 8:30pm, Xena: Warrior Princess was aired.
  • In Brazil, the show was previously shown on SBT from 1994 to 2000 and reruns being shown on Rede Record along Xena from February, 2006.
  • In Dominican Republic, the show was shown along Xena on Telesistema 11, and its female-oriented brother channel Coral 39.
  • In Egypt, the show was previously shown on Egyptian TV Channel 2 and also received reruns due to its huge popularity among Egyptian viewers.
  • In France, the show was shown on TF1 and is currently repeated on NRJ 12.
  • In Germany, it was shown on RTL at 20:15.
  • In Greece, it was shown along Xena on Star Channel.
  • In Israel, it was shown along Xena on Channel 1 and AXN.
  • In Malaysia, it was shown along Xena on nt7 in 1999.
  • In Singapore, it was shown on Channel 5.
  • In the Netherlands, the show was shown on Yorin.
  • In Poland, the show was shown on Polsat, TV4 and AXN.
  • In Russia, the show was shown on STS.
  • In Spain, the show was shown on the public TV station TVE, then it started broadcasting in regional TV channels. It's sometimes been broadcast along Xena.
  • In Slovenia, the show was shown along Xena on POP TV and KANAL A, usually Weekends afternoon.
  • In Sweden, the show was shown along Xena on TV3, together they were branded Äventyrssöndag.
  • In Turkey, the show was shown along Xena on Kanal D.
  • In the United Kingdom, the show was broadcast by subscription service Sky, who also ran Xena. It was also run by terrestrial Channel 5, in a Saturday tea-time 5:50 p.m. slot. For a while, some fourth season episodes were broadcast in a Sunday evening 8 p.m. slot, and some later re-runs of earlier episodes aired on Tuesday evenings, with the odd episode turning up late on during the night-time schedules. However, both shows abruptly disappeared from their schedules mid-way through the show's run, leaving several seasons unbroadcast. It is currently being shown on satellite/cable channel Bravo 2 on weekdays.

Awards and Nominations

Awards Outcome
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards:
Top TV Series Won
Top TV Series Won
Top TV Series Won
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films:
Best DVD Television Release Nominated
International Monitor Awards:
Film Originated Television Series, Audio Post Production Won
Film Originated Television Series, Audio Post Production Won
Motion Picture Sound Editors:
Best Sound Editing, Television Episodic, Dialogue & ADR, Music and Efects Nominated
New Zealand Film and TV Awards:
Best Director, Comedy (Michael Hurst) Won[1]
Best Dramatic Performance in a Supporting Role (Michael Hurst) Won

Differences from the original mythology

  • Hercules is shown to be a younger half-brother to Iphicles, while the myth states that Hercules was born a fraternal twin but half-brother to Iphicles since both Zeus and Amphitryon impregnated Alcmene at the same time.
  • Jason is pictured here to be older than Hercules and marries Alcmene, which never happens in the myth. The mythical Jason dies when a part of Argos falls on him. Also, Jason and Hercules are somewhat the same age in the myth.
  • Hercules never was along Atalanta in the myth, nor along Daedalus.
  • Salmoneus is the name of a man who tried to impersonate Zeus.
  • Hercules is sent after Persephone by Demeter. In the myth, Hermes is who was sent to rescue Persephone from Hades, and Persephone's stay is a result of eating the pomegranate seeds while staying there.
  • Hercules is supposed to be a royal member from the House of Perseus. No mention of Perseus is ever made in the story.
  • The mythical Iolaus was a son of Iphicles and Automedusa, and Hercules' eromenos in the Theban version of the myth, where the relationship was said to pre-figure or originate the Theban Band.
  • Arachne did not become a dangerous spider monster as depicted in the show. She simply keeps weaving after Athena turns her into a spider.
  • Hercules never falls in love with Psyche due to a love arrow, nor did Hera curse her grandson Cupid to become a green-eyed monster.
  • Apollo is portrayed as an arrogant god. In the myth, Apollo is whom Hercules consults on the purification after he kills his first wife, Megara, while he is under Hera's madness.
  • Hercules fights the Minotaur in the series. In the myth, it is Theseus who slays the Minotaur.
  • The mythical Hercules kills his first wife, Megara, and their children after Hera strikes him with madness. In the series Hercules' first wife is Deianeira, and Hera kills her directly with a fireball. This story does not exist in the myth. Deianeira was Hercules' third wife, who accidentally tricked him into his death. He is later ascended by Zeus into with Hera's consent and married one of his half-sisters, Hebe, a daughter of Zeus and Hera. No mention of Hebe is made in these TV series.
  • Hades looks younger than Zeus when he is supposed to be the older brother of Zeus even before Poseidon. Hades and Hercules are shown here to be allies, while in the myths Hades rarely works with Hercules, aside from that of a framed-up death. Hades never has an alliance with Hercules in the myth, although the two are not enemies. Also Hades has his own infidelities with two nymphs whom his niece/wife Persephone turns into plants.
  • Aphrodite and Ares' relationship is not very emphasized, though flirtations between them are shown. Ares' paternity to Cupid is not stated clearly. Also, it should be emphasized that Aphrodite never has a happy relationship with Hephaestus nor do they reconcile and Aphrodite frequently cheats on him with Ares.
  • Echidna never turns good nor befriends Hercules in the myth, where she has the body of a serpent with the head of a woman and is a Titan herself. She is not an octopus–like creature, as is portrayed in the show. In some sources of the myth, she mates with Hercules to produce three children who are all human.
  • Here Hercules runs away from the offer to impregnate the fifty daughters of a king which in the myth he is tricked into sleeping with by the king who sends one daughter to his bed each night for fifty nights, Hercules believes them to be only one woman.
  • The Hydra, Cerberus, Ladon, Medusa, Minotaur are specific, not generic monsters in mythology. Also Hydra, Cerberus, Orthrus, Chimera, the Nemean Lion, the Sphinx, Ethon and Ladon are siblings to each other, sons and daughters of Echidna and Typhon.
  • Typhon is violent in the myth and Hera never locks him away as punishment to Echidna until she can kill Hercules. It is Zeus who locks Typhon away to separate him from Echidna, to avoid them from conceiving any more monsters after the war with the Titans is over.
  • There are no accounts in most Greek myths which state that Hercules met Zoroaster, fought with somebody who seems to be the archangel Michael, helped Thor and all. Dahak is derived from a Persian myth based on the evil god Aži Dahāka, of darkness and sworn enemy to Allah or, in some, Ahura Mazda. The idea of helping Thor comes from the Marvel Comics incarnation.
  • Ares is also supposed to be rejected by his own refined mother, Hera. But in the series, the two seem to get along and Hera seems to be unrefined like Ares. Ares is also portrayed in the series to be much of a Satan–like character in the later episodes, that is until Dahak comes.
  • Hera is portrayed to be quite evil in some ways. Though in the Greek myths she only wants to inflict harm on Hercules and only does evil as a last resort, unlike her son Ares who harms many people.
  • In the myth, Hera asks for Hercules' forgiveness when Hercules saves her from being raped by the Titan Portheryon and performs all labors required of him. She allows her daughter Hebe to marry Hercules when he becomes a full deity. In the series, after Hercules reunites Zeus and Hera, she stops hating Hercules, and even helps him stop Zeus from killing Xena's unborn child.
  • Hercules becomes a full deity by Zeus, only to defeat Hera and Hercules later denounces his position. In the Greek myth, Hercules becomes a full deity because of Zeus' decision that his heroism surpasses the other demigods. When he meets Hera on Mt. Olympus, he is already at peace with Hera.
  • Hephaestus is supposed to be a lame and ugly god, but in the series he is good-looking. Also, he reunites with Aphrodite after the many times she cheated on him, presumably with Ares, Hermes, Dionysus and even Adonis, which never happens in the myth.
  • No mention of Hippolyta being Ares' daughter is ever made in the movie Hercules and the Amazon Women.
  • Hermes is portrayed to be big and chubby, when most myths portray him to be slim and short.
  • Hera appears as a pair of peacock-feathered eyes for many episodes, which in the mythology never happens, though this is a nod to her signature bird the peacock, on whose tail she placed the hundred eyes of her dead servant Argos Panoptes after his slaying by Hermes. Hera is never imprisoned in Tartarus and freed by Evander. Also, if she appears in the sky, she always shows her full face or part of her. Also Hera's blue monks never take over Troy.
  • Hercules never has a mission to retrieve fire from Hera, who takes it away from Prometheus. In the myth, Zeus wants to get fire away from the mankind, not Hera, and Prometheus is condemned by Zeus to be chained for giving the fire to the mankind.
  • Hera turns Atlas into stone. In Greek mythology, however, it is Perseus who turns Atlas to stone with the Medusa's head.
  • Hera never banishes Nemesis into a mortal body for not wanting to kill Hercules.
  • In the myth, Evander is not a son of Ares, but of Hermes and Nemesis.
  • Also, Hera never falls in love with Adonis. Adonis is not killed by Zeus but by the jealous Ares who is somewhat still in love with Aphrodite.

DVD releases

Anchor Bay Entertainment has released all 6 Seasons of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys as well as all TV-Movies on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time. The first two season box sets are not closed-captioned, even though the original release of episodes on TV was.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Season 1 18 June 24 2003
Season 2 24 October 21 2003
Season 3 22 March 23 2004
Season 4 22 July 13 2004
Season 5 22 January 11 2005
Season 6 8 July 12 2005

References

  1. Michael Hurst Awards at IMDB

Other pages

Other websites


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