REVIEW: 30 DAYS OF NIGHT

CAST

Josh Hartnett (The Faculty)
Melissa George (Triangle)
Danny Huston (The Kingdom)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Mark Boone Junior (Batman Begins)
Mark Rendall (Open House)
Amber Sainsbury (Hex)
Manu Bennett (Arrow)
Megan Franich (Alpha Planet)
Joel Tobeck (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Filthy Rich)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Craig Hall (King Kong)
Andrew Stehlin (10, 000 BC)
John Rawls (The Blue Rose)
Jared Turner (The Almighty Johnsons)
Kelson Henderson (Power Rangers n inja Steel)
Pua Magasiva (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Kate Elliott (Power Rangers Samurai)

The town of Barrow, Alaska is preparing for its annual “30 Days of Night”, a period during the winter when there is a month-long polar night. As the town gets ready, a stranger (Ben Foster) rows ashore from a large ship and sabotages the town’s communications and transport to the outside world. Barrow’s sheriff, Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) investigates and also learns that his estranged wife, Stella (Melissa George), missed the last plane and must stay the 30 days. That night, a coven of feral vampires, led by Marlow (Danny Huston), attack and slaughter most of the townspeople, forcing Eben, Stella, Eben’s younger brother Jake (Mark Rendall), and several other survivors to take shelter in a boarded-up house with a hidden attic. Marlow finds the stranger locked up in the station. The stranger believed Marlow was going to turn him into a vampire. Marlow thanks him for doing what he asked, and then snaps his neck. Marlow ironically comments to his fellow vampires: “The things they believe.”Eighteen days later, when a blizzard hits, the group uses the whiteout to go to the general store for supplies, but are stranded after it ends. While the group heads for the station, Eben creates a diversion by having the vampires chase him to his grandmother’s house, where he uses one of her ultraviolet lights to burn the face of Marlow’s lover, Iris (Megan Franich), so badly that Marlow is forced to kill her. As he escapes, the town snow plow operator, Beau (Mark Boone Junior), creates another distraction with his tractor, killing many of the vampires, before trying to blow himself up; when he fails, Marlow crushes his head. Eben arrives at the station, where he is then forced to kill Carter (Nathaniel Lees), who has been bitten and is turning into a vampire.Two weeks later, Stella and Eben see the deputy, Billy (Manu Bennett), signaling them with a flashlight and bring him back to the station, after finding out he killed his family to save them from a more painful death. The trio find the others have made for the utilidor, a power and sewage treatment station that still has power, and head over there but are separated after Stella saves Gail Robbins (Rachel Maitland-Smith), a young girl whose family was slaughtered by a vampire named Zurial (John Rawls) who was stalking her. Eben and Billy make it to the utilidor but are attacked by Arvin (Andrew Stehlin), who bites Billy; Billy knocks Arvin into the heavy-duty shredder, before being killed by Eben because he is starting to turn.As the month comes to an end, with the sun due to rise, the vampires start to burn down the town to destroy evidence of their presence, and prevent any survivors from telling the world what happened. Realizing Stella is trapped and that he cannot beat the vampires in his current state, Eben turns himself into a vampire by injecting himself with Billy’s infected blood. He confronts Marlow, and they get into a vicious fight, before Marlow is finally killed by having a hole punched through his head, causing the remaining vampires to flee. Knowing he will die soon, Eben and Stella go off to watch the sunrise together, sharing one last kiss. As the sun comes up, Eben’s body burns to ash in Stella’s arms, while she stares at the sky, coming to grips with what has happened.For a movie that takes place almost completely in the dark, 30 Days Of Night is well shot. The snowbound settings and claustrophobic interiors instantly conjure up memories of Carpenter’s The Thing but the similarities are really only superficial.

REVIEW: HEX – SEASON 1 & 2

MAIN CAST

Christina Cole (Jupiter Ascenmding)
Jemima Rooper (Urban Gothic)
Michael Fassbender (300)
Jamie Davis (Casulty)
Amber Sainsbury (Young Hercules)
Anna Wilson-Jones (Hotel Babylon)
Colin Salmon (Limitless TV)
Joseph Morgan (The Originals)
Zoe Tapper (Mr. Selfridge)
Laura Pyper (Reign of Fire)
Joseph Beattie (Brideshead Revisited)
Samuel Collings (Doctors)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Geraldine James (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Jessica Oyelowo (Sleepy Hollow)
Stephen Wright (Highlander: The Source)
Sam Troughton (Robin Hood)
Ronan Vibert (The Panist)
Laura Donnelly (Sugar Rush)
Leon Ford (East West 101)
Anatole Taubman (Band of Brothers)
Jemuna Avey (Eastenders)
Katrine De Candole (X-Men: First Class)
Jemma Powell (The Hole)

Hex is set at a remote English school, Medenham Hall, which occupies the former manor house and grounds of the McBain estate. It was the site of an 18th-century witchcraft scandal in which the female members of the line, the Medenham Witches, were tried and executed. Cassie, who raised herself in a single-parent household caring for her mentally unstable mother, has latent telekinetic, pyrokinetic and clairvoyant abilities that are awakened when she touches an antique vase that had been used in Voodoo rituals by the Medenham Witches. Her roommate, Thelma (who harbors an ill-concealed crush on Cassie), discovers that Cassie is a descendant of the Medenham Witches. Cassie has startling visions and dreams that she strives to interpret, and also struggles with controlling her growing telekinetic and pyrokinetic powers, which she is only able to summon in times of stress.

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Cassie is stalked by a “dangerous looking” stranger who calls himself Azazeal. Initially glimpsed fleetingly, he becomes increasingly bold, even entering into the student’s rooms later in the series without warning or permission. Azazeal is revealed to be the leader of the biblical Nephilim, fallen angels, and he claims to be in love with Cassie. He has had previous relationships with schoolmistress Jo Watkins and Cassie’s own mother, which may have contributed to her mental illness.

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Frustrated by his inability to convince Cassie that his claims are sincere, Azazeal kills Thelma before Cassie’s eyes as a sacrifice to increase his power and prove that he is truly who he says he is. This act has two unintentional consequences: his power over Cassie is initially weakened by the shock, and Thelma thereafter continues to share Cassie’s room as a ghost that only Cassie, Azazeal and other ghosts can see. Thelma never forgives Azazeal for her own death, and is a strong voice against him to Cassie, who has grown to have feelings for him. Thelma is unable to touch the living, but she can touch other ghosts and presumably manipulate inanimate objects (including clothing, artifacts, books, doors, window sashes, and vending machines) and eat, which she does constantly (since ghosts cannot gain weight). Thelma works behind the scenes to spy on Azazeal and gather evidence from places where Cassie cannot enter. Cassie, while horrified by some of Azazeal’s behaviour, ultimately finds herself drawn into his power. Azazeal possesses Cassie, and while under his power, she gives herself to him and they conceive a child.

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Thelma learns from Peggy, the ghost of a woman who died in the 1918 influenza pandemic, that the gestation of Azazeal’s child is weakening the veil between worlds, allowing more ghosts to appear to the living. If the child is born, the veil will be torn, allowing the rest of the Nephilim to enter our world. If the pregnancy is terminated, the veil will heal, preventing the Nephilim from returning and leaving Azazeal the only one of his kind in our world. But there is a side effect: ghosts will also vanish from this world. Cassie, after much convincing from Thelma decides that her fetus must be aborted, although it is growing at an alarming rate. A week after conception, the doctors believe she is nearing the end of her second trimester. Thelma assists Cassie, without telling her that success means that she may never see Cassie again. Azazeal tries to interfere and save his son, but Cassie goes through with the abortion…or so she thinks. When Thelma realizes that Cassie can still see her, Thelma knows that something has not gone right. Cassie discovers weeks later that the doctor who performed her procedure has been influenced by Azazeal, and that the baby is alive and in Azazeal’s care.

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Hex is sometimes compared to Joss Whedon’s classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and it’s easy to see why a surface connection can be made. Both shows focus on pretty young women with supernatural powers, who face all sorts of strange demons and creatures. There’s even some scenes set at a local club, where Cassie encounters some foes, that will evoke memories of The Bronze for Buffy fans.

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However, the shows aren’t truly identical. Hex is a much more somber affair, playing almost everything very straight and without the knowing comic edge Buffy had. This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but it does lead to the show sometimes straining to not become too campy, as some of the plot points are pretty out there, and more of an acknowledgement of that within the show would be nice. Also, in the early episodes, there are some redundant moments that nearly become comical – note how many times we cut to Fassbender ominously standing and watching from afar. Thankfully Rooper is present, as her character, who goes through some rather huge changes early on, adds some much needed sarcasm and humor, and the actress is a very quirky and appealing presence.

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Hex is a very attractive show, and not just because its stars are easy on the eyes – There’s a good deal of sex going on throughout the series, which never quote pins down just how old these kids are. The show is very well shot and cinematic, with the beautiful grounds of the school looking ominous and impressive. The soundtrack is also very cool.

Thelma discovers that Azazeal is raising the child, who is walking already, in an abandoned nearby church. She and Cassie decide that they must somehow get the child, whom Azazeal has named “Malachi”, but are clueless as to how to accomplish this. Azazeal becomes aware that they are watching him and tries to convince Cassie that he only wants her to join them so that they can be a “real family”. Cassie, still partially under his spell, is obviously attracted by the prospect but retains enough of herself to know that this is something she should not want.

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While Cassie and Thelma strategize, new characters are introduced at the school while old ones depart. Troy, convinced that Cassie’s child is his, left the school at the end of the first series. Jo Watkins, having “really let herself go,” is seldom seen at school as she has become Azazeal’s live-in nurse and nanny. The school gains a new chaplain, Jez Heriot, who doesn’t “wear the uniform” except when conducting services and also teaches Ethics. When Jo effectively disappears, David Tyrel asks Jez to take her classes as well. The students don’t initially realize that he is a priest, and Roxanne is quite taken with him, so much so that she can’t help but seduce him even after the truth is known. A new student arrives at Medenham: Ella Dee. Her wardrobe instantly wins her points with the boys, evokes jealousy in the girls, and makes the faculty uncomfortable. Thelma is mildly attracted until she realizes that Ella can see her. There are other anomalies: Ella’s tuition is paid by a corporation and her family background is unknown. She also seems to know entirely too much about Cassie… and Azazeal.

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Ella (Laura Pyper) drawing a magical Hexagram in order to protect Cassie (Christina Cole) in the episode “Death Takes the Mother.”  It is quickly revealed that Ella is definitely not what she seems. She is 445 years old and the daughter of John Dee. Ella is also a witch and has been hunting Azazeal for centuries. So far, she has been very successful in preventing Azazeal from begetting a son by a mortal witch. This time, however, Ella was too late. Her mission: kill Malachi.

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Ella instantly takes charge of both Cassie and Thelma, and formulates a plan to kidnap Malachi and sacrifice him in the school chapel. They are successful in grabbing the child, but Azazeal follows them and a series of alternately foolish and selfish decisions leads the girls inexorably to tragedy. With Azazeal present, Cassie loses her resolve and throws her body between Ella and Malachi. She dies instantly when Ella can’t stop her killing blow, and Azazeal regains Malachi and retreats.

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Ella tries to devise a new strategy while Thelma tries to deal with her deep sense of loss, but Ella loses her edge as she feels herself falling for Leon. Azazeal appeals to Thelma’s own selfish desires and convinces her to steal and give him the Stone of Belial, one of Ella’s objects of power, in exchange for a last meeting with Cassie. Jez is revealed to be Ramiel, another Nephilim and Azazeal’s “right-hand entity”. With the Stone in their possession, Azazeal and Ramiel conspire to drive Ella insane by forcing her to relive the 17th century witch trial in which she was found guilty and nearly executed. Azazeal uses the Stone of Belial on Thelma, who travels back to Ella’s witch trial and rescues her from execution in the past. Ramiel’s scheming and manipulation leads to Ella’s commitment in an insane asylum, where a triumphant Azazeal seemingly abandons her.
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Ella rapidly ages as she is stripped of her powers, but after Leon is brought in on her secret and is granted the power to see Thelma, he helps to revive her using the Volta. A friend of Leon’s who helped him get Ella out of the hospital (where she was cared for by Azazeal’s lover Perie the Faerie) is tortured by Azazeal and the now teenaged Malachi, who kills him out of pity. Azazeal is asked to leave by “higher powers” and enlists Malachi at Medenham Hall. He and Ella say their goodbyes; with Malachi born, Ella has no desire to kill him, and Azazeal leaves the Stone of Belial in Malachi’s possession. Ella kills Jez and makes it look like suicide, precipitated by the revelation that he was having an affair with a student, which deeply affects Roxanne, who felt responsible because she had seduced him.
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Ella and Malachi romance one another magically and otherwise, and their respective mentors, the Archangel Raphael and the demon Mephistopheles, both use psychological tactics to get them to do as they wish. Ella and Malachi eventually have sex, as the evil side had wanted, and by fulfilling Ella’s true desire (to be normal), she is made a slave to Malachi – his succubus. Malachi kills a lesbian girl named Maya so that her ghost can consort with Thelma and give him leverage. Ella’s enslavement to Malachi is ended by Thelma, who invaded her dreams and invoked her greatest fear: fire. Leon attempts to kill Malachi, but is betrayed by Thelma (in hopes of keeping her and Maya together in the living world) and saved by Ella after Malachi sends a fallen Archangel, Sariel, to attack him. Mephistopheles betrays the cause of evil by helping Ella save Leon, who he feels did not need to die, and is subsequently punished and has his eyes removed. Raphael falls from grace by trying to rape Ella, who announces at this point that she no longer works for Raphael’s master, God, and is a freelance agent at last.

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Ella loses all her feelings for Malachi, who quickly moves on to romancing Alex and other girls in the school. He eventually seduces the entire student body, creating an army of succubi and incubi that makes him too powerful for Ella to kill. The only students who are not converted are Roxanne (who becomes a “pure soul” in her quest for forgiveness from God for seducing Jez and causing his apparent suicide), Tom (who is secretly gay, in love with Leon, and impossible to convert because Malachi cannot make Leon love him back), Thelma (because after Ella later kills Maya, he has no hold over her), and Ella herself, who had already been freed from Malachi’s spell. Ella digs up Maya’s corpse and beheads it, which destroys Maya’s lingering presence on Earth. Leon tries to kill Alex but cannot go through with it, leaving him feeling inferior to Ella. Jo Watkins, Cassie’s former teacher and Azazeal’s former lover, returns as Malachi’s new emissary from the “higher powers” and restores her position as headmistress by framing David Tyrel for embezzlement of school funds. Malachi cannot convert Tom, so he fakes the “mark of Malachi” on his neck and ensures that Leon will see it. Fooled by the false mark, Leon kills Tom, but by doing so, he achieves his greatest desire (not being inferior to Ella) and becomes an incubus of Malachi’s.

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Leon almost kills Ella with knowledge gained from the Book of Orokiah, but Thelma helps to save her. He is locked in a cage and sedated, at which point Thelma saves him from Malachi by invoking his greatest fear (having his penis amputated). Returned to normal, he still ends his relationship with Ella and leaves the school. Roxanne is given the ability to see ghosts, and Thelma pretends to be an angel to get her to steal the Stone of Belial back from Malachi. Ella uses the Stone to travel back in time and attempts to kill Malachi while he is still a baby (at the end of Series 1), but she is attacked by Perie the Faerie and receives a mortal wound to the chest. Ella returns to Medenham Hall where she confesses her love for Leon as she lies dying under the watchful eyes of Thelma. Rejected by Hell, Mephistopheles convinces Leon to return, where he saves Ella by cauterizing her wound. Malachi sacrifices the pure-of-heart Roxanne to “enrage God” by killing one of “His creatures.” The school is set ablaze and Thelma, Ella, and Leon escape from it to a field somewhere. As Malachi has started the “End of Days,” described by Mephistopheles as the final battle between good and evil, the series ends with blood pouring from a rock bearing the mark of Azazeal, similar to Malachi’s.

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The pacing of these episodes are much quicker compared with the first season, New character  Ella is dark, interesting, unpredictable and can fight like the best of them! Leon is also brought to the forefront and undergoes a great deal of character development; which was nice to see. Thelma is as always a joy to watch, and manages to get herself into some considerably grey moral areas. Over the course of the season a lot changes and we see these characters attempt to deal with the events that take place with varying degrees of success. This leads to a lot of character growth and dark subject matter. Hex as a show is very dark, not just in the way its lit, but in its tone and ambiance. Which is partly what I enjoy the most, that while its a very dark almost adult show, it retains a great deal of realism at the same time.

REVIEW: HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS – SEASON 1-6

 


MAIN CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)

 

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Clare Carey (Stargate SG.1)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Cleopatra 2525)
Tawny Kitaen (Witchboard)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Kim Michalis (Jack of All Trades)
John Sumner (Power Rangers Dino Charge)
Norman Forsey (Lord of The Rings)
Bruce Allpress (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Todd Rippon (King Kong)
Peter Muller (Step Dave)
Kelson Henderson (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers operation Overdrive)
Lisa Chappell (Coffin Rock)
Lucy Liu (Kill Bill)
Lucy Lawless (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Alison Bruce (Young Hercules)
Jeffrey Thomas (The Hobbit)
Erik Thomson (All Saints)
Reb Brown (Captain America 70s)
Robert Trebor (Universal Soldier)
Tony Todd (Chuck)
Matthew Chamberlain (Avatar)
Dean O’ Gorman (The Hobbit)
Peter Daube (Traffic Island)
Anthony Ray Parker (The Matrix)
Nathaniel Lees (Young Hercules)
Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead)
Kevin Smith (Jubilee)
Liddy Holloway (Without a Paddle)
Simone Kessell (San Andreas)
Simon Prast (Filthy Rich)
Brian Thompson (Hired To Kill)
Bruce Phillips (The Lovely Bones)
Martin Kove (The Karate Kid)
Rose McIver (Izombie)
Paul Norell (Power Rangers SPD)
Teresa Hill (Cruel Intentions 2)
Stig Eldred (Dick Tracy)
Glenn Shadix (Beetlejuice)
Bridget Hoffman (Frozen)
Jed Brophy (District 9)
Karen Sheperd (Cyborg 2)
Latham Gaines (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Willa O’Neill (The Price of Milk)
Audie England (Free Enterprise)
Bruce Hopkins (Housebound)
Corinna Everson (Natural Born KIllers)
Jason Hoyte (Nothing Trivial)
Alexandra Tydings (The Sunchaser)
Stephen Tozer (Trial Run)
Marton Csokas (XXX)
Josephine Davison (Power Rangers SPD)
Joel Tobeck (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Lisa Ann Hadley (Infested)
Paul Gittins (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser)
Owen Black (Netherwood)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
Alastair Duncan (The Batman)
Julian Garner (Home and Away)
Galyn Gorg (Robocop 2)
Cynthia Rothrock (Undefeatable)
Grant Heslov (True Lies)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Sam Sorbo (Andromeda)
Rene Naufahu (Power Rangers Samurai)
Catherine Bell (Bruce Almighty)
Hudson Leick (Tru Calling)
Ted Raimi (Spider-Man)
Renee O’Connor (Boogeyman 2)
Peter Vere-Jones (Bad Taste)
Amber Sainsbury (Hex)
Danielle Cormack (Xena)
Kara Zediker (Rock Star)
Grant McFarland (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Lindsey Ginter (S.W.A.T.)
Ian Bohen (Pearl Harbor)
Claudia Black (Farscape)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Kimberly Joseph (Lost)
Meighan Desmond (When Love Comes)
Alistair Browning (Vertical Limit)
Katrina Browne (Young Hercules)
Stuart Devenie (Jack of All Trades)
David Weatherley (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Jacinda Barrett (The Last Kiss)
Peter McCauley (The Lost World)
Lacey Kohl (Two Guys and a Girl)
Amy Morrison (Jack of All Trades)
Christopher Graham (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
Roy Dotrice (Hellboy 2)
Chris Conrad (Young Hercules)
Scott Michaelson (Sabrina Down Under)
James Gaylyn (Power Rangers RPM)
Antonio Te Maioha (Spartacus)
Tamara Gorski (Angel)
George Henare (The Dead Lands)
Geoff Dolan (Power Rangers Megaforce)
Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March)
Susan Brady (Without a Paddle)
Jodie Rimmer (Filthy Rich)
Angela Marie Dotchin (Jack of All Trades)
Neill Rea (The Warrior’s Way)
Stephen Lovatt (Cleopatara 2525)
Traci Lords (First Wave)

Shows based on ancient mythology have been common over the years, both in the written form and other media. The myths were a way for people to deal with the uncertainties of their lives, much like religions help people today. Nearly ten years ago a television show, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, became the latest in this long line of tributes to age-old stories, albeit with a certain modern flair. The show didn’t stick very close to the original material and updated the language, mannerisms, and sensibilities in order to make the legendary strongman more palatable to modern audiences. After all, there wouldn’t be a big market for a show centered on a demi-god that rapes women, enslaves them, killed his family, and solved problems with brute strength alone No, this was a kinder, gentler guy who was as politically correct as anyone coming out of a Southern California ACLU meeting. The series itself started off with this little monologue: “This is the story of a time long ago. A time of myth and legend, when the ancient gods were petty and cruel, and they plagued mankind with suffering. Only one man dared to challenge their power, Hercules. Hercules possessed a strength the world had never seen, a strength surpassed only by the power of his heart. He journeyed the Earth, battling the minions of his wicked stepmother, Hera, the all-powerful Queen of the gods. But wherever there was evil, wherever an innocent would suffer, there would be Hercules.”

The show started off with a series of five made-for-television movies, most likely designed to test the readiness of the market for a series, and it did so well that the series was made as a mid-season replacement. Hercules was shown as a kind, compassionate man who never took advantage of others using his strength. He assisted people in need, usually people that were victims of the gods or other supernatural forces, since he felt a sense of obligation to do so. His father was Zeus, the king of the gods, and his mother a regular human, so he was caught between both worlds. His step mother, Hera (Zeus’ wife) was always attempting to kill Hercules using whatever means necessary, and this led to a lot of people getting hurt because they were pawns in the epic struggle between these two powerful forces.

As one of the most popular shows in syndication history, the show was somewhat preachy in terms of morality, but a fun ride on the camp wagon, if you catch my drift. After season one, a spin off series, Xena: Warrior Princess, found a huge audience and both shows had large followings (Xena was a bit darker most of the time, but that was in line with the character’s past), outlasting all the critics predictions about the campy, quirky humor used to draw in audiences all over the world.

The show’s strong point was that it never took itself too seriously, even when preaching the virtues of friendship, loyalty, tolerance, and justice. The ladies would appreciate seeing Kevin Sorbo prancing around in tight leather pants with loose or non-existent shirts, getting all hot and sweaty while there was also plenty of eye candy for the guys (Cory Everson’s cleavage and ass come to mind that there was a whole lot more as well). The special effects were cheesy, as was much of the writing but it was all good fun without too much thinking needed to appreciate the situational aspects of the show. Season One established the basic characters and situations they’d get in and later seasons would get lighter in terms of what happened more often than not. The movies themselves were slightly different than the weekly episodes in how Hercules wasn’t quite as refined in them.

 

The second season was where the show really got its stride. The darkness of Season One was excised and sent over to the new Xena: Warrior Princess show and almost all of the shows displayed a lighter tone. There was still the fighting and conflict, still special effects all the time, and still the silly banter (especially in the episodes with Bruce Campbell and Robert Trebor) you’d expect of the tongue in cheek show.

 

 

In season 3, the tales of Hercules as depicted by producers Robert Taper, Christian Williams, Sam Raimi, and a horde of writers produce some of the episodes of the series. Perhaps the most exciting and entertaining episode of season 3, “The End of the Beginning”, features the return of Autolycus, the King of Thieves (Bruce Campbell). Autolycus manages to still the Chronos gemstone, a device that gives the holder the ability to manipulate the strands of time! In this episode Hercules chases Autolycus into the past, where they get stuck. In order to return to the future (the present), Autolycus must team up with a five year younger version of himself and steal the Chronos gemstone again. There are also a few comical Army of Darkness references.

The biggest highlight was the Golden Hind Trilogy showing Hercules falling in love Serena (Sam Jenkins) a creature Half Human, Half Deer. It also brought him into conflict with Ares (Kevin Smith). This will always remain one of my all time favorites as it also includes guest appearances with Xena (Lucy Lawless) and Gabrielle (Renee O’Connor).

 

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Season Four was the season where Kevin Sorbo was ill, episodes had to be created around him not being there.These included using Young Hercules (Ian Bohen) flashbacks, bringing back Autolycus (Bruce Campbell) & Salmoneus (Robert Trebor) to showcase episodes. the most strangest of all would be the introduction of Widow Twanky (Michael Hurst) A Dance Tutor who helps Hercules learn to dance. the Dahak storyline from Xena also crossed over in the excellent  Armageddon Now. We also get to see an alternate Hercules in the brilliant Stranger in The Strange World. Season four despite Kevin Sorbo’s illness Season four still turned out to be a great season.

 

The majority of the episodes in season five are used to tell one story. It follows one central theme, where Hercules undergoes a dramatic life changing event and doesn’t end up the same person. After the death of a very close friend, he loses his desire to help others. Instead, Hercules broods and his character becomes slightly dark. This approach holds great intrigue, because it isn’t everyday that we get to see the overly altruistic hero in a dark fashion. This season is stranger for it. It finally brings closure to the Dahak story.

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Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: Season 6, the swan song of the show on television. It only had 8 episodes and served to finish the long run with some decent shows. The main highlight of the season is the finale, Full Circle which sees the return of Zeus and Hera. also featuring the Titans. The episode brings nice closure to a great series.  Hercules would also return in the Xena (Season 5) episode God Fearing Child, after that this would be the last time we would see the Hercules and Iolaus. This show will always remain one of my all time favorite shows and i’m glad to have it on DVD.

REVIEW: YOUNG HERCULES: THE COMPLETE SERIES

CAST

Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March)
Dean O’ Gorman (The Hobbit)
Chris Conrad (Mortal Kombat: Annihilation)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kevin Smith (Warriors of Virtue 2)
Meighan Desmond (When Love Comes)
Nathaniel Lees (30 Days of Night)
Angela Marie Dotchin (Jack of All Trades)
Joel Tobeck (Spartacus: War of the Damned)
Sharon Tyrell (The Legend of William Tell)
Ross Duncan (King Kong 2005)
Jodie Rimmer (Deathgasm)
Jay Ryan (Beauty and The Beast)
Daniel Gillies (The Originals)
Katrina Browne (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Bruce Hopkins (Housebound)
Alison Bruce (Legend of The Seeker)
Jason Hoyte (Power Rangers RPM)
Jane Fullerton-Smith (Rake)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Cleopatra 2525)
Paul Norell (Power Rangers SPD)
Jeremy Callaghan (Beastmaster TV)
Grae Burton (Liquortine Dream)
Stephen Tozer (Utu)
Verne Troyer (Austin Powers 2 & 3)
Kieren Hutchison  (Flower Girl)
Erik Thomson (800 Words)
Miriama Smith (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Morgan Reese Fairhead (Without a Paddle)
Craig Parker (Reign)
Michael Hurst (Maddigans Quest)
Peta Rutter (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
Christopher Graham (Sione’s 2)
James Gaylyn (Power Rangers Dino SUpercharge)
Amber Sainsbury (Hex)
Stig Eldred (Dick Tracy)
Sonia Gray (Xena)
Scott Michaelson (Sabrina Down Under)
John Bach (Spartacus: Blood and Sand)
Stephen Lovatt (Hercules: TLJ)
Mfundo Morrison (General Hospital)

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The “Young Hercules” series follows its predecessors’ footsteps, with Ryan Gosling as the title star. Young Iolaus is played by Dean O’Gorman, best known these days as Fili the Dwarf in The Hobbit Trilogy.

Reprising their roles from “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Xena – Warrior Princess” are the late Kevin Smith as Ares, God of War, Joel Tobeck as Strife, and Meghan Desmond as the Goddess Discord. The only real downside to this series is that the episodes are only half the length of the other series’, but they cram a lot of action and story content into those reduced time-slots.

50 episodes of our then-teen heartthrob Ryan Gosling as Hercules, telling a lot of cool 24 minute stories, in the comical style of its predecessors, while also relaying some good lessons in the process. Unlike adult Hercules & Xena, there’s little to no sexual content in this series, so it makes it very well-suited to younger audiences, and families.

Shout Factory has put most episodes in the right order, there is a few that aren’t but when you know this its no hardship to watch them in any order you wish. Thou cancelled after one season, there is 50 episodes here and was very well received by critics, If it had aired on a different network perhaps it would of gone for six season like its predecessors.