REVIEW: THE TATTOOIST

CAST

Jason Behr (Roswell)
Mia Blake (Without a Paddle)
Robbie Magasiva (Stickmen)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
David Fane (Eagle vs Shark)
John Bach (Jack Irish)
Alison Bruce (Young Hercules)
Stuart Devenie (Jack of All Trades)
Timothy Balme (Maddigans Quest)
Jarred Blakiston (Power Rangers Dino Charge)

a4f298880de7d0f5731f2f6b5aeJake Sawyer (Jason Behr) is a global wanderer and tattooist who explores ethnic themes in his designs. While visiting Singapore to sell his craft at a local trade show, he swipes an ancient Samoan tattoo tool. After flying to New Zealand to resume his art, he meet up with a lovely Samoan woman named Sina (Mia Blake) and discovers the local Samoan culture. But Jake slowly learns that his stolen tool ends up unleashing an evil avenging spirit whom targets all of the customers that Jake has given tattoos to since his theft of the tool. While attempting to learn pe’a, the Samoan tradition of tattooing, Jake soon realizes that Sina is imperiled when she gets a tattoo from him and he must find a way to save her, and himself.32ef91aa32efThe Tattooist is a good example of how a tight script and decent direction can make the most out of a small budget. It’s not overlong, either. Really, if you’re after a horror movie then this probably isn’t what you’d want to watch: it’s more like a supernatural thriller. But it’s a very good example of how a simple film can be made to be intriguing and stylish without being smothered by mumbled dialogue or overblown direction.

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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS – A STAR TO GUIDE THEM

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A STAR TO GUIDE THEM
MAIN CAST
Kevin Sorbo (Andromeda)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
GUEST CAST
Brent Barrett (All My Children)
Jon Brazier (The Piano)
Latham Gaines (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Edward Newborn (The Water Horse)
Denise O’Connell (SShark In The Park)
Kirstie O’Sullivan (Mercy Peak)
On the night before the Winter Solstice, Iolaus has a dream involving some strange imagery: a star, a rock, a tree and a strange pointy object. When he wakes, he tells Hercules that he is going north, Hercules comments on his hands being red. Elsewhere, King Polonius tells his queen Maliphone that the Oracle told him a child “not of the House of Polonius” would succeed him. The queen orders all boys under the age of one to be rounded up. Hercules tells Iolaus he will go north with him and asks Iolaus to explain what is going on. Iolaus says he does not understand it himself. He asks him about the dream and Iolaus says he has never felt so good. Hercules warns him that the gods act in strange ways. Iolaus says he just has to go north. Meanwhile, Trinculos tries to steal some money from another thief, whom he lets go. On the way north, Hercules asks Iolaus how far they have to go, Iolaus responds that when he knows he will tell Hercules. Elsewhere in a nearby village, all the baby boys are being taken by Polonius’ guards. While Hercules rests on a rock, Iolaus says the place feels familiar, even though he has never been there before. He then recognizes the rock as the one from his dream, which spurs him on north.
Elsewhere, Uris is taking his wife Loralei and newborn son away from their village so they will be safe. He tells his wife he has to because of a dream he had. While Hercules and Iolaus stop for a rest and some food, Trinculos comes by and Hercules asks him to join them. Trinculos decides to join them up north and Hercules notices he also has red palms. As the guards attack the village, Uris tells his wife to go to his brother’s house. As they fight, Hercules and the other men join in and begin beating up the guards. Trinculos had been protecting Loralei and the baby. They tell Hercules about Polonius’ order to take all the babies under one year old for census, but they do not believe it. Hercules asks where they are headed and Uris tells says they are going north. Hercules asks to see his hands, which are also red. Hercules remarks on the three men all having the same dream, he tells Iolaus that although his dream is important, the lives of babies are at stake. Iolaus and Trinculos head on to the castle and he takes Uris and his family to safety. The captain of the guards tells the queen about the one child who got away. She says Hera will help them against Hercules. Uris leaves his family in the safety of his brother’s house and Hercules promises to bring him back safely. While Uris and Hercules talk about the dream he mentions the gnarled tree, which looked like it was pointing the way. Hercules and Uris meet up with Iolaus and Trinculos in a tavern.
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They decide to travel through the mountains. When they set off, they see the gnarled tree from their dreams. The group comes to a village, whose babies have not been taken and Hercules leads them to safety. At the castle, Maliphone calls on Hera for help and she is provided with some red warriors. While the group of men travels on, Trinculos begins complaining as he draws something in the sand. Iolaus and Uris help him finish the image. It is the strange pointy object from their dream. Trinculos admits he too had the dream and then goes away from the others. The king and queen are worried about which baby will be the new king. Maliphone orders all the babies to be killed. When the men arrive in a deserted village, Hercules warns them it may not be. Hercules then catches an arrow as it flies towards them. The archer is then knocked unconscious by Trinculos (who by the way has decided to come back). The guards find Loralei and question her about Hercules. Hercules and the others meet up with Hera’s red army and a fight breaks out. Hercules disposes of the red army; Trinculos saves Uris’ life and he returns the favor. With the threat out of the way, all the families are reunited. When Maliphone claims the heir to Bethos is in in her womb, Hercules reminds her that the people can elect their own king without a living heir. Hercules wishes Maliphone a happy exile as she is taken away. The men are glad they have accomplished what they had set out to do, Hercules says maybe it is not the end. The others follow him to the window, where he points out a star. Iolaus says he saw the star in his dream. Hercules suggests he should follow the star. The four men arrive at a house, which appears to be glowing from inside. The men agree that this is what the dream was all about, a sense of calm and peace. Hercules tells Iolaus he feels that “what you are about to witness is bigger and more important than anything we’ve ever done.” Hercules stands by as the three men go inside the house.
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Although it seems strange to see a Christmas episode done for Hercules it actually works because they call it Solciste instead of Christmas. It’s a loose retelling of the 3 wise Men, and it makes for an interesting story for the show.

REVIEW: ANDROMEDA – SEASON 1-5

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MAIN CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: TLJ)
Lisa Ryder (Jason X)
Keith Hamilton Cobb (Noah’s Arc)
Laura Bertram (50/50)
Brent Stait (Blade: The Series)
Gordon MIchael Woolvett (Bride of Chucky)
Lexa Doig (Continuum)
Steve Bacic (Flash Gordon 2007)
Brandy Ledford (Baywatch)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

John Tench (Shooter)
Emy Aneke (Star Trek Beyond)
Elizabeth THai (Saved)
Amber Rothwell (Battlestar Galactica)
Paul Johansson (Highlander:The Raven)
Dylan Bierk (Beastmaster)
Marion Eisman (Hit ‘n Strum)
Cameron Daddo (Packed To The Rafters)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Sam Sorbo (Hercules: TLJ)
Claudette Mink (Children of The Corn 7)
Kimberley Warnat (Freddy vs Jason)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
Ty Olsson (Izombie)
Monika Schnarre (Dead Fire)
Douglas O’Keeffe (Sanctuary)
Nathaniel DeVeaux (Antitrust)
Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Ralf Moeller (Conan The Adventurer)
Mackenzie Gray (Man of Steel)
Chapelle Jaffe (The Dead Zone)
Rachel Hayward (Jingle All The Way 2)
David Palffy (Stargate SG.1)
Kimberly Huie (G-Spot)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG.1)
Gerard Plunkett (Sucker Punch)
Anthony Lemke (Robocop: Primce Directives)
William B. Davis (The X-Files)
Anna Marie Deluise (Smallville)
Enuka Okuma (House of The Dead)
Roger Cross (Arrow)
Kendall Cross (Caprica)
Francois Yip (Smallville)
James Marsters (Buffy)
Jud Tyler (That 70s Show)
Steven Grayhm (White Chicks)
Timothy Webber (Cypher)
Kevin McNulty (Elektra)
Mark Hildreth (V)
Kristin Lehman (Hemoglobin)
Costas Mandylor (Saw V)
Heather Hanson (The Hosue Next Door)
Dean Wray (Horns)
Ingrid Torrance (Flight 93)
Brendan Beiser (The X-FIles)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie 2013)
Meredith McGeachie (Punch)
Sonya Salomaa (Watchmen)
Michael Hurst (Hercules: TLJ)
Andee Frizzell (Stargate Atlantis)
Christopher Judge (Stargate SG.1)
Ellie Harvie (The New Addams Family)
Winston Rekert (The Blue Man)
Lawrence Bayne (Dog Pound)
Krista Rae (Dawn Anna)
Kristen Robek (Cats & Dogs)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Venus Terzo (Arrow)
Sara Deakins (Tru Calling)
Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica)
William Katt (Carrie)
Geordie Johnson (Reign)
leila Johnson (School of Life)
Jayne Heitmeyer (Earth: Final Conflict)
Peter Shinkoda (Daredevil)
Adam Harrington (The Secret Circle)
Peter Bryant (Dark Angel)
Chris Potter (Heartland)
Jody Thompson (Flash Gordon 2007)
Helene Joy (Desolation Sound)
Aleks Paunovic (Mortal Kombat Legacy)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Krista Allen (Mutant X)
Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
JR Bourne (Stargate SG.1)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (V)
Nigel Bennett (Cypher)
John Reardon (Tru Calling)
Maury Chaykin (Entrapment)
Chelah Horsdal (Hell on Wheels)
Carmen Moore (Artic Air)
Michelle Harrison (The Flash)
Nicholas Lea (Arrow)
Colin cunningham (Elektra)
Andrew Jackson (Earth: FInal Conflict)
Ona Grauer (V)
Ivar Brogger (Bones)
Sebastian Spence (First Wave)
Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica)
Martin Cummins (Bates Motel)
Jim Byrnes (Highlander: The Series)
Christina Cox (Arrow)
Apollonia Vanova (Watchmen)
Nia Peeples (Half Past Dead)
Peter Wingfield (Caprica)
Kandyse McClure (Battlestar Galactica)
Gary Jones (Stargate SG.1)
Emily Holmes (Dark Angel)
Peter Delusie (21 Jump Street)
Erica Durance (Smallville)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Missy Peregrym (Heroes)
Marjorie Monaghan (Babylon 5)
Blu Mankuma (Tin Man)
Alan Scarfe (Seven Days)
Kyle Cassie (Deadpool)
Ken Tremblett (Caitlin’s Way)
Don S. Davis (Stargate SG.1)
Natassia Malthe (DOA)
Matthew Bennett (Battlestar Galactica)
Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Francoise Yip (Smallville)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)

The first season begins with a two-part story “Under the Night” and “An Affirming Flame” about the formation of Dylan and his new crew. Gerentex, a nightsider, hires the crew of the Eureka Maru: Beka, Harper, Trance, and Rev. Gerentex wants them to do a salvage operation and find the fabled Andromeda Ascendant. The ship is worth a lot of money. After a long effort by the crew, they find the Andromeda and tow it from the black hole singularity.When Beka, Harper, Trace, and Rev board the ship, they find Dylan on board. Gerentex sends a secret assault team, led by Tyr, to kill Dylan. Suddenly, the mission changes and Beka’s crew have a change of heart. They want to leave the ship to Dylan, because it is his ship after all. Gerentex does not react happy to the news and he only leaves the ship when it is sucked back into the singularity. Of course, he leaves Beka’s crew and the assault team to perish. Dylan inspires the crew to work together to get out of the situation. He saves them, and later reveals to them his desire to rebuild the Commonwealth. Reluctantly, everyone joins him. Not because they believe in his cause, but because it is better than smuggling.The two-part story is a pretty exciting introduction to the series. Some of the characters’ performances are a bit over-the-top and their ability to instantaneously adapt to using the Andromeda’s advanced computer systems and having security codes to launch the massive nova bombs (think nukes in space) is little on the unreasonable side. But, if you do not take the show too seriously, the introductory two-part story is quite fun. Another part I enjoyed about it was the mysterious hints about Trance. She was shot and killed, but miraculously recovered without any medical attention. While she seems like an innocent character with a small part, the writers have some big plans for her as the series progresses.

The  grander plot happening with the Andromeda crew tends to be a lot better than the standalone episodes. There are episodes that tie in a super duper bad guy called the Abyss. In “Harper 2.0”, the Abyss sends an assassin into the known world to erase its existence. In the season finale “It’s Hour Come ‘Round at Last”, the crew run into a huge ship filled with millions of Magogs. It becomes a very interesting story.

There are also some interesting stories with detailed background into the characters like “Angel Dark, Demon Bright”, where the Andromeda accidentally travels back in time to a major turning point in the battle against the Commonwealth and Nietzscheans. Dylan is in a position to change the future forever, but decides against toying with fate. Then there is “The Banks of the Lethe”, which puts Dylan back his fiance Sara (Sam Jenkins). Episodes like theses offer insight to the characters, their backgrounds and personalities, and the relationships they have with each other. These developments become a fairly intriguing part of season one . For instance, Tyr is a Nietzschean and cares more about his wellbeing than those he serves with. In several instances, his loyalty and duty to the crew is questionable. Like in the episode “Double Helix”.

Overall, the first season of Andromeda offers viewers a decent science-fiction series filled with action, some corny dialogue, over-the-top performances, decent stories, and a cast of likeable characters.

In season two, Dylan’s quest becomes more of a reality. The Renewed Systems Commonwealth represents more than just the unity and peace Dylan envisions; it is, as Dylan hunt says, a necessity. In the season one finale “It’s Hour Come ‘Round at Last”, Harper took a look around inside Andromeda’s code and found a backup copy of Andromeda’s core. He accidentally restored the backup. Andromeda went out of control and took the crew on a top secret mission. To make matters worse, the mission takes the crew deep into Magog territory, where the Andromeda runs into a Magog Worldship. The Worldship is a transportable solar system, with multiple planets and an artificial sun. The Worldship houses trillions of Magog and gives them the power to destroy stars. The Magog are traveling towards the known worlds with plans of conquest and destruction. In the close of the episode, the Magog have overrun the Andromeda and the crew’s fate is desperate: Trance, Beka, and Dylan are unconscious and near death, Tyr and Harper are being held by the Magog, Rommie had a pike shoved in her stomach, Rev Bem is being converted to the Magog cause, and the Andromeda Ascendant is in critical condition.

The second season premiere episode “The Widening Gyre” continues where season one left off. Despite the direness of the situation, they overcome their individual situations and manage to free themselves of capture. The real excitement introduced in this story is the notion of the Magog and the Worldship. The Spirit of the Abyss, a being that acts as the Magog’s God, is leading the Magog on a quest of utter destruction. This threat becomes a staple for the Andromeda crew to fight off. A Renewed Systems Commonwealth is a necessity. Fortunately for the crew, they have some time until the Worldship reaches space of the known world–two or three years. In the fourth and fifth seasons, the Spirit of the Abyss and the Magog are a major port of the season story arcs. The Magog still are at the front of the stories and a key reason for the new Commonwealth. And Dylan works feverishly to recruit planets to his cause. In the episode “Home Fires”, Dylan receives a message from his long dead fiance. After the initial fall of the Commonwealth, a group sought refuge on a planet called Tarazed and for three hundred years, they have survived as the last remnants of the old way of life. Dylan learns that the people of Tarazed and goes to the planet to get them to join the new Commonwealth. They, however, do not. When he arrives at the planet, he finds a familiar face, that of his former first officer Gaheris. But it is a genetic clone named Telemachus Rhade. Dylan and Rhade are hesitant to trust each other. The story takes an interesting turn in the development of the relationship Dylan had with Gaheris, as well as introduces Rhade, who joins the cast in season four.

The episodes “Into the Labyrinth”, “Bunker Hill”, and “The Prince” are more episodes focused on the restoration of the Commonwealth with the cast in diplomatic missions, facing with spies, political corruption, and other such things. “Into the Labyrinth” sees a Nietzschean clan Saber-Jaguar joining the Commonwealth. In “Bunker Hill” the Saber-Jaguar clan invokes the Mutual Defense Pact, which requires the Andromeda join their side in combat against the Dragan clan. At the same time, Dylan sends Harper and Rommie to Earth to join the resistance movement to free human slaves under Dragan control. In “The Prince”, the crew travel to Ne’Holland to save what is left the royal family from being slaughtered. Dylan wants the planet to join the Commonwealth because it is in a key position to defend against the upcoming Magog onslaught. However, in order to get them to join, he has to save its leaders from its own people. But what Dylan did not know was that the royal family’s actions have not always been just.“Ouroboros” is a major episode in the series. It is the first major cast and crew changes. Rev Bem leaves the series as a regular cast member. He apparently went away to find himself. Stait, who plays Rev Bem, talks about the reason he left in his interview featurette. Another change deals with Trance. Harper builds a machine he hopes will help rid him of the Magog larvae that was implanted in him in the season premiere. The machine works, but it also does a little more and bends space and time. The crew is able to glimpse into future versions of themselves. Trance, in particular, meets her future self, who proclaims the future unfolded very badly. The present and future Trance’s switch places in hope future Trance can set the timeline in the right direction. The new Trance is physically different, without a tail and has golden skin. The other major change is in the crew. Robert Hewitt Wolfe was released because the direction he envisioned for the series was much different than wanted. In “Knight, Death, and the Devil”, the crew are on the verge of completing the first stage in restoring the Commonwealth. Beka and Harper negotiate with the fiftieth planetary world to join the cause. Dylan, Tyr, and Rommie also find a decommissioned high guard ship. When they interact with the ship’s AI Ryan (Michael Hurst), they find out there is a solar system with over fifty other relic ships in hiding. Dylan goes to the solar to convince the ships to rejoin the Commonwealth (remember some AI’s have emotions and they were abandoned long ago). Christopher Judge guest stars as one of the AI’s.

 

The season finale “Tunnel at the End of the Light” is a literally explosive episode. Representatives from fifty worlds come to the Andromeda to sign the Commonwealth charter. It is an exciting time to see the Commonwealth officially come back into power. Unfortunately, there are forces that would rather not see the chartered signed. Sabotage hits the Andromeda and the charter signing goes up in flames. It is up to the crew to make necessary sacrifices to see it through.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the second season of Andromeda. Like the first season.  In addition, the story arcs that span the episodes offer intriguing aspects with the formation of the Commonwealth, the Magog, and the Spirit of the Abyss. In the end, I think season two makes for a good watch if you enjoy science-fiction/fantasy oriented shows.

In the close of season two, the signing of the Commonwealth charter was under attack by mysterious alien forces. The disruption caused chaos and the crew had to make sacrifices to deal with the matter. In the third season premiere episode “If the Wheel is Fixed”, the story is concluded. Tyr and Beka were left trapped in another dimension. Dylan frets and considers a way to get them back. He takes the Eureka Maru to reconstruct the events that led to the crew members being sucked into the alternate dimension. He is successful and Tyr and Beka return. Unfortunately, the two are not who they seem to be. Many problems happen on the Andromeda and it eventually turns into a mysterious plot to kill them all–Tyr and Beka are being controlled by a force in the other dimension.

The unfortunate thing about this episode is the direction the story takes. In the end of season two, the story had a lot of promise with aliens from another dimension attacking. However, in the concluding half of the episode, the story gets pretty hokey. I suppose the aliens from another dimension were not the strongest approach itself, but I liked it in the first part. The subsequent episodes also fail to be as strong as they could. This is not to say they are terrible or anything, but rather that they could have been better. The story arcs that ran through the first two seasons start become less significant. The content is more episodic with the Andromeda crew out on missions that are wrapped up in an episode.

“The Unconquerable Man” is a pretty solid episode, but one you do not want to think too much about. The storyline is based on time travel and alternate realities. The episode begins with Harper moving Gaheris Rhade’s body and Dylan notices a mark on his hand he had never seen. Then the episode jumps into a point in time when a future Rhade had the opportunity to destroy the time machine Harper built in the season two episode “Ouroboros”. Trance is with Rhade and tries to convince him not to do so. Rhade reflects on his life (an alternate reality of the events thus far). In this reality, Rhade killed Dylan and survived for three hundred years in the black hole. He teamed up with Beka, Rev Bem, Trance, Harper, and Tyr to rebuild the Commonwealth. As the episode unfolds, Rhade comes to realize it is Dylan’s fate and not his. He sacrifices himself so that the original timeline is restored and Dylan is once again put in charge of the Andromeda.

“The Dark Backward” is an exciting episode because it explores Trance’s reality. There is a deadly intruder aboard the ship trying to kill the crew. The episode focuses on Trance and one her of mysterious talents. In past episodes, she has offered advice that could only be explained by foresight of some kind. She has the ability to play out situations in many different scenarios in mere seconds. Trance explores different ways to maximize the crew’s life and stopping the intruder. It is an interesting episode because it details more about how mysterious and special Trance is as a character.

Another strong episode this season is “What Happens to a Rev Deferred?”, where Rev Bem returns. While monitoring the evacuation of Empyrium, a world that is on the brink of destruction, the crew receives a communication from Rev Bem asking to be rescued. To complicate matters, a group of renegades are after Rev. Dylan and crew go to the planet’s surface to rescue Rev and witness a miracle. Rev under goes some spiritual phenomena when an unknown entity confronts Rev and he professes his sorrow for all his ill-natured acts as a savage Magog. He is given redemption and physical changed into a new being. Rev Bem has been an interesting character, with his struggles to be “civilized” over “savage”, and his ties into the Spirit of the Abyss make him an even more interesting character. It is too bad he is not investigated further. In the season finale “Shadows Cast by a Final Salute”, things take a turn for the worst for the Andromeda crew and the Commonwealth. The assistant minister of war informs Dylan that there is something afoot with the Nietzschean clans in the Commonwealth. There have been rumors going around that they are considering leaving the allied forces and forming their own united front. They are rumors no longer, but fact. Afterwards, Andromeda is put on high alert when an elite strike force of Dragans takes hostages and demands their lives for the bones of Drago Musevini. As the situation unfolds, it becomes evident Tyr’s hand had play in the situation. With his son, the genetic clone of Drago Musevini, he plans to unite his people and save the universe. At the end, Dylan and Tyr bid a final farewell to each other with no promise their next meeting will be peaceful. But the situation was more than just Dylan and Tyr, as a plot to stand against the Commonwealth became an important issue. The Nietzscheans and several other forces joined in a battle against the Commonwealth fleet, which ended with the fall of the Restored Systems Commonwealth.

Overall, I was not nearly as impressed with this season as I was with seasons one or two. The episodes were more episodic with Dylan and his crew going on this or that adventure. The overall story arc with the Commonwealth, the Spirit of the Abyss, the Magog, Trance’s past, and others were not addressed as they were in the past seasons. The focus was a lot different. While this is not an awful move, it just was not as good. The fortunate news is that the pace picks up again with the season three finale and it puts the entire universe of Andromeda in upheaval.

Life is not looking pretty for the Andromeda. In the season three finale, the Andromeda and the Commonwealth fleet were manipulated into a situation that resulted in the apparent downfall of the newly formed federation of planets. Dylan was betrayed by his friend Tyr for a cause that Tyr believes to be more righteous and important than anything else. In the season four premiere episode “Answers Given To Questions”, the story is revisited. With the destruction of the fleet, the Andromeda crew decides what to do next. While trying to figure out their situation, they take on an injured pilot who brings Dylan a communication. The message is from a man named Paroo. He tells Dylan that the Commonwealth is no more and that he is holding one of its leaders and will kill her in due time. Dylan responds by chasing after Paroo, who he finds out is the head of Commonwealth security and the real cause behind the massive battle. But Paroo has manipulated the situation so that everyone thinks Dylan is the bad guy. Dylan kills Paroo and shows he was an agent of the Abyss. He then becomes a hero. More good news follows as enough leaders survived that the Commonwealth continues on.

In the remainder of the season, the series story arc dealing with the Magog threat is revisited in full. The majority of the episodes deal with the Andromeda crew caught up in one situation or another that ties into the Magog, the Abyss, and the Nietzscheans. A new addition to the Abyss story arc in this season begins to define Dylan’s role in the overall scheme of things. Yes, he is the captain of the Andromeda and leading the cause, but there is more to it than just that. The truth about who and what Dylan is revealed and his role in stopping the Abyss is more important than any of the lives of his crew.

“Waking the Tyrant’s Device” is an episode that takes a look at the creator of the Magog Worldship. Nicholas Lea (The X-Files) guest stars as Tri-Lorn, who gives the Andromeda orders to visit a planet. When they arrive, they are attacked. Dylan questions Tri-Lorn why they were sent to such a dangerous place without being told. Tri-Lorn reveals the importance of the mission. They are to stop Kroton, a half man, half robot. Kroton is building a massive army of androids and it is up to Dylan and crew to stop him. The episode itself is not the strongest, but it is still interesting to focus on the creator of the Worldship.

“Soon the Nearing Vortex” and “The World Turns All Around Her” is the two part episode where Telemachus Rhade joins the Andromeda crew on a permanent basis. In the first part, the Andromeda comes to the aid of a Commonwealth transport ship that is under attack from Nietzchean. On the transport is Rhade, who is holding Tyr as a prisoner. The Andromeda fends off the attacking ships and save Rhade’s life, but not before Tyr escapes. When Dylan reports back to the Commonwealth headquarters, Tri-lorn demands Rhade be returned to Tarazed so he can be dealt with. Dylan decides not to take him back because he fears Tri-lorn is corrupt. The story continues with the crew facing corrupt politicians, a scheming Tyr, and the Route of Ages, a mystical slipstream that goes to the original Vedran home world.

In the second part of the story, Dylan is ready to take on the Route of Ages. Tyr appears in a ship, with Beka in custody, demanding that Dylan give up the map for Beka’s life. Dylan comprises and allows Tyr to follow him on the journey. The Route of Ages is important because it is the key to stopping the Abyss. As the story unfolds, more intricate aspects of the plotline are uncovered, which include Trance revealing who and what she really is to Dylan, an avatar of the Vedran sun. The Abyss also makes a frightful appearance that puts the crew in a race for survival. This episode marks Tyr’s final appearance.

Other strong episodes in the season include “The Torment, the Release”, where the corrupt Tri-lorn demands Dylan hand over Rhade for prosecution, “The Warmth of an Invisible Light”, where Harper’s latest invention sends Dylan into an alternate reality, “Fear Burns Down to Ashes”, Rev Bem returns with a weapon to stop the Magog, “Lost in a Space that Isn’t There”, where Beka becomes an agent of the Abyss, and other episodes. For the most part, they all tie into the larger plot and tend to add to the excitement. The two-part season finale “The Dissonant Interval” is also an episode worthy of noting. The Andromeda goes to a space station called the Arkology when they learn the Magog Worldship is headed right for them. When the crew arrives at the station, they inform its leaders about the upcoming threat. The unfortunate part is that they are unwilling to listen. The people in the Arkology are of a peaceful nature and they believe they will be able to make peace with the Magog. But the Magog are not a peaceful people and they intend to kill everyone. The two-part story puts the crew in a battle with death-defying odds. And despite the odds, they put 110% into stopping the Magog. Unfortunately, as the episode ends, the situation is hopeless with death not far off from the horizon. Dylan is forced to abandon everyone and escape through the Route of Ages.

 

Overall, I enjoyed season four. The plotlines in the episodes tended to tie the material into a larger plot and it made for a much more intriguing watch. There were also several reoccurring characters like the devilish Nicholas Lea, the guy you love to hate, playing a questionable Commonwealth politician. The storylines touched upon the Abyss and the Magog, the Collectors, turncoat Tyr, and other exciting bad guys. Like seasons one and two, season four produces some exciting stories that are engaging and easy to get lost in.

In season five, the series takes a much different turn in events. At the end of the season four, there was some skepticism as to whether or not the show would continue into a fifth season. Well, the series was picked up for a fifth season, but with a smaller budget.The storylines lose the grandeur it once had with the epic space battles and massive story arcs. The series, stories, and character becomes more confined and lose a lot of the appeal found in previous seasons. In a nutshell, watching season five was more of a chore than fun. While there was some decent content, it does not compare to the quality of the past seasons.

In the close of season four, the Andromeda came to the space station Arkology to warn the inhabitants about their impending doom. The Magog Worldship was headed right for them and they need to get out of there. The inhabitants were a peaceful people and believed that they could make peace with the Magog. Dylan and the rest tried to tell them peace is not an option. Of course, they did not listen. When the Magog came, the Andromeda and its crew tried its best to stop the onslaught, but they failed miserably. In the close of the two-part season four finale, Dylan took the Route of Ages in a slipstream fighter and found himself transported into an alternative universe.

The two-part episode “The Weight” kicks off season five. In it, Dylan gets accustomed to his new life in the alternate universe on a planet called Seefra-1, which is one of nine barren wastelands. When Dylan tries to learn more about where he is, he finds little help. But when he meets a mysterious man named Flavin, he begins to get more clues about his situation. He is trapped in an isolated cluster of planets in another universe. Dylan explores Seefra-1 and later runs into a very disgruntled Rhade. Rhade and the others crew members (who Dylan runs into in later episodes) are unhappy with him for leaving them to die. It was through the efforts of Trance that the Andromeda (badly damaged) and her crew were brought into this alternate reality and not left to die at the hands of the Magog. They also blame him for being stuck on Seefra-1. Dylan returns to Flavin to get more information from him. Dylan learns his place is on Seefra-1; he must help the people in the coming days. Flavin also reveals the true nature of the Route of Ages.

After the not-so-exciting season premiere, “Phear Phactor Phenom” has the majority of the season four cast back together in some form or another, Dylan, Harper, Beka, Trance, and Rhade. We learn that Rommie was destroyed and Harper had been on Seefra-1 for over three years while the rest of the crew had only just recently arrived. During Harper’s time on the Seefra-1, he was able to rebuild a new android with portions of Rommie’s damaged core. The new character is Doyle, a blonde robot who was initially made to think she is human. The season five episodes proceed with the cast getting reacquainted with each other and Dylan trying to get the Andromeda up and running again. Some have changed with their new situation, most notably Trance who lost portions of her memory.

In the episode “Moonlight Becomes You”, Trance starts to remember who she is and the season starts to focus on the storyline hinted at in “The Weight”. The Seefra system is in jeopardy and the crew must work together to save the inhabitants of the nine wastelands over the next several episodes. But the story really ties into the power that is Trance. Trance is an avatar of the Vedran sun and the actual sun is approaching Seefra-1. When it arrives, the planets in the system (except for Seefra-1) will explode. The episodes “Past is Prolix”, “The Opposites of Attraction”, “Saving Light from a Black Sun”, “Quantum Tractate Delirium”, “One More Day’s Light”, and “Chaos and the Stillness of It” continue to focus on this storyline (uncovering more about Trance, the council of avatars she is a senior member of, and the crew trying to save the inhabitants), which is much more entertaining than the first portion of the season, but it still lacks the same punch the early seasons had.

In the two-part series finale “The Heart of the Journey”, the series come to a close by wrapping up the series story arc with the Abyss. While on Seefra-1, Harper receives a message transmission for Dylan. It is from Flavin, who had been killed by the Abyss, telling Dylan he is the last hope for the survival of the known worlds. The Council intends to destroy the galaxies of the known world in order to snuff out the Abyss. They, however, give Dylan and his crew the opportunity to return before their utter demise. Once back in their universe, they find only four days have passed since the Magog Worldship attacked. The Andromeda has to face the Nietzchseans and the Abyss. The situation that appeared dire ends with a happy ending and the destruction of the Abyss in a battle that is far from epic.

Overall, I really did not care for this season. The level of grandeur in the storylines was significantly diminished. The big flashy effects were part of what made the sci-fi series so much fun were gone. The show tended to have very isolated stories with limited character development. In the end, I did not see much in this season that made it worthwhile. Sure, there are some decent episodes, but they fail to compare to the past seasons. Despite my lack of enthusiasm, I give it a rent it recommendation on the pure basis that it concludes the series and there are a few decent episodes to follow.

REVIEW: HERCULES & XENA: THE ANIMATED MOVIE: THE BATTLE FOR MOUNT OLYMPUS

 

MAIN CAST

Lucy Lawless (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Renee O’ Connor (Boogeyman 2)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Kevin Smith (Jubilee)
Alexandra Tydings (Sunchaser)
Josephine Davison (Power Rangers SPD)
Alison Wall (Funny Business)
Ted Raimi (Spider-Man)Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus movie scenes Hercules and Xena The Animated Movie The Battle for Mount Olympus 1998 an awesome animated movie If you like Hercules and Xena and the TV series

Sam Raimi’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys  and Xena: Warrior Princess  of the same year has left fond memories for many small screen audiences. Kevin Sorbo had a way of being a very macho convincing Hercules, while Lucy Lawless gave a kick-ass performence. Both series combined action, wit, likable characters and story lines that reeled in fans. Interestingly enough, some people aren’t familiar that Universal Studios released an animated cartoon feature of these two famous characters. And compared to many other animated features that have been released, it does have its flaws but it still is fun.

The title, (although a mouthful) explains itself. Xena and Hercules will battle for Mount Olympus. Simple as that. The four elemental titans attack the Immortal Gods and its up to Earth’s mightiest heroes to fend them off. However, what differs is that John Loy (the writer) was smart and stuck to Sam Raimi’s story line where Hera (Hercules’ immortal step-mother) is the one who unleashes the titans. Thankfully, along with the writing, the actors who play the characters in the live-action series came back to voice their cartoon counterparts as well. The last couple of parts that help make the watching experience enjoyable were the action and music. The title doesn’t lie, there is plenty of battle moments in this movie. And for a PG film, it has some tense moments. Either way that’s effective. And since this is a Raimi production, composer Joseph LoDuca should be expected to be on board – which he was and his score is effective for each scene.

Some viewers may not appreciate the animation. At points it can look choppy even though the action scenes are exceptionally good. The main characters are drawn appropriately but it also seems like that’s the only other place all the effort that was put into. Everything else from the background pieces to the minor characters weren’t given much attention. Some characters from head to toe are one full color. That can come off as cheap and lazy. The dimensions of this world are very flat and too squared off in some areas. Along with that are some very strange flaws in continuity. It’s not always obvious, but when noticed, it is baffling. It really depends on the opinion of the viewer and what you’re interested in seeing. For the most part, fans of the Hercules and Xena TV series should enjoy this animated feature. It’s animation certainly isn’t as polished like Disney’s but the voice cast makes it work along with some fun action and music.

REVIEW: XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS – SEASON 1-6

Logo Xena Warrior Princess by XENA-96

MAIN CAST

Lucy Lawless (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Renee O’ Connor (Boogeyman 2)

NBC Says The XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS Reboot is Happening

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jay Laga’ala (Home and Away)
Darien Takle (The Ugly)
Stephen Hall (Get Ace)
Willa O’Neill (The Price of Milk)
Jeffrey Thomas (The Hobbit)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Bruce Hopkins (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Simon Prast (Filthy rich)
Latham Gaines (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Paul Norell (Power Rangers SPD)
Bobby Hosea (Independance Day)
Stephen Tozer (Young Hercules)
Iain Rea (Shortland Street)
Kevin Smith (Jubilee)
Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Christopher Graham (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
Kieren Hutchison (Cleopatra 2525)
Erik Thomson (All Saints)
Danielle Cormack (Wentworth Prison)
Alison Bruce (Young Hercules)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers Mystic force)
Kevin J. Wilson (Pictures)
Galyn Gorg (Robocop 2)
Scott Garrison (Swamp Thing: The Series)
Cameron Rhodes (Deathgasm)
Dean O’ Gorman (The Hobbit)
David Weatherley (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Peter Daube (Traffic Island)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
Jason Hoyte (Power Rangers RPM)
Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead)
Tim Thomerson (Trancers)
Karl Urban (Red)
Tom Atkins (Halloween 3)
Peter McCauley (The Locals)
Robert Trebor (Universal Soldier)
Ted Raimi (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Hudson Leick (Tru Calling)
David Taylor (Rain)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Paul Gittins (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Todd Rippon (King Kong)
Antony Starr (Outrageous Fortune)
Anthony Ray Parker (The Matrix)
Peter Vere-Jones (Bad Taste)
Simone Kessell (San andreas)
John Sumner (Power Rangers Dino Charge)
Melinda Clarke (Gotham)
Murray Keane (Power Rangers RPM)
Alison Wall (Funny Business)
Craig Parker (Reign)
Alexandra Tydings (Suncahser)
Craig Walsh-Wrightson (Spartacus)
Jeremy Callaghan (The Great Raid)
John D’Aquino (3rd rock from The Sun)
Rachel Blakely (The Lost World)
Charles mesure (V)
Tony Todd (Chuck)
George Henare (The Dead Lands)
Marton Csokas (XXX)
Meighan Desmond (When Love Comes)
Jennifer Ward-Lealand (Full Frontal)
Grant McFarland (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Jacquelien Kim (Star Trek: Generations)
Daniel Sing (A Soldier’s Sweetheart)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Megan Nicol (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Amy Morrison (Jack of All Trades)
Shiri Appleby (Jack of All Trades)
Patrick Fabian (Veronica Mars)
Stig Eldred (Dick Tracy)
Katrina Browne (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Angela Marie Dotchin (Jack of All Trades)
Jodie Rimmer (Young Hercules)
Victoria Pratt (Mutant X)
Kate Elliott (Power Rangers Samurai)
Sheeri Rappaport (Little Witches)
Claire Stansfield (The Flash 90s)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
Olivia Tennet (Power Rangers RPM)
Timothy Omundson (Human Target)
Mark Hadlow (The Hobbit)
David Franklin (Farscape)
Jennifer Sky (Cleopatra 2525)
John Leigh (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
David de Lautour (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Jay Ryan (Beauty and The Beast)
Antonio Te Maioha (Spartacus)
Jenya Lano (Mutant X)
Mfundo Morrison (Vet)
Marie Matiko (Date Movie)
Anthony Wong (Haywire)
George Cheung (Starsky & Hutch)
Rose McIver (Izombie)
James Gaylyn (Power Rangers RPM)
Geoff Dolan (Jack of All Trades)
Stephen Lovatt (Cleoaptra 2525)
Musetta Vander (Stargate SG.1)
Claudia Black (Farscape)
Morgan Reese Fairhead (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Peta Rutter (Young Hercules)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Manu Bennett (Arrow)
Miriama Smith (Filthy Rich)
Josephine Davison (Power Rangers SPD)
Paris Jefferson (The Counselor)
Jed Brophy (The Hobbit)
Adrienne Wilkinson (Renegades)
William Gregory Lee (Dark Angel)
Joel Tobeck (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Tsianina Joelson (Bring it On)
Sela Apera (Crooked Earth)
Zeus Mendoza (Port Charles)
Tandi Wright (Black Sheep)
Michelle Langstone (Power Rangers SPD)
Gina Varela (Sione’s Wedding)
Owen Black (Maddigans Quest)
Ian Harcourt (Power Rangers Megaforce)
Brittney Powell (That Thing You Do)
Renato Bartolomei (The Cult)
Alexander Petersons (Redheads)
Luanne Gordon (King Kong)
Alexis Arquette (Pulp Fiction)
Li Ming Hu (Power Rangers RPM)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Filthy rich)
Katrina Devine (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Michelle Ang (Triple 9)
Mike Edward (Filthy Rich)

Most people have some kind of guilty pleasure they watch on television. I have several. One of my past guilty pleasures was Xena: Warrior Princess (as well as the show that spawned it-Hercules). Seeing a bunch of attractive gals running around, showing ample amounts of cleavage and leg while they went through their paces seemed like such harmless fun.  The show developed quite a fanbase over the years and it all began with a few appearances on Kevin Sorbo’s old show, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In Hercules, Xena played a female warrior who torn through the countryside killing and pillaging as she and her armies went. Hercules stopped her and eventually showed her a different path and the Xena series started off with that premise (hey, it was a cute idea for a spin off and eventually surpassed the parent show in ratings).

Season 1 begun with Xena meeting Gabrielle whilst trying to atone for her past, the rest of the season saw several highlights such as the introduction of Ares (Kevin Smith), Autolycus (Bruce Campbell) and Callisto (Hudson Leick), with each episode the shy got better and better.

The show really kicked into overdrive with Season2, the biggest highlight was Julius Caeser (Karl Urban) who once had a relationship with Xena and betrayed her. Gabrielle became an Amazon Queen and we saw Xena’s arch nemesis Callisto return with a vengeance. It was with Season 2 where the show surpassed Hercules and became the huge it is today.

Season 3 saw the the beginning of The Dahak storyline a story that would dart backwards and forward between the two shows and eventually conclude on Hercules (Season 5). This season also saw what fans refer to as the Rift story where gabrielle and Xena relationship was tested to breaking point eventually sending them to the land illusia where they had to sing. The Xena Musicial was a huge hit and well put together, to this day i smile every time I watch it.

Season 4 saw a new villain introduced, Alti (Claire Stansfield) A sharman who killed a tribe of Amazons, but the main story of this season was about Julius Caeser, his rise to power and Xena trying to prevent the vision of her and Gabrielle’s death from coming true. The Caeser story was excellent and in the episode The Ides of March, everything comes to fruition, we even see the return of Callisto.

The fifth season was written around Lucy Lawless and her real life pregnancy. The Producers decided to write it in to the show making it easier on production. With the birth of Xena’s child brings fourth the twilight of the Gods, the moment Zeus is killed they all come after Xena with a vengeance. Athena was the main antagonist, the show also explored a possible relationship with Ares and Xena. The last four episodes saw a time jump so we get introduced to a grown up Eve/Livia (Adrienne Wilkinson),  who ended up on a similar path to her mother.

Season brought the show to an end, six years of action and adventure. Highlights in this season were the Norse trilogy showing Xena as a Valkyrie, Michael Hurst playing a reporter called Nigel, Ares living on an farm and the return of Ares and Aphrodite to godhood. It’s always sad to see a show come to an end, with the shocking finale seeming to be a hard to beat ending it does seem like the show had a satisfying ending.

Xena: Warrior Princess images Xena - A Friend in Need (Season 6) HD wallpaper and background photos

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).

 

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/hercxena/images/3/32/Widow_Twanky.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/640?cb=20090720053309

 

 

 

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.

Iolaus_as_Dahak

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: HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS THE MOVIES

CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Anthony Quinn (Last Action Hero)
Roma Downey (Touched By An Angel)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Lloyd Scott (The Exterminator)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Christopher Brougham (Aftershock)
Timothy Lee (Riding High)
Kim Michalis (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Rose McIver (Izombie)
Murray Keane (Westside)
Simone Kessell (San Andreas)


Three men are walking through the woods, they hear strange noises and catch glimpses of something moving in the undergrowth. Suddenly they are attacked by unseen creatures. Two men are killed, but one escapes and flees the woods. Hercules strolls into a village after returning from one of his adventures, and is greeted by Iolaus. It is established that Iolaus is getting married and that Hercules is the best man. The two men set off for Alcmene’s house. While walking through the woods, they reminisce that it has been a long time since they last saw each other. Iolaus tells Hercules about his bride-to-be, Ania. They stumble upon a little girl crying alone near an altar. She tells them that a monster killed her father while they were placing an offering to the goddess. Hercules tries to comfort the girl and asks if he can help, but the girl transforms into a monster. Hercules chops off its head, and thinking it is now dead, he and Iolaus begin walking away. Amazon_women_07They hear a noise and turn around to see that the monster is not dead, and has now grown two new heads in the place where the previous one was. The monster is a Hydra. Hercules tells Iolaus to grab the torch from the altar, Hercules cuts off the heads and burns the Hydra, preventing it from growing new heads, thus killing it. After the Hydra is destroyed a peacock feather remains in its place, and Hercules tells Iolaus that Hera is responsible for the Hydra. Hercules and Iolaus finally reach his mother’s house. Iolaus invites them both for dinner, then leaves. While the four are enjoying dinner, Ania glimpses a man outside the window and Hercules goes to investigate. It is the Gargarean Pithus, the man who escaped the creatures at the beginning of the film. He explains to Hercules about his village being attacked by creatures and Hercules agrees to help. Iolaus persuades 0000175864Hercules to let him go along for one last adventure before he is married, Hercules reluctantly relents and says that he can come along. The three men set off for the village. When they arrive Hercules asks where all the women are, Pithus tells him that they were stolen by the creatures in the forest. Hercules and Iolaus head off to find the beasts and rescue the village’s women. In the forest they are ambushed by the beasts, managing to stave off the attack for a time until Iolaus discovers that the beasts are really women. He chases after one but is fatally injured in the fight, and dies in Hercules’ arms. Hercules is then surrounded by several of the ‘beasts’. Two of them approach him with spears. One of the ‘creatures’ cries out and says “No Stop!”, and then raises her mask. It happens to be a woman, who then says “The queen will want to kill him”. Hercules is in utter shock to discover the true nature of the ‘beasts’.


Hercules is then seen being taken captive by the women, bound in chains and gagged with a black leather strap. He is surrounded by the “Amazon Women Warriors” and led through the village full of women. An older woman offers to buy Hercules and several taunt him along the way to see the queen. When he arrives Hippolyta tells him that she knows he is here to defeat them. Hercules tells her she is wrong. Using a magic candle, Hippolyta turns Hercules into a baby telling him she will show him what he is really like. As Hercules reverts to infant form we are shown flashbacks to Hercules’s youth and times when he has been told by people how to behave toward women. Later he returns to adult state, realising that Hippolyta is right and that his attitude toward women is wrong, he tells her that he can change. She says that he cannot change and that all men are the same. Hippolyta goes to consult with Hera, she tells Hippolyta to lead an attack on the village.

Hercules escapes from the Amazons and warns the men of the village of the forthcoming attack. He prepares them for when the women arrive. The women ride into the village and order the men to remove their clothes, telling them they are here for only one thing. The men tell the women to sit and talk with them for a while. Pithus’s wife enters her home, and her son Franco asks if she really is his mother. He tells her he often dreams about her but she has no face, she removes her mask and shows her face to Franco. Hercules stands up to Hippolyta, who says she’s not afraid of Hercules. He kisses her, she tells him she’s not afraid and kisses him back. The two make love. The following day the women are still with the men. The Amazons return to their city and both men and women reminisce about the night before. Hera tells Hippolyta that Hercules has tricked her and orders her to attack the village again, this time killing all the men and boys. Hippolyta refuses but Hera possesses her. Hera, now in control of Hippolyta’s actions, orders the women to attack the village.

Hercules stops Hippolyta and realises that she is possessed by Hera. She rides off and Hercules goes after her. As they fight Hercules tries to get through to Hippolyta, telling her that she is stronger than Hera. Hercules bests her and is about to deal the fatal blow, but cannot because it is Hippolyta’s body and not really Hera. Hercules leaves and Hera follows him, goading him. He tells Hera that if he or Hippolyta have to die then he will give up his life for her, saying he couldn’t live his life without her. Upon hearing this Hera runs Hippolyta’s body over the edge of a waterfall, killing her.

Hercules returns to the City of Amazons, and retrieves the candle Hippolyta used to send him back to his childhood. Zeus appears and tells him the candle doesn’t work in the way Hercules wants it to. Hercules replies that Zeus could make it work that way. Zeus tells Hercules that if he did that he would be in big trouble with Hera, but Hercules persuades him anyway. Zeus blows out the candle and Hercules is taken back to the night of the dinner. Ania sees Pithus outside the window and Hercules goes to tell him that the village doesn’t need the help of Hercules. He explains that all the men need to do is treat the women with respect and things will sort themselves out. Pithus returns to the village and when the women come the men sort out the problems that have been occurring. Alcmene asks Hercules if there is a woman out there who will make him happy like Ania did for Iolaus, Hercules replies that he is sure there is.

This was the very first of the TV movies that led to the wonderful action/adventure series. It does include the first appearance of Herc’s companion in arms Iolaus played by the brilliant Michael Hurst who with Kevin Sorbo created the greatest twosome in genre television history.Anthony Quinn who was presumably cast to add gravitas to the project is overshadowed by these two men whose partnership takes off from the get go.Also cast is Xena in waiting Lucy Lawless as one of the more aggressive of the Amazons and she gives just enough to the role to hint at the glories to come when she headed her own show

CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Anthony Quinn (Last Action Hero)
Renee O’ Connor (Xena)
Robert Trebor (Universal Soldier)
Eric Close (Without a Trace)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Cleopatra 2525)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
John Sumner (District 9)

Three men are running along the riverside, one of them stops to take a drink from the river. As he stoops down to quench his thirst a female figure composed of water rises out of the river and pulls him under, drowning him, the other two men run on. While running, one man is hit by a boulder and killed. The remaining man escapes. Elsewhere a young woman is collecting water, when the ground begins to shake. She flees back to the village to warn them that a giant is coming. The giant follows the woman to the village and rips the roof of the tavern. Hercules presents himself to the giant and the giant challenges Hercules to a fight. Hercules goes outside and he beats the giant. As the village celebrates the defeat the man from earlier in the film arrives in the village, he asks for Hercules’ help. He explains to Hercules that his people have been driven from their city, the lost city of Troy.

Zeus appears and Hercules asks him if he will help him. He asks his father how to find Troy and he says that Hera vanished it and to find it Hercules must find the one true compass which will point the way to Troy. Hercules heads off to find the compass, he finds a tribe of men preparing to sacrifice a young virgin to their water god. Hercules saves her from being sacrificed, while unknowingly being watched by a mysterious robed figure. The woman tells Hercules that her name is Deianeira. Later in the evening as they camp for the night, Deianeira tells her a story that she is the daughter of a King. She sees the dark figure and asks who he is and why she is being followed, but the figure does not answer. Later Hercules and Deianeira arrive at the slave market looking for Queen Omphale of Lydia, the last person to have possessed the compass. In order to get to see the Queen, Hercules sells himself as a slave, and the Queen buys him. After spending the night with the Queen Hercules gets the compass and he and Deianeira continue searching for Troy. Deianeira gets attacked by some men but the figure in the dark robe saves her and tells her to follow her destiny.
hqdefaultHercules and Deianeira head on to Troy, they arrive at the ocean and the figure standing on the cliffs summons a sea serpent to do Hera’s bidding. It swallows Hercules and Deianeira. Hercules kills the monster from inside and they are washed up on the shore. Deianeira sees Troy in the distance and tells Hercules that she now remembers and this is where she is from. Deianeira and Hercules get caught in a trap and taken to the king. The king is ill and he and his daughter are reunited. He tells her that the Cult of the Blue Priests have taken over the city and the people have taken refuge in the woods, he tells Deianeira to rule them well, and then dies.
Hercules tutors the people of Troy and prepares them to battle to take back Troy. Deianeira realises that the people cannot beat the Cult of the Blue Priests and goes looking for the Blue Priest. The people notice that Deianeira is missing and Hercules and the people use an underground tunnel to get into the city. As the people fight the cult members Hercules goes looking for Deianeira, he finds her about to be sacrificed to Hera and saves her. The Blue Priest and Hercules fight and Hercules cuts off the Priest’s head. A huge storm approaches, and Zeus tells Hercules that Hera is coming for Deianeira, Hercules saves her and Hera takes Hercules instead. As Deianeira is crowned Queen of Troy, we see Hercules thrown down from out of the sky, a man approaches him asking him for help, Hercules agrees and the two men walk off to the next adventure.Lost_kingdom_02

I really liked Hercules and the Lost Kingdom. It was a great story and kept me glued from the beginning to the end. It was also wonderful to see Renee O’Connor before she became Xena’s best friend, Gabrielle. I think she did a wonderful job as Princess Deianeira. The effects were great also. There is a scene with Deianeira and her father that was really touching.

CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Anthony Quinn (Last Action Hero)
Tawny Kitaen (Witchboard)
Kevin Atkinson (White Fang)
Stephanie Barrett (Warehouse 13)
Christopher Brougham (Absent Without Leave)
Simone Kessell (San Andreas)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Lisa Chappell (Coffin Rock)
Kim Michalis (Jack of All Trades)
Amy Morrison (Xena)

Hercules is walking through a snowy mountain top where he finds a woman in the cold, and goes to help her. He sees Zeus in a cave and a rock closes over the entrance. Hercules turns around and the woman calls out to him and freezes and explodes. Hercules wakes from a dream. He turns over and goes back to sleep. As he sleeps his camp-fire goes out. Next day Hercules and young man are walking through a cave with dead bodies strewn all over. The man tells Hercules that they are all men from his village and that the witch who guards the Fountain of Youth killed them for their youth and strength. At the heart of the cave they find an old woman. Hercules sees she is chained up, and is hit over the head by the man, who is actually a warlock. He says to Hercules he will now have Hercules’ strength. Hercules and the warlock fight and the warlock appears invincible, but then Hercules notices a beating heart among the items in the warlock’s cave. Hercules rips the warlock’s shirt and sees that the heart belongs to the warlock.

Hercules takes a knife and plunges it into the heart and kills the warlock. With the warlock now dead, the old woman reverts to her true form, that of a young woman. Hercules frees the woman from her chains and takes some water from the fountain. After this the fountain begins to boil and begins dissolving everything in the cave. Hercules grabs the woman and they leave the cave. Outside the cave Zeus appears and Hercules tells Zeus the water will cure Chiron of his wound. Later Hercules arrives at Chiron’s house, he gives him the water and he drinks it. The wound heals, but after a few seconds the wound worsens. Hercules tells him he will find a cure for his wound. Meanwhile, all over the village fires are being inexplicably extinguished. Hercules and Chiron are talking by the fire side and the fire goes out. Hercules realizes that something is amiss. He decides to investigate. He approaches Hera’s temple which still has fire. A woman is trying to persuade the priest of the temple to let them light their torches, the priest refuses. Hercules kicks down the door, Hera’s priest fight him, he beats them, and lights the torch.

Three women appear and tell Hercules that the torch is of no use, because Hera has stolen the Eternal Torch and plans to kill mankind once and for all. Hercules knows that humans cannot survive without fire, and if he does not get the Torch back all life will die. Later on the woman from the temple comes to Chiron, it is revealed she is Deianeira. Chiron says only Hercules can help her and points her the man from the temple. Hercules says they need to talk to Prometheus, so he and Deianeira set off. They find Prometheus frozen, he says that Hera has stolen the Eternal Torch and that Hercules must get it back. Hercules and Deianeira travel onto Mount Aepion, where Hera has the Torch. While traveling, Hercules is attacked by a giant named Antaeus and with the help of Deianeira manages to kill him.

As they camp for the night, Hercules reveals to Deianeira that he was the one who accidentally inflicted Chiron’s wound. The next day as they are crossing a gorge they arrive at a point where Hera has removed the bridge. Hercules says they can continue if they use the rope which still remains. Deianeira reluctantly agrees. The two finally arrive at Mount Aepion, Hercules walks through the snowy mountain top, just like in his dream. He finds Zeus and Hercules asks him what Hera has done. Zeus says that Hera has put the Torch in the center of a ring of fire, and the fire has the power to kill immortals. Zeus warns Hercules from going through with his plan to get the Torch back. Hercules says he will do it anyway. The two men battle it out and Zeus tells Hercules that he is trying to save him. Hercules asks his father if he cares about humanity, Zeus replies that he does, but he loves Hercules more. Hercules tells Zeus he loves him too. Zeus accepts what Hercules must do, and lets him go. Hercules goes through the fire and retrieves the Torch, he throws it and it lands in Prometheus’s home waking him. Fire begins to return. As Hercules lays dying in the circle, Zeus begs Hera not to harm Hercules or he will haunt her for eternity, and even threatening to give up his own immortality. Hera stops the flames and Zeus helps Hercules, who thanks him for saving his life. Before leaving the cage Hercules picks up a stick and makes a torch. Zeus asks if he knows the power of the flames, Hercules acknowledges that he does. Hercules takes the torch to Chiron’s house and asks him to step inside a circle of straw. Chiron stands in the center of the circle and Hercules lights the straw with the torch. Chiron drops to his knees and cries out. As the flames die out Chiron exclaims that his wound is healed, the flames had burned away his immortality and healed the wound.simo_h_deia_cof_01This is the third pilot TV movie that jump-started the “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” TV series, where Hercules (Kevin Sorbo). The plot of the movie goes at a fairly fast pace and, like the previous movie, Hercules travels with a woman which happens to be named Deianeira (Tawny Kitaen), but I am assuming it is a different character than the one with the same name played by Renee O’Connor in the previous movie. There is less action in this movie than the previous entry, but you still see Hercules fight a few bad guys here and there. There is also less emphasis on subplots; this story mainly focuses on Hercules’ journey to find the torch with Deianeira, leaving few plot twists and a predictable outcome. However, you do see Zeus showcase his powers more than in the previous movies, blasting Hercules away with his hands, generating a windstorm and hurling lightening bolts at people. As the King of the Gods, it is great to see him demonstrate his mighty powers more.

CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Anthony Quinn (Last Action Hero)
Tawny Kitaen (Witchboard)
Marley Shelton (Sin City)
Cliff Curtis (Training Day)
Jorge Gonzáles (Thunder In Paradise)
Timothy Balme (The Almighty Johnsons)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Rose McIver (Izombie)
Simone Kessell (San Andreas)
Stig Eldred (Dick Tracy)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)

Underworld_09In the centre of a village, the ground begins to open up and a strange green light emanates from within. Two drunken men see the light and walk over to take a closer look. As they approach, a gaseous vapour begins pouring out of the fissure and in a flash of light the two men are charred with only their bones remaining. The next day in a village square, a man challenges the villagers to fight Eryx the boxer. One man agrees but he is tricked when he is introduced to the real boxer, a towering brute of a man. The challenger dies fighting Eryx, so an old man from the village tells a youth to find Hercules. After a short while, the boy returns with Hercules, who challenges Eryx. They begin to fight and it appears that Eryx is going to beat Hercules, but then Hercules finally ends the fight by killing Eryx. With the man dead, the man who first made the challenge gives Hercules a peacock feather, Hera’s symbol. He goes to Hera’s temple and asks if they can call a truce; Hera defies Hercules, so he destroys her temple. Zeus appears and tells Hercules that he will only make things worse between him and Hera. When Hercules arrives home, Deianeira tends to his wounds.

The following day, Hercules is working in the smithy with Nessus, the centaur. He watches the children playing outside when a woman, Iole, comes looking for him. She says she’s from the village of Gryphon and that they need Hercules’ help. Hercules agrees to help, but Deianeira tells the girl to rest first. During the night, Iole tells Deianeira that she thought she saw someone outside her window. Deianeria tells her no one is there. Deianeira gets a lantern and goes outside; she finds Nessus in the smithy and he tells her that she cannot trust Hercules with Iole as she is a young woman, Hercules will not be able to resist. She defends him saying that Hercules would be faithful to her. In the morning Hercules, Iole and Nessus leave for Gryphon. Before leaving Iole gives Deianeira a necklace to thank her for looking after her the night before. Deianeira goes to the market where a woman tells her that the necklace is a sign that she has lost her husband and tells Deianeira about the necklace is given to women whose men are to be killed by Nurian maidens. Deianeira goes after Hercules to warn him and finds the three at the river bank. She tells Iole to leave, but Hercules says he already knew she was a Nurian maiden, but that he loves Deianeira, and would never be unfaithful to her. After reassuring Deianeira, Hercules and Iole continue to Gryphon, but Nessus begins to stir doubts in Deianeira’s mind, and after she tries to get away he attacks her. She calls for Hercules, who shoots an arrow which strikes Nessus in the back. As he lay dying, Nessus tells Deianeira that his blood is powerful and will prevent Hercules from being unfaithful. She gives the cape to Hercules and tells him to wear it if he gets cold.

Hercules and Iole continue onto Gryphon, when they arrive the people take him to the area where the hole has opened up in the ground. He walks through the village seeing fire and destructions and dead bodies strewn on the floor. He approaches the fissure and looks into it and see spirits coming out from deep within the Earth. Zeus appears and tells him that it is the Underworld. Hercules asks if he is mortal or not, Zeus tells him he is mortal, but tries to prevent Hercules from going down the hole. Hercules prepares to go into the hole and puts on the cape that Deianeria gave him. It begins to choke him and tries to kill him, he struggles free and throws the cape, which disappears leaving only a peacock feather. Hercules runs and jumps into the hole. As Hercules travels to the Underworld, a man arrives at Hercules’ house and tells Deianeira that Hercules is dead. He explains about the cape trying to kill Hercules and that he jumped into the hole. Hercules arrives in the Underworld, where he meets Charon, who transports him across the River Styx. On the other side of the river Hercules finds Cerberus’ collar, he enters a doorway and vanishes.

Meanwhile, Deianeira, distraught by the thought that she caused her own husband’s death, goes to a cliff top; while standing there she sees a vision of Hercules and reaches out to him; as she reaches out she falls from the cliff to the rocks below. After being attacked by different monsters, Hercules meets Eryx the boxer and some other people he sent to Hades. He fights Eryx again and then sees Nessus, who taunts him by showing him, via a portal, that Deianeira is dead. Hercules ask for Nessus to show him again, when Nessus shows Deianeira again Hercules jumps through the portal into the Elysian fields. He finds Deianeira but she has no memory of him, Hades appears and tells Hercules that he erased her memory about Hercules because of the thought of killing her husband. He begs Deianeria to remember him and their children and then kisses her. With the kiss her memories return and Hercules makes a deal with Hades that if he can capture Cerberus, then Deianeira can go back to Earth with him. Hercules goes after Cerberus, he finds Hades’ men trying and failing to capture him. Hercules fights and defeats Cerberus and chains him up again. Once Cerberus is chained the hole in the ground closes up and Deianeira appears. Back on Earth the villagers thank Hercules for helping them and he and Deianeira go home.

This was an excellent tv-movie. All the fighting scenes were great and well done. The story has action, adventure, some suspense and a little humor. Like in the series, people call Hercules for help. In this adventure, he goes to help the people of a village that are being threatened from a split in the Earth that reveals the mouth of hell. In between saving people, Hercules faces seduction, betrayal, saving his wife and capturing Cerberus. Excellent tv-movie.

CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Anthony Quinn (Last Action Hero)
Tawny Kitaen (Witchboard)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Anthony Ray Parker (The Matrix)
Rose McIver (Izombie)

In a sun-dappled forest, two men are searching for buried treasure. They pace out the step given with the map, and discover a cave overgrown with bushes. The two men break through the plants and enter the cave. In the cave they find a huge wooden door, as they try to get through the door, a monster breaks through the door and chases after them. One man is captured and the other flees as the monster tells him to bring Hercules. Meanwhile, Hercules works on his farms, he sees his sons fighting and tells them that they should not fight. They say that Hercules fights, Hercules explains that he only fights when he has to and only to prevent other people from being harmed. He tells about the time when he had to fight Eryx the boxer to stop him from killing anymore people. He asks the boys if they understand, and they say they do. Later that evening, Hercules is working in the stable, Zeus appears and they chat. Hercules tells Zeus that there have been no monsters for a while, which is good as he has now settled down with Deianeira to raise the children. Zeus gives him a scale from a sea serpent and Hercules remembers the time when he and Deianeira were swallowed by a sea serpent while looking for the lost city of Troy. While day-dreaming he snaps back to reality at the dinner table to find the dog eating his dinner. Back in the cave, the Minotaur broods in wait for Hercules.

At night the children ask their father to tell them a story, Ilea asks for Hercules to tell her about when he and Deianeira first met. Hercules begins relating how the fire had vanished from the Earth and that Deianeira’s village needed fire, and how he got the fire back from Hera’s temple. Halfway through the story Hercules realises the children are asleep. He and Deianeira retire to bed and she asks him if he misses his adventures and battling monsters, he says truthfully that he does miss it. The following day, Hercules is working in the stables and sees something flit past the door, he goes to look but sees nothing. As he walks back into the stable a man jumps down upon him, Hercules turns to see it is Iolaus. They begin talking about their adventures and the time when they had to fight the Lernaean Hydra that Hera had sent to kill them. The two men go inside to get a drink, Iolaus tells Hercules that he met a man who taught him some new moves that allow smaller men to overpower a bigger man. Hercules says he won’t fight Iolaus, but he is eventually persuaded. The two men strip off their tops and prepare to spar. When Hercules attacks Iolaus he is overpowered by the smaller man, but after a short while Hercules gets the best of Iolaus as he sees Deianeira and Ilea standing in the doorway. Deianeira tells Iolaus that since Hercules gave up his adventures he has become depressed. A man arrives at the stable looking for Hercules, he tells him that he must help his village and that a monster has taken his brother. Hercules says he can’t go and the man says he has to because he is Hercules. Later that evening Deianeria asks him why he refused to help and he tells her that he promised to stay and raise the children with her. She tells him that he shouldn’t try to stop being Hercules, not for her or the children. She tells him to go and the next day her and Iolaus set off for Alturia. As they travel to Alturia a young couple are looking for somewhere quiet, they find the cave and enter. While they are making out the Minotaur comes and attacks them.

When Hercules and Iolaus arrive in Alturia they ask a woman where the monster is and she tells Hercules that there isn’t any monster. Underneath the village the Minotaur swears that Hercules will pay, Zeus appears and tells the Minotaur that he still has not learned his lesson, he replies that he has been feeding on hate. Minotaur taunts Zeus because he was unable to kill the Minotaur. Hercules and Iolaus are in a tavern and end up fighting some men because they don’t believe that he is really Hercules. Outside the tavern three men are killed and Hercules goes to investigate, only to be found by the villagers. They think he killed the men and chase him and Iolaus. The man who had asked for Hercules’s help comes and takes Hercules to the cave where his brother was captured. Zeus appears and tells Hercules what the monster is and why he wants Hercules. He asks Hercules to kill the Minotaur, and he enters the cave. In the center of the cave he finds the Minotaur, who challenges Hercules. They begin fighting and as Hercules is about to kill the Minotaur, the creature reveals that he is really Hercules’ brother Gryphus and Hercules cannot kill him. The Minotaur then attacks Hercules and Hercules ends up killing him by throwing him onto a stalagmite as Zeus arrives. As Gryphus lies dying, Hercules says he is sorry Zeus had to lose a son this way. Zeus says to Hercules that Gryphus was lost the day he tried to lead the people against him and that it didn’t have to be this way. When Gryphus begs for Zeus not to let him die like this, Zeus changes Gryphus back to mortal form as a mist covers over Gryphus’ dead body. As Zeus declares that Gryphus is now “free,” Hercules helps Iolaus and the other people being held by the Minotaur and the two brothers are reunited. With the people of the village now safe and Iolaus freed, the two men journey back home.


Of all the Hercules tv-movies that were made, this one manages to achieve the tone and theme of the Legendary Journeys. Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst have good chemistry with each other. My only problem with this tv-movie was the flashbacks. In my opinion, they really just slowed things down. Other than that, this pretty good and should be seen.