Whoosh! Online
Edition Check
out the FAQ!



Season 3, episode 01
Series 301
1st release: 09/30/96
2nd release: 11/25/96
3rd release: 01/05/98
1st USA strip release: 09/28/98
2nd USA strip release: 01/18/99
3rd USA strip release:
Production number:
Approximate shooting dates:
Last update: 01-07-98b

SYNOPSIS by Kent Simmons
COMMENTARY by Kent Simmons

Jeremy Roberts (Derk)

Sarah Smuts-Kennedy (Kara)
Paul Willis (Marcus the Magistrate)
Michael Mizrahi (Ratface)
Neill Duncan (Sordis)
Philip Jones (Trayas)
Owain Pennington (Older Boy)
Charlotte Pennington (Sister)

Written by Robert Bielak
Directed by Michael Hurst

Derk: Cut Me Loose
Hercules: You Killed a Man
Derk: I will kill you.

Herc finds himself shipwrecked on an inhospitable island, sparring with the prisoner he'd been escorting, while dodging both pirates and monsters.

A storm at sea maroons Hercules on an island where he deals with pirates, sand monsters and a wanted killer he is transporting to Sparta.

Shipwrecked, injured Hercules faces a ruthless mercenary, a band of pirates and giant worms.

1st RELEASE: 09/30/96
An AA average of 5.8
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) HERCULES 8th with 5.8 ("Mercenary" 38/301)
(2) STAR TREK DS9 9th with 5.6 ("Apocalypse Rising" 99/501)
(3) XENA 11th with 5.3 ("Orphan of War 25/201)
(4) BAYWATCH 15th with 4.2
(5) BABYLON 5/THE OUTER LIMITS tied 19th with 3.6 ("Walkabout" 62/318) ("Mind Over Matter" 25/204)
HIGHLANDER ("Prophecy" 88/502)
POLTERGEIST ("Town Without Pity" 02/102)
KUNG FU ("Chill Ride" 77/401)
THE CAPE ("Just A Rumor" 05/105)
SINBAD ("The Beast Within" 02/102)
TARZAN ("Tarzan and the Lost Legion" 03/103)
FX ("Pay Back" 04/104)
VIPER ("MIG-89" 02/102)
TWO ("Many Happy Returns" 04/104)

2nd RELEASE: 11/25/96
An AA average of 5.5
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) STAR TREK DS9 10th with 6.0 (107/509 "The Ascent")
(2) HERCULES 11th with 5.5 (38R/301 "Mercenary")
(3) XENA 12th with 5.3 (26R/201 "Orphan of War")
(4) BAYWATCH 12th with 4.3
(5) OUTER LIMITS 20th with 3.9 (1R/22 "Trial By Fire")
BABYLON 5 (70/404 "Falling Toward Apotheosis")
HIGHLANDER (96/10 "The Messenger [Old and Wise]")
POLTERGEIST (10/110 "Ghost in the Road")
KUNG FU (85/409 "Time Prisoners")
THE CAPE (13/113 "Judgment Call")
SINBAD ( 1RA/101 "The Return of Sinbad")
TARZAN ( 02R/102 "Tarzan and the Leopard Queen")
FX (12/112 "Supernote")
VIPER (10/110 "Street Pirates")
TWO (12/112 "Prodigal")

3rd RELEASE: 01/05/98
An AA average of 4.9
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES 6th with 7.2
(2) XENA (25R3 "Orphan of War") 14th with 5.8
(3) HERCULES/STAR TREK DS9 (135/611 "Waltz") 4.9
(4) WALKER TEXAS RANGER 20th with 4.4
(5) NYPD BLUE 4.0
(6) EARTH FINAL CONFLICT (10/110 "Live Free or Die")3.8
HIGHLANDER (113R "Unusual Suspects")
THE OUTER LIMITS ( 55 "Awakening")
POLTERGEIST (33 "Lives in the Balance")
FX (28R "High Roller")
NIGHTMAN (11/111 "Bad Moon Rising")
CONAN (05/105 "A Friend in Need")
TEAM KNIGHT RIDER (11/111 "Et Tu Dante")
HONEY I SHRUNK (7R/107 "Honey, I Got Duped")


Synopsis by KSZoneW.

Hercules is aboard a prison ship headed for Sparta, where a killer named Derk is going to be put on trial for doing mercenary work. The sea storm is really bad and Derk begs Hercules to untie him before the storm or pirates get them. Hercules does but right after that, a giant wave hits the ship and everyone and everything sinks to the ocean bottom. Hercules awakes when light appears and is on some island with ship remains on the beach and part of a wooden stick right threw his arm which makes blood come out. Derk shows up and thanks Hercules for saving his life and nails him with a club.

Hercules wakes up and bandages his wound and alks into a forest where he and Derk talk trash and hunt each other down. Derk climbs a tree to escape a fight and finds an animal that does not drink the water because it knows the water is bad. Derk tells Herc to not to follow him but Herc refuses to stop and spots a dead bird, and now knows that something else lives on the island as well. Pirates also come to the island and there leader has a ratface and nasty laugh. They think there was gold on the prison ship and the thieves hid it on the island. The pirates look for anyone while Hercules is trapped by Derk in a hole. Hercules gets out and throws Derk in and even ties his hands. Derk digs up some sand and finds little water. He also spots giant eggs which may hold a monster or something else. Derk is taken out as the two travel into a desert area where Derk gets free and attacks Hercules. Both roll down the hill and land near a rock. The pirates are meanwhile at the hole and spot the broken eggs and tracks. Hercules and Derk soon discover giant monsters that look like giant butterflys. They eat flesh and crawl threw the sand. The pirate run into them and Hercules and Derk try to save them but can't as they either sink into the sand or are eaten by the sand demons, which is the name I will give to the creatures.

Hercules and Derk sit on a rock and decide what to do. Derk promises he will help Hercules wound and go back peacfully if Hercules lets Derk see his family one time again. Hercules is shocked that Derk is a family man and he agrees. Derk takes care of the wound and they leap and jump across pillars and low ruins to escape the sand demons. They run into each other and duck as the demons hit each other and die. They run to the shore and knock out the two pirates on a small boat and head for Derks homeland. Hercules is surprised that Derk did not kill the pirates and Derk said that Hercules ways where rubbing into him, meaning that he was staring to change. They skip showing how they got to land and show Derks family having a meal and Hercules walking in. He reads the kids a bedtime story while Derks wife talks to her husband. The reason he is in trouble is that he killed someone who killed someone else. He wants to go to the court because he feels its the right thing. He wants his kids to look up to his brother or Hercules. He watches his kids sleep for sevral minutes and than they switch to the courthouse. Hercules is ticked because the judge refuses to give Derk a fair trial. They hang Derk but an arrow releases him and the soldiers run to see who shot it while Derk escapes, as does some other guy who was probally next to be hung. Hercules runs into Derk and Herc says it was his arrow and he did not like the fact that the result was not fair. Derk promises he will stay a fisherman and welcomes Hercules to his house anytime. Derk runs home and Hercules sets off for another adventure.


Commentary by KSZoneW.

This was a very good show for the season 3 opener. Much better than Season 4's "Beanstalks and Bad Eggs" episode. It was a good adventure episode and a dark one as well. It had many intresting parts and showed how two guys who hate each other will not work together, even if there in near death status. Hercules wanted to bring Derk back to be tried untill he learned that Derk had a family. Its almost like he wants to have everyone with a family stay with them, since his family is dead. Hercules and Derk really worked well as enemys and than friends. There should be another episode with Hercules and Derk but I doubt it.

The adventure of "Mercenary" was set on an island in the middle of nowhere. The monsters where ruthless and pirates could easily hide on the shore. It was a perfect hideout but the question is -- What else lives there that we didn't see ? If "Hercules" where real and I was reviewing a real event, I would like to know what else was there or was what we saw the only thing there ? This was a good episode to open a season with because it was not boring anf kept building up to something exciting and possibly shocking. Did anyone think that Derk and Hercules would be friends after the promo and first 10 minutes of the show ? Possibly but not likley unles you knew what was going to happen before you watched it. The music was perfect for the episode and they used some new stuff instead of the usual stuff they use every week. The dark attitude of Hercules was also good in this episode. Hercules isn'y known for leaving guys on an island without help meaning he may off learned something from Derk as well. The creatures where unusual and there really was no name given to them. Possible names include-Sand Monsters, Sand Crabs or Bugs, or my name which was Sand Demons. Herc also showed a dark side by letting Derk go free even after he probally killed other familys which may have been like his before he became a mercenary, of he had a family before that. Jeremy Roberts was good for that role and did a good job as the crooked theif in Xena Episode "Fistful of Dinars" where he played a crook that might of turned good but ended up being bad and died. I liked this episode because it combined a good adventure in the middle of nowhere with a good storyline, real life situation, and some dark stuff. The atmosphere was also good as it looked gloomy at parts and hardly any cloud covered the sky. I could almost smell the scent of the forest and land from how it looked which is unusual but I talked with a friend who seemed to notice something like that too. I give this episode 5 out of 5 stars because it was enjoyable to watch and had many good things in it.


Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - Original Television Soundtrack. Joseph LoDuca. Uni/Varese Sarabande; ASIN: B0000014XJ.

(20) Footprints


01-07-99b. From KSZoneW. The music used when Iolaus arrives in Corinth [Xena's Corinth] in "Armageddon Now II" was used in "Mercenary" and "Atlantis" in the scene where Hercules awoke on the is lands. It was also used in "Lady and the Dragon" and "Web of Desire". All are HTLJ episodes.

01-04-98. Heard during the Universal Chats with Robert Bielak (08-05-97) and Kevin Sorbo (08-28-97 )that this episode sees Atalanta build the perfect man, who looks like Hercules. Heard elsewhere that Hera wants the man to destroy Hercules. This episode will probally air as the first of the next few new episodes. It was filmed in June 1997 and is the first 4th season HTLJ episode to feature Salmoneus, inless Men in Pink airs first.

11-16-97. This was filmed either in the early summer of 1997 or earlier! Was the only Salmoneus episode of the 4th season until Kevin Sorbo's medical needs required Salmoneus' help over the second session of filming for the 1997- 98 season.


Click here to read a transcript of MERCENARY.


No flesh-eating sandrays were harmed during the production of this motion picture.

Guide Table of ContentsBack to Whoosh!