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Season 4, episode 10
Series 410
1st release: 01-19-98
2nd release: 06/29/98
1st USA strip release: 11/05/98
2nd USA strip release: 02/26/99
3rd USA strip release:
Production number: --
Approximate shooting dates: Late Summer 1997
Last update: 01-14-99

SYNOPSIS by Liz Sheppard
COMMENTARY by Kent Simmons

Michael Hurst (Iolaus)
Kevin Smith (Ares)
Lisa Chappell (Dirce)
John Sumner (Spencius)
Liddy Holloway (Alcmene)
Jeffrey Thomas (Jason)

Claudia Black (Cassandra)
Barry Duffield (Kanzankis)
Liddy Holloway (Alcmene)
Jeffery Thomas (Jason)
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy (Kara)
Renee Raldeun (Galea)
Derek Payne (Daedalus)
Lisa Chappell (Queen Melissa)
Mike Bajko (Turgeus)

Written by Robert Bielak
Directed by John Laing

Spencius: You are as responsible as if you had shoved that beam down on him and crushed him youself!
Spencius: Involuntary manslaughter and treason.
Spencius: He was a killer! Hercules has put himself above the law.
Ares to Hercules: Where is your anger, man?
Hercules: This isn't a game.
Hercules: I'm guilty.

A court tries Hercules for the accidental death of an impersonator.

Hercules is tried for manslaughter when a man impersonating him is killed while doing a good deed.

Hercules is accused of crimes against the state by a sinister bureaucrat.

1st release: 01-19-98
An AA average of 5.3
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES 8th with 6.6
(2) XENA 11th with 6.1
(3) HERCULES 13th with 5.3
(4) WALKER TR 18th with 4.5

2nd release: 06/29/98
An AA average of 4.2
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES 10th with 5.0
(2) HERCULES/XENA 14th with 4.2
(3) WALKER TR 16th with 4.1


Synopsis by Liz Sheppard

A man pretending to be Hercules is drinking in a tavern. A woman whos children are trapped in a cave calls for help and "Hercules" helps her. He holds up the ceiling so their father can help. Herc and Iolaus show up to help as well. They get the kids free, but the man gets crushed and was dead before Herc could get to him.

In the tavern, Herc and Iolaus find out that the man pretending to be Hercules was named Kanzankis. The magistrate, Turgeus, and a lawyer, Spencius, place Herc under arrest for Kazankis' death. Herc goes with them to jail. He won't break out until the trial is over and justice is taken care of. Ares shows up and loves the fact that Herc is on jail for his good deeds.

Spencius accuses Herc of a bunch of stuff, which Herc doesn't agree with. He says that Herc tries to get people to be like him, no matter if they are immortal or not. Geleith, Kazankis' wife, tells them about how meeting Hercules changed Kazankais life. He wanted to be a hero. Speicius says that Kazankis left his family to starve to go out and good. One of Kazankis' children asks Herc why he killed her daddy. Ares laughs.

In Athens, Iolaus complains about the food and that Spencius has never lost a case.

Spencius brings out witnesses that had faith in Herc and wanted to be like him, but had terrible results in their lives. These stories bring Herc down. Dirce shows up and is now Herc's lawyer. Dirce and Iolaus go in search of witnesses. Cassandra from Atlantis talks about how Herc saved her life with the flying machine, just like in her dreams. Spencius says that she made it all up. Herc gives a speech about Kazankis did a self-sacrificing deed and they should honor him. Dirce tells Herc that he could be banished from Greece forever.

Derk's wife form Mercenary is being questioned. Spencius makes Derk into a killer. Dadilius, the inventer, is questioned. Herc is the best friend he has ever had, next to his son. Icirus,his son, wanted to fly and listened to Herc, who said to follow your dreams. Spencius says that Herc's words killed Dadilius son.

Dirce tells Herc to think positive and Aresis trying to make get him angry. Ares wants Herc and him to be a team. Herc: "What color is the sky in your world?"

Queen Melissa from War Bride said that Herc inspired her to help the wounded. Jason and Alcmene arrive and Jason gets questioned. He says that Herc turned his life around. Spencius says that Herc's planned expedition killed the men that dies. Alcmene visits Herc in his cell, but can't stay long. Dirce says that Iolaus will go in the witness stand for the prosecution.

Spencius brings up the fact that Iolaus had died, but was brought back because he's a good friend of Herc. He says that Herc's heroic deeds cost him his wife and children's lives. Villagers have trouble with some big guy named Mong, but Herc refuses to go help. Ares visits Herc and talks about destroying all of Greeece without Herc being able to stop it because he would be benished. Herc helps Mong, who had a toothache.

Spencius says Herc disrupts their order. Herc gives a speech about if what he does is wrong, then he is guilty. Everybody needs Hero's to aspire to, and he won't stop being a hero. Iolaus says he's Hercules, as well as Jason, Alcmene, Cassandra, Dirce and everyone else, as well as Geleith. Case dismissed.

Geleith says her children have two heroes to look up to, Hercules and Kazankis.


This commentary is by KSZoneW.

Hercules on Trial ??? The episode idea was unique and turned out to be very good and intresting. It was not comical and was more of a dark episode than anything else. Everyone did a good job and Hercules was at his best in this episode. In "Hercules on Trial" a majestrate named Spensius decides to use a heroic act by Hercules to place him under arrest. Hercules simply did his job and helped someone who needed help but a mans dead led to a majestrate getting Hercules accused of a crime and led to the "First Trial of the Century".

This Spensius guy really knows how to be a good lawyer and defend his client against someone. He was able to get something against whatever Hercules said. Even the real heroic things that Hercules did where made bad and no good by Spensius. Spensius was able to use the "Bad Things About Heroism and Heroics" to make the people and jury believe that Hercules was guilty. Perhaps Hercules lawyer was not as good. Dirce was simply more comical and ment good but was not as good. She did improve since "King Of Thieves" where she defend Iolaus in court against her confused father. She improved but nothing she really did helped, except for her partial idea to find people to defend Hercules on his trial.

The defenders of Hercules all did a decent job. Cassandra told the story about how Herc saved her and they escaped from Atlantis. However because Hercules could not save all the others, who refused help and did not want to believe Cassandras dreams, Herc was found wrong doing by Spensius. Cassandra did a good job defending Hercules but could not stand out enough, which was also a problem of hers during "Atlantis" during season 3. Daedalus lost his son when he decided to test an invention of wings. It was supposely Hercules that gave him the idea but Spensius again was able= to outsmart Daedalus and tell another side and blame Hercules for the death of Icarus. Daedalus ment well and knew Hercules was a friend and told it like it was, but he could not counter Spensius and failed. Melissa was more of a comical relief person and served little purpose in this episode, but the sceen with Lisa Chappell playing two people gave me a small laugh. Jason was a very good witness but was cut short. The mention of how many died on the voayges for the Golden Fleece gave Spensius a chance to blame Hercules for deaths. Jason mentioning how Hercules helped him counter his drunkness and problems was good. I still dont understand why Iolaus testified for the other side, even though he supported Hercules. My guess is that he wanted to defend Hercules from the other side, thinking it would make a change. Pehaps the best defense was Hercules himself. Sorbo once again proves he does good emotional talks, because his two speeches made diffrence. His first speech told the truth and the second speech showed that Hercules was guilty, but he was guilty of being a hero. "Being a Hero means putting yourself on the line" is very true and one of the best things that Hercules ever stated. The "Spartacus" type end was very well done and made me want to stand up and say that "Im Hercules". It was well done and even got the judge to state he was Hercules, which made Herc innocent.

Ares was at his evil best. Ares wanted to use Hercules being banished from Greece as a way for his evil plan and mind to take control. He had a very brutal war going on, as we could see in highlights from probally some old roman war movies. Ares was at his best and once Greece had no Hercules, and Xena possibly returned to her evil ways or died in her stress with Gabrielle and the rift, Ares had his warworld back and nobody would stop him. For Ares, Hercs trial was a thing of goodness. Ares was a important character and I thought Kevin Smith did his best evil laugh after that little girl who lost her father asked Hercules if he killed her daddy and Hercules looked confused and puzzled and not knowing what to say. Alcmene was herself and really felt bad for her heroic son. Whats it with mothers and food ? Alcmene always likes to ask Hercules if he's filled and hungry.

THings to Look Out For:

  • The music used during Herc's first speech on trial was an outake from the "Regrets...Ive Had a Few" episode this season.

  • They used a new background for Athens. Will we see another new one for XWP's "When in Rome" later in season 3 ???

  • The jail cells in this episode where also used in "King of Thieves" and the webs on the cells where leftovers from "Web of Desire".

  • The area of Athens where Herc met Mong was also in "If I Had a Hammer" and many other episodes of HTLJ and XWP.
  • Highlights:

  • The acting job by Kevin Sorbo and Kevin Smith.

  • The face on Mong when Hercules knocks his tooth out is pretty funny.

  • The little comedy spoof between Melissa and Dirce

  • The footage that Ares shows Hercules of the war. Mostly the sceen where fire blazes down an entire army !

  • The promo for this episode was one of the better ones. Not the best for good.

  • The look on Hercs face when he is asked the question by the little girl.

  • Ares laughing at Hercules when the girl blames Hercules in his face for her fathers death.

  • Ares godly exit is always cool, or any gods exit is pretty cool to watch.
  • This episode was pretty dark in the plot sense. Being that a hero was put on trial for manslaughter and being a killer. It was intense in words and featured no fighting whatsoever, except for sevral minutes where Hercules punched Mong the mighty, who needed his hurt and loose tooth knoc= ked out. It was a good episode and one for all ages. Everyone did a good job and Lisa Chappell hopefully got two checks sent to her. I would of liked to see possibly some more people defend Hercules, maybe Derk instead of his wife, who few probally remembered. They did show a rerun of "Mercenary" sevral weeks ago so that was probally to have people remember who Kara and Derk where. It gets my rating of 5 out of 5 stars. Next week my new review will be of "Medea Culpa" and Ill also do one for "Maternal Instincts". I can't wait !!!


    01-14-99. From KSZoneW. Atlantis: Cassandra returns in season 4 to help Hercules when he is put on trial. That episode will be called "Hercules on Trial and airs as the second new episode in January 1998.

    01-21-98. Dirce will be in this episode. Dirce is the lawyer from "King of Thieves" episode and is played by Lisa Chappell, who is great at doing comedic roles on HTLJ. Cassandra is also supposed to be in this episode.

    01-08-98. KSZoneW@aol.com overheard in a summer chat that this episode has Cassandra defend Hercules when he is put on trial. Cassandra is played by Claudia Black.


    Click here to read a transcript of HERCULES ON TRIAL.


    Due to extensive DNA testing, Hercules was proven innocent during the production of this motion picture.

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