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Season 5, episode 17
Series 517
1st release: 03/15/99
2nd release:
1st USA strip release:
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3rd USA strip release:
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Last update: 04-14-99


Ryan Gosling (Zylus)
Nathaniel Lees (Cheiron)
Jeffrey Thomas (Jason)

Jodie Rimmer (Seska)
Susan Brady (Lilith)
Geoff Snell (Headmaster)
Albert Belz (Tabor)
Allen O'Halloran (Friend of Zylus, Upperclassman #3)
Nicholas Baker (Friend of Zylus, Kid #1)
Ben Cook (Friend of Zylus, Upperclassman #4)
Andrew Eggleton (Friend of Zylus, Upperclassman #2)
Cameron Stanton (Kid #2)
Chelsea Howell (Kid #3)
Glenn Ellerin (Peddler)

Edited by
Written by Paul Robert Coyle
Directed by Charlie Haskell

(A rumble goes on inside the Academy.)
Hercules (to Jason): Oh, they grow up so fast.
Hercules: *Nothing* beats experience.
(A pile of weapons in a fire pit.)
(Zylus pulls a ninja-like weapon on Tabor.)
Hercules (to Zylus): You're expelled.
(Zylus smirks.)
Hercules: Goodbye.
(Zylus, dressed like a ninja, attacks Hercules.)
Zylus (to Upperclassmen): School is in session.
(A group of toddlers mob Iolaus 2.)
Iolaus 2: They're walking all over me!
Zylus: Burn it!
(Upperclassmen attack the Academy.)
Hercules: Someone is *definitely* getting detention!
(Zylus battles Hercules.)

There's trouble at Cheiron's old military academy, and Herc must straighten it out. Meanwhile, Jason meets his daughter Seska for the first time.

Hercules, Jason and Iolaus 2 return to Cheiron's academy to stop a band of renegade cadets from taking over the school.


This commentary is by Xorys.

I thought this ep was ok, but not great. On the plus side I liked the grown-up Lilith, and I thought Jodie Rimmer did an excellent job as Cesca. I also found Ryan Gosling quite convincing as the smarmy villain Zylus (more convincing than I've ever found him as young Herc, actually - he has a tendency to preen and swagger which suited this character entirely, but which doesn't suit the role of a modest hero well at all). On the minus side I found the comic subplot with Iolaus 2 and the children pointless and unfunny... I mean I like Michael Hurst, but the whole dynamic with the kids just didn't convince me for a moment - I can only suspect that the writer (Paul Robert Coyle) doesn't have much real experience dealing with kids... or if he does, then he didn't bear it mind enough when writing those scenes.


03-24-99. By Xorys.

So who was who in The Academy?

The most obvious cross-overs, of course, were from the Young Herc cast.

Ryan Gosling, who played the nasty Zylus, is of course normally seen as the eponymous hero of Young Hercules (although this is his first appearance on HTLJ, where Young Hercules was always played by Ian Bothen). Quite frankly, I preferred him as a villain. Ryan is a Canadian, from London, Ontario - just down the road from me! His first credit was for The Mickey Mouse Club, when he was 8 years old, and he has since appeared in quite a few TV shows, most of them Canadian. He featured in Frankenstein And Me and Nothing Too Good For A Cowboy, and guested on The Adventures Of Shirley Holmes, Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, Ready Or Not, Road To Avonlea, Goosebumps, Flash Forward and Psi Factor: Chronicles Of The Paranormal. He was also featured in the US show Breaker High - I caught bits of a couple of eps of that, and it looked fairly dreadful... sort of a cross between Love Boat and 90210 - but then I guess I'm hardly in its intended demographic!

And Jason's long-lost Amazon daughter Cesca was played by Jodie Rimmer, who has been a regular on Young Herc as Lilith (the mom of her character in this ep). Of course we first saw Jodie as that *really* irritating blonde Seraphin in the X:WP ep Sacrifice. She also co-hosted a NZ TV show called Behind The Wheel, and appeared in an Australian TV movie called The Rogue Stallion (also known as Wildfire), which also featured Stephen Hall (seen as the warlord Therax The Terrible in last week's Xena ep) and Margaret Blay (the rather bad witness in LUATD). I hear that Jodie has a hot new movie coming up which will be hitting the film festivals later this year - it's called "I'll Make You Happy"... Jodie stars, Michael Hurst & Jennifer Ward-Lealand co-star, and there's even a guest appearance by one Lucy Lawless, so I gather... I must say, the more I see of Jodie, the more impressed I am by her acting.

Jason was played by Jeffrey Thomas, as he has been in many eps now. But his first HTLJ character was Bellicus in the ep Gladiator. And it took someone else to point out to me that, as "Jeff Thomas" he played Cycnus the evil warlord in the X:WP ep Chariots of War.

Jeffrey also appeared as the narrator in the very strange NZ film Forgotten Silver, in which Leonard Maltin, Sam Neill, Harvey Weinstien and others appear as themselves... I don't quite know what to say about this movie without spoiling it for you, but I'd recommend that you check it out if you get the chance.

Jeffrey can also be seen in the 1991 Australian drama "Hunting". And he appeared on an episode of the series High Tide (playing a character called Jason Bridges ).

Around ten years ago Jeffrey was a regular in a down-under TV show called "Shark In the Park", which co-starred William Kircher (the Prison Overseer in LUATD).

I trust folks recognized the absconding headmaster... he was played by none other than Geoff Snell, known to us all as Gab's dear old dad, Herodotus. Geoff also played Althea's dad, Ellis, in the HTLJ ep ...And Fancy Free (and of course Althea was played by Willa O'Neill, who plays Gab's sister Lila).

Geoff can also be seen as Clytus in the HTLJ ep The Enforcer, and as a peasant in Hercules And The Circle of Fire.

Somehow, in the Xenaverse, Geoff seems to have rather got typecast as a man with a chip on his shoulder...

Outside of the Xenaverse, Geoff can be seen in the 1992 NZ movie "The Footstep Man", which stars Jennifer Ward-Lealand (Boadicea in The Deliverer, Zera in The Play's The Thing, Voluptua in The King Of Thieves) and her hubby Michael Hurst (playing Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec!) Sarah Smuts Kennedy (Kara in Mercenary and Hercules On Trial, Leandra in Love Takes A Holiday) and Grant McFarland (Ming Tzu in The Debt, First Ruffian in Cave of Echoes) also feature in this movie.

Geoff also appears with Michael Hurst in the 1985 Australia / NZ thriller "Death Warmed Up" - and none other than the founder of The Academy, Cheiron himself (Nathaniel Lees, also seen as the Blue Priest in Hercules And The Lost Kingdom, Cyrus in The March To Freedom, the evil mystic Manus in Dreamworker, and the healer Niklio in Destiny) is also in this movie, as is Ian Watkin (the Inn Keeper in Eye Of The Beholder, King Quallas in End Of The Beginning, the Butcher in Porkules).

And Geoff also appears with Ian Watkin in the 1981 NZ / UK feature "Bad Blood", which also numbered amongst its cast the ubiquitous Bruce Allpress (Enos in Unchained Heart, an Old Man in The Road to Calydon, Septus in Cast A Giant Shadow, Skouros in Not Fade Away, Phidias in War Wounds, and Stouras in Redemption) and Peter Vere-Jones (King Silvas in A Solstice Carol, Zeus in Judgement Day).

Cheiron's son Tabor was played by Albert Belz, who we've previously seen as Minteus in Reign Of Terror. Albert also appeared (like *many* Xenaverse denizens) in the long-running NZ soap "Shortland Street", as Manny Atutahi.

Allen O'Halloran, who played one of Zylus' dubious cohorts, was previously seen as a Scythian Soldier in the X:WP ep In Sickness And In Hell.

And Nicholas Baker, the rather annoying ginger-headed boy, was last seen as a ginger-headed boy annoying Iolaus 2 in Just Passing Through (the one who threw porridge at Iolaus in the hospital - his name was Darlo actually).

Susan Brady who played the grown up Lilith has never appeared in the Xenaverse before, but she too did a stint on "Shortland Street", as Hilary Sturgess.

Another of Zylus' henchmen was played by a Ben Cooke. Now there's a "Ben Cook" who's appeared recently in the TV remakes of "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1998), and Louisa May Alcott's "Little Men" (1997), and longer ago as a child actor in "Blaze" (1989) and "Sister, Sister" (1987). Since I've seen none of these things, I can't say if this was the same Ben Cooke who appeared in this ep... but one thing which hints that it might be is that this "Ben Cook" did guest appearances on two Canadian kids shows, Goosebumps and Road to Avonlea, both of which Ryan Gosling also appeared on. Could Ben perhaps be a Canadian chum of Ryan's following him to the "land of opportunity" down under?

The rest of the credited cast, Andrew Eggleton as another member of Zylus' crew, and Cameron Stanton and Chelsea Howell as the other two speaking kids, I can find no previous credits for.

The ep was written by Paul Robert Coyle who has previously written the HTLJ eps End of the Beginning, Regrets I've Had A Few, Stranger in A Strange World, If I Had A Hammer, Armageddon Now (both parts), War Wounds, Top God, Genies And Grecians And Geeks, Oh My, Norse by Norsevest (Story), Sky High, and Stranger And Stranger (Story). He also wrote the X:WP eps Ten Little Warlords, A Necessary Evil, The Execution, and Sacrifice Part 2.

The ep was directed by Charlie Haskell, who was previously directed the HTLJ eps Encounter, Les Contemptibles, Lost City, Love Takes A Holiday, The Power, and When A Man Loves A Woman. He also directed the X:WP eps The Xena Scrolls and Forget Me Not.


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