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Season 6, episode 01
Series 601
1st release: 09/27/99
2nd release:
Production number: V1102
Approximate shooting dates:
Last update: 10-30-99

SUMMARY by Bluesong
SYNOPSIS by Penandswrd
COMMENTARY 1 by Pemamdswrd

Michael Hurst (Iolaus)

Sam Jenkins Sorbo (Serena lookalike)
Jeremy Roberts (Xerxos)
Katie Wolfe (Arciana)
Kevin Smith (Ares)
Bill Florian (Head Guard)
John O'Leary (Old Man)
Dennis Hally (Man)
Syd Mannion (Hera's Priest)
Tony Billy (Tormentor)
Des Wallace (Prisoner)
Slade Leef (Blacksmith 1)
Serosi Fonla (Blacksmith 2)
Danny Philips (Hera worshipper)
Kerynn Walsh (Villager)
Kurt Boasted (Young Xerxos)
Gerry Eller (Xerxos' Mother)
Michael Philips (Magistrate) CREDITS
Written by Paul Robert Coyle
Directed by Mark Beesley

(A demon rises from flames. Hercules comes through a door. The demon walks towards a woman.)
Woman: What are you?
(Demon laughs. Images of tortured people.)
Demon to woman: You're looking evil in the eye.
(Demon touches woman. Hercules looks. Iolus looks.)
(A lightning bolt sword. Hercules fights. Hercules changes into Demon Hercules.)
Hercules: Damn you!
Hercules: Come here!
(Hercules and the demon fight.)
Iolaus, with sword: Hercules, No! (Demon Hercules punches Iolaus.)
Demon Hercules: If you don't move I will kill you!


Hercules comes face to face with the darkest side of himself. Serena is back and Ares.

Hercules meets a Serena lookalike who persuades him to help her return one of his enemies to Hades. TV Guide.

Hercules must fight for his life when a demonic Serena lookalike plots to capture his soul. Creation Entertainment.

A Serena look-alike attempts to lure Hercules into a life of anger and war.

A demonic Serena look-alike plots to capture Hercules' soul.

Xerxos, Satan's spawn and a fallen angel, is sent to hell to save his sister's soul.

1st release: 09-27-99


1  WHEEL OF FORTUNE-SYN  KIN  10.4 10,454,000
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Summary by Bluesong

A woman in a prison, Arisaina (?), breaks free and heads to Mycenaia (?) to find the sword of Hera. A demon comes out of a fireplace. Serena appears to Hercules, offers him an apple, tells him that Xerxes has returend from her domain, which is where people go "when Hades finds a special case". Serena tells Hercules she's really sin. Hercules and Iolus find a lot of dead people and eventually find Xerxes. Hercules and Xerxes fight. Hercules loses. Hercules agrees to take Serena's "power" so he can defeat Xerxes, and she kisses him and he turns kind of green for a second. Arisaina, it turns out, is Xerxes' sister, another soul tormented by a bad childhood and fire-burned parents. Serena and Xerxes discuss how they want Hercules to kill in anger so Serena can have his soul. Xerxes attends his parents' grave (he killed them). Xerxes also confronts the headmaster of the orphanage where his sister had troubles with a razor strap or belt or something. Xerxes tries to burn the orphanage up but Iolus insists that Hercules help him. Hercules is acting kind of weird because he's filled with the devil. Hercules and Iolus have an argument and Iolus takes off after Arisaina himself. Arisaina finds the sword and hits Iolus with a bolt from the sword. Xerxes steps in and stops Arisaina from killing Iolus, and then he shows her what she'll become if she doesn't find the path of goodness and mercy all the rest of the days of her life. Hercules comes in, turns into a demon. Iolus tells Hercules he'll kill his best bud before he lets him damn his soul. Hercules brushes Iolus aside. Hercules and Xerxes fight. Hercules gets ready to slam-dunk Xerxes, but he overcomes his dark side. Arisaina tells Serena she won't be seeing her again because she's going to be a good girl. Serena and Xerxes return to the fires of hell.


10-07-99. Synopsis by Penandswrd.

Teaser: In a dismal prison, two criminals are discussing the Sword of Hera. Arsiana, a tough female prisoner, pulls the nose ring of one of the two aforementioned prisoners -- with her teeth. She uses this disruption to lead a prison break. Meanwhile, Herc and Iolaus are discussing a play. Iolaus is less than enthusiastic about the entertainment, but Herc explains the meaning of the play as "Never accept gifts paid for by other people's suffering." Iolaus is still nonplussed. They are informed about the prison break and rush off to investigate. As this happens, Xerxes, now a demon, visits a blacksmith shop and fries one of the two men working. He tells the other to give Herc a message.

Act I-IV: Herc and Iolaus are in pursuit of Arsiana and Xerxes and the Sword of Hera. As they discuss the matter, a spirit, in the form of Serena, appears to Herc and Iolaus holding an apple (very astute image, since it's obvious the spirit is Satan). Herc is not fooled, but "Serena" admits she is "Sin" and expains that "Tartarus is too good for some people. When Hades finds a special case he sends them to me." Serena says that Xerxes escaped from her realm and needs his help to get him back since her power is weak on earth. Herc doesn't buy it. "Serena" still tells Herc where to find Xerxes.

Herc tells Iolaus that Xerxes was a horrible criminal. As a child, Xerxes burned his family alive and said "I enjoyed it." He was the first juvenile sentences to death but he escaped. After that, Xerxes was blamed for every murder that was unsolved and became a sort of "boogyman" of legend.

As they continue to Mycenea, Herc and Iolaus find more of Xerxes' victims. "Serena" appears again to tell Herc that this will continue unless he allows her to help him. She reiterates that Xerxes is so powerful he won't succeed without her help. Herc is still suspicious. "Serena" says she wants Xerxes back in her realm and hates "loose ends".

The prison guards are hot on the trail of Arsiana. Xerxes leads them to her, ostensibly. But once in the forest, he attacks and kills some of them. Herc catches up, but the demonic Xerxes beats both Herc and Iolaus.

Herc finally agrees to "Serena's" assistance and she gives him her power.

"Serena", after giving Herc her "power", explains that when Xerxes killed his family, Arsiana was a little girl who was hiding and witnessed the event. Arsiana is Xerxes' sister.

Arsiana has gotten to Mycenea and is still seeking the sword.

Xerxes visits his family's grave. He asks the gravetender there is he thinks a monster such as Xerxes can "grow a conscience".

Meanwhile, the power given to Herc by "Serena" is showing side effects. Herc is getting more and more short-tempered and bitter. In town, he roughs up the gravetender for information and, in a very un-Herc like manner (violent, cold, etc.). Iolaus takes issue with Herc's actions.

It becomes evident that Xerxes, rather than escaping, is working for "Serena". The plan is for Herc to take a life in anger so she can gain possession of his soul. "Serena" is paying Xerxes by allowing him to see his sister, but wonders why. Xerxes won't say.

Arsiana and the guards meet up. Arsiana and her men mix it up with the guards. At one point, Arsiana is about to be stabbed but the guard who was about to do so ends up stabbing himself. "Serena" appears, and is the one who made him do it. She tells Arsiana where to find the Sword of Hera.

Xerxes goes to the orphanage to find what became of Arsiana. He ends up setting the place ablaze and beating up one of the men who work there. Herc and Iolaus help put out the fire but Herc blames Iolaus for delaying him. The side effects are more and more obvious. Herc and Iolaus split up. Herc encounters "Serena" again, and realises that she has delayed him since Iolaus has a head start now to catch up to Xerxes.

Arsiana finds the Sword of Hera. Iolaus tries to warn her what is coming but Arsiana uses the sword's power on Iolaus and a bolt of lightning shocks Iolaus senseless. She is about to kill him, but the demonic Xerxes intervenes and grabs her. Herc shows up, looking more demonic as a result of "Serena's" power, and faces off with Iolaus after Xerxes leaves with Arsiana.

Herc and Iolaus fight briefly, but Herc knocks him down and presses on.

Xerxes explains to Arsiana that she must not end up like he did. It's not too late for her. Arsiana is too bitter to her brother to listen, so he shows her what Hell is like in a vision.

Herc enters the temple chamber and fights with Xerxes. It's a long, hard battle. As Herc is about to kill Xerxes, Iolaus tells him not to. "Serena" urges Herc to "kill them all". Herc realises this is a trap and stops. "Serena" says they'll meet again and leaves, taking Xerxes with her. Arsiana was suitably impressed with Xerxes' vision and seems to have turned away from evil.

Herc won't take Arsiana back to prison. Arsiana thanks them both and Herc and Iolaus walk off into the sunset.


This commentary is by Penandswrd.

A wonderful script by Paul Robert Coyle, and a great "back to basic" of good versus evil in the classic sense. Good dialogue, inventive handling of a theme that can easily go too far over the top quickly, and it's great to see Herc and Iolaus back together again doing what they do best -- fighting the bad guys.


This commentary is by Xorys.

Can't these people spell?! What is the title supposed to be? I assume it's a play on the word "bedevilled", in which case shouldn't it be "Be Devilled". Or did they really intend it to be pronounced Bee De-Vile-D (with the "I" as in fight, rather than as in fit)??

Apart from that nit (which aggravates me, I must admit)... I didn't really like it much. I didn't hate it either. I wish they didn't feel the need to drag this devil crap into everything... it seems utterly contrary to the impulses that originally gave the shows their strength.

So was this pseudo-Serena Callisto's "Lord"? I guess so. At least it's nice to see that the Ultimate Evil has an equal opportunity attitude towards gender.

Actually, if you leave out the "devil" business, which was really entirely superfluous, just a nod to the new "party line" (they could just as well have worked this episode with Hera and her minions - and indeed, even though Hera has disappeared into a pit, apparently she still has a functioning priesthood and working power objects lying around... or did they just forget about that pit business?) Anyway, take out the "devil" element, and what did we have here? I'd say essentially just a kind of ho-hum, rather run-of-the-mill HTLJ ep... good enough to wile away an hour if your not too busy, but not much to inspire multiple viewings.


10-08-99. By Xorys.

And who was who in Be Deviled?

The love of Herc's life, Serena, was appropriately enough played by the love of Kevin Sorbo's life (well hopefully anyway, since they're married) Sam Sorbo. Of course this time Sam got to stretch a bit and do "evil", since this wasn't *really* Serena, just the Devil or something *looking* like Serena. Sam, previously credited as Sam Jenkins, first appeared on HTLJ as Kirin in the ep Prince Hercules, and has played Serena (also sometimes the Golden Hind) in Encounter, When A Man Loves A Woman, Judgement Day, End Of The Beginning, and My Best Girl's Wedding.

Sam was a regular on the medical drama Chicago Hope, as Dr. Caroline Eggert, and she guested on the shows JAG (playing Pvt. Whitley in Boot), and SeaQuest DSV, on which Ted Raimi (Joxer) was a regular (playing Maria in Daggers, Dagger Redux).

At the movies Sam can be seen in The Crew, Ed And His Dead Mother, Fortunes Of War, Twenty Bucks, Obiettivo Indiscreto, Night Of The Warrior, and The Bonfire Of The Vanities.

The devilish psycho type Xerxos probably looked *very* familiar to you. Heck, he probably looks very familiar to anyone who watches English-language TV at all! He was played by Jeremy Roberts. Jeremy played Derk the eponymous merc in the HTLJ ep Mercenary, and has appeared on XWP as Aiden the trippy yoga teacher in Paradise Found, and Thersites, the vicious, weaselly assassin in A Fistful of Dinars.

But apart from the Xenaverse Jeremy has *quite* an extensive resume, including roles in the movies Money Train (Guard), Stuart Saves His Family (Brad Skoog), The Mask (Bobby, the bouncer), Sister Act (a biker), The People Under The Stairs (Spenser), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Lt. Dimitri Valtane), and The Marrying Man (Gus). He has also appeared on *many* TV series, including The X Files (playing George Vincent in the ep Agua Mala), Martial Law (playing Nate Krill in the ep Captive Hearts), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (playing Kakistos in the ep Faith, Hope & Trick), Sliders (playing Bane, in the ep: California Reich), Millennium (playing Richard Alan Hance in the ep The Thin White Line), Silk Stalkings (playing Harrison Peak in the ep: Peak Experience), Star Trek: Voyager (playing Lt. Dimitri Valtane in the ep: Flashback), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (playing Meso'Clan in the episode Hippocratic Oath), Weird Science (playing Officer Friendly in the ep: Sex Ed), The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (playing Bill Swill in the eps: Mail Order Brides and No Man's Land), Roseanne (in the eps: War And Peace and Crime And Punishment), and Seinfeld (playing the Chauffeur in the ep: The Limo). Most recently, he can be seen as Tom Jones in the sci-fi mind-bender The Thirteenth Floor, due out on video any time now. Wow! What a busy guy... no wonder he looks familiar!

Xerxos' little sister Arciana was played by Katie Wolfe. Katie is a NZ actress, apparently, who hasn't appeared in the Xenaverse before. She appeared on the popular NZ soap Shortland Street (as did *many* of the Xenaverse actors), playing Dr. Bridget Hastings, and she was in the TV series Marlin Bay, which also featured Susan Brady (the grown up Lilith in The Academy) and Mark Ferguson (Krykus in H&H and RN, Dagnine in OOW and PI, John Smythe in TXS, Prometheus in Hercules And The Circle of Fire, Hades in Hercules In The Underworld, Craesus in As Darkness Falls).

Arciana's pursuer the Head Guard was played by Bill Florian, whose only previous appearance in the Xenaverse was as a Security Guard in the XWP ep King Con. Bill also appeared on the NZ TV show Talkback.

And what about the old guy tending the graves of Xerxos and Arciana's parents? Did he look familiar to you? He might well - he was played by John O'Leary who previously appeared as the Magistrate in the ep Protean Challenge, and was seen on XWP as Antonius in the ep The Path Not Taken, and as Adar in Vanishing Act.

There is also a John O'Leary who has a massive resume of secondary roles in movies and TV shows, mostly American, from the 70s up to date... but I don't *think* this is the same guy.

And what about the guy taking the orphans' singing class - he was played by Dennis Hally, who was last seen as the headmaster of the academy in the XWP ep The Convert. He first appeared in the Xenaverse in the XWP ep Giant Killer as King Saul, and then subsequently came down in the world rather to play a Bootmender in A Tale Of Two Muses. This was Dennis' first outing on HTLJ.

And it goes on... did you spot Hera's Priest? He was played by Syd Mannion, who we last saw a *long* while ago as Calchas in the XWP ep The Titans.

And the first of Arciana's tormentors in prison was played by Tony Billy, who played a guard in the ep Faith, and a Minoan warrior in the X:WP ep Is There A Doctor In The House. But Tony is perhaps best remembered as Largo, the unfortunate subject of Xena's questioning after the frying-pan fight in A Day in the Life.

The other low-life in jail with Arciana was played by Des Wallace, whose status in the Xenaverse doesn't seem to have progressed much - Des was previously seen as "Thug #1" in We'll Always Have Cyprus.

One of the unfortunate smithies visited by Xerxos was played by Slade Leef, who has played a few roles in the Xenaverse, although you'd have to be pretty sharp-eyed to follow his career. He last appeared as the talkative demon in The Way, and was previously seen as Sitacles (the chieftain who gets Xena) in Destiny and as Caputius in Remember Nothing. This seems to be Slade's first crossover to HTLJ.

For the rest of the credited cast, Serosi Fonla as the other smithie, Danny Philips as a worshipper of Hera, Kerynn Walsh as a villager, Kurt Boasted as the young Xerxos, Gerry Eller as Xerxos' Mother, and Michael Philips as the magistrate, I could find no other credits. I'm not entirely sure about some of those names (those darn end credits are so hard to read)... any help from anyone who has better info on the correct spellings would be much appreciated.

The ep was written by Paul Robert Coyle who previously wrote 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, Stranger And Stranger (Story), and The Academy. He also wrote the X:WP eps Ten Little Warlords, A Necessary Evil, The Execution, and Sacrifice Part 2.

The ep's director was Mark Beesley, who previously directed Armageddon Now (both parts), and Once Upon A Future King. Mark also directed the X:WP eps A Necessary Evil and Maternal Instincts.


10-30-99. Awhile back there was a rumour about an episode that was supposed to feature Callisto's sister. Many people jumped to the erroneous conclusion that Amarice was this character. This is incorrect. Callisto's sister was supposed to be Arciana in the HERC episode BE DEVILED. Callisto was going to play the role of the Xerxos character, but Hudson did not play a role on that episode, and it would have been difficult to explain her presence there in light of Callisto's "redemption" in FALLEN ANGEL. So Arciana, who was supposed to be Callisto's sister (in Fact the mythical Callisto had a brother named Arcus), ended up just being the sister of Xerxos.

10-10-99. From Kristina Larsen. I just wanted to update you that Xorys has a small piece of information wrong in the "Where Have I Seen You Before?" section of "Be Deviled" (season premiere of HTLJ). Sam was unavailable for the filming of "End of the Beginning" (where wwthe Chronos Stone was introduced - Autolycus, surprise surprise, stole it) and the character of Serena was played by Kara Zediker.

09-24-99. This might have been directed by Bruce Campbell. Sam Sorbo plays a baddie in "Be Deviled" were she gets to burn people, cackle, and point her finger of terror to make guys get nervous. Jeremy Roberts mentioned in a chat that Sam plays the villian in "Be Deviled" and she is satan in disguise. Jeremy Roberts plays a satan spawn named Xerxos, who is sent to hell to save his sister's soul. He plays a fallen angel.


Click here to read a transcript of BE DEVILED .


Xerxe's goose was cooked during the production of this motion picture.

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