GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS 1 by Bret Ryan Rudnick
SYNOPSIS 2 by Bret Ryan Rudnick
COMMENTARY by Bret Ryan Rudnick
WHERE HAVE I SEEN YOU BEFORE?
TALES OF THE HERCAVERSE
Written by Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci
Directed by Bruce Campbell
A TELEVISION EVENT OF MYTHOLOGICAL PROPORTIONS--
THE LAST LEGENDARY JOURNEY IS ABOUT TO BEGIN.
(Hercules catches a falling pillar.)
(Hera throws a lightning bolt and Hercules deflects it.)
THE SERIES FINALE OF--
(Zeus holds a lightning bolt in his hand.)
Hercules (to Zeus): Do it!
THE TELEVISION EVENT OF MYTHOLOGICAL PROPORTIONS--
(Ares slingshots a lightning bolt.)
(Ares laughs and teleports out.)
(Zeus and Hera heal a dove.)
THE LAST ALL NEW EPISODE OF HERCULES.
Ares: Are there no more heroes?!
Hercules: You got us.
(Hercules and Iolaus give Ares a thumbs up.)
THE FINAL LEGENDARY JOURNEY IS ABOUT TO BEGIN--
(Hercules throws a thug over his shoulder and into a tree.)
(Hera teleports in.)
Hercules (to Hera): Give me your best shot!
(Hera throws a lightning bolt that goes over Hercules' head and strikes a pillar.)
(Hercules catches the falling pillar.)
KEVIN SORBO STARS--
(Hercules approaches Zeus and Zeus forces him to the ground.)
IN THE DRAMATIC SERIES FINALE OF--
(Zeus holds a lightning bolt in his hand.)
Hercules (to Zeus): Do it. Do it!
TV GUIDE PROMO
Herc and his fearless buddy Iolaus take on Zeus, Ares, Hera, and three Titans. Bruce Campbell's website.
The return of Zeus and Hera.
Herc will battle Titans who are trying to destroy the world. Sci-Fi Channel website
In the series' dramatic conclusion, Zeus releases Hera from the Abyss of Tartarus, inadvertently freeing the Titans Helios, Oceanus and Atlas, who are hell-bent on revenge. As Hercules and Iolaus race to stop them from destroying the world, the mythical demigod must face the crucial questions that have propelled the series since its inception: Will Hercules be able to put aside his anger toward Zeus and finally forgive him? Will he and his stepmother Hera be able to resolve their bitter conflict once and for all? Log Line
Zeus uses Ares' son, Evander, to free Hera from the Abyss of Tartarus.
Hercules and Iolaus must race to save the world when Zeus releases Hera from the Abyss of Tartarus.
The fate of the world rests with Hercules when Zeus releases Hera from the Abyss of Tartarus and inadvertently lets loose the Titans.
In the series' dramatic conclusion, Hercules and Iolaus must race to save the world when Zeus releases Hera from the Abyss of Tartarus.
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 11/22/99
An AA average of 3.7
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:X-Files 4.2 Xena 4.0 3rd Rock 3.8 Hercules 3.7 Stargate SG-1 3.5 Beastmaster 2.8 Earth: Final Conflict 2.6 Profiler 2.5 Peter Benchley's Amazon 2.4 Relic Hunter 2.3
2nd release: 01/10/00
An AA average of 3.9
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XFiles 4.9
(2) Xena 4.1
(3) Hercules/StarGate SG1 3.9
Synopsis by Bret Ryan Rudnick.
We open FULL CIRCLE with a brief series of vista shots that, apart from affirming that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places on earth, established an effective mood. One is given a sense of timelessness and majesty, that nature is bigger and better than pretty much anything mortals or gods put their hands to. This is especially poignant in view of the fact that this is the last episode of HERC in the series.
Iolaus and Hercules are enroute to visit Evander and Nemesis. Evander, now about five, is the result of a tryst between Nemesis and Ares. Our heroes arrive at Nemesis’ farm just after a bunch of Ares sponsored goons do. Ares has come for his son (but not personally). There is a fight, the goons are bested, and we find out that Herc and Iolaus are too late -- Zeus has already taken the child.
On the trail to Zeus’ temple, our heroes come to a village that is being menaced by a cartoonish purple people eater that belches and farts fire. Lamenting that “the gods have run out of ideas”, Herc sees Evander about to be attacked and covers the boy with his own body, only to be caught in a blast of... bubbles. It seems that the creature was created by Evander.
Indeed, Evander can create whatever he imagines. This is his godly power. Zeus has come to raise the child so the boy will learn to control his power, since during a recent nightmare he almost inadvertently killed his mother. Herc is taken aback by this kinder, gentler, Zeus, and after the usual recriminations after their meeting, tells Zeus he himself is probably better suited for the task. Zeus agrees, and reaffirms his desire to make up for his past misdeeds and indiscretions. We’ve seen hints in previous episodes that Zeus may be on the road to an ephinany, and this may well be it.
Herc and Iolaus start to teach Evander amidst the wreck of the village. They engage Evander in a game called “someone else’s shoes” in which Evander is encouraged to see the consequences of his actions by imagining himself in their position. A boy whose house has been destroyed will have nowhere to sleep tonight. Evander responds and repaces the house, and indeed the entire village.
The day continues and Herc and Iolaus bond further with the boy. At night, however, they awake to find Evander missing. Ares appears to warn Herc that Zeus has taken the boy to free Hera.
It seems our kinder, gentler Zeus also feels badly that he betrayed Hera. He wants Evander to free her from the Abyss that Herc sent her to last season. But in doing so, the Titans may also be freed as well.
Evander succeeds in freeing only Hera, who has lost her memory. This is a relief to the out-of-breath Herc and Iolaus who arrive after she is freed. Zeus assures them he wants to make amends for his past, and he declares his love to Hera.
The sensitive moment is short-lived. Feeling sorry for the Titans as well, “all alone and in a scary place”, Evander has freed them too. Herc and Iolaus run off to deal with the Titans and Zeus is sent to escort Evander back to Nemesis, along with Hera.
Ares has struck a deal with the newly freed Titans. He will reunite them with their brother Atlas, and in exchange, the Titans will leave Ares alone in their quest to destroy the gods. The slow-witted Titans agree.
While Zeus tries to reawaken feelings of love in the memory- deficient Hera, Herc and Iolaus deal with the two initially freed Titans. The two brothers are fooled into destroying themselves, but Ares has escaped and he and Atlas is on their way to destroy the pillar that supports the fortress Olympus. With the pillar gone, Olympus is destroyed, and the gods have no safe haven.
Meanwhile, Evander is distraught to discover a dead bird. Zeus tries to explain what death is, and that all things have a beginning and end. But he and Hera and Evander combine power to bring the bird back to life. This makes Evander very happy.
But Ares has been busy. He shows Atlas the way in to the base of Olympus, and he also visits the Fates and finds a way to restore Hera’s memory.
A newly enraged Hera turns Zeus to stone, now that her memory is intact and she remembers his every infidelity.
Herc and Iolaus disable Atlas, but Hera shows up to do the same to Herc that she did to Zeus. During their fight, Atlas again rises and pushes away the pillar that supports Olympus. Herc deflects a bolt that Hera throws at him and shoots it to Atlas, who is turned to stone and replaces the pillar he destroyed.
During the fracas, Evander is killed. Herc says to Hera “If there is any good in you” to bring him back. Hera can’t do it alone. She frees Zeus and the two of them restore life to Evander. They are both apologetic and it seems they may work out their differrences in time.
As they reunite Evander with Nemesis and walk off into the sunset together at the beach, Herc and Iolaus are confronted by the defeated Ares. Our heroes basically ridicule him for his childish behaviour, and indeed, Ares walks away sulking and crying, like a spoiled child who didn’t get his way.
Herc and Iolaus discuss retirement briefly, decide that was enough, and walk off into the sunset together for more never-to-be-seen adventures.
This commentary is by Bret Ryan Rudnick.
A fine script by Orci and Kurtzman that summed up the series very well. It was poignant, sensitive, amusing, and exciting. Best of all we end with Herc and Iolaus walking off into the sunset to continue, if only in our imagination, to do what he always hope they will do. An additional compliment here to Bruce Campbell, who directed this episode. He extracted fine performances from all the players and put together an episode that was well-paced and near seamless. A fine and fitting end to a most enjoyable series.
01-28-00. Synopsis by Liz Sheppard.
Beautiful surroundings of Greece is shown with the heroes walking through. Iolaus is picking on Hercules because Herc believes that the Earth travels around the sun. They're visiting Nemesis and Evander. Nemesis is being attacked by thugs of Ares, and Herc and Iolaus save the day. The thugs want Evander, but he's not there right now. She tells the dynamic duo that Evander was taken by Zeus.
Nemesis tells Herc and Iolaus that whatever Evander thinks can come true. Zeus thinks that the child should grow up on Olympus. Herc and Iolaus run into running villagers and find a huge polka-dotted, purple fire breathing, bubble blowing monster like thing destroying a village. Evander was creating it with Zeus watching beside him. Zeus and Herc have a warm loving talk about how Evander almost killed Nemesis and that Zeus is taking the boy for his mother's own safety. Zeus also doesn't want to lose his last link to the mortal world. Herc and Iolaus teaches Evander how to play "Someone else's shoes" and got him to restore the village that his monster destroyed. Iolaus tells a story and Evander falls asleep in Herc's arms by the campfire that night. Herc wakes up and notices that Evander was gone. Ares shows up and says that Zeus has him and that Zeus is going to use Evander to free Hera from the pit of Tartarus.
Zeus tells Evander to imagine himself as his grandmother trapped in a horrible place and Evander decided to bring her back up here. A blue glowing ball rises up from the pit and Hera appears. Herc and Iolaus show up just in time to see this. Hera has lost her memory and doesn't know who anyone of them are. Herc and Zeus argue and Zeus threatens to kill him, but doesn't. Zeus loves Hera, for some reason, and he decides to make up for mistakes in the past. Evander's innocence brings back the titans because they were trapped in a horrible place, too; and everybody runs away. The titans are confused as to who they are, and meet a smiling Ares on top of a tree. He fills them in on the whole Gods vs. Titans story and arranges them to be friends with Ares and Ares tells them where to find Atlas.
Herc and Iolaus track down the titans and talk about how Herc is when Zeus is around. Zeus, Hera, and Evander walk along a lake that both he and she created when the earth was new. Atlas is trapped in ice and Helios melts him out. Atlas stretches and continues on his quest to kill the gods. Herc and Iolaus, once again, arrive just in time. Atlas tells his red and blue brothers to kill the heroes. During the fight, Iolaus mentions retirement. Herc: Don't worry, after this one, I'm done. They combine the two fire/water brothers and they kill each other. Hera and Zeus find Evander trying to bring a dead dove back to life. Hera and Zeus combine their powers and bring the dove back. Ares tells Atlas where the pillar of Olympus is, to break it down. Earth will either burn or freeze if this happens so the heroes run even faster. Zeus asks Hera to be his wife again and Ares flings Hera's life thread of the fates back into her, and her memory returns. She turns Zeus into stone and decides to keep Evander because he's never betrayed her. She also plans to turn Hercules into stone as well.
Herc and Iolaus find Atlas about to break the pillar. Herc upsets the titan, but he trips and passes out. Hera and Evander show up and Hera starts throwing lightning bolts at Herc and Iolaus again. Herc tells her that their war against each other has never given either one of them any peace. She's still mad and throws another bolt, but it ricochets off something that Herc was holding and hits Atlas. The pillar falls, Herc catches it, Atlas turns to stone, Atlas hold up Olympus, and Evander dies during the crash. Herc asks Hera if this is what she wanted. She says that she can't bring him back alone. Hera unstones Zeus and they end their war with each other by bringing Evander back to life.
Evander goes home to Nemesis. Ares greets Herc and Iolaus walking along a beach. He's ticked that they caused Zeus and Hera to get back together and yells out: Are there no more heroes!?!? And Herc and Iolaus smile and say that he has them. Ares pucks(which is pretty gross). Herc and Iolaus imitate Ares and he vanishes looking kind of hurt. Herc and Iolaus decide to retire and they go sit on some rocks for a little while. Because of boredom, they decide to come back from retirement. Being a Hero is Herc's life and he wants to continue walking down that road. Anything's possible.
From all of us at Whoosh, to all of the Hercules fans out there, this is Liz (Callizto) Sheppard saying: Ni Night, Sleep tight, don't let the beg bugs bite. And if they do, hit 'em with a shoe and then they won't bother you.
WHERE HAVE I SEEN YOU BEFORE?
And who was who in Full Circle?
The top god Zeus stayed true to form by once more appearing in a totally different human form. This time he was portrayed by Charles Keating. Charles is quite a well known actor, making his first visit to the Xenaverse in this role. Charles' acting resume is nothing if not broad - from the recent remake of The Thomas Crown Affair to the BBC's production of Richard The Second, from the Kevin Costner / Whitney Houston starrer The Bodyguard to the British mini-series Edward & Mrs. Simpson, from All My Children, As The World Turns and Another World to Brideshead Revisited, from the Robert De Niro / Robin Williams medical drama Awakenings to Sex And The City to old eps of The Equalizer. So if Charles looked familiar to you, there are plenty of possible sources!
But there are even *more* possible places from which you might know the face of this week's Hera! The queen of the gods was, of course, played by Meg Foster, who originated the role, in its corporeal form, in the ep Reunions. Prior to Reunions Hera was always represented by some computerized graphics and the disembodied voice of Joy Watson... we never actually got to see Joy as Hera, but if you want to know what she looks like, you can check her out in the X:WP ep Tsunami - she plays the palm reader!
Anyway, I digress somewhat. Meg Foster has had a long and full career in movies and TV - you're almost certain to have seen her in something. She played the Queen of Austria in the recent movie of The Man In The Iron Mask. She played Det. Christine Cagney in the 1982 debut of the series Cagney & Lacey (but the ongoing role subsequently went to Sharon Gless). She played Onaya in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode The Muse. She played a female alien in an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man. She even appeared in episodes of Bonanza and The Mod Squad. Other series that Meg has guested on include Sliders, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, ER, Quantum Leap, The Hitchhiker, The Twilight Zone, Hawaii Five-O, The Streets of San Francisco, The F.B.I., Cannon, Mannix, and The Young Riders. And Meg is even more ubiquitous on the shelves of the video store - she has played in many, many movies, some of them major features such as those already mentioned, and others such as The Emerald Forest, The Osterman Weekend and Carny... but you'll also find her credit in lots of action pictures, such as Oblivion 2: Backlash, Space Marine, Undercover Heat, Immortal Combat, Best of the Best II, Future Kick, Back Stab and Tripwire, and made for TV movies such as Deep Family Secrets, To Catch a Killer, Desperate Intruder, and Guyana Tragedy: The Story Of Jim Jones. Meg played Hester Prynne in a 1979 TV adaption of The Scarlett Letter, and she also played Katrina Van Tassel (the Christina Ricci role in the new movie) in a 1980 TV version of The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow. Quite a career, as I say!
I'm not particularly aware of where Meg has crossed paths with other Xenaverse actors, although given her wide range I'm sure she must have. The only instance that comes to mind is the 1998 movie Lost Valley, in which Meg appears along with Tamati Rice (Garel in The Price, Vercinix in When in Rome).
Ah - another turning point! I suspect this ep may mark the last time we see Kevin Smith in the role of Ares (I don't know for sure though, but Kevin did announce that he was moving on). Apart from playing Ares on HTLJ, X:WP and Young Hercules, and Herc's brother Iphicles on HTLJ (his first role in the Xenaverse), Kevin can be seen in the NZ feature Channelling Baby (together with Joel Tobeck and Danielle Cormick), in the TV movie Flatmates (also featuring various other Xenaverse faces), in the NZ movie Desperate Remedies (ditto), and in the TV feature "McLeod's Daughters". He also recently starred as a detective in a NZ TV movie called "Lawless" (I was saying that Lucy ought to appear as a travelling freelance iron-worker in a show called "Smith" just to get her own back...) - his co-star in this venture was Angela Dotchin (the fetching amphibian Nautica in the HTLJ eps Love On The Rocks and My Best Girl's Wedding, Suraya, the young bride from last season's X:WP ep Tsunami, Kora on Young Hercules)... there was also a cat called Xena! I also heard rumours that Kevin has signed to do a NZ TV show, but I don't have any details on that.
If this indeed the end, goodbye Kevin - godspeed and thankyou!
Messenger of the gods (retired) Nemesis was once more played by Kimberley Joseph in this ep. Nemesis is another of those characters who seems to suffer from some sort of identity crisis. Kimberley first played the role in Two Men And A Baby. Previous to that Teresa Hill played Nemesis in the eps The Fire Down Below and The Enforcer. And the role was originated by Karen Witter in Pride Comes Before A Brawl.
Kimberley hasn't played any other Xenaverse parts. Outside the Xenaverse, she can be seen in the Australian / French co-produced TV series Tales Of The South Seas, which also features Rachel Blakely (Penelope in Ulysses). Kimberley also appeared in the Australian TV series Home And Away and Paradise Beach.
That big trouble maker Atlas was played by David Press. We've previously seen David as Glaucus in Eye Of The Beholder and as Garas in Prince Hercules.
David played Dr. Ian Seymour on the NZ soap Shortland Street (*many* Xenaverse actors have been down that road), and was in the Australian TV production More Winners: His Master's Ghost.
What about that big blue fellow, Oceanus the Titan... did he ring a bell? He was played by Andrew Kovacevich, who has been around quite a bit in the Xenaverse, but in such varied roles that he's probably not immediately easy to recognise. Andrew was the "Berserk Man in Inn" in Hercules In The Underworld, Odeon in The Road to Calydon, Sepsus in The Outcast, and a "Proprietor" in The Enforcer. Over on X:WP Andrew most recently appeared as Garth in Daughter Of Pomira (he was the guy who said "Nothing stops the Horde" at the meeting in the tavern), and was previously seen as Tor in Hooves And Harlots, and as the Inn Keeper in In Sickness And In Hell.
And how about the soldier who came looking for Evander in the teaser (the one who was verbally abused, before being physically abused, by Hercules and Iolaus)? He was played by Campbell Rousselle, another of the unsung minor heroes of the Xenaverse. Campbell was first credited as a Sentry in Unchained Heart, and subsequently appeared as a Robber in Once A Hero, a Carpathian Villager in My Fair Cupcake, Thug #1 in The Xena Scrolls, Man #2 in Been There Done That, and Warrior #2 in The Dirty Half Dozen! I think Campbell may have popped up in similar roles, uncredited, in other eps as well...
The remaining two credited cast members, Phil Grieve as the fire Titan, Helios, and Joseph Main as the toothy little trouble maker Evander, were new to the Xenaverse, and I couldn't find anything else for either of them.
Full Circle was written by the team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who immortalised themselves as geeks when they put themselves as characters into the ep Yes Virginia There Is A Hercules. They also wrote the eps A Rock And A Hard Place, Atlantis, Web Of Desire, And Fancy Free, Medea Culpa (teleplay), Men in Pink, Porkules, Twilight (with Gene O'Neill & Noreen Tobin), Reunions, Faith, Resurrection, For Those Of You Just Joining Us, and We'll Always Have Cyprus (teleplay). Alex Kurtzman also wrote the ep Surprise (Callisto's first guest turn on HTLJ) on his own.
The ep was directed by Bruce Campbell. Bruces' previous outing as a director was last year's HTLJ season finale Revelations. Before that Bruce directed the HTLJ eps The Vanishing Dead, What's In A Name, For Those Of You Just Joining Us, Redemption, and Stranger And Stranger, and the X:WP eps Key To The Kingdom and The King Of Assassins.
Bruce is, of course, very familiar to us as Autolycus, the king of thieves, a role he has played in *many* episodes of both HTLJ and X:WP. He also played the man himself, Rob Tapert, in the HTLJ eps Yes Virginia There Is A Hercules and For Those Of You Just Joining Us.
Outside the Xenaverse, Bruce has an *enormous* filmography, which I've summarised before.
You can find out more about Bruce and his activities at his own website: http://www.bruce-campbell.com.
TALES OF THE HERCAVERSE
01-28-00. On 1-18-99, Adam Buckman in a story titled "Hercules Lives as Series Dies" in the NEW YORK POST wrote:HERCULES lives. Fans of the mythological muscleman can breathe a sigh of relief. The producers of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" have opted not to kill off their hero in the series' long-awaited finale.
Not only does Herc (Kevin Sorbo) survive a series of potentially lethal confrontations in the final episode, he'll be back in February as a guest character on " Xena: Warrior Princess," when Xena finally gives birth, The Post has learned. (No, Hercules isn't the father. The identity of that mystery man will be revealed on " Xena" in the episode airing Jan.15 on Ch.11.)
The last episode of "Hercules" ends with a scene reminiscent of the final frames of "Casablanca" in which saloonkeeper Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and French police chief Renault (Claude Rains) are seen from above strolling off into the darkness.
In "Hercules," Herc strolls into the distance with pal Iolaus (Michael Hurst) at his side, bringing the curtain down on the syndicated series' 51/2-year run. The final episode, entitled "Full Circle," airs Saturday, Nov.27, at 8 p.m. on Ch.11.
The finale has everything that made "Hercules" special: Great comedy, action, special effects, and acting from real pros like soap star Charles Keating as Zeus and Meg Foster as his estranged wife, Hera.
"Hercules" is ending its run because Sorbo has grown tired of the role and wants to try other things. As a compromise with producers, he agreed to film eight episodes this season. They'll be re-run after the finale until Jan.22, when the hour-long "Hercules" will be replaced by two half-hour adventure "Cleopatra 2525," about beautiful female warriors battling for control of Earth 500 years in the future; and "Jack of All Trades," starring Bruce Campbell as an American spy at the turn of the century (the last century -- not this one).
07-13-99. In the Sorbo Sentinal Newsletter, Kevin Sorbo stated: "I don't want to wreck the story for you in any way. So I just decided not to go into such detail of the final episode, appropriately titled "Full Circle". What I will talk about is the final scene. (Which we shot on a Tuesday, even though the episode didn't finish until Friday. It's so wacky.) Iolaus and Hercules have a moment of what to do with their lives. A quick look back at the past and the pondering of the future. It was a well written scene, and episode, for that matter. Bob and Alex did a great job. As we prepared to shoot that scene, Michael and I looked at each other and became very emotional. We knew what this scene was about to become. So did the crew. It became very quiet on what is usually a very fun and semi-noisy set. There was a bit of an autumn chill in the air. We were on a black sand dune with that gorgeous New Zealand bush all around us. The sun was minutes from setting. What had been a cloudy, windy day for most of the shoot, had now become peaceful. A beautiful sun was about to set in the Tasman Sea. Perfect! It was as if God was going to let us tiny fools who are playing gods go out in style. He set the stage and we had one take. It was all we needed. The scene was finished. It was very quiet. There were some on the crew with tears in their eyes. Michael and I looked at each other. Shook hands. Hugged. No words."
Click here to read a transcript of FULL CIRCLE .
No ancient Greek myths were harmed during the production of this series, although some were altered for the entertainment and enjoyment of our audience.
Review for FULL CIRCLE by Kathy Huddleston