HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS
aka The Journey Begins
TELEMOVIE NO. H02
1st release: 05-02-94
2nd release: 10-24-94
3rd release: 12-19-94
Approximate shooting dates:
Last update: 08-31-00
CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS by Lydia M. Woods
COMMENTARY by Cathy
TALES OF THE HERCAVERSE
HIGHLIGHTS & THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Written by Christian Williams
Directed by Harley Cokeliss
TV GUIDE PROMO
The strongman and a perky young sidekick search for a missing city.
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
2nd RELEASE: 10-24-94
An AA average of 5.8
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:6 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 238/99 7.8 8.1 8 Baywatch 216/97 7.4 7.8 13 Action Pack Network 163/95 5.8 6.0
Synopsis by Lydia M. Woods.
The story opens with three men running relay-style through some mountains and fields. The lead man hands off a scroll to the man behind him and heads down to a stream to drink some water. As he bends down to drink, a green sprite rises up from the water and says: "You came searching for Hercules, but instead you found your death." She then pulls him into the stream and he drowns. The other two men keep running. One says: "Hera killed him, it's only us now." We realize immediately, that Hera is once again out to get Hercules. A rock falls from a hill and strikes one of the men. He throws the scroll to the last man and says: "You're the last one, it's up to you."
The next setting is in a village. Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) is in an inn trying to eat some food. The entire village shakes from the approach of a Giant. The Giant tears the roof off of the inn and yells: "I want Hercules!" Hercules reveals himself and the Giant tells him he wants to kill him. I wonder why? All in a day's work, Hercules makes short shrift of the Giant much to the enjoyment and satisfaction of the villagers and his father, Zeus, who is disguised as one of the villagers.
As the villagers are celebrating, the last messenger carrying the scroll appears running into the village and collapses from exhaustion. He informs Hercules that a hundred of them were sent to find him. All, but him, were killed by Hera. He tells Hercules that they need his help in liberating their lost city of Troy. Many of their warriors have been killed by Hera and they don't know why. Troy has also been lost in the mist and only he can lead Hercules to it. Hercules gives him a drink of water, and, much to his amazement, the man gasps and dies, turning immediately into dust. Hercules glances up to the skies and sees Hera's eyes and knows immediately that this is her doing.
Hercules questions his father, Zeus, on how to go about finding the lost city. Zeus, as usual, is reluctant to reveal any secrets that Hera might have. He does tell Hercules that he can find Troy if he can get the one, true compass that points directly to the city. The compass belongs to the King of Fahdi. That is all he can tell him.
Hercules begins his search. He happens on a group of primitives who are performing a ceremony at a shrine. The leader tells him that the water god has withdrawn rain and they have no food. They are offering a sacrifice to him, and the sacrifice is a virgin, hanging from a cross on a hill. She will fall to her death in the water and the water god will be appeased. Of course, Hercules cannot allow this to happen. He walks up the hill to the young girl.
Much to his surprise, the girl (Renee O'Connor) is a willing victim. She tells him to go away so she can be sacrificed to the gods. As she starts to fall, Hercules rescues her. She is, of course, upset and tells him that to be with the gods is her destiny. Unbeknownst to both of them, a sinister figure (Nathaniel Lees) is watching them from afar. Hercules takes her back down and tells the tribe to irrigate instead of sacrificing people for water. He leaves with the young girl following him. She tells him that if he is really Hercules and he saved her, then obviously her destiny is to travel with him, and that he is there to protect her. She tells him her name is Deianeira. Hercules reluctantly allows her to go with him.
When they are at rest that night, Deianeira tells him that her father is really a king who sent her away when their kingdom was threatened. Hercules tells her that it's all right to believe in fairy tales. Deianeira is obviously hurt, but sticks to her story. Once again, the sinister figure that had watched them before, makes an appearance and Deianeira runs to him to ask him who he is. He disappears, and Hercules comes on the scene and asks her who she was talking to. Deianeira denies she was talking to anybody and runs off.
Hercules finds her the next day trying to get past twin guards to the kingdom of the King of Faudi . The guards tell them that the king is dead and that nobody can get into the city that day. They say that the queen is in mourning and appears only once a year at the slave market, which is being held that day. Denying them passage annoys Deianeira and she mouths off to the guards. They attack her and, of course, Hercules needs to battle them to rescue her. On their way into the city, they meet more of the same guards (who are apparently members of the same family, hence the similarity in looks.) Hercules battles all of them and eventually gets into the city by climbing the city walls.
Inside the city, the duo comes upon the slave market. The queen (Elizabeth Hawthorne) appears and takes a seat to survey the scene. Hercules and Deianeira concoct a plan so Hercules can talk to the queen and try to retrieve the compass that would help them find Troy. Hercules offers himself as a slave, and, of course, the Queen purchases him. I mean, who wouldn't!
Once in the palace, Hercules reveals to Queen Omphale the real reason he needed to talk to her. Deianeira, in the meantime, tries to get into the palace to speak to Hercules. She meets the slave, Waylin (Robert Trebor) who refuses to let her in. She reluctantly enters an inn where she meets a group of slaves, including Waylin. They tell her they are happy, satisfied slaves because they get three meals a day and money from their masters. Deianeira tells them that happy as they are, they are still slaves and have to strive to fight for freedom. A protection-enforcer, Melus (Todd Rippon), enters the inn and tries to extort money from the inn-keeper. Deianeira pays the money (from the payment she received from the sale of Hercules) and tells the enforcer that she is Princess Daianeira. Of course, she makes an enemy of him.
Meanwhile, back at the palace, Queen Omphale gives Hercules the compass after he spends a night with her. He must have been really good at what he did. Deianeira goes back to get Hercules and has to battle the enforcer. She is cornered, but is rescued by someone. She discovers that her rescuer is the sinister figure that has been following her. She confronts him and finds out that he has been following her since she was a child while she goes towards her destiny. She wants him to tell her what her destiny is, but he disappears again.
Hercules emerges from the palace and Deianeira is there to meet him. They go back to the inn where the enforcer is wrecking the place. Hercules takes care of him and in the process meets the palace slave, Waylin. Deianeira and he go off to continue their journey to Troy.
Deianeira wants to know from Hercules how one can tell if one is a god. She thinks she might be one. Hercules tells her just to grow up and be a woman. "Just a woman?" Hercules tells her that his mother is 'just a woman' but everybody loves her and that is why Hera hates her. Deianeira confesses that someone has been following her since she was a kid and she calls him her 'protector'. That is why she realizes she has a destiny. Hercules thinks the 'protector' is there in the woods with them and goes to investigate. Instead, he finds Waylin asleep under some trees. Waylin tells them that he followed them to serve them. He still thinks of himself as a slave, but this time, their slave. Hercules tells him to return to his kingdom and serve the Queen as he has been doing. He tells them that he will.
Hercules and Deianeira eventually get to the sea. The compass has pointed them there. There is nowhere to go from where they are and they realize that Troy must be across the waters. Deianeira's 'protector' appears on a hill and calls for the blue serpent to arise from the sea. Deianeira and Hercules see him, and while they are gazing up at him, a sea serpent rises up behind them and swallows them.
Inside the serpent Deianeira thinks that it is the gods that have caused this and that this is her destiny. Hercules convinces her that they have to escape. He causes havoc within the serpent's body, killing the serpent, and thus they are able to escape.
Washed up on shore, Hercules finds Deianeira gazing at a distant city. She tells him that it is Troy, and that she now remembers it is where she is from. They hurry towards the city but they walk into a trap in the woods. They are set upon by a band of citizens of Troy who have been exiled from their city. They are brought to the king of Troy, who has surprisingly been expecting them. He reveals to Deianeira, that she is indeed a Princess, his daughter, whom he had to send away as a child because the goddess Hera has demanded her as a sacrifice. He dies after revealing that he sacrificed Troy because he could not obey Hera's command, and that she is now Queen and has to lead her people back to claim their city.
Deianeira accepts the role of Queen, and organizes her people for their return to Troy. Hercules then trains them how to fight. The Blue Priest (Deianeira's 'protector) and his soldiers inside the city realize that Deianeira, Hercules and the Trojans are around them and ready to strike. They prepare for battle.
Waylin has followed them after all. He is apprehended in the woods and joins the Trojans. He convinces Hercules that he really belongs with them. The old king's lieutenant, Telamon, (Eric Close), has fallen in love with Deianeira, but he notices that the young Queen has eyes only for Hercules. Although the Trojan army is slowly coalescing and they truly want to fight for their city, Hercules still feels that they have no concept of what fighting really is. He tells them that they have to become like rocks, who have no mind, no heart and no fear. Once they have achieved this and become like a rock, then they can truly fight. He tells them to find their own rock and study it. Deianeira goes into Hercules' tent that night and declares her attraction to him. Hercules tries to tell her that he is not interested in her in that way and Deianeira runs away weeping.
Zeus appears to Hercules and Hercules asks him if he wants to join them in their fight for Troy. Zeus is reluctant and Hercules asks him if he still has it in him to do battle. Zeus demonstrates his ability by calling down a thunderbolt. Deianeira and the Trojans see this as a sign that the gods themselves are on their side. Zeus, however, still does not commit his help.
Hercules tells Deianeira and the Trojans that Zeus is not going to help them and that they will attack at dawn. Deianeira sees this as a bad omen and, after looking at her people sleeping in the woods, decides that she does not want any of them to be killed in a battle. She invokes her 'protector' who calls her to come to him.
When morning arrives Hercules looks for Deianeira and discovers that she is gone. He realizes that she must have gone by herself into the city. Hercules starts to go after her when all the Trojans, especially Telamon, tell him that they too are going to rescue their Queen. Hercules does not want them to go, but one of the citizens tells him that they can enter through the cowers' way, an underground tunnel that was used to herd cows into the fields via a shortcut. They all enter the city through the tunnel.
The city seems deserted. Hercules tells them that they cannot battle what they cannot see, and that he alone will go and look for Deianeira. As he leaves the city gates close and the Trojans realize they are trapped inside. Telamon issues a challenge, and suddenly the Blue Priest's army appears. They are organized and hideous, performing a well-orchestrated exercise of arms. The Trojan army looks at them in horror.
In the meantime, Hercules sees Deianeira being led away to a tower by two of the Blue Priest's minions. He runs to follow her.
Telamon approaches to fight one of the blue army. Although he fights well, he is no match for the warrior and is knocked unconscious. Waylin unfreezes and runs to help him. The rest of the army scream for him to stop and wait for Hercules to help them.
Deianeira is being prepared in the tower for the sacrifice. Hercules tries to talk to her but she tells him to go away and not to spoil anything. Hercules battles the blue warriors and while he is preoccupied the Blue Priest comes to take Deianeira away.
Waylin tells the others that he doesn't need Hercules because he has Hercules in his heart. As he puts his hand up to his chest he sees that he has his rock hidden in his shirt. He takes it out and hurls it at one of the blue warriors. He knocks the warrior down and rushes forward to beat him with his weapon. The warrior suddenly disappears in a puff of smoke. Waylin then shouts to the Trojans: "Don't be afraid. If you stand up to them, they don't exist!" At this, the Trojans rush at the warriors and engage them in battle.
Deianeira and the Blue Priest arrive at the top of the tower. Deianeira asks the priest if she goes through with the sacrifice of herself, her people would be set free and return to their city. The Blue Priest assures her that her sacrifice to Hera has always been her destiny. He picks up a sword and is ready to kill her. Deianeira realizes that her people has no meaning to Hera or her priest. Hercules appears on the scene and battles the Blue Priest. The priest almost renders Hercules helpless by chaining him, and at the same time throws a dagger at Deianeira who catches it with her hands. Shades of Xena! However, the dagger seems to have a life of its own and is inexorably inching towards her throat. He leaves Hercules chained and approaches the young Queen but Hercules manages to free himself, of course, and picks up a sword and decapitates the Blue Priest. He then helps Deianeira get rid of the knife. The knife lands at the Blue Priest's side and his headless torso picks it up and attacks Hercules. Hercules manages to throw the body off the tower.
The Trojan army has routed the Blue Priest's warriors below.
Deianeira tells Hercules that she came to the tower to be sacrificed because she thought it was her destiny and that it was the only way she could save her people. Hercules tells her that her destiny is to follow in her father's footsteps and rule her people wisely. Deianeira asks him if he will rule her kingdom with her.
Zeus appears and tells Hercules that saving the city was all right, but that Hera still wanted the girl. Deianeira is suddenly caught by a powerful light and begins to ascend to the sky. Hera is obviously waiting for her. She screams to Hercules for help and Hercules leaps up to bring her down. He shouts at Hera that she does not control anyone's destiny, and that humans control themselves. Hera quickly lifts him up to the skies and he disappears. Zeus assures Deianeira that Hera will not hurt him, but that his work at Troy is done. He tells Deianeira that she must follow her own destiny.
Deianeira descends from the tower to her people. The victorious army greets her enthusiastically. With Telamon at her side she tells her people that she is proud of them. She appoints Waylin her Minister of Defense because of his bravery. She tells them that they must depend on themselves now as Hercules always wanted them to do. They carry her on their shoulders around the city.
Hercules is seen falling from a great distance back down to earth. He gets up and walks away when he is met by an old man who tells him that a fire-breathing monster is attacking his village. Hercules tells him to lead him to the monster and he will see what he can do. He is set for another adventure.
This commentary is by Cathy.
You have seen her with blonde hair, you have seen her with red hair, now you see her with brown hair! Who pray tell? Renee O'Connor! If you are a big fan of hers, you must get this video! She gets top billing behind Sorbo and Anthony Quinn, and is delightful as "Deianeira". Two of my favorite people are featured in this movie, Renee O'Connor and Robert Trebor ("Salmoneous" to us Xenites).
I really liked this movie, more than the one Lucy Lawless was in, "Hercules and the Amazon women". Hercules rescues "Deianeira" played by Renee O'Connor, from being sacrificed by a tribe to the Water God. You have got to see the costume they have her in!
Turns out, she is followed by a strange minion in a hooded costume, and has been all her life. Remember "Dreamworker"? This is the same guy who played the priest of Morpheus that Gabrielle socked in the face and later played Nicklio the Healer in "Destiny". Renee O'Connor is a fiesty talkative girl in this movie, and she is so YOUNG....just a baby. You will definitely see a "Gabrielle" resemblance in her demeanor.
Hercules is trying to get to Troy, and needs a special compass that always points in that direction. It is owned by a queen, which used to belong to her husband. So, Deianeira and Hercules pretend to be slave and master and Hercules is auctioned off to the highest bidder. Of course, the queen wants his bod and buys him. Once in her palace he gets the compass, while Deianeira (O'Connor) tangles with some thugs in a bar. Here we run into Robert Trebor, who is a slave of the queen. He befriends Deianeira and wants to travel with her and Hercules to Troy. (Some subtext here, Waylan, aka, Robert Trebor has a thing for Hercules and wants to be his personal slave) Hercules is not interested of course, meantime O'Connor is falling in love with him too.
Now we come to the famous scene where the sea dragon swallows them both. Hercules kills it by squeezing its heart (yucky) and he and Renee swim out of its mouth to freedom. [This scene is copied in the HTLJ's episode WEDDING OF ALCMENE, but that time Hercules and his step-father Jason get swallowed up.] They end up on the shores of Troy, the lost city. Turns out O'Connor is the queen who was given up by the king as an infant because Hera wanted her to be sacrificed.
She finds the people of Troy living in the woods, because the city has been overtaken by these minions of Hera's. Now this to me is the best part. O'Connor gets a new outfit, a leather body shaped thing similiar to Xena's without the metal breastplate. Do I even need to tell you she looks fantastic in this? I definitely think now they purposely dress her shabbily in the Xena series to keep her from taking more attention from Lucy in her outfit. Renee O'Connor looks fantastic in leather, see it for yourselves. I hope next seasons outfit change for her does her justice.
With the help of Hercules, she and him teach the people of Troy how to fight so they can retake Troy. Deianeira sneaks out at night, to try to find the hooded man who always follows her to get his help in retaking Troy. Of course, he is evil and only wants her as a sacrifice to Hera. To make a long story short, Hercules fights him and rescues her. Hera flings him bodily out of the kingdom after he has killed her evil priest. Renee O'Connor is now dressed all in a white, flowing gown and retakes Troy as the Queen to the delight of the townspeople. There is a young good looking soldier type you get the impression will become her future husband.
This was a very good movie. I give it two thumbs up! After seeing this, its reinforces my love and admiration of Renee O'Connor as a person and an actress. My immediate goal for this year is to meet her at one or both of the conventions.
TALES FROM THE HERCAVERSE
02-04-98. This Herk movie was originally called "Hercules: The Journey Begins", and was slated to be the first aired HERCULES telemovie. Because of script complications, AMAZING WOMEN was moved up from second in the production schedule to first. This is ironic since in the mythology of Hercules, the visit to the Kingdom of Troy happened on Hercules' way back from his adventures with Hippolyta and the Amazons. Had they stuck with the original production and airing order, they would have mixed up the historical/mythological order of the events.
02-04-98. Portions of this movie were re-enacted and footage re-used in HTLJ's WEDDING OF ALCMENE (H34/221)
HIGHLIGHTS & THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Ninjas at Troy?????
Click here to read a transcript of HERCULES AND THE LOST KINGDOM.