Hercules & The Lost City
Shown 7th October 2001 [Sunday]
Hercules (Kevin Sorbo - Andromeda ), the son of Zeus (Anthony Quinn - ), is summoned to save some desperate villagers who have been driven from their city by demonic minions of Herc's evil stepmother Hera, Queen of the Gods. Herc's buddy Iolus (Michael Hurst - Almighty Johnsons ) is nowhere in sight. The comic relief is provided by a slave (Robert Trebor).
Our hero meets up with the dethroned Princess Dineira (a very young-looking Renee O'Connor ) of all people! Ms O'Connor went on to play the sidekick the Hercules spin-off show, Xena: Warrior Princess . However, here she plays a different character, and even gets to do scenes with Anthony Quinn himself. Her boyfriend is a very young-looking Eric Close from Dark Skies - like last month's Hercules film, this is a real Before They Were Famous moment!
Sorbo and the others look very young. Hell, even Quinn does - hard to think that this review is being written several months after his death. This made-for-TV film was released in 1994, and because it was successful the creator, Rob Tapert, managed to make a TV series out of it - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys .
Sad to say, this movie has very little to recommend it. Many of the most endearing thing about the series were added much later. For example, the infamous comedy disclaimer is missing.
There is lots of jaw-jaw, very little war-war. The climactic fight pits Herc against a powerful magician, the High Priest of his evil stepmother Hera.
Though not as good as the Hercules weekly series, this is far superior to the previous film, Amazon Women.
Hercules & The Circle of Fire
Shown 21st October 2001 [Sunday]
Hercules (Kevin Sorbo - Andromeda ), the son of Zeus (Anthony Quinn - ), arrives at the cottage of his friend, a Satyr. That night, all the fires in the village mysteriously go out. The exception is the fire in the temple of Hera. Village babe Dineira ( Tawny Kitaen ) tries to negotiate access to the fire: Herc merely breaks in, defiles the temple and beats up a small army of priests (who for some reason outnumber the entire village population).
Hercules discovers that Hera plans to destroy mankind by taking away their ability to make fire. She has stolen the Eternal Torch of Prometheus, and Hercules must retrieve it. En route, he and Dineira encounter a small girl with supernatural agility.
In some ways, the story is critical of Hercules and his violence-first methods. Dineira exhorts him for not trying a diplomatic solution with the priests, and when he tells a crowd of people not to make sacrifices to the gods they laugh at his hypocrisy!