|A Star to Guide Them|
Star Above Bethos
|Series||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys|
|In-Universe Date||Year 1|
|Filming Dates||12 July to 22 July 1996|
|Original Air-Date||9 December 1996|
|Written By||John Schulian & Brian Herskowitz|
|Directed By||Michael Levine|
|Order in Series||46 of 111|
|Order in Season||9 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||83 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Prince Hercules"|
|Next Episode in Series||"The Lady and the Dragon"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Ten Little Warlords"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"A Solstice Carol"|
On the night before the Winter Solstice, Iolaus has a dream involving some strange imagery: a star, a rock, a tree and a strange pointy object. When he wakes, he tells Hercules that he is going north, Hercules comments on his hands being red. Elsewhere, King Polonius tells his queen Maliphone that the Oracle told him a child "not of the House of Polonius" would succeed him. The queen orders all boys under the age of one to be rounded up.
Hercules tells Iolaus he will go north with him and asks Iolaus to explain what is going on. Iolaus says he does not understand it himself. He asks him about the dream and Iolaus says he has never felt so good. Hercules warns him that the gods act in strange ways. Iolaus says he just has to go north.
Meanwhile, Trinculos tries to steal some money from another thief, whom he lets go. On the way north, Hercules asks Iolaus how far they have to go, Iolaus responds that when he knows he will tell Hercules. Elsewhere in a nearby village, all the baby boys are being taken by Polonius' guards. While Hercules rests on a rock, Iolaus says the place feels familiar, even though he has never been there before. He then recognizes the rock as the one from his dream, which spurs him on north.
Elsewhere, Uris is taking his wife Loralei and newborn son away from their village so they will be safe. He tells his wife he has to because of a dream he had. While Hercules and Iolaus stop for a rest and some food, Trinculos comes by and Hercules asks him to join them. Trinculos decides to join them up north and Hercules notices he also has red palms.
As the guards attack the village, Uris tells his wife to go to his brother's house. As they fight, Hercules and the other men join in and begin beating up the guards. Trinculos had been protecting Loralei and the baby. They tell Hercules about Polonius' order to take all the babies under one year old for census, but they do not believe it. Hercules asks where they are headed and Uris tells says they are going north. Hercules asks to see his hands, which are also red.
Hercules remarks on the three men all having the same dream, he tells Iolaus that although his dream is important, the lives of babies are at stake. Iolaus and Trinculos head on to the castle and he takes Uris and his family to safety. The captain of the guards tells the queen about the one child who got away. She says Hera will help them against Hercules.
Uris leaves his family in the safety of his brother's house and Hercules promises to bring him back safely. While Uris and Hercules talk about the dream he mentions the gnarled tree, which looked like it was pointing the way. Hercules and Uris meet up with Iolaus and Trinculos in a tavern. They decide to travel through the mountains. When they set off, they see the gnarled tree from their dreams.
The group comes to a village, whose babies have not been taken and Hercules leads them to safety. At the castle, Maliphone calls on Hera for help and she is provided with some red warriors. While the group of men travels on, Trinculos begins complaining as he draws something in the sand. Iolaus and Uris help him finish the image. It is the strange pointy object from their dream. Trinculos admits he too had the dream and then goes away from the others.
The king and queen are worried about which baby will be the new king. Maliphone orders all the babies to be killed. When the men arrive in a deserted village, Hercules warns them it may not be. Hercules then catches an arrow as it flies towards them. The archer is then knocked unconscious by Trinculos (who by the way has decided to come back). The guards find Loralei and question her about Hercules.
Hercules and the others meet up with Hera's red army and a fight breaks out. Hercules disposes of the red army; Trinculos saves Uris' life and he returns the favor. With the threat out of the way, all the families are reunited. When Maliphone claims the heir to Bethos is in in her womb, Hercules and Iolaus remind her that the people can elect their own king without a living heir. Seeing as the queen's candidate is a couple months too late. Iolaus then wishes Maliphone a happy exile as she is taken away.
The men are glad they have accomplished what they had set out to do, Hercules says maybe it is not the end. The others follow him to the window, where he points out a star. Iolaus says he saw the star in his dream. Hercules suggests he should follow the star. The four men arrive at a house, which appears to be glowing from inside. The men agree that this is what the dream was all about, a sense of calm and peace. Hercules tells Iolaus he feels that "what you are about to witness is bigger and more important than anything we've ever done." Hercules stands by as the three men go inside the house.
"No Unnamed Baby of key biblical and mythological importance was harmed during the production of this motion picture."
- It is heavily implied that Iolaus, Trinculos, and Uris are the three wisemen and that they are going to witness the birth of Jesus Christ.
- It is also heavily implied that Polonius is the representation of King Herod of Judea, who rounded up the children under the age of 3.
- This is the only Christmas-themed episode of the series.
- This episode premiered the same night as "A Solstice Carol", a Christmas-themed episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. Based on both episodes' endings, they appear to take place more or less at the same time.
- This episode fits into the Twilight of the Gods storyline, but was produced long before it.
- Hera's henchmen in this episode are the same ones from "Not Fade Away".
- It is not clear if Hera aided Maliphone because she feared the importance of the child, or because she simply saw another chance to kill Hercules. Either motivation is quite likely.
"Just a hunch, but somehow I believe that what you're about to witness is bigger and more important than anything we've ever done."
- –Hercules to Iolaus
Links and References
- Edward Newborn as King Polonius
- Denise O'Connell as Queen Maliphone
- Latham Gaines as Captain
- Kirstie O'Sullivan as Loralei
- Jason Hoyte as Cohort
- UNCREDITED as Remo
|<< Season 2||Season 3||Season 4 >>|
|#01||Mercenary||#09||A Star to Guide Them||#17||Les Contemptibles|
|#02||Doomsday||#10||The Lady and the Dragon||#18||Reign of Terror|
|#03||Love Takes a Holiday||#11||Long Live the King||#19||The End of the Beginning|
|#04||Mummy Dearest||#12||Surprise||#20||War Bride|
|#05||Not Fade Away||#13||Encounter||#21||A Rock and a Hard Place|
|#06||Monster Child in the Promised Land||#14||When a Man Loves a Woman||#22||Atlantis|
|#07||The Green-Eyed Monster||#15||Judgment Day|
|#08||Prince Hercules||#16||The Lost City|