|Let the Games Begin|
Atalanta, Hercules and Salmoneus at the Olympics
|Series||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys|
|In-Universe Date||Year 1|
|Filming Dates||9 November to 20 November 1995|
|Original Air-Date||12 February 1996|
|Written By||John Schulian|
|Directed By||Gus Trikonis|
|Order in Series||29 of 111|
|Order in Season||16 of 24|
|Order in Franchise||49 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Heedless Hearts"|
|Next Episode in Series||"The Apple"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Warrior... Princess"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"Mortal Beloved"|
Hercules rescues a young man named Damon from some Elean soldiers who picked a fight with him. Unfortunately, Damon does not believe he is Hercules. Damon has some pretty painful wounds, so Hercules accompanies him to his aunt's house, who happens to be Atalanta.
Atalanta tells Hercules that she worries about his interest in nothing but fighting will only lead him to the grave right next to his father.
Meanwhile the head of the Elean soldiers, Tarkon, berates his soldiers fleeing from Hercules. They are working for Ares and trying to kill Hercules.
Back in the village, while taking a walk through, Hercules sees several instances of fighting ... until when he sees some kids prove themselves better by running a race: the thought strikes him and he gets a great idea.
He speaks to Atalanta about having a contest with many different events to determine who is the best, she thinks it is a great idea, but when Damon hears it was inspired from kids---he is not so interested. He is obsessed with "spartan ways", but when his aunt beats him in an arm wrestle, he quickly relents.
Atalanta and Hercules then proceed to where Salmoneus is living, to consult him about the idea. At first Salmoneus is all in, until Hercules tells him that it is a strictly non-profit event.
However, he sort of puts that aside and names it the Salmoneus games. However, due to a conflict he had with some gamblers who thought he cheated them of their money, he quickly changes it.
He names it the Olympics, after the Olympians, after asking Hercules permission in fear of it reminding him of his family troubles....but Hercules likes it. So it is named the Olympics and Hercules goes to find the Spartans and Eleans to invite them as well as ask what they think of it.
He goes to Taphius, a spartan warrior, who loves the idea and then he goes to see Tarkon, the Elean soldier. Meanwhile, Salmoneus tries to think of ways to impress Atalanta ... at least he comes up with some good ideas for the Olympics ... such as prizes.
But instead of focusing on Olympics as some Athletic contest, Tarkon only sees this as perfect opportunity for slaughter "while they are playing" and a chance to kill Hercules.
Salmoneus and Hercules also look for a symbol for the Olympics.
As everyone comes The Olympic games are about to start, Hercules yells to the audience, "Ladies and gentlemen, could I have your attention please!? Welcome to the first Olympics I hope you discover the spirit of the games, that there are other ways for men to compete than on the battlefields. I salute the Spartans for being brave enough to set aside their weapons and participate in these events. And equally to the Eleans, who had the courage to honor us by doing the same. We’re about to find out who is the best among them in five different athletic events. So good luck to everybody. And now ..." Salmoneus rushes in and who declares they cannot proceed without the Olympic torch. The generous Hercules gives him a high-five for his idea and continues "Let the games begin!!!!!!!!!"
As the Olympic events start, there is a tie in the first event, unless Hercules evens it out. Hercules gives the privilege to Atalanta, which causes some commotion about a woman being there until Hercules says everyone is welcome and gets them ready.
Atalanta is the winner in the javelin throw.
The next event is the foot race and Atalanta thanks Hercules for not allowing the "boys only" thing. Salmoneus is the winner of the foot race.
When the next event starts, Tarkon chooses that time to have his soldiers attack.
After a little bit of fighting Hercules, Atalanta, Salmoneus, and Damon take the torch and ride away, leaving everyone to fight it out behind!
Then they go to another place to pick up where they were "so rudely interrupted", Atalanta says they had a race and three other events to finish, Salmoneus says none of it could have been done without Hercules, so he calls what Hercules did "Herculean", but Hercules asks why do not they call it Olympian. Then Atalanta asks where the starting line was. Hercules says, "Now that's what I call Olympian."
"The nuclear blast that destroyed those fiendish Mesomorphs was purely trick photography. The Mesomorphs are alive and well and living in Poughkeepsie."
- Hercules remembers Salmoneus' Brother in Law's den of inequity from "Under the Broken Sky."
- The episode approximately coincided with the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.
- This episode inspired the third wave of ToyBiz's HTLJ action figure line: Mt. Olympus Games.
- For obvious reasons, the cast wore their costumes for the Olympics: in the original games, all participants competed nude.
- Although the other competitors are upset about Atalanta participating, Hercules allows this. Historically, women were not allowed to participate in the Olympics themselves, but were allowed to compete in Heraean Games, which were held at Olympia earlier in the year. In fact, both games appear to have originated from a footrace held amongst the local girls to see who would have the honor of serving as Hera's priestess for a year. A little later, a second race was instituted to give the winning priestess a male ritual consort.
- Strictly speaking, it would have been difficult for the sight of Mount Olympus to inspire the creation of the games near Spartan territory, as Sparta is in the south of Greece and Mount Olympus in far to the north, near Macedonia. The original names were named after Olympia, where they were held, which likewise was in the south and nowhere near Olympus itself.
Links and References
- Robert Trebor as Salmoneus
- Corey Everson as Atalanta
- Matthew Humphrey as Damon
- Paul Glover as Brontus
- Chris Bailey as Tarkon
- John Watson as Taphius
- Selwin Sargeson as Wagon Master
- Jason Hoyte as Scarred Lieutenant
- Marcus Pointon as Elean Soldier #1
- Ben Crowder as Tough Elean
- Chris McKibbin as Leader
- Norman Palacio as Grocer
- Brenda Kendall as Woman Shopper
- Morgan Palmer-Hubbard as Boy #1
- Timothy Dale as Boy #2
- Paul Norell as Falafel
- Ren Eastwood as Spotter
- Olympic Games
- Olympic Torch
- Hercules with Discus Launcher
- Salmoneus with Light-Up Olympic Torch
- Mesomorph with Shield Attack Action
- Atalanta with Spear Shooting Weaponry Rack
|<< Season 1||Season 2||Season 3 >>|
|#01||The King of Thieves||#09||The Fire Down Below||#17||The Apple|
|#02||All That Glitters||#10||Cast a Giant Shadow||#18||Promises|
|#03||What's in a Name?||#11||Highway to Hades||#19||King For A Day|
|#04||Siege at Naxos||#12||The Sword of Veracity||#20||Protean Challenge|
|#05||Outcast||#13||The Enforcer||#21||The Wedding of Alcmene|
|#06||Under the Broken Sky||#14||Once a Hero||#22||The Power|
|#07||The Mother of All Monsters||#15||Heedless Hearts||#23||Centaur Mentor Journey|
|#08||The Other Side||#16||Let the Games Begin||#24||The Cave of Echoes|