Legendary Journeys

The Apple
Apple 10.jpg
Aphrodite, Athena, Artemis and Iolaus
Series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Season 2
Setting Syros
In-Universe Date Year 1
Production # 876824
Filming Dates 8 January to 17 January 1996
Original Air-Date 19 February 1996
Written By Steven Baum
Directed By Kevin Sorbo
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 3o of 111
Order in Season 17 of 24
Order in Franchise 51 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "Let the Games Begin"
Next Episode in Series "Promises"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Mortal Beloved"
Next Episode in Franchise "The Royal Couple of Thieves"
Title Image
Apple title.jpg


Hercules is sleeping on the beach when he is awakened by Iolaus surfing. Hercules says it will never become popular. Hercules plans to visit King Sidon in Syros while Iolaus does some fishing. King Sidon's daughter is marrying King Diadorus of Delos's son in order to bring peace to their kingdoms. It does not work very well. Syros worships Artemis and Delos worships Athena. Thera, Sidon's daughter, and Epius, Diadorus' son, arrive and they all toast to peace.

While Iolaus is fishing, he catches an oyster shell and Aphrodite comes out of it.. Aphrodite's sisters Artemis and Athena appear and declare that Iolaus is the judge of their beauty contest and that the contestants are not allowed to talk to Iolaus until he judges them. While Iolaus is exercising, he is visited by Artemis who gives him a deal. If he picks her, she will make him into the mightiest hero ever. Afterward, he runs into Athena who gives him a deal of being the most intelligent man ever of he picks her.

During the judging contest, Aphrodite gives Iolaus a golden apple that will make any mortal woman he wants fall in love him and if two people touch it at the same time they will be soul mates forever. He picks her and plans to try out the apple on a woman on the beach. The woman is Thera. Hercules goes to find her and sees her all over Iolaus. He tries to take her back to Epius but she is still wild for Iolaus. Iolaus goes to find Aphrodite and she tells him the spell is broken. Iolaus tries to give her the apple back but she says to keep it. Thera is back in love with Epius but Iolaus shows up with the apple and she falls back in love with Iolaus. Diadorus calls her a harlot and orders his men to kill her. Sidon orders his men to kill Iolaus and Diadorus' men if they harm his daughter. A regular fight turns into a food fight and Hercules breaks it up by saying that the gods are involved. Hercules has a talk with Epius saying that it was not Thera's fault.

Iolaus tries to explain the spell to Thera by showing the apple to her but Hercules walks into the cave and takes it. He shows it to Aphrodite and he finds out that the beauty contest was so that Artemis and Athena's towns would go to war and Aphrodite could take over and get the gold there. She used Iolaus as the judge to do it be breaking up the marriage. She undoes the spell and Hercules throws the apple in the ocean. After he leaves, the apple reappears in her hand. Back in the cave, Thera has become normal again. She begs for forgiveness from Epius and he accepts. An old woman drops some apples on Iolaus and he catches a golden one. Aphrodite laughs and disappears and Thera is back in love with Iolaus. Epius gets mad at Thera but they, along with Hercules and Iolaus, escape the fight going on between the kings.

Epius and Thera hide in the cave when Sidon, Diadorus and their armies arrive and a fight breaks out. Hercules take the golden apple and makes the two quarreling kings touch it. They are now the best of friends and Aphrodite is upset.

Hercules and Iolaus see some kids surfing and they laugh about surfing never being popular.


"No extremely oversize clam shell wind-surfing apparatuses housing goddesses of love were harmed during the production of this motion picture."




Background Information[]

  • This episode marks Kevin Sorbo's directing debut.
  • Aphrodite emerging from a shell washing up on the beach is a reference to Boticelli's painting The Birth of Venus, which famously depicts Venus (Aphrodite) rising from the sea on a giant bivalve. The original Greek account has her rising from the sea unaided. Neither the painting nor the myth mention that Aphrodite used the shell to invent windsurfing.
  • First appearance of Aphrodite.
    • This episode also establishes that she is more cunning than she lets on, although this trait is inconsistently applied in her later appearances.
  • First appearance of Artemis (though she appears earlier chronologically on Young Hercules).
  • First appearance of Athena (though she appears earlier chronologically on Young Hercules).
  • This episode is loosely based upon a mythological incident known as the Judgement of Paris, in which Paris of Troy (then a simple shepherd) is asked to decide whether Hera, Aphrodite, or Athena is the most beautiful. The winner would receive an apple with the words "for the most beautiful" inscribed on it (unknown to all participants, the apple had been made by Eris purely to stir up trouble). Paris based his answer on the offers made by the goddesses rather than their actual appearances, and chose Aphrodite because she offered him the most beautiful woman in the world, rather than Athena's gift of wisdom or Hera's gift of political authority. Paris's ill choice kicked off the Trojan War, and the story later served as a warning that beautiful women aren't everything in the world.
    • For this adaption, it was decided to use Artemis instead of Hera, since having the series' main villain participate in a trumped up beauty contest would be rather inconsistent with her character.
  • If one listens closely during the scene where a bound Thera hops toward Iolaus from behind, “Boing” sound effects can be heard for each hop.

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