|Yes, Virginia, There is a Hercules|
Kevin Sorbo reports he was "stuck in traffic."
|Series||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys|
|In-Universe Date||1998 with flashbacks|
|Filming Dates||21 November to 28 November 1997|
|Original Air-Date||23 February 1998|
|Written By||Alex Kurtzman|
|Directed By||Christopher Graves|
|Order in Series||74 of 111|
|Order in Season||15 of 22|
|Order in Franchise||142 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Armageddon Now Part 2"|
|Next Episode in Series||"Porkules"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||Amazon High|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"King Con"|
The episode opens with a clip from "Atlantis", where Hercules saves Cassandra as the city falls apart. Then Robert Tapert wakes up from a nightmare when Eric Gruendemann calls him in the middle of the night. He tells Tapert they had an earthquake and gives him some bad news.
Meanwhile, Liz Friedman is practicing her boxing skills. Tapert calls Liz and tells her the news. Jerry Patrick Brown is paintballing in the woods, when Liz calls him. Paul Robert Coyle is in Las Vegas, when he also gets a call. Later they all arrive at the office in Hollywood and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci join them. Rob Tapert tells them all that Kevin Sorbo is missing.
Rob sends production assistant, David Scott "Davie" Pollison to find Kevin, even if he has to go around the planet. Jerry suggests they base the story about a different character: Ares. Clips from "Judgment Day" and "The End of the Beginning" are shown. Jerry says, "The God of War is one lean, mean fighting machine." Rob likes the idea, but Liz hates it. She suggests "A woman we can all look up to, a woman of the 90s, a woman who takes matters into her own hands…Callisto."
We see clips from "Surprise", Liz says, "Ares isn't even a close second to Callisto", when it comes to making Hercules suffer. Rob loves this idea too. As he goes to leave, Alex says that both Ares and Callisto are bad guys, so without Hercules to fight they would have nothing to do (a clip then shows Ares and Callisto facing each other and playing rock-paper-scissors). On the set in New Zealand, things are not going too well, people are beginning to figure out that something is amiss.
Back at the office, they get a call that the Head of the Studio, B.S. Hollinsfoffer is coming in, when he arrives, he asks what they are doing there on a Sunday. He suggests they should do "Hercules: The Musical" and we see clips from "...And Fancy Free" as he sets out the idea for the story. Then Davie calls from Paris, saying he cannot find Kevin, and B.S. finds out that he is missing. B.S. fires them all, but Paul suggest they use a story involving the Sovereign, until Liz points out that he was played by Kevin Sorbo too, then Alex points out that they are fired anyway. When all the staff begin to leave, B.S. rehires them.
As B.S. leaves, Eric calls asking if Kevin has shown up yet, Rob says he was going to ask the same thing. Rob says they will have to find a new Hercules. The staff are all waiting, when Beth Hymson arrives with Johnny Pinto, who is auditioning for the role of Hercules. She sets up the story for him, with clips from "Two Men and a Baby", she tells him to go through the speech Hercules gives to Evander in the episode. Johnny tries but fails disastrously. Beth is ecstatic but the others are not impressed.
After several auditions, Liz says "If we ever make a show called "Rejects", we’ll know where to look." Rob says it is the writers fault and Jerry challenges him. Rob tells Jerry if he wants a piece of him, he will have to go through Liz. They begin to fight but Alex breaks it up. Davie calls from Spain to say he cannot find Kevin. Eric calls telling Rob that people found out the Kevin is missing and that he has tried to pose has him which didn't work as the crew members and actors are attacking him in a panic.
Rob gets them all back on the topic of how to make a Hercules episode without Hercules. His assistant, Melissa suggests Young Hercules, "when did he meet Iolaus, what was the first monster he killed?" Paul and Rob like the idea, but Beth says they would need to re-cast the entire show and they have not found any good actors.
B.S. comes back after having informed the Board of Directors what happened and tells them all they have until 5 o'clock to come up with an idea or the show will be cancelled. Liz wishes they could do away with actors all together, Rob get the idea to turn the show into a cartoon as the climatic scene from Hercules and Xena - The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus is shown. Liz reminds him they would need Kevin's voice.
Jerry suggest they should just surrender, while they still have their dignity, but Alex and Roberto come up with an idea: Chimpules: The Legendary Monkey. Rob is not impressed by the idea. Alex and Roberto begin fighting, then Jerry and Liz, and Rob and Melissa start, as the fight continues, Beth walks in and prepares to punch Alex.
In the middle of the fight, everyone freezes and Ares and Strife appear. Strife says Ares' idea to cause the earthquake was "a stroke of genius." Ares says he knew his brother would not put the show above saving innocent lives. Ares says that his brother's "legendary journeys" will soon be over and he can watch Millennium in peace. They hear a voice from the doorway and look to see Hercules in a suit. Ares says he is pathetic for pretending to be a mortal called "Kevin Sorbo". He mentions that his father, Zeus, thinks poorly of actors, with Hercules asking him when he cared about what Zeus thinks. He then says, "The world isn't ready for the truth." Ares swears they will meet again and he and Strife vanish.
Hercules unfreezes everyone and they are glad to see him, he tells them he was stuck in traffic, because "after all I'm only human." As everyone leaves to get the show in production, a new report by Mary Contrary states that an unknown figure has prevented a lot of casualties in the earthquake that happened.
"Any resemblance between the Hercules cast and the Renaissance staff is purely intentional."
Behind the Scenes
- Featured clips in order: "Atlantis", "Judgment Day", "The End of the Beginning", "Surprise", "...And Fancy Free", "Stranger in a Strange World", "Two Men and a Baby", Young Hercules and Hercules and Xena - The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus.
- Alex Kurtman and Roberto Orci propose Chimpules. The next episode, "Porkules", was written by the real-life writers.
- Though Michael Hurst appears in this episode, Iolaus (not counting the clips) does not.
- Robert Trebor's face is clean-shaven – likely because filming coincided with "Men in Pink".
- This episode (and many others) was inspired by Kevin Sorbo's reduced involvement in a number of episodes this season due to health issues. Kevin Sorbo has a book published, "True Strength", in which he tells about his health issues and the filming concessions made for this season. Unlike Lucy Lawless's equestrian accident which similarly restructured Xena: Warrior Princess's second season, Sorbo's issues were kept under wraps.
- After hearing Melissa's idea for young Hercules, Rob says, "…it'll make a great spin-off." Young Hercules premiered the following fall.
- This episode reveals that Hercules will still be very much alive by the end of the 20th century. It is never stated, though, if this is because he became truly immortal or if being a demigod simply gives him a longer lifespan.
- Strife is eventually killed in "Armageddon Now", while Zeus will be killed in the Xenaverse episode "God Fearing Child", raising questions as to the canonicity of this episode. Both those episodes were produced well after this one. However, it could be that Strife's death was only for the "show" and he never really died; same for the other "dead" gods having only been made up for the show, this heavily implies that the Xenaverse is non-canon to the Hercules series and was meant to be so from the beginning. But it was proved that the Xenaverse is canon or spin off to Hercules series.
- Ares is apparently a fan of Millennium and Strife of Cop Rock.
- Care appears to have been taken to cast semi-regular and familiar recurring actors to play most of the producers, likely to enhance the sheer absurdity of the episode.
- B.S. Hollinsfoffer is the only Renaissance Pictures "character" in the episode not based on a real-life staff member.
- Though taken to comedic extremes, the Renaissance Pictures characters shared qualities with their real-life counterparts (such as Rob Tapert's interest in fishing).
- When the staff is briefly fired, Liz says, "I wonder if Sinbad's hiring." The Adventures of Sinbad was a short-lived syndicated series that competed with HTLJ and XWP.
"Oh, no! I’m blind! I swear, from now on I’ll SING in the shower instead!"
- –Rob Tapert
"Paintball ain’t just a game, soldier. It’s a metaphor for life!"
- –Jerry Patrick Brown
"Say, I’ve forgotten my phone number. Can I use yours?"
- –Paul Robert Coyle
"What do you mean, Kevin Sorbo’s gone missing? No star, no show! No show, no paycheck! No paycheck, no kneecaps! I got debts!”
- –Paul Robert Coyle
"Back in Korea, we had a saying: you never leave a man behind."
"When were you in Korea?"
"I was there for the Olympics, missy! It was hell."
- –Jerry Patrick Brown and Liz Friedman
"Hey, Melissa? There’s something I’ve always wanted to ask you. Do you sleep on your stomach?"
- –Paul Robert Coyle and Melissa Blake
"I tried to pretend I was Kevin, but for some reason, it didn't work!"
- –Eric Gruendemann
"Tell my wife I love her! Tell my son what a great man I was!"
- –Eric Gruendemann
"You guys sit there like VEGETABLES for six months and the first idea you come up with is Chimpules?!"
"Well, we were saving it for the right time."
"How the fu** did they get these jobs?!"
- –Rob Tapert, Alex Kurtzman and B.S. Hollinsfoffer
"This is not over, Hercules. We'll meet again."
"Have your people call my people. We'll do lunch."
- –Ares and Hercules
Links and References
- Bruce Campbell as Rob Tapert
- Hudson Leick as Liz Friedman & Callisto
- Ted Raimi as Alex Kurtzman
- Kevin Smith as Jerry Patrick Brown & Ares
- Gina Torres as Beth Hymson
- Robert Trebor as B.S. Hollinsfoffer
- Lisa Chappell as Melissa Blake
- Willy De Wit as Eric Gruendemann
- Joel Tobeck as David Scott Pollison & Strife
- Paul Glover as Roberto Orci
- Charles Mesure as Johnny Pinto
- Patrick Wilson as Evil Warlord
- Ian Mune as Director
- Jason Tahue as Paintball Player
- Kim Raynes as Cocktail Waitress
- Elizabeth Hawthorne as Mary Contrary (Newscaster)
- Les Dwight as Elvis Hercules
- Liam McFarland as Cool Hercules
- Grant Adams as Clapper Loader
|<< Season 3||Season 4||Season 5 >>|
|#01||Beanstalks and Bad Eggs||#09||If I Had a Hammer...||#17||One Fowl Day|
|#02||Hero's Heart||#10||Hercules on Trial||#18||My Fair Cupcake|
|#03||Regrets... I've Had a Few||#11||Medea Culpa||#19||War Wounds|
|#04||Web of Desire||#12||Men in Pink||#20||Twilight|
|#05||Stranger in a Strange World||#13||Armageddon Now||#21||Top God|
|#06||Two Men and a Baby||#14||Armageddon Now Part 2||#22||Reunions|
|#07||Prodigal Sister||#15||Yes, Virginia, There is a Hercules|
|#08||...And Fancy Free||#16||Porkules|