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HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS

THE VANISHING DEAD
aka The Dog of War


EPISODE NO. H11
Season 1, episode 11
Series 111
1st release: 04-24-95
2nd release: 06-19-95
1st USA strip release: 08-14-98
2nd USA strip release: 12-07-98
3rd USA strip release:
Production number:
Approximate shooting dates:
Last update: 01-06-99


GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
PROMO TRANSCRIPTION
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS by CR
COMMENTARY by CR
TALES OF THE HERCAVERSE
TRANSCRIPT
DISCLAIMER
WHOOSH! ARTICLES
LINKS


GUEST STARS
Michael Hurst (Iolaus)

CAST
Reb Brown (Jarton/Ares)
Erik Thomson (King Daulin)
Amber-Jane Raab (Poena)
Chris McDowall (Krytus)
Richard Vette (Aelon)
Steve Wright (Mercenary #1)
Jon Brazier (Mercenary #2)
Lewis Martin (Mortis)
Mark Nua (Ogre)
Joseph Hassell (Sentry)
Stephen Hall (Lead Soldier)
Jean Hyland (Mother)
Patrick Kale (Hercules' Double)

CREDITS
Edited by Steve Polivka
Written by Andrew Dettman and Daniel Truly
Directed by Bruce Campbell


PROMO TRANSCRIPTION
Looking for volunteers!

TV GUIDE PROMO
A civil war pits brother (he's the king) against sister, and someone-- or some nasty god-- is stealing the bodies of their dead soldiers.

Hercules intervenes in a battle between Poena and Daulin.

Hercules must end a bloody war engineered by Ares merely to feed his Dog of War with the dead.

AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 04-24-95
An AA average of Unavailable
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1)
(2)
(3)

2nd RELEASE: 06-19-95
An AA average of 4.7
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) STAR TREK DS9 3rd with 7.1
(2) HERCULES 5th with 4.7
(3) BAYWATCH 16th with 4.6



SYNOPSIS:

Synopsis by CR.

The opening scene is a skirmish at night, armed men are fighting. The battle over, they run off, leaving corpses on the ground. Something unseen drags the corpses away.

One of the dead appears as a ghost to his mother and brother Krytus, asking for help. Krytus finds Herc and Iolaus and asks for their help. He tells them someone is stealing the bodies of the dead. They agree to accompany him to Tantalus, his village. On the way, he tells them there's been trouble in Tantalus ever since King Memnos died, 3 months ago.

Herc & Io arrive at the castle, where Memnos' son Daulin is planning to repulse attacks from his sister Poina. Poina and Daulin used to get on well, but Daulin says Poina started a bitter civil war against him, and her men steal the dead from the battlefield. Poina has persuaded King Memnos' general, Jarden, an old friend of Hercules, to join her side.

Hercules goes to see Poina, encountering on the way a couple of mercenaries who are tossing up which side to fight for. They decide, if Hercules is going to see Poina, she's the one to back.

Poina and Jarden say Daulin killed his own father the King, and accuse Daulin's men of stealing their dead.

Herc, snooping around the battlefield, finds some abandoned armour, and a huge paw print - Gragus, the dog of war, Ares' pet.

Daulin summons Iolaus to explain why Hercules has gone to see Poina. He accepts that Herc would not betray him, but plans to attack Poina that night.

The two mercenaries arrive at Poina's camp to volunteer their services, but at the sight of Jarden one of them changes his mind and drags the other away in a hurry.

Hercules tells Poina that Gragus' presence means Ares must be nearby too; both she and Daulin are being used by Ares to supply food for Gragus. He begs Poina to stop the war.

Meanwhile, two mercenaries are camping out nearby; one of them is telling how, a couple of months ago, he killed 'the big guy' (Jarden). A huge figure looms up and kills them, then summons Gragus to drag them away. Hercules hears their screams and rushes to the scene, but arrives too late to see anything. Herc tries to convince Jarden about Ares, but Jarden says he was sworn to King Memnos and must avenge his death.

Iolaus sneaks away from Daulin's castle ands seeks out Poina's camp. On the way, he encounters Jarden, who disappears. Captured and arriving at the camp, he asks Jarden what he was doing down by the river - but Jarden was at the camp the whole time. Iolaus takes Herc to the place where he saw Jarden - and Herc finds the ghost-Jarden. The ghost tells Hercules he was killed a while ago, and Ares stole his body and is using it to perpetuate the war. He says Daulin didn't murder the King, Ares did, to start the war. Without their bodies, the dead can't cross over into the afterlife; they are stuck between life and death.

Back at Poina's camp, Poina tells Herc that Jarden went off with Iolaus; they went towards the cave. He finds Iolaus tied up to the roof of the cave, as bait. Ares-Jarden taunts Hercules and summons Gragus to devour Herc and Io. They battle Gragus in the cave. Meanwhile Jarden tells Poina Hercules was a spy and has gone to help Daulin; their only choice is to attack right away.

Herc and Iolaus manage to tie up Gragus and run towards the river, where the forces of Poina and Daulin face each other. As the attack is sounded and the armies rush towards each other, Herc and Io run into the river between them, shouting 'Stop'. As the armies reach the banks, the ghosts of dead warriors appear in the river around Herc and Io. The ghost of Jarden tells everyone that Daulin didn't kill King Memnos. Ares-Jarden, standing at the head of Poina's army, transforms into the 'real' Ares, repeatedly zapping Herc with lightning bolts, and challenging Herc to fight him or die. Herc refuses to fight, whatever the provocation. At this, the armies throw down their weapons, and Ares melts into the river, while Gragus in the cave goes up in flames. There is rejoicing amongst the opposing armies as they greet each other.

As a funeral procession places a coffin in the burial cave, the ghosts appear. The ghost of Jarden says they can now all cross over to the other side. Herc collapses the cave entrance so the dead can never be disturbed again.



COMMENTARY:

This commentary is by CR.

Ares' character changed in later episodes, when he became the 'definitive' Ares as played by Kevin Smith (and a far more interesting character than the rather wooden Jarden-Ares). He still impersonated people, but only when it suited him, and did far more of his 'personal' fighting as himself. But usually he preferred to stay behind the scenes and let others do the fighting for him.

In this episode, refusing to fight him worked for Hercules. But neither Herc nor Xena ever tried refusing to fight him again.



TALES OF THE HERCAVERSE

Under construction.



TRANSCRIPT

Click here to read a transcript of THE VANISHING DEAD.



DISCLAIMER

No Dogs of War were harmed during the production of this motion picture.



WHOOSH! ARTICLES:



Under construction



LINKS:



Under construction





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