GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS by Kent Simmons
COMMENTARY by Kent Simmons
TALES OF THE HERCAVERSE
Scott Michaelson (Apollo)
Charmaine Guest (Ariadne)
Ranald Hendriks (Momus)
Chris Conrad (Young Jason)
Jeffrey Thomas (Jason)
Written by Paul Robert Coyle
Teleplay by Jerry Patrick Brown
Directed by Charles Siebert
THE EPISODE THAT COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING
Zeus to Hercules: It's time for you to take your rightful place, ruling the Gods of Olympus
AS HERCULES CONSIDERS LIFE AS A GOD
[Zeus makes a godly entrance on fancy stage like platform]
HE REMEMBERS HIS FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH IMMORTALITY
[Young Hercules throws a powerbolt and breaks a wall down]
Apollo to Young Herc: Let's see who's top god around her
Young Hercules: Sure
[Apollo superkicks Young Hercules down in the temple]
[Young Herc attacks Apollo in the temple]
HERCULES MEETS THE POWERS OF OLYMPUS
Zeus: I need an answer
IN THE MOST UNEXPECTED EVENT OF THE SEASON
Hercules: I'm ready to go
[Herc and Zeus make a godly exit]
HERCULES THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS!
THE EPISODE THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING
Zeus: Your true destiny is on Olympus.
(Zeus appears in a flash of lightning)
THE MOST UNEXPECTED EVENT OF THE SEASON
Hercules: I'm ready to go.
ON AN ALL NEW HERCULES
COMING NEXT WEEK
TV GUIDE PROMO
As Herc ponders an offer from Zeus to give up his mortality and become a full god, he recalls childhood experiences with godliness.
After Alcmene dies, Zeus asks Hercules to give up mortality and join him ruling the gods of Olympus.
Zeus' proposal for Hercules to join him as a god on Mount Olympus brings up memories of the warrior's first brush with divine immortality.
Hercules considers returning to Mount Olympus after the death of his mother.
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st release: 05-04-98
An AA average of 4.5
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES 9th with 5.4
(2) XENA 11th with 5.1
(3) STAR TREK DS9 16th with 4.6
(4) HERCULES 17th with 4.5
2nd release: 09-14-98
An AA average of 3.8
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES 9th with 5.2
(2) ER 13th with 4.2
(3) XENA 16th with 4.0
(4) HERCULES 18th with 3.8
(5) BAYWATCH 20th with 3.6
(6) STARGATE 3.2
(7) STAR TREK DS9 3.1
(8) VIP 2.7
(9) RAVEN 2.0
(10) SPECIAL OPS 1.8
Synopsis by Kent Simmons.
The episode starts with footage from last week, showing how Alcmene died and how Hercules reunited with Zeus. The new footage begains as Herc and Zeus are walking through the woods. Zeus tells Herc that he's at a turning point in his life and needs to make a big decsion. Zeus thinks Hercules should be nice to him and Hercules avoids his father and walks away, asking why Zeus did not care about Alcmene and him. Meanwhile at Jasons house, Jason and Iolaus are still in tears over Alcmenes death and Jason tells Iolaus that Alcmene thought of Iolaus as her son. Herc and Zeus still talk as Herc picks some flowers up for his moms grave. Zeus shows up and says he cares and wants to take Hercules to Mount Olympus, to become a full immortal and god. Herc refuses and says that he does not want to be a god. Zeus says that Herc can help more people up there and people would like him more. Herc than remembers when he first had a chance to be a god and he did it to impress his father.
In flashbacks, Young Hercules and Young Jason are heading towards Corinth when they have to save Apollo's girlfriend from a band of thugs. They beat up the thugs and Apollo shows up on his hoverboard like object to clear away the thugs. He greets Hercules and has him come to his temple nearby, as Jason heads back to his castle in Corinth. Apollo mentions that Zeus often talks about Hercules and that Hera and Zeus argue all the time, and Hercs name comes up in those arguements. Apollo gives Herc a hoverboard and they fly off, with Herc getting the hang of the thing after a while. Inside the Temple is a bar like Quarks from "ST: DSN" and Hermes with some women. Apollo kisses another girl whos not his girlfriend Ariadne. Apollo shows Herc some ambrosia and Hercules swallows some and Young Hercules becomes a full time god and seems very excited and happy about the situation. Apollo and Young Herc make silly grins and laughs.
Ariadne and Hercules talk and that Baci music plays in the background. Hercules shows off his power to Ariadne by breaking a vase with a powerbolt. Apollos upset and brings him to ride the hoverboard. All the people from the temple stand and watch them hoveroff into the woods. If Herc loses, he must polish Apollos board and if Young Herc wins, he gets the board for his own use. The two gods hover past woods, and past hills, and more. Its a pretty incredible and special effects filled few minutes, much like an incident in the Star Wars trilogy. Apollo gives nasty smirks to Herc every once in a while but they seem calm and don't argue. As they approach a cliff, they use there godly powers to dissapear and there board crash into the rocks and expload.
Meanwhile in the present, Herc and Iolaus talk and Herc starts creating the tombstone for the grave of Alcmene. Herc wanders off and Iolaus worrys. Herc goes inside the barn to work and Zeus appears and wants Hercs choice. Herc is mad because Zeus did not save Dieaneria and the children, or Serena. Zeus responds by telling Herc to stop "Poor Me" all the time. Zeus gives Hercules some time to make a choice and Iolaus walks in and tells Hercules, after Herc tells Iolaus was just happened, its a bad idea to go to Olympus. Hercules thinks he might need to go because Zeus may be right. But in flashbacks, Young Jason is telling Young Herc to being a god is a bad idea and that using his godly powers to defeat a invading army is wrong and will start a war. Stubborn Hercules breaks a hole in The castle wall and leaves upset and ticked at Young Jason. Herc dissapears and appears on a road and throws a rock into the sky. Apollo shows up and tells Herc not to worry about mortals, because there jealous of gods. Herc is miffed at Jason. The boys leave as Jason meanwhile rallys his troops in Corinth. Apollo and Herc stand around, invisible as gods, and pull Jasons pants down and embaress him in front of his troops. Jasons mad at Hercules but Herc just leaves. Herc appologizes but Jason does not believe it. As the boys go back to the road, Herc is upset because Apollo took the thing too far and ruined the friendship of Herc and Jason. Apollo leaves and Zeus appears and tells Hercules, who badmouths Zeus, to respect his father, and Herc has his first ever meeting with Zeus ! Herc questions his father and Zeus is upset with his son, because he eat ambrosia. Zeus thinks Herc should have known better and just wanted to get his fathers attention. Herc leaves and says he shouldnt waist his time feeling sorry for Zeus. In the present, Herc places the tombstone on Alcmenes grave and Jason and Iolaus tell Hercules that they think it might be a great idea for Herc to go to Olympus. They think Herc could keep Ares, Discord, and the other gods in line where they live. They want Herc to go because Hercules misses his father. The two think Zeus has changed thanks to Hercules and Herc says his heart tells him to go but not too. Now his has more flashbacks, as Ariadne and Young Herc walk around. They start to like each other and Ariadne does not have many nice words for Apollo. Ariadne likes Apollo but hates the way he treats her. Ariadne says there only talking and Apollo gives Ariadne to Hercules, because he does not want her anymore. Herc is upset as Apollo, because Ariadne means nothing to Apollo, because Apollo claims to be a god !
Young Herc and Ariadne chat near a well and she all upset and Hercules thinks she should forget about hanging around the gods. Herc thinks Ariadne is special but he can't say more because Apollo hovers into town and tears down the market and almost kills sevral innocenet people. Young Herc and Apollo have a staredown after Herc grabs the hoverboard from under apollo and Apollo crashes down. They agree to fight later that day in Apollos temple. If Herc beats Apollo, Apollo must leave the villagers alone. Zeus appears and Herc asks Zeus to take away his god power. Zeus thinks Herc can fight better as an immortal against a god but Herc wants to take the other way cause he's a true hero. Zeus takes away the godly powers from Herc, leaving him with his good heart and strength and half immortal power and strength. Herc goes back to Corinth to see Jason, who's training. They have a practice fight and head off the Apollos temple to have a showdown. At Apollos Temple, Apollo has Ariadne hung above a fan, and if the candle burns the rope, she will fall down into the fans fastmoving blades or perhaps on her head, which will knock her senseless and or kill her. Hercules runs over to her, but Apollo kicks him and starts to throw Young Herc around. Jason charges Apollo, and Apollo throws a powerbolt at Jason, which sends the young king down. The boys continue to fight and swing into each others kicks, via the lamps above the ground. Herc throws Apollo down the bar counter, and Mormas seems pleased. Finally Apollo has enough and leaves, as Hercules leaps over and catches a falling Ariadne. She thanks him and than we arrive in the present day, where Zeus asks Hercules to make a choice. Zeus is proud that his son gave up a chance to fight Apollo as a god before and Herc decides to go with Zeus.
He shakes Jasons hand and calls him "friend" and hugs Iolaus and calls him "brother", as Iolaus starts to cry. Iolaus and Jason look sad as Hercules takes Zeus' hands and Zeus fills Hercules with the powers of a god. Iolaus and Jason than look as both disapear and make a godly exit. Jason and Iolaus continue to draw some tears but know that Hercules has done the best thing and can now be even more or a hero, and the battle continues next episode where Hercules meets Hera and battles Ares as a god.
This commentary is by Kent Simmons.
After last weeks darker and sadder episode in "Twilight" this weeks looked like a more heroic and lighter episode, seen in the preview. However instead we got a pretty mixed episode. Although they have done a lot of "Young Hercules" flashbacks as of late, this one again served a good purpose and helped move a long with would have been a boring episode, had they not used the footage, and instead just talked about it memorys. I really think Roy Dotrice makes a better Zeus than Peter Vere Jones. Jones did have the stern and serious attitude but didn't seem to have the fatherly attitude and ability to have a sense of humor for the character, which actually made him work as Zeus for "Judgement Day" in season three.
One character that got mixed reactions from almost everyone was Apollo. After being named the guardian of the peaceful city of Calydon in HTLJ's First Season, and after watching Xena and Gabrielle save Apollos urn in "Forgiven" during Season Three of Xena, it was weird to see that Apollo was presented as a cocky and mean jerk. I liked Apollos portrayal, and think that Xena needs to go back to Apollos Temple and crack his urn in half, considering that in the Hercules episode after "Top God", Apollo is still a jerk and idiot. The other gods in his temple where to say the least where WEIRD. Mormas ? No idea who he is and he seems like a real screw loos type. Seeing Young Hercules as a cocky little brat was intresting, considering how almost all of the Young Hercules flashbacks we have seen have seen Young Herc as respectful to his friends and himself, but taking ambrosia makes him just like the other gods who are jerks. The first meeting between Hercules and Zeus was well done also. Young Hercs reaction to his father, and Zeus' anger in what his son had done proved that Zeus did care about Hercules and that Hercules ment what he said when he would do a lot to meet his father. It's pretty obvious that Hercules knew he had to prove his heroic deeds as a mortal, which is why he wanted Zeus to take away his godly powers given to him by ambrosia. In the end, Young Hercules reconciles with Jason, defeats Apollo, and helps Ariadne discover that she's too good for Apollo. Lesson well learned.
The adult Hercules, moarning over Alcmene's death and considering becoming a full god, fit well with the flashbacks. Its obvious that Hercules does not want to become a god, and seems to blame Zeus for many problems. While Herc has the right to blame him, its obvious that Zeus fears Hera and the other gods, and thus may not be as heroic a father to Hercules, as Hercules wishes Zeus would be. Than again for Hercules this is a chance to finally help more people, and also helping the gods fight off Dahak, should be become a problem later on. While Hercules probally knew all of that when making his choice, I really think he would rather have stayed a mortal. In the end, Hercules takes Zeus' hand and goes to Olympus to become a fullgod. It was welldone and I though Roy, Kevin, Jeffery, and Michael did a great job on the final scene where Hercules shakes Jasons hand and hugs Iolaus, telling him "My Brother". It showed how Herc and Iolaus where more than friends. Why did Hercules decide to become a god, other than finally trying to be closer with Zeus and help more people ? It seems that he decided it was time to move on and perhaps also get some revenge on Hera, and maybe even to combat Dahak, as he stated in the end of "Armageddon Now Part 2" that the force who sent Callisto back in time would need to be destroyed, and its obvious that the situation may have been one he thought of. What lies for Herc on Mount Olympus, now that he is a fulltime god ? Next episode should tell that to us.
Some great momments where the fights between Young Herc and Apollo. The hoverboard race was something diffrent and actually was kindof fun to watch. Why can't they have those things in real life ? I want a hoverboard like they where riding !!! The one in Apollos Temple was also okay and the bar reminded me of Quarks bar from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" with all the bottles behind the bar and all the weird people in it. The Baci music and the music clipped from sevral Xena episodes fit the bar music well, and gave it a hip hop like atmosphere for a Generation X like god in Apollo. I also thought the scenes with Young Hercules and Apollo where well done and Apollo made a good villan. Why is it that all the attractive girls [Ariadne] end up with the jerks like Apollo ? Luckily she saw the light and left Apollo, to persue other goals in her life. Apollos attitude toward woman and his control over Ariadne made hima good villan as well.
This episode was lighter than last weeks, and was worth watching. Ill give it 4 out of 5 stars because it was not so great, but it was great and worth checking out, if not already. If you watched this one than see it again. It's for anyone to see, and most will enjoy it. Next weeks episode finally see's Hercules meet Hera ! Plus Herc's gotta deal with Ares and Apollo again. Will Ares be repersenting Hera or someone else ??? That and the fact that Herc's a god and Alcmene shows up again makes it intresting. Battle On Hercules and Xena and Young Herc fans ! Feel free to email me about anything in this commentary or anything I wrote on this episode.
The music used during the scene where Zeus takes Hercules to Olympus was used during the scene in HTLJ's "When a Man Loves a Woman" as Serena and Herc are married. Recall Alcmenes house from a Xena episode ? The one shack that they passed in "Gabrielle's Hope" at the opening scenes in the Celtic Town saw that shack behind them. The house was also used in HTLJ's "Twilight". The forest where Herc and Zeus walked through was also seen in XWP's "Gabrielle's Hope". Thats where X and G met the Banshees. The music used during the workout fight between Young Herc and Jason was used much in the "Young Hercules" movie. Recall the music used as Young Herc comes to Apollos Temple, that was the Baci music from XWP's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" episode. I like that tune. The guy who played Mormas was also in XWP's "Exectuion" where he played the guy who was scared to tell the truth about Arbis. Recall that one scene in the promo where Zeus appears on the platform, it was from HTLJ's "Judgement Day" where Zeus appears to Ares at the Fates Temple. The giant fan in Apollos temple was used in HTLJ's "The Lost City". The music used as Young Jason and Herc arrive in the Temple of Apollo, was also used in XWP's "The Deliverer" and "Forgiven". In "Deliverer" it was used after the opening credits as the trio head to the ship and in "Forgiven" it was used as Xena rode to rescue Apollos urn ! Recall that wall from Apollos Temple, the one with the square bricks, those same walls were used in Ares Temple during HTLJ's "Porkules" and "Armageddon Now".
The scenes between Hercules and Zeus, young and grownup, were welldone. Young Hercules' acting like a total jerk, while being a god. Apollo's bad attitude made him a excellent villan. The wounds from Alcmenes death made a emotional episode for Herc, Iolaus, Jason, and Zeus. The godly exits and entrances by Young Hercules. The becoming of a god by Hercules. Apollo and Young Herc teasing Jason in front of Jasons troops. The fight between Apollo and Young Hercules. The hooverboard like race between Young Herc and Apollo. Hercules calling Iolaus"My Brother" and Iolaus' breaking down in tears. Welldone scene by Michael and Kevin.
TALES OF THE HERCAVERSE
01-18-99. From KSZOneW. The final three episodes of Season 4 are a trilogy of sorts. The episodes are "Twilight", "Top God", and "Reunions".
01-18-99. At the Phoenix Con (05/31/98), Sharon Delaney (Hercules Official Fan Club President) said that the writers of HERCULES killed Alcmene because they felt that the death of a parent was something that people had to go through, and that the episode could help adults and children cope with their loss.
01-18-99. From Sandi Jepsen. I see that once again the set designer is reusing the parts. The doorways in Apollo's temple were the same ones from Lao Ma's home. They have the same design as Xena's chakram.
04-29-98. Looks like no Callisto in this one...yet another Young Herk installment. If Cally is to make it in the remaining episodes, she will have to be in REUNION.
From KSZOneW. 04-20-98. Kurtzman and Orci hinted in their Universal Chat 04/07/98 that a tragic event will come Herc's way before the season is over. I heard elsewhere that it may involve this episode. The episode is rumored to have Callisto in it, and where Callisto usually is, so is Hope and Dahak. Perhaps they will eliminate someone close to Hercules [you pick: mother, best friend, half brother -- let's hope he doesn't discover a child of his and the kid gets offed ala Xena]. My guess is Alcmene, if the rumors end up being true. It seems that Dahak and Callisto like to eliminate hero's families and relatives first. Those are two sick deities.
04-20-98. This episode supposedly features Callisto and may tie in somehow with XWP's two parter season ender SACRIFICE Parts 1 and 2
Click here to read a transcript of TOP GOD .