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Cult Times #41
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The King of Thieves
Hercules battles with a deadly serpent and other mega-dangers to save Iolaus from being executed for a robbery committed by Autolycus (Bruce Campbell), King of Thieves.

Under a Broken Sky
Hercules finds Salmoneus (Robert Trebor) working in a pleasure palace where he tries to reunite a farmer with his beautiful wife, who has become the establishment's main attraction.

The Lost City
Iolaus rescues members of an underground cult. The sub-plot features Moria (Fiona Mogridge), an investigative scribe trying to uncover the truth about extra-terrestrial beings, who happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to Mul-der's sister in The X-Files. Spooky!
Send it to Tartarus!
The world could have done without A Star to Guide Them. A particularly weak spin on the seasonal religious story.

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The Premise: A long time ago in a gal… sorry, gods-fearing land not too far away, a mountain-full of deities were having a laugh at the expense of us poor mortals. Fortunately, help was at hand when one brave soul - Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) - a lad of questionable parentage was granted legendary strength by his dad Zeus (various actors), the king of the gods. Accompanied by his less-than-statuesque sidekick Iolaus (Michael Hurst), the big butch Hercules wanders the earth fighting the good, the bad and the very ugly to even the score. Hercules

Background: A first television movie Hercules and the Amazon Women was aired in April 1994. This was closely followed by four others which then led into a really successful series, which surprised the men in suits because they thought originally that it was going to be a short run of good, almost-clean fun for the kids.

First Run: The series proper began in the States on 6th January 1995.

Number of Episodes: This month will see the 90th episode notched up on the old Herculean sword.

Gods: Too numerous to mention but don't miss Hercules's wicked step-mother, Hera, Queen of the Gods (played usually by a pair of eyes) nor Ares (Kevin Smith), Herc's half-brother and god of war. Not a nice person even if he is given to camping about in black leathers à la Mr Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham.

Mortals: Iolaus: best mate and general confidante. He may be small but he's incredibly powerful. Brill with a sword, spectacular with the high kicks, he watches the big guy's back - a lot. Xena (Lucy Lawless): could have been a contender for the love of the man himself. Now kicks about with pre-Christian journalist, Gabrielle.

And Isn’t That...
Renee O'Connor (Xena's Gabrielle) as Princess Deianeira and Lucy Lawless (Xena) as Lysia, the Queen of the Amazons' second-in-command, Lyla, wife of Deric the Centaur and…

Overdone Clichés: Hercules's trouble with women. As if the run-ins with his step-mum aren't enough, it seems that most women that fall into his arms end up falling down dead. First his wife and children, then his second wife who copped it whilst in his bed. No wonder Xena's off with Gabrielle.

Fashion Statements: It seems short skirts, strappy sandals and bare chests were essential clobber for heroes and super-heroes back in Ancient Times.

Thomasina Gibson

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