Sunday, February 17, 2008

Legendary Companion 2

Finally found a copy of Robert Weisbrot's Hercules The Legendary Journeys volume two, which acts as episode guide and companion for the last three season's of the Hercules TV Show. In some ways, this one is more interesting than the first volume because now, not only to we get commentary from Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and Michael Hurst (Iolaus) bu there are also comments, interviews, and bios of all the major characters on the show.
A lot of insider information, presented without bias. We get the vastly different versions of the show's famous infighting from Sorbo and from Executive Producer Robert Tapert. We learn how the writers had to scramble in season four when Sorbo was beset with a debilitating illness which almost killed him, causing the show to film about half that season's episodes without the main character. We learn why season five took such a dark tone, and why there were only eight episodes filmed for season six. Fascinating stuff.
The personal comments are the best though. The late Kevin Smith (Ares) gives some of the funniest bits, telling of his typically male reaction to seeing Lucy Lawless (Xena) and Alexandra Tydings (Aphrodite) fighting in whipped cream for the episode Stranger in a Strange World and the problems with trying to play two different versions of Ares in the same show.
Kevin Sorbo gets the fanboy award for asking questions that would make any Star Trek geek proud, such as, "If Hercules can bring Iolaus back from the dead like four times, why can't he bring back his wife and children?" and "How come Hercules can knock down a house with one punch in one episode but a regular soldier can fight with him one on one in another episode".
Anyway, this is a tremendously fun book, and a nice send off to the series. If you liked volume one (and I did), you'll like volume two.

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