03. Hercules and the Circle of Fire


Episode credits and cast

Episode synopsis


Writers... Barry Pullman, Andrew Dettman, and Daniel Truly
Editor... Jon Koslowsky, A.C.E.
Director... Doug Lefler
Original Air Date... Oct. 31, 1994


Hercules... Kevin Sorbo
Zeus... Anthony Quinn
Deianeira... Tawny Kitaen
Cheiron... Kevin Atkinson
Phaedra... Stephanie Barrett
Warlock/Janus... Christopher Brougham
Hag/Girl... Nell Weatherly
Girl/Hag... Simone Kessell
Telemon... Alexander Gandar
Peleus... Joseph Greer
Amalthea... Kerry Gallagher
Baby Kora... Leonard Twins
Temple Priest... John Watson
Temple Priestess... Sharon Tyrrell
Prometheus... Mark Ferguson
Peasant Woman... Yvonne Lawley
Peasant #1... Zo Hartley
Peasant #2... Geoff Snell
Antaeus... Mark Newnham
Innkeeper... Philip Gillis
Thespius... Martyn Sanderson
Daughter #1... Lisa Chappell
Daughter #2... Kim Michalis
Daughter #3... Letitia Bridges
Cold Child #1... Amy Morrison
Cold Child #2... Patrick Morrison
Voice of Hera... Joy Watson


Hercules travels through a snow-covered pass when his torch suddenly goes out. He finds a woman in the snow, and leads her to a cave. Inside the cave is Zeus, who beckons his son to come on. To Hercules' surprise, a boulder next to the cave moves and blocks the entrance to the cave. The woman removes her cloak, turns into ice, and then shatters. Hercules wakes up, startled, but puts more wood onto his fire and goes back to sleep. As he does so, his fire goes out.

The next day, Hercules and a young man enter a cave. The young man tells Hercules about the witch who lives here, who steals the strength of the men in his village to survive. Hercules enters the witch's chambers, and spots the witch, an old woman. She isn't a witch though; her plea for help and the chains around her ankles suggest otherwise. Hercules' young guide is actually a warlock, who makes the door starts to close. He jumps on top of Hercules, ready to kill him. Hercules tries to kill the warlock twice, but fails. He rips open the warlock's shirt, and sees that the warlock's heart is gone. Instead, it is in a glass jar beating madly. The warlock's next attack knocks over a table holding the glass jar a dagger to the ground. Hercules takes the dagger, and stabs the warlock's heart. He screams, falls to the ground, and crumbles into dust. The old woman is transformed into her young self again, and Hercules frees her. Hercules takes a vial from his belt and fills it up from a fountain in the lair. The fountain liquid begins bubbling; it is now acid. Hercules picks up the young woman, and manages to get out without touching the acid before the door slams shut.

Zeus helps the two out of the cave. The woman thanks Hercules, kisses him, and leaves. Zeus asks Hercules if he has time to talk. Zeus says he knows of a mountain that even Hera doesn't know of. Hercules thanks him for the offer, but says he has to get to a friend and help him. He promises Zeus that he will talk to him next time. After Hercules leaves, Zeus says there may not be a next time.

Hercules arrives at Cheiron's home. He greets the children and goes inside. Cheiron is an immortal satyr who has an uncurable wound. Hercules asks Cheiron to drink the potion he got from the warlock's fountain. Cheiron is reluctant to try any new "cures," but Hercules convinces him to do so. Cheiron sees his wound heal and rejoices, only to double over in pain when it returns. Later on, Cheiron tells Hercules that he thought being immortal was the greatest thing in the world. Had he known he would turn out to be an invalid for eternity, Cheiron would've thought twice about his attitude. Cheiron also admits that he doesn't want to see his wife and children grow old and die, he'd rather grow old and die with them. The fire goes out, and Hercules looks out a window. Through it, he sees that fires are dying all over town except for Hera's temple, and decides to investigate.

A woman, Deianeira, bargains with one of Hera's minions about paying for some of the fire burning inside. Hercules tells Deianeira to keep her money, and breaks the door down. Hercules gets into a fight with several of Hera's temple guards, and wins. He lights a torch Deianeira was holding when more guards attack. Hercules wins after a long fight, and then the temple priestess appears. She tells all in the temple that mankind has sickened Hera long enough; without fire, everyone will freeze to death. With that, Hercules' lit torch goes out.

Hercules tells Cheiron about Hera's plan to exterminate all fire. Deianeira comes in, and asks for Cheiron's help because he's immortal and knows the ways of the gods. Cheiron says he can't help; she must seek Hercules' help. Deianeira asks Cheiron where he is, and he points behind her. Deianeira thinks Cheiron's joking; he's not. Deianeira tells Cheiron they're in big trouble. Hercules finds out that Deianeira has planned a trip to Prometheus' temple, and she wants him to take her there.

While walking to Prometheus' temple, Deianeira tells Hercules that violence only makes things worse. Hercules tells her that some things in the world respond better to fists. Deianeira jokingly tells what Hercules is interested in: bashing skulls, slaying monsters, rescuing fair maidens, and the easy conquer now and then. Hercules tells her she knows him all over. Deianeira gets serious, and asks what happened to Cheiron; she thought immortals couldn't be wounded. Hercules tells her that an immortal can only be wounded by another with immortal blood, and that the wound will never heal.

After a climb up a steep and treacherous rockface, Hercules and Deianeira reach the temple of Prometheus. When there is no answer to Hercules' knocking, he opens the door to find icy air blowing out of the temple. Inside the temple, Hercules finds everything covered in ice, including Prometheus. Hercules tells Prometheus he'll free him, but Prometheus replies that it is no use. Instead, Hercules must find the Eternal Torch which Hera stole and hid on Mount Ethion. Hercules promises to find it for Prometheus.

Hercules and Deianeira find a desperate group of villagers who are sacrificing their food to the gods in an attemp to bring back fire. Hercules tells them their plan will do no good, but an old woman influences the crowd to ignore him. After Deianeira gives some food to some children, Zeus arrives and talks to her. Zeus makes a flower blossom in his hand, and calls it Deianeira Blossom. Deianeira tells Zeus that is her name, and Zeus says he named the flower correctly. Hercules sees Zeus talking to Deianeira, and pulls him aside. Zeus asks if his son and Deianeira are romantically involved. Hercules says no and Zeus says they soon will be. Hercules asks if Zeus knew about Hera stealing Prometheus' torch, and when Zeus doesn't respond, Hercules tells Zeus that he doesn't care. Zeus tells Hercules he cares about people, but doesn't want him to go after Prometheus' torch.

As they leave, Deianeira asks who that old man she met was. She learns it was Zeus, and asks Hercules if he'll help. Hercules says he doubts it, and makes it clear he doesn't want to talk about his father. Deianeira asks Hercules the same question from Hercules and the Lost Kingdom: is he immortal? Hercules says he doesn't know.

Hercules and Deianeira walk through some woods. Along the way, they find a little girl caught in a trap. Hercules frees her, and the girl says her name is Phaedra. Hercules tells Phaedra that he and Deianeira are headed towards Mount Ethion. Phaedra tells Hercules she knows a shortcut, and offers to show him. Hercules accepts, and he and Deianeira follow Phaedra's shortcut.

Night has fallen and Hercules and Deianeira are still in the woods. They are surprised when a large creature made of roots, leaves, and rocks attacks. It says it's name is Antaeus the Giant. Hercules attacks it without much success. Deianeira remembers something about Antaeus' legend. She remembers it and tries to tell Hercules. Hercules brushes her off until he is thrown to the ground several times. She tells him that Antaeus gets his strength from his mother, the earth. Whenever Antaeus touches the ground, his strength is replenished. Hercules lifts Antaeus up, and shakes out all the material that makes him up. Hercules then throws Antaeus' skeleton onto a cross made of human bones, with his feet barely touching the ground.

It begins to rain, and the two find shelter. Deianeira asks if Hercules wounded Cheiron. Hercules says he did, when he mistook Cheiron for the enemy in battle long ago. Deianeira apologizes for treating him badly, as does Hercules, for when he snapped at her earlier in the day when she asked about his father. Hercules tells Deianeira he doesn't want to talk with her about his relationship with Zeus simply because it doesn't exist. He says that Zeus has the heavens and earth on his shoulder, and couldn't give any time up for him. While Hercules talks, Zeus listens to him out in the rain.

The next day, Hercules and Deianeira walk through the same woods. Hercules hears a twig snap, and finds Phaedra hiding on a tree limb. Hercules is angry at her, and Phaedra runs to Deianeira for protection. Deianeira tells Hercules to leave her alone. Hercules asks Phaedra if she knew about Antaeus. Phaedra says she didn't, but suddenly retells Hercules' fight with Antaeus with a sly smile. She then tells the two the path forks ahead, and to go to the right. Hercules threatens to take her to civilization, and Phaedra disappears again.

When they reach the fork in the road, Hercules and Deianeira go the way Phaedra told them, but change their minds and go the other way. This path includes walking on an aging walkway on the side of a cliff. Hercules finds that a portion of the walkway is out; he can't believe it. Hercules gets off the bridge and hangs onto the rope handrail. Deianeira holds onto him, and Hercules starts to make his way across. Halfway across, metal rings holding the rope in place fall out, leaving Hercules and Deianeira to climb up to the walkway. Deianeira climbs up the rope, followed by Hercules. Deianeira is exhausted by her anxiety of falling. She says she's never almost died before, and Hercules says he tries to do it at least once a day. He helps her up, and they continue on.

They come across an inn; Deianeira spots a fire inside. She says the Torch must be near. Hercules tells her to look, and she sees the flame of the Eternal Torch; they are near Mount Ethion. Hercules says they have to stay at the inn tonight. Out of the blue, Deianeira kisses him.

Inside, Hercules tells the innkeeper that he wants one room for him and Deianeira. Deianeira says she wants her own room, and tells Hercules it was just a kiss. As they go to their seperate rooms, neither notice Phaedra watching them from a beam in the roof.

A citizen of Athens, Thespius, complains to the innkeeper about the lack of fire. He wants the fire which everyone is standing around moved to his room. The innkeeper says he can't do that. While they argue, Phaedra tries to get the attention of Thelonius' three daughters. They tell her to leave them alone. Phaedra says that Hercules is here, and the daughters are excited by this news.

Hercules is in bed when a woman he thinks is Deianeira enters the room, and gets in bed with him. Meanwhile, Phaedra places flowers outside Deianeira's door, and knocks. Deianeira comes out, sees the flowers, and thinks they are from Hercules. She enters Hercules' room only to find Hercules with two of Thespius' three daughters, and the third one joining him. Deianeira storms out of the room after telling she thought Hercules was someone special. He tries to convince her that he was tricked. Hercules leaves the inn, and the fire inside goes out.

Deianeira unintentionally listens to the conversation of the three daughters. They wonder why Hercules kept calling them all Deianeira. Deianeira discovers that Hercules was tricked into thinking they were her.

Hercules is in the snow-covered pass from his dream (minus the torch). He hears footsteps and hides to see Phaedra pass him by, and then follows her. Meanwhile, Deianeira is trying to find Hercules, but passes out from the cold. Hercules ends up at the cave in his dream with Phaedra warming herself at a fire. Hercules accuses Phaedra of working for Hera when Zeus appears, and says that she is working for him. Phaedra leaves, and Zeus tells Hercules he is trying to protect him from the insane mission he is on. He says that Hera has placed the Torch in a circle of fire so fierce, it destroys immortality. Hercules refuses Zeus' invitation to stay, and Zeus blocks the door with a boulder. Hercules pushes it open, and leaves.

Hercules finds Deianeira in the snow, and gives her his cloak. They approach the circle of fire and the Eternal Torch, only to find Zeus blocking their way. Hercules tells Zeus he's going in, but Zeus zaps Hercules back. Hercules gets up and approaches again, and Zeus produces a hurricane force wind. Hercules continues to walk, and Zeus raises a stone wall out of the ground. Hercules punches his way through, and Zeus zaps Hercules again. When Hercules rises again, Zeus tells him he is pushing him. Zeus throws a lightning bolt at Hercules' feet. Hercules falls on the ground, and Zeus warns him that the next one will not be aimed at his feet. Hercules tells Zeus he could really kill him, and this takes the wind out of Zeus' sails. Hercules asks about the people of the world, and Zeus tells Hercules he cares more for him than all the people in the world. Hercules says he loves him, but he must do this. Zeus reluctantly lets him pass.

Hercules rolls through the circle and is immediately weakened. He frees the Eternal Torch, and throws it towards Prometheus' temple. It lands in the temple, and the fires inside are relit. The ice starts to melt, and Prometheus frees himself.

After throwing the torch, Hercules is overcome by the flames. Deianeira wails that Hercules is dying. Zeus threatens Hera, and says, "Hera, Hera. Stop this savagery! If you hurt my son, I'll haunt you into eternity!" He tells Hera that if his son is hurt, she'll have to take him too. Hera relents, and the fire recedes. Zeus goes to Hercules, and helps him up with Deianeira's aid. Hercules recovers enough strength to walk on his own, and picks up a stick. Several of the flames are still burning, and Hercules lights the stick from one. Zeus asks if he knows what he is doing, and Hercules says yes.

Back at Cheiron's home, Hercules asks Cheiron to come outside. Cheiron sees a circle made out of hay, and asks what Hercules is doing. Hercules tells Cheiron this is the final cure for his wound. He tells Cheiron to step inside the circle, which Cheiron does. Hercules lights the hay with the flame from Mount Ethion. The hay catches quickly, and Cheiron is surrounded by flames. He collapses to the ground, which worries his wife and kids. The flames subside, and Cheiron stands up again. He checks his wound, and it is now gone. The fire had destroyed his immortality, and Cheiron discovers that he is now a mortal man.

Hercules and Deianeira watch Cheiron rejoice with his family. Deianeira asks what Hercules will do next. Hercules asks if Deianeira had anything in mind. They kiss each other and Phaedra watches them, then disappears into the woods again.

02. Hercules and the Lost Kingdom -- Previous/Next -- 04. Hercules in the Underworld

Hercules Episode Guide Index