513/94. Stranger and Stranger

Episode promos

Episode credits and cast

Episode descriptions

Episode disclaimer

Episode commentary



Teleplay... Gerry Conway
Story... Paul Robert Coyle
Editor... Steve Polivka, A. C. E.
Director... Bruce Campbell
Original Air Date... Feb. 1, 1999


Hercules/The Sovereign... Kevin Sorbo
Iolaus 2... Michael Hurst
Empress... Gina Torres
Ares/Ares 2... Kevin Smith
Falafel 2... Paul Norell
Hemnor... David Mackie
Hortius... John Lawler
Local... Frederick Bedford
Peasant #1... Gary Elliott
Farmer... Rodney Cooke



If you would like to be a contestant on "Wheel of Misfortune," simply drop us a postcard and prepare to kiss your bottom goodbye.


When Dahak came to Greece, where would the Olympian gods flee to? The parallel universe, of course. And that's what Hercules goes after when the Grecian weather becomes an imitation of "Twister." The episode title is well descriptive. TPTB re-use a minor character, Hemnor, who hasn't been seen since "End of the Beginning". Ares 2 wears a leather outfit that's the exact opposite of the outfit Ares wore two seasons ago. The Empress acts like... well... the semi-crazed lunatic the "real" Nebula was in "Darkness Rising". And Falafel 2 parodies all the famous game show hosts we know. (The Bob Barkers, the Wink Martindales, and of course, the Pat Sajaks, since Falafel II's show is "Wheel of Misfortune").

Hercules/The Sovereign: To free the Olympian gods from the Empress' grasp, Hercules impersonates the Sovereign, who dies shortly after Hercules enters the parallel world. However, Hercules finds himself also in a very different role: a counselor to the parallel Iolaus. Herc discovers this Iolaus has been belittled by the Sovereign and the Empress for so long he's lost all self-esteem, self-respect, and self-confidence. And by the end, he gets Iolaus 2 to accept himself for who he is. As for the Sovereign: hotheaded as ever, but nice to see again. Sorry he's dead.

Iolaus 2: By far the character most focused on during the episode. This parallel incarnation of Iolaus is quite different from the "real" Iolaus. Iolaus 2 has no self-worth, no trust in himself, no personal pride. The "real" Iolaus was confident in himself, as well as brash and arrogant at times. Both characters are thus two different sides of a dinar. However, a spark of the old Iolaus burns in this Iolaus' soul, and is the only reason why he decides to leave this part of his life behind. That reason is that Iolaus 2 dimly recognizes his own importance to the world. Line of the episode: (Iolaus 2 asks Hercules to take him back to Greece.) Iolaus 2: There's nothing here for me, Hercules.. No family. Only a past I never wanted." (Hercules pauses a beat.) Hercules: "We can't forget our past anymore than we can change it."

Empress: As mentioned before, the Empress is a lot like the nearly mad Nebula in "Darkness Rising". Iolaus 2 calls the Sovereign a kitten compared to the Empress. The Empress is a volatile character as well. When Falafel 2 complains about her killing a juggler, she throws a temper tantrum, complaining that no one likes her for who she is. Some medication might be helpful for this particular patient.

Ares/Ares 2: Kevin Smith describes Ares in both the official guides for "Hercules" and "Xena" as a character having the emotional memory of a goldfish. Smith further clarifies the point by saying that Ares is always like "Next time!" instead of giving up. His casual attitude when he realizes he will have to pay for his actions pretty much states that Ares has betrayed/gone behind the backs of the Olympian gods quite a few times. The personality of Ares 2 remains relatively untouched from "Stranger in a Strange World". However, Ares 2 creates one of the more interesting comedic moments by casting his godly love powers on the Empress, who is immediately filled with a wild and undeniable desire for Ares (god of war).

512/93. Sky High -- Previous/Next -- 514/95. Just Passing Through

Hercules Episode Guide Index