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Hercules The Legendary Journeys - Season 1

4.5 out of 5 stars 141 customer reviews

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(Jun 24, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Long ago… In a time of myth and legend, when ancient gods plagued man with suffering – only one man dared to challenge their power. Hercules! This spectacular collection brings together all five full-length action-packed movies starring Kevin Sorbo as Hercules and Anthony Quinn as Zeus and includes the entire debut season in one epic collector’s set. Kevin Sorbo’s fresh, hip and good-natured spin on the legendary hero carried this witty, adventure-filled action drama to high critical acclaim. Smartly combining ancient myth with contemporary sensibilities, the series became one of television’s highest rated programs. Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Season One Collection Includes All Five Action-Packed Hercules Movies And All 13 Season One Episodes!

Forget Steve Reeves and all those Italian strongmen who played stiff, humorless versions of the mythic demigod in 1960s Saturday matinee fodder. Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (a cluster of 1990s television films followed by a syndicated series) re-imagines and re-introduces Hercules--son of Olympian chief Zeus and an earthbound, mortal mother--as a laidback but focused hero of ordinary folks with extraordinary problems. Played with casual grace and ironic wit by Kevin Sorbo, the new Hercules wanders through an equally entertaining, revisionist view of ancient Greece as, well, charming and accessible--not exactly Homeric. There are gods and monsters aplenty, but if this was the cradle of civilization, well....

This eight-disc volume includes five movie-length adventures, thirteen one-hour episodes, and numerous bonus features. Narratively, the unfolding story finds Herc doing good deeds wherever he's needed, though his backstory is more interesting, including a dubious relationship with his all-powerful dad (a sweet performance by Anthony Quinn)and a tendency to feel the wrath of Zeus's wife, Hera, simply because Hercules is the philandering old man's illegitimate offspring. The movie cycle ends with Herc in a state of domestic bliss; the subsequent, regular series darkens him considerably but then thrusts him repeatedly into adventures with redemptive possibilities.

Nifty special effects make one believe once again in centaurs, many-headed serpents, a Minotaur, a Cyclops, and several other fantastic species not included in standard references to Greek myths. The regular or recurring cast include Michael Hurst as Hercules's vain, comic-foil buddy, Iolaus; Tawny Kitaen as the hero's wife; and Lucy Lawless in a pre-Xena role (in Hercules and the Amazon Women) and then as the Warrior Princess herself for multiple episodes. All together, this is a show that turned out to be smarter and funnier than anyone might have expected in the mid-'90s, and which holds up very well today. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

  • Seven-disc set plus CD-ROM
  • Five 2-hour movies: Hercules and the Amazon Women, Hercules and the Lost Kingdom, Hercules and the Circle of Fire, Hercules in the Underworld, Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur
  • 13 Season One episodes: The Wrong Path, Eye of the Beholder, The Road to Calydon, The Festival of Dionysus, Ares, As Darkness Falls, Pride Comes Before a Brawl, The March to Freedom, The Warrior Princess, Gladiator, The Vanishing Dead, The Gauntlet, Unchained Heart
  • Audio and video commentary by Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst on selected episodes
  • Director and actor bios
  • Series trivia
  • Hercules Chronicles
  • Photo gallery
  • Hercules screensaver

Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Sorbo, Anthony Quinn, Roma Downey, Michael Hurst, Lloyd Scott
  • Directors: Bill Norton, Doug Lefler, Harley Cokeliss, John Cameron, Josh Becker
  • Writers: Andrew Dettmann
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2003
  • Run Time: 1040 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008V5RY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,234 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hercules The Legendary Journeys - Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
If you already own the Anchor Bay (AB from here on out) release of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" - Season 1 you may want to hang onto it.

This release has only the series. The 5 made-for-tv movie "specials" which introduced the character and truly started the series are *not* included. These were on the AB season 1 release. There is no word on whether these will be available separately.

The AB release had the 13 season episodes on 4 disks while this release uses only 3. This indicates there will be more compression, but the jury's still out on whether or not the episodes have been cleaned up beyond what AB did.

On the AB release, the sound was remixed into a 5.1 Dolby Digital while this release is 2.0 (which was the original sound mix). This may or may not be a drawback depending on your outlook.

The primary draw for this release is the use of subtitles which the AB release did not have (the major drawback of the AB release IMHO). A second attraction is the use of a standard keep-case instead of the massive fold-out digipak AB used.

So... better packaging and subtitles appear to be the "extras" for this release.

If you're a fan and don't already own the AB set this is highly recommended even though the price seems a bit high for only 13 episodes. You may want to seek out a AB season 1 set depending on price as it also includes the TV movies.

If you are looking for a true historical take on Hercules, don't start here as the myth is played very loose with many inaccuracies and *lots* of anachronism. But if you're looking for a good clean (although it *does* have its fair share of innuendo) action/adventure series with lots of campy humor, and ninja-like fight scenes... look no further.
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Format: DVD
Hercules Season One, an 8-disc DVD Collection, collects all 5 TV pilot movies and the 13-episode first season (1994-1995) of the syndicated action series based on the popular Greek mythological figure.
The critically-acclaimed �Hercules the Legendary Journeys� aired in syndication for 6 seasons from 1994 till 1999. Based on the popular hero from Greek mythology, the story followed the adventures of Hercules and his friend Iolaus as they traveled the earth defending mortals against the tyrannical gods who plagued them, namely his step-mother Hera, Queen of the Gods and his half-brother Ares, the God of War. The series� brilliant combination of action and adventure, special effects and adaptation of Greek mythology was a critical as well as commercial success, drawing strong ratings and a cult-following.
Disc 1:
Movie 1: �Hercules and the Amazon Women� � Hercules and Iolaus embark on one last great adventure before Iolaus� wedding. Answering the call to save a village from mysterious monsters they instead find a tribe of Hera-worshipping warrior women who have shunned men from their lives.
Movie 2: �Hercules and the Lost Kingdom� � Hercules aids a young woman find the lost city of Troy which was banished by Hera.
Disc 2:
Movie 3: �Hercules and the Circle of Fire� � Hera has stolen fire from mankind and only Hercules, along with the lovely Deianera, can get it back.
Movie 4: �Hercules in the Underworld� � Hercules is called to help save a village where the people are being sucked underground. In the midst of it all he saves his wife Deianera from the traitorous Centaur Nessus and winds up in the Underworld battling the guard of Hades -- the three-headed dog Cerberus.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this set as soon as I found out about it and I'm glad I did. I watched Hercules (and Xena) for years while it was on TV and miss it, so I get my fix when I need it now. Hercules and Iolas have a positive buoyancy and a "nothing is sacred" humor that is sadly lacking in a lot of hero action series so it's also refreshing to watch. This set has all the Action Pack movies as well as Season 1 (which includes the Xena trilogy), pamphlets, etc and supposedly a commemortive coin (though I found none in my package and there was no customer service number to call inside either, that was one downer). But the quality is good, the beginnings are the original beginnings, which is fun, and you get to see Zeus when he was played by Anthony Quinn, Lucy Lawless when she was playing bit parts, and Ares before Kevin Smith personified the role so well. In fact, though a Xena fan (and I know I will be making some Xena fans angry when I say this) I must say that the Hercules set is much BETTER than the Xena first season set because it actually has commentary by Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst, while the Xena set is sadly lacking in that. The commentary is lots of fun, especially if you're already familiar with the stories. Something to watch out for, that I never realized with the TV shows, is the "No (blank) was harmed during the filming of this episode" in the credits. They usually have some bit in there about "Centaurs" or "satyrs" or "giants" or something funny. Fun to watch for anyway. And Amazon offers a much better price than the fan sites do with the added bonus of free shipping for orders over $... That makes the perDVD price worth it. Yes, I really think it's worth your investment of time and money and I think you should get it. It's too much fun to pass up.
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