Produced by Eric Gruendemann
Starring Kevin Sorbo, Michael Hurst, Bruce Campbell, and Robert Trebor
- Interviews with cast and crew
- Select audio commentaries
- Photo gallery
- SFX featurette
- Wrap party footage
- Alternate main titles
- Mythology information
Released by: Anchor Bay
Anamorphic: N/A; episodes appear in their original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Get it and have a little fun.
[ad#longpost]The final collection of Hercules: the Legendary Journeys comes with the last six episodes of the series and a whole host of bonus features. During the course of these final episodes, we’ll see a spat between Aphrodite (Alexandra Tydings) and Hephaestus (Jason Hoyte), a run-in with vampires, the return of Autolycus (played with perfection as always by Campbell), the Necronomicon, and of course, the ultimate finale.
The special features are thick on this release, as they have been for the former sets in the series. Disc one comes with an audio commentary with the writer of “Be Deviled,” Paul Robert Coyle, interviews with the show’s cast and crew, and a photo gallery. Disc two has more interviews with cast and crew. Disc three has yet more interviews and an audio commentary of “Full Circle” with Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst, as well as footage from the series wrap party. Disc four has the third part of the SFX special, a fascinating behind-the-scenes featurette, and an interesting set of alternate show titles, never actually used. Those people interested in TV shows as texts will love parsing the differences and thinking about why credits are important and how even “unimportant” changes can make huge subliminal differences, especially over the course of a whole season or series.
Finally, disc five is a CD-ROM, containing all manner of goodies, such as the usual Chronicles (synopses), some trivia, bios of major cast and crew, and some bits of mythology, meant to not justify but at least introduce the mythic bases of the show, including what was and was not change for TV fictional consumption. All in all, the feast is rich indeed for fans of fantasy television.
The audio and video quality are both quite good, especially considering that the originals were meant for television about six years ago. The show looks great, and the effects are over-the-top, cheesy fun without always being overdone. The show rarely takes itself too seriously, and has a nice touch for balance: comedy/tragedy, dark/light, drama/melodrama, and adventure/action.
Fans of the show will love this release of course, especially the always-interesting interviews and peeks behind the scenes. Non-fans, however, should also give this set a shot, as the show is probably much better than you think, and definitely better than you fear. The writers do play fast and loose with history and mythology, but legends are always in flux and should not be calcified. Besides, the show never wanted to be a textbook, and anyone who gets their classical instruction from a TV show should be shot anyway. So pop this in your DVD player some rainy weekend, and let yourself enjoy the experience.