Envelope show in which Kevin Sorbo doesn't show up for filming in New Zealand after an earthquake hits Los Angeles, and the rest of the staff frantically tries to either locate him or find a replacement.


(as Christopher Graves)


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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cassandra (archive footage)
Melissa Blake, Robert Tapert's Assistant
Willy de Wit ...
Eric Gruendeman
Roberto Orci, Writer
Xena (archive footage)
Johnny Pinto
Alex Kurtzman, Writer
David Scott Pollison, office production assistant / Strife
Beth Hymson, Casting Director


The studio production team (played by co-stars) is panicking when title star Kevin Sorbo fails to turn up for New Zealand Hercules shoots, presumed missing after an L.A. earthquake, where a mystery man has been saving caved in people. Finding Kevin fails, and each idea for an alternative script or format has to be rejected, while the studio boss reports the board set an ultimatum to cancel the series. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Release Date:

23 February 1998 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title refers to a 1897 newspaper article in New York's Sun about an 8 year old girl named Virginia O'Hanlon asking if there really was a Santa Claus. The reply was: Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. See more »


At the end of this episode, Ares appears with Strife by his side. However in the episode just before this, Armageddon Now (#4.13), Strife was killed with a Hinds Blood Dagger, therefore he should not exist in the 'present day'. See more »

Crazy Credits

Any resemblance between the Hercules cast and the Renaissance staff is purely intentional. See more »


References Millennium (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

7 September 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Warning do not read unless seen episode.

This is one of my favorite episodes of the series. I'll admit this is a bizarre entry, it's one of those episodes that you never expect, that really think outside the box and this episode does just that. It's also another one of the episodes where Herc/Kevin Sorbo isn't in this one much except for the last few minutes.

You can say this episode it what you would call a forth wall breaker episode, it doesn't just break that wall but analiates the wall completely. It was inspired by the time when Kevin Sorbo had a certain illness while filming an episode and this made the season kinda go into a hiatus for a long while. This was a problem because a lot of the staff but most of all the fans themselves were afraid that the show was going to be gone for good.

Everyone in this episode is just great as their all playing caricatures with each of the names of the real staff of the show.

Bruce Campell whom is one of the head boss obsessed with fishing and his trip but also has just dumb luck as there are assassination attempts on his life which all fail.

Hudson whom is just hot as usual, but I really loved seeing her exercise some comedic chops where she is just dryly funny as we see she is kinda borderline crazy as she constantly wants her input but also is conspiring to kill the head boss.

Kevin Smith is also great showing comedic chops as a gung ho paintball enthusiast, whom has probably spent too much time in the paintball range and may'be even seen one too many war movies.

Though my favorite one is Michael Hurst whom is just wasted, over boozed, gambled, sexed; he just has some of the best lines as he is just spouting out some absurdity which makes sense in the state he's in. It's just funny as we see him just act extremely pitiful as he is constant fear of losing his career which is funny since he looks like he hardly does anything or has any business even being there. My favorite moment was the "Scoopy Doo" reference joke, Michael really does a great Shaggy impersonation.

We see each of them just trying to brainstorm ideas in keeping the show going and of course most to none of them work. The episode I felt was on the mark on parodying on the brainstorming and writing process everyday, how it can be a real pressure cooker. That's easy for me to emphasize because that's something I sometimes feel whenever I'm writing and putting it out there, always wondering and hopping it would work or let alone having a good idea at all to write.

One moment I liked was when Bruce's character proposes making Hercules into an animated series and we see a brief clip which was funny as it looked like a 70's Hanna Barbara cartoon. This is sort of ironic since both this show and Zena later on had an animated film together which was decent.

It then comes down to the final minutes when it just reaches pandemonium when everyone of the staff members completely lose it and are just beating the crap out of each other. This is one of my favorite battles because it is one of the most hilarious, it's like watching a live action Mad Magazine cartoon or Where's Waldo art Illistration as we are just seeing each staff member in different places of the room just trying to pound one another in the most unsophisticated, cartoonish, even pathetic ways. From seeing Kevin's character pick up Hudson and just pound her head to the floor like a jackhammer or even Bruce's secretary trying to punch him but then accidentally hitting the cardboard cutout of Kevin, down to some of that disco music going on, this is something to see to believe.

I don't feel this episode is just a parody on the behind the scenes workings of a TV show but also it's strangely a love letter to the fans, their love for the show and desire for it to keep going.

And of course by the end we have another forth wall break when we then see Ares and his son stop time and appear. It's a really funny but not far fetched concept that these mythological characters would be in modern times and that Ares and company were the ones that not just caused the earthquake but also conspired to take the show off the air so Herc wouldn't bring anymore hope to mortals. But then we see Kevin Sorbo show up and I couldn't help but clap because that lets us know that he's back and the show will continue. Even like what he says as the wall is broken even more when we find out the actor playing Herc is actually Herc, man wrap your head around that. That would make sense since Herc is a demigod so whose to say immortality isn't one of those abilities; as well as the reason for his absence which shows Herc is still doing his thing in the modern world.

These alone were a way of showing how legends can never die as long as they continue to be remembered. So Hercules is back and he's here to stay.

Rating: 4 stars

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