Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 3 Episode 9

A Star to Guide Them

Aired Monday 5:00 PM Dec 09, 1996 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
38 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A Star to Guide Them
A dream convinced Iolaus to travel north, joining others equally compelled. Meanwhile, King Polonius and Queen Maliphone attempted to round up all the male children in the province to make sure their own child would inherit the throne. When Hercules interfered, Hera sent her Death Squad to destroy him, but Hercules and his friends vanquished the soldiers. The king was killed and the queen exiled, leaving the people free to elect their next ruler. Finally, Iolaus and the others followed a shining star to a stable, where a man and woman bent over a tiny cradle.moreless

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  • A Star To guide them a review.

    A holiday feel good episode! Similar to Xena episode A Solstice Carol and Cradle of Hope. They travel far. I recommend it, especially during the holiday season.
  • A strange dream convinces Iolaus to set off on a quest north. He and Hercules are joined by a small-time thief and a farming family-man, who have also had the vision. A tale that starts out with potential, but doesn't quite keep it up later on...moreless

    This review contains mild spoilers.

    Like the 'Xena: Warrior Princess' Christmas episode 'A Solstice Carol', I desperately wanted this episode to be a Christmas classic.

    It starts off very well and with a lot of promise, as Iolaus has his strange dream that convinces him to head north. I found this to be quite intriguing and well played out.

    As the story progresses, I found it started to become a bit more dragged out, as the 'wise men' travel from one marker of their dream to another, while the villains of the episode stand around and do a lot of plotting.

    Things pick up a bit towards the end, as Hercules, Iolaus and co. battle Hera's henchmen-of-the-week – warriors that can torch things with a single touch.

    The final scene, of the 'three wise men' finally reaching a humble stable (no guesses for what's probably inside), is quite heart-warming. It's just a shame that things sag mid-episode for the tale not to be quite as wondrous as it might have been.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • This is the only Christmas-themed episode of the series.

    • Jon Brazier is a frequent guest star on both Hercules and Xena, often playing a thief or mercenary, but on one occasion played the role of John the Baptist, who was cousin to Jesus.

    • Nitpick: This episode ran the week after Xena's Christmas episode ("A Solstice Carol"). As Jesus is being visited at the stable here, this takes place before the Xena episode, when the Holy Family is leaving town, according to the Bible.

    • Goof: In one scene at night with the three men, Uris is seen sitting against the log with his head lying back. When the camera changes, his head is up. When the camera changes back to the next view, he raises his head up from the log.

    • Goof: In the first fight scene, one of the attacking soldiers club Eurus across the back, but the club bends significantly and noticeably with each blow.

    • Nitpick: Considering how big a deal they make about the three men's red hands as a sign of their quest, it's really hard to actually see what they're talking about.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Hercules: (upon witnessing the child's birth) Just a hunch, but somehow I believe that what you're about to witness is bigger and more important than anything we've ever done.

    • Hercules: North, he says. No province, no castle, no village, no nothing. Just north. You don't happen to have any idea how far north we're going, do you?
      Iolaus: Now this is really funny, because usually on our journeys, I'm the one that does the babbling.
      Hercules: Babbling?!

    • Trincullus: Hercules? The Hercules?!
      Hercules: Yeah, and this is Iolaus- the Iolaus.
      Trincullus: Who?

    • Iolaus: (To the deposed, pregnant Queen) Hasta la vista, baby!

  • NOTES (1)

    • Disclaimer: No unnamed baby of any biblical and mythological importance was harmed during he production of this motion picture.


    • The episode relates the Massacre of the Innocents, committed by King Herod of Judea. King Herod ordered the execution of all young male children in the village of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to a newborn King of the Jews whose birth had been announced to him by the Magi (who told him before they knew his intentions).

    • Christian Mythology: Nativity Story

      This episode has an obvious allusion to the story of the Nativity (The birth of Christ). However, unlike the three who follow the star in this episode, the three men in the traditional story are magi, meaning priests of Zoroastrianism who studied the stars. Their names were supposedly Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. While there was no thief/Magi at the Nativity of Jesus, there was a thief who accepted Christ as his savior as he and Jesus were being crucified.

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