Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 4 Episode 1

Beanstalks and Bad Eggs

Aired Monday 5:00 PM Sep 29, 1997 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
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  • The fourth season begins as Hercules and Autolycus climb a beanstalk to rescue a maiden from a giant who lives in the clouds. The three golden eggs that the girl is caring for spell even more trouble for the duo, in this embarrassingly bad episode...

    I'm not sure where to begin with this episode. Did I dream it? Surely they can't have actually made something this terrible?!

    The episode starts promisingly enough, with Hercules collaring Autolycus into helping him steal a pouch that they need to help them rescue a captured girl, in a 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' type scene. But from there on, when the pouch turns out to contain a magical bean that grows a giant beanstalk, it's all downhill.

    The cloud set looks deliberately cheap, with great chunks of industrial cotton wool as clouds.

    In the castle, Herc and Autolycus find the captured maiden, who the supposedly terrible giant has made to look over three golden eggs, which actually contain harpies, named... Fe, Fi, and Fo-Fum! Can things get any sillier?!

    The giant, Typhoon, is played by Glen Shadix, who previously played the Typhoon's kind-hearted brother, Typhon. I'm not knocking him as an actor, but I find most episodes featuring Shadix very silly to start with.

    When they hatch, the harpies are brought to life via puppets that look suspiciously like Gremlins. You would have thought they had learnt their lesson last year with the pathetic 'Monster Child in the Promised Land', but no, terrible puppets are back and taking over the episode.

    We get scenes of Autolycus trying to teach giant Typhoon how to charm a lady, and later even worse scenes of the Greml-sorry, the harpies running amok in the clouds and down the beanstalk. Painful viewing.

    This episode seems squarely aimed at children, and it does the show's reputation no favours at all. The fact that it falls at the start of the season makes it seem even worse - if that's possible.
    Even the usually reliable Bruce Campbell as Autolycus can't save this terrible episode.

    One of the very worst of the show's run in my opinion.