Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 6 Episode 6

City of the Dead

Aired Monday 5:00 PM Nov 08, 1999 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
24 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

City of the Dead

Hercules and Iolaus arrive in Egypt just in time to save Queen Nefertiti from assassins. Iolaus suspected Princess Amensu of perpetrating the crime, because Amensu wanted Egypt to attack Greece while her mother did not. But the real traitor turned out to be Prince Ramses, who had appeared to support the Queen. He found the Necronomicon -- the Book of the Dead -- and used his new powers to send stone statues after Hercules and Iolaus. But they evaded the statues and retrieved the book. Ramses was destroyed upon reciting the book's incantation, while Nefertiti and Amensu were reconciled.


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  • Hercules and Iolaus visit Egypt on a diplomatic mission of peace, and end up saving Queen Nefertiti, whose life is endangered in a bitter royal family feud. Another lower end average episode..moreless

    From the title, I expected this episode to be quite exciting. It conjured up images of Hercules and Iolaus fighting (TV friendly) zombies or suchlike. What the episode actually IS, is a very wordy story that is quite slow and uninteresting in places.

    The bulk of the episode plays like a political drama, as Hercules and Iolaus arrive in Egypt on a diplomatic mission, and end up saving Queen Nefertiti, whose life is in danger due to a bitter (and rather uninteresting) family feud.

    The episode is almost action free, with only the final climax, as Herc and Iolaus enter the temple housing the book of the dead, and must battle two stone statues that come to life to liven things up a bit. And that is too little, too late.

    The Egyptian setting could have been used to introduce a number of characters and beings that go with it (much like Herc's fifth season jaunts to Eire and Norway opened up new avenues), but they just don't seem to have got much of a handle on this one.

    Only little touches, such as Iolaus' excited fascination with all things Egyptian, raise the bar slightly, but this is still firmly at the lower end of the 'average' spectrum, in a season that – as yet – hasn't really dished up anything of particular note.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Amensu: Don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong, Hercules. It's liable to get your head cut off.
      Hercules: What do you think about that?
      Iolaus: Well, I think it's potentially fatal... good delivery, excellent style. I'd give it a 4.5.
      Hercules: Style I'll give you, but originality? Mmm, nah. 3.0 tops.

    • Nefertiti: My daughter's tongue is sometimes too quick for her brain.
      Hercules: Hmm... Iolaus has the same problem.

    • Iolaus: Do you wanna know what they do with the Pharaoh's insides before they mummify him?
      Hercules: Do I have a choice?
      Iolaus: Huh?
      Hercules: Sure, yeah. I said, yeah. Who wouldn't wanna know?

  • NOTES (1)


    • The healing spell from the Necronomicon that Ramses reads contains the phrase "Klaatu verada nikto." Those were the magic words Ash (Bruce Campbell) had to recite in Army of Darkness before claiming the Necronomicon from the cemetery. The phrase, of course, is also a modification of the famed "Klaatu barada nikto" from The Day the Earth Stood Still.

    • In this episode, Nefertiti's seal is an Eye of Horus (later known as the Eye of Ra). It is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and royal power from deities. Horus was a sky God, son of Osiris and Isis, and fought with Set to avenge his father's death and become ruler of Egypt. During this fight, he lost an eye, but it was later healed by Isis. It was said that his right eye was the sun and his left eye was the moon, thus giving rise to the fact that the symbol of the Eye of Horus has different meanings depending on the direction it faces.

    • Near the beginning of the episode, Iolaus relates an important Egyptian myth. Set, the God of the desert (often portrayed as evil), was jealous of his brother Osiris, who was a prosperous king. Set made a sarcophagus and had a party where anyone who fit in it could keep it. When Osiris tried, the lid closed and locked, and Set threw it into the Nile, killing him. Osiris became Lord of the Afterlife.

    • Ramses (sometimes Ramesses) is the English transliteration of the name of eleven Egyptian pharaohs from the 12th century BCE to the 10th. The name translates as "Born of the Sun-God Ra". None of these Ramses were known to be related to Nefertiti (13th century BCE).

    • Nefertiti was Queen of Egypt during the 13th century BCE, wife of the Pharaoh Akhenaten (a.k.a. Amenhotep IV). She may have ruled alone briefly after her husband's death. Nefertiti and her husband were known for changing Egypt's religion from polytheistic to monotheistic, believing in only one God, Aten. They had six daughters, and were succeeded by their daughter, Ankhesenamen, and Akhenaten's son (not by Nefertiti), Tutankhamen.

    • The Necronomicon is a famous fictional book, first invented by horror novelist H. P. Lovecraft in 1924. Lovecraft was purposefully vague about the contents, but said that it contains an account of deities, their history, and the means for summoning them. The Necronomicon also makes a slightly revamped appearance as The Necronomicon Ex-Mortis in The Evil Dead trilogy, written and directed by Sam Raimi (one of Hercules' and Xena's Executive Producers). In fact, as Ramses acquires the scroll noting the Necronomicon's location, music from Joseph LoDuca's score for Army of Darkness is played.