This is a very good beginning to a great – though camp – show. The actual story takes its sweet time in developing; first the characters and their situations have to be introduced at top speed (the battle with the Hydra, though great as an action scene, doesn’t really fit into the plot at all, apart from establishing Hera as The Villain), to clear the field for the action. But once that’s out of the way, the story moves more smoothly. Sadly, this also takes Iolaus out of the action pretty quick, in the first of Michael Hurst’s many on-screen deaths in the series.
Kevin Sorbo, though perhaps his acting might not be to everybody's taste, is in my opinion a perfect choice for Hercules. His magnetic and impressive physical presence and his deadpan delivery of humorous oneliners endeared him to me instantly. Michael Hurst as best friend Iolaus stole my heart straight away, and he remained my favourite all through the series. These two actors have a great dynamic between them that works perfectly for the relationship they are supposed to portray. I like especially that at the beginning of the movie, the relationship between Hercules and Iolaus has already been established. It’s not like they meet for the first time in the first episode and gradually develop a friendship; these are two guys who have been friends all their lives and simply see each other again after a long time apart.
Anthony Quinn is my favourite choice for Zeus – I wish they could have kept him for the whole series. That was one thing that bugged me: the constant changing of actors for the same part. It’s confusing and pretty annoying. Like the actress who plays Hercules’ mother in this, and who doesn’t even look remotely like the other Alcmenes we’ll see later in the series.