Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 1 Episode 5

Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur

Aired Monday 5:00 PM Nov 14, 1994 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
38 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur

Hercules discovers he has a half-brother he never knew, but more importantly, that Zeus was forced by his brother's evil behavior to punish him by changing him into a monster trapped in a maze. When some young men accidentally find their way into the minotaur's lair, it's up to Hercules and Iolaus to save the day.


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  • Flimsy story and annoying flashbacks that take forever... if it wasn't for the few nice scenes that are in it I wouldn't want to watch this one at all.

    This last full-length telemovie before the start of the actual series has got some really nice stuff that makes it worth watching, such as the lovely scenes of Hercules as a retired hero, now devoted to his family, and some awesome and funny scenes between Hercules and Iolaus, who are actually bored out of their skulls with being farmers and secretly dream of going off on an adventure again. Sadly, this is where it goes wrong, as these scenes are interrupted by never-ending flashbacks to the previous four movies. This is annoying, pointless, and it takes ages. And if I had known this, I would just have watched this movie and not have bothered with the others, as the flashbacks include the most exciting stuff that happened in those anyway.

    As for its own story, there isn’t much of it and it gets old pretty fast. The Minotaurs ‘No Luke I Am Your Father’ speech doesn’t come as a revelation at all; in fact it makes you wonder why they draw it out for so long.moreless
  • Hercules and Iolaus eagerly come out of retirement to deal with a monster that is terrorising a village, in this 'bonus' fifth TV movie that relies heavily on clips from previous adventures...moreless

    There were originally four 'Hercules' television movies planned, but due to another Action Pack movie dropping out and the huge success of the previous Hercules movies, this fifth one was commissioned at quite short notice. As a result, flashback clips (sometimes quite lengthy) from the previous movies are used to fill out the story.

    For some years, I didn't really care for this 'extra' movie and overlooked it, feeling that clip show episodes were bad enough, but to make one of the MOVIES a clip show...! It wasn't until recent times that I came to re-watch the series in order, that I sat down through this adventure and, other than the gratuitous clips, confess that I actually quite enjoyed it!

    The one thing that undoubtedly brings this story to life is the wonderful banter between Kevin Sorbo's Hercules and Michael Hurst's Iolaus. They play really well off of each other and the dialogue sparkles, and after it is seen here, it is unsurprising that it was used heavily in the following series.

    Hercules and Iolaus have both settled down as family men and farmers (and their discussion about spreading manure is one of the series' greatest spoken moments). When they are called out of retirement to deal with the beast that is terrorising a village, they both welcome the opportunity of one more adventure.

    There are two clips used from each previous film, bar 'Hercules in the Underworld' which has one. The clips themselves are: Hercules fighting the giant Eryx the boxer (from 'Hercules in the Underworld'); Hercules and Deianeira (the first one) being swallowed by the sea serpent (from 'Hercules and the Lost Kingdom'); Hercules meeting Deianeira (the second one) for the first time and fighting in Hera's temple for fire (from 'Hercules and the Circle of Fire', a particularly long clip); Hercules and Iolaus fighting the Hydra (from 'Hercules and the Amazon Women'); Hercules fighting the giant (from '...the Lost Kingdom); Zeus trying to stop Hercules reaching the Circle of fire (from '...the Circle of Fire'); and Hercules and Iolaus fighting the Amazons (from '...the Amazon Women').

    There is a questionable continuity problem with the second clip used from 'Hercules and the Amazon Women'. It is recollected by Iolaus – except he died in that story, and at the end Hercules convinced Zeus to turn back time, meaning that the whole incident had never happened! Only Hercules would have been able to actually recollect the happening – unless he later described it to Iolaus in great detail!!

    Iolaus is learning martial arts style fighting, something that would feature a lot in the regular series, and even more so in the spin-off 'Xena: Warrior Princess'.

    Arriving in the town to try and stop the Minotaur, Hercules is first accused or being an impostor, and then accused of killing some of the local villagers that he mixed it up with – it's not all fun & games being a half-God!

    The next instalment is the first episode of the regular series, 'The Wrong Path'. The change of pace and setting to the regular series is a bit sudden in places, and I would have loved for an 'in-between' movie to settle things in to the series. In myth, Hercules went mad and killed Deianeira and their children – this was too dark for the television series just starting out, but it would have made a great movie, dark like 'Hercules in the Underworld'.

    All-in-all... I actually really like the story from this movie. Plot-wise I think I actually like it better than 'Hercules and the Amazon Women'. But it suffers badly from being padded out with so many lengthy clips, and that sadly brings its rating down several notches. If you're prepared to look past (or fast-forwards through!) the many clips though, there is a reasonably good story here, and Hercules and Iolaus' banter really makes it sparkle.moreless
  • Welcome to the first Hercules clip show...

    Hercules and the Maze of the Minotaur (the last-minute-produced) fifth film in the Herc Movie series brings back the much loved Iolaus. Hercules is a slightly frustrated married man, missing the adventure in his life (don't worry Hercules, Hera will fix that for you) and is spurned onto a journey when (what else?) and upset villager-in-need comes begging for his help. But despite his frustration (and his visiting former sidekick) he wants to be "responsible" and take care of the family.

    Unfortunately, "Minotaur" is the first Hercules clip show and since all the clips are from a small selection of four movies they get old kind of fast. Take away the clips and you have a film roughly the length of an episode of Hercules. But it's not a bad episode, there's a cool monster (cooler until he's seen full form), a family secret, and another adventure in the pitfalls of being half-god. Iolaus appears with a new fighting style he "learned in the east", rough-housing with Hercules as if they were young boys. And in a good call back/call forward to the Young Hercules series he does it in much the same way Young Iolaus attacks Hercules in his mother's "barn" and the two playfully brawl the way boys do. Iolaus uses the same "eastern style" fighting moves in a "bar-room brawl" with a few village thugs trying to disprove that Hercules is the "real" Hercules. I love the way they use Iolaus' shortness to their advantage. And how well Micheal Hurst moves. He's quick and sly as a fighter, until he gets cocky (always his downfall). Hercules is the thoughtful "more mature" hero. Beyond being a little bored there's no big emotional journey for him here, until he meets the Minotaur and * spoiler * finds out he's his brother. Even though the beast has captured his best friend, a couple young lovers, and a few innocent villagers to transform into his army (in some gooey pod thing I don't quite understand), Hercules finds it difficult to take his brother's life. It's only when his brother pushes him that he does what he must do in order to save... well everyone. Zeus, King of gods, makes a showing here. He's as good as he was in the previous films with the emotional journey of the character. A man who loved his son and punished him (possibly hoping to reform him) even though he knew there was no hope and the boy must be destroyed. And even after it all goes down he's hurt upon the death of his son. The Minotaur himself is well played in the fact that we never see it directly until the end. In classic "horror movie" style, we see a beast attacking, claws, something moving in the shadows, random screams of those that have fallen into his clutches and then upon Hercules' arrival in the creature's den...the full beast. As always... kind of Anticlimactic. It looks exactly what it is in full form, like a giant animatronic head on an actor. The acting of the scene was spot on brilliant though.

    All-in-all, fun filler leading into the series. There's of course the whole question of "what happened to Iolaus 'implied' family. They're never mentioned again and (of course) written out, but with the first movie implying he got married and the last implying he now (like Hercules) was a family man could have easily been eliminated with a random accident. The fact that both men lost families could have been a good starting point for the show, shared tragedy.moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the show hercules the lendary journeys he comes across the minatour and him and houles but deal with it by helping the town from the danger of it and herlcules goes trough the maze and find his way to get to it with out being killed by it he also learns that he has brother that was evil and is the half brother of him and he is the god of war aries this was good ep i thought and it was very interesting and that is why i gave it a 9 instead of anyting lowermoreless
Anthony Ray Parker

Anthony Ray Parker


Guest Star

Nic Fay

Nic Fay


Guest Star

Andrew Thurtell

Andrew Thurtell


Guest Star

Tawny Kitaen

Tawny Kitaen


Recurring Role

Anthony Quinn

Anthony Quinn


Recurring Role

Rose McIver

Rose McIver


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • This would be Anthony Quinn's last performance as Zeus. The character didn't appear again until season 3 episode "Judgment Day", where it was recast.

    • Nitpick: In this TV movie, Iolaus speaks of the events that happened to Hercules and himself in the first TV movie, "Hercules and the Amazon Women". This should not be possible, because time was rewound by Zeus at the end of that movie, so for Iolaus and everyone else, none of it ever happened. The only person that did remember them was Hercules. Of course, it's possible that Hercules told Iolaus the story previously, and now Iolaus is just repeating the information.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (1)

    • Four television movies were originally planned, but this fifth one was commissioned at the last minute when another Action Pack movie dropped out of the line-up. Due to it's last minute nature, much of the story consists of flashbacks from the previous four movies.


    • Greek Mythology: Minotaur

      In Greek Mythology, the Minotaur was the son of the Bull of Poseidon and the Cretan Queen Pasiphae. Minos had promised to sacrifice the Bull to Poseidon but when he substituted another the God took revenge by making Pasiphae fall in love with it. The Minotaur was eventually killed by the hero Theseus, a cousin of Hercules.