Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 5 Episode 12

Sky High

Aired Monday 5:00 PM Jan 25, 1999 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
28 votes

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Episode Summary

Sky High
When a volcano threatened to destroy the people of Mount Pelion, Hercules decided to blow a hole in the far side of the volcano, allowing the lava to flow into the sea. The Amazon Ephiny joined him, and for a third, Hercules enlisted Kurth, a young man condemned to die for murdering the Centaur Nagus' son. Hercules convinced Nagus to help pull the wagon of explosive crystals. Most of the crystals were lost in a mishap, so the remainder had to be deposited directly in the crater mouth. Kurth took care of this suicide mission, redeeming himself in the process.moreless

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  • Hercules, with Amazon Ephiny, recruits a rag tag band, including a murderer, in a mission to use explosive crystals to blow a hole in the side of a volcano and stop lava from destroying a town in its path. An average episode...moreless

    After the on-going story that has been running since the start of the season, here we are back to an average, stand-alone episode. In fact, it could come from just about any season of the series.

    There has been discussion amongst fans where Hercules got the explosive crystals from Atlantis from (from the third season finale 'Atlantis'). One theory is that he got them from the plane that he escaped from the island from, although he does seem to have a very large supply. He arguably could have dived for them, but seems to have them before he would have had chanced to dive.

    It is good to see the return of Ephiny. I did pick up that she tells Hercules that she was sorry to hear of Iolaus' death, but she never actually met Iolaus in any of her encounters with Hercules. Presumably they met off-screen at another time.

    Ephiny comes up with some almost Xena-like moves and ingenuity when she uses a reed as a makeshift missile to see off the main villain of the episode (you kind of have to see it).

    Ephiny makes a good post-Iolaus partner for Hercules, and she deserves to be used more often.

    Naturally, one member of the group that Hercules recruits for the dangerous mission has just been charged with murder and is due to be hung. The centaur father of the murdered boy wants to see him dead... cue lots of arguing and conflict.

    Then there is another staple of the 'Hercules' and 'Xena' universe – the rickety bridge. It's like, whenever they get stuck in a plot, they almost think "Okay, let's stick in the rickety bridge".

    The plot of this episode is a fair one, although never gets much beyond average in my own personal opinion. It's a good watch the first time, but isn't all that high up on my list to re-watch immediately.moreless
Danielle Cormack

Danielle Cormack


Guest Star

Jonno Roberts

Jonno Roberts

Kurth (as Jonathon Roberts)

Guest Star

James Gaylyn

James Gaylyn


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Ephiny tells Hercules that she was sorry to hear of Iolaus' death, but she never actually met Iolaus in any of her encounters with Hercules. One must presume that they met off-screen at another time.

    • Nitpick: Hercules did have the flying machine he left on, which would have several of the Atlantean crystals. He seemed to have more crystals in this episode than he could have possibly gotten from the machine, however.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Ephiny: (when Hercules shows her Atalantean crystals) Diamonds?! What are you going to do, bribe the volcano not to explode?!

    • Ephiny: Hercules and I are looking for volunteers.
      Opakus: To jump in a volcano! Yeah, we heard. What you need is a virgin sacrifice. Too bad we're fresh out.
      Ephiny: What we need are men with... courage. Looks like you're fresh out of them, too!

    • Kurth: It's hopeless!
      Hercules: It's never hopeless!
      Kurth: (sarcastically) Great. Let's be heroes and blow up a mountain.

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode was originally suppose to feature Nebula, but when Gina Torres was unavailable they decided to replace Nebula with Ephiny. Ironically, Torres was called upon as a replacement for the very next episode, when Lucy Lawless was unavailable.

    • Disclaimer: Ephiny's leg was not hurt in the production of this motion picture. However, the writers sincerely apologize to Amazons everywhere for excluding her from the big finale.


    • This episode is obviously inspired by the classic 1953 French movie thriller The Wages of Fear in which four men stranded in South America agree to drive a truck full of nitroglycerin through dangerous terrain in order to put out an oil well fire.

    • When Ephiny describes the death of Phantes and the birth of her son Xenan, she speaks of things shown in the first season Xena episode "Is There a Doctor in the House?".

    • The first volcanic eruption in Greece that was both observed and recorded took place at Methana in 258 BC. The destruction of the island of Thira, which is thought to have been the basis of the myth of Atlantis, occurred a millenium earlier, but there were no eye witnesses who survived the massive eruption to record it for posterity. Mount Pelion, however, is not a volcano.

    • Character Names

      A number of the characters have names that seem to be a tribute to characters on the show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. This includes Opakus (Kai Opaka), Nagus and Zek (Grand Nagus Zek).