Iolaus thought he was helping aman in need when he defended Autolycus from five attackers, but Autolycus took off, leaving Iolaus with the box of stolen jewels from King Menelaus' treasury. When Hercules learned Iolaus had been arrested and sentenced to die, he worked with Dirce, the king's daughter and Iolaus' lawyer, to clear his friend's name. Eventually Hercules caught up with Autolycus, the "King of Thieves," in an abandoned castle, where they fought each other and faced many other dangers. Ultimately, Hercules saved Iolaus from execution.moreless
Nitpick: In "King of Thieves", we learn that aside from being an expert thief, Autolycus is also a quick change artist. In an attempt to escape from Hercules, Autolycus turns his tunic inside out and creates a cape. He crossed the bridge, and pursued by Hercules, runs into the castle. He sets his grappling hook along the window's sill and then flips up into the ceiling beam of the room. Approximately three seconds later, he jumps down from the rafters and his green tunic is back into place and neatly belted.
Autolycus: (leaving Iolaus to hold the bag) You got me out of trouble, I'm sure you can do the same for yourself.
Hercules: (referring to Iolaus' trial) They don't waste any time here, do they? How are you at stalling?
Dirce: I may be able to get you three days.
Iolaus: Hey, what if it takes more than three days to catch him?
Dirce: Well then I'll make sure that the King feels guilty about beheading the wrong man.
Hercules: I thought the King of Thieves would be harder to catch.
Autolycus: Who are you?!
Hercules: Hercules. Heard of me?
Iolaus: Explain to me again how this is going to prove my innocence.
Dirce: It's called dunking. You and the rock are thrown into the water. If you drown, you're guilty.
Iolaus: That makes sense.
Dirce: Look, I know it sounds ridiculous but it was the only delaying tactic left me. Oh, one other thing.
Dirce: Don't swallow the water, it's filthy.
Dirce: Don't worry. Winning this case has become personal for me.
Iolaus: Yeah, it's kind of personal for me, too.
Dirce: (refering to Autolycus) He's gone!
Hercules: Huh, wish I could say I was surprised.
Bystander: Where's my money pouch?!
Hercules Can't say I'm surprised about that, either.
A spin-off about Autolycus was briefly in the making, but obviously never occurred. One cited reason was Bruce Campbell's own feelings about what made the character work and what wouldn't.
Danielle Cormack (Ephiny) was one of the actresses who tried out for the role of Dirce. She really, really wanted to win the role, since she loved what she saw in the character. She said of her audition, "Here's a woman who stood against her own father. She's got integrity, she's standing on her own two feet. So I went into the audition with a sense of this character, the emotional price she's paid, her mannerisms, her determination to do good. And their response was, 'Could you be more vulnerable?'"
Bruce grew up in Michigan along with Sam and Ted Raimi as well as Rob Tapert, and they worked together on a number of productions before Hercules, most notably The Evil Dead trilogy. Rob Tapert recommended him for the part and personally asked him to play Autolycus.
Disclaimer: No Subterranean Serpents were harmed during the production of this episode.
Dunking: Dunking was an actual method of proving innocence or guilt during witchcraft trials. If you lived through the ordeal, it was proof that you were guilty of being a witch, and if you died, you were declared innocent.
Greek Mythology: Autolycus was the son of Chione and the god Hermes. He was also the grandfather of Odysseus.
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