Tara (ravenclawed) wrote,

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I saw the '05 mini-series Hercules on the Sci-Fi Channel last night. While I don't want my four hours back, I do want to smack the screenwriter upside the head and yell, "Where did you learn your Greek mythology, preschool?!"

I mean, I can forgive him for calling the main character Hercules instead of Heracles since most people today are more familiar with the Roman version of his name. But the rest... Since there are so many errors, I think it would be easier to list them.

what the movie got wrong
what it should be

Hera is the goddess of the earth.
Gaia is the goddess of the earth. Hera is the queen of the gods and the goddess of women.

Deianeira (Leelee Sobieski) is a nymph who dedicated her virginity to Hera.
Deianeira is a mortal with no particular devotion to any of the gods and goddesses.

Alcmene (Elizabeth Perkins) is the high priestess of Hera.
Ha! Hera tortured Alcmene's son Heracles while he was alive. Alcmene had every reason to hate her.

Hera is ancient while Zeus is new.
Zeus and Hera were brother and sister, some say even twins.

Tiresias (Kim Coates) is a hermaphrodite and the priestess at the Oracle of Delphi. He is blinded by Alcmene.
Tiresias spent seven years as a woman and the rest of his life as a man. He was a seer, not an oracle (those were always women). Hera blinded him as punishment for not siding with her in an arguement against Zeus.

Hercules (Paul Telfer) is the biological son of Antaeus the giant (Tyler Mane).
Hercules is the biological son of Zeus.

Iphicles (Hercules' fraternal twin half-brother, played by Luke Ford) is an arrogant little so-and-so who absolutely hates Hercules.
Iphicles is a good a brother as any to Hercules.

Alcemene hates Hercules and favors Iphicles.
Alcemene loves both her sons.

Alcmene puts two snakes in Hercules' crib to kill him.
Hera sends the snakes.

Hercules accidentally kills Linus (Sean Astin) and Deianeira brings him back to life.
Hercules accidentally kills Linus. No one brings him back.

Megara (Leeanna Walsman) becomes high priestess of Hera.
Megara was never that religious.

Megara claims Hercules raped her then later drugs him so he'll kill their children.
Megara never made such a claim and it was Hera alone who made Hercules kill his children (and by some accounts, Megara too), not people acting for her.

Hercules must accomplish six labors to attone for his sin.
Hercules had twelve labors. (Believe me, I know -- I had to translate them for Latin class.) The screenwriter combined a few, changed a few, and left others out completely.

Megara kills Iphicles in full view of Alcmene.
As eye-for-an-eye fulfilling as that was, Iphicles actually dies during one of Hercules' adventures.

Iphicles dies childless.
Iphicles had a son named Iolaus who also helped Hercules.

Hercules calls the god of the underworld Pluto.
Since everyone else (with the exception of Hercules himself) goes by the Greek form of their name, the god of the underworld should be called Hades.

Alcmene (who finally realizes how much she has hurt her son) sacrifices herself to help Hercules.
Hercules doesn't need anyone to kill themselves for him.

I will say that some of the good points made up for (or at least lessened) some of the errors. I loved Amphitryon (played by Timothy Dalton). He was the only parent who cared for Hercules, even though Hercules wasn't really his son. I also loved Linus, who became Hercules' bard, servant, and best friend. (The role was very similar to that of Sam Gamgee, so Sean didn't have to do much stretching.)

I heard one review said that the mini-series was like a high school production. Yeah, I can definitely see that. Still, I'd like to get it on DVD.
Tags: mythology

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