"If I Had a Hammer..." | Episodes of Hercules: TLJ | "Medea Culpa"

Hercules on Trial
The Judge
Series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Season 4
Antagonist Spencius
Setting Greece
In-Universe Date Year 3
Production # V0306
Filming Dates July 25 - August 1 1997
Original Air-Date 19 January 1998
Written By Robert Bielak
Directed By John Laing
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 69 of 111
Order in Season 10 of 22
Order in Franchise 130 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "If I Had a Hammer..."
Next Episode in Series "Medea Culpa"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Warrior... Priestess... Tramp"
Next Episode in Franchise "The Quill is Mightier..."
Title Image
Herc on trial title


A man pretending to be Hercules is drinking in a tavern. A woman whose children are trapped in a cave calls for help and "Hercules" helps her. He holds up the ceiling so their father can help. Hercules and Iolaus show up to help as well. They get the kids free, but the man gets crushed and was dead before Hercules could get to him.

In the tavern, Hercules and Iolaus find out that the man pretending to be Hercules was named Kanzankis. The magistrate, Turgeus, and a lawyer, Spencius, place Hercules under arrest for Kazankis' death. Hercules goes with them to jail. He will not break out until the trial is over and justice is taken care of. Ares shows up and loves the fact that Hercules is on jail for his good deeds.

Spencius accuses Hercules of a bunch of stuff, which Hercules does not agree with. He says that Hercules tries to get people to be like him, no matter if they are immortal or not. Geleith, Kazankis' wife, tells them about how meeting Hercules changed Kazankais life. He wanted to be a hero. Speicius says that Kazankis left his family to starve to go out and do good. One of Kazankis' children asks Hercules why he killed her daddy. Ares laughs.

In Athens, Iolaus complains about the food and that Spencius has never lost a case.

Spencius brings out witnesses that had faith in Hercules and wanted to be like him, but had terrible results in their lives. These stories bring Hercules down. Dirce shows up and is now Hercules' lawyer. Dirce and Iolaus go in search of witnesses. Cassandra from Atlantis talks about how Hercules saved her life with the flying machine, just like in her dreams. Spencius says that she made it all up. Hercules gives a speech about Kazankis did a self-sacrificing deed and they should honor him. Dirce tells Hercules that he could be banished from Greece forever.

Derk's wife from Mercenary is being questioned. Spencius makes Derk into a killer. Daedilius, the inventer, is questioned. Hercules is the best friend he has ever had, next to his son. Icirus,his son, wanted to fly and listened to Hercules, who said to follow your dreams. Spencius says that Hercules' words killed Daedilius son.

Dirce tells Hercules to think positive and Ares is trying to make get him angry. Ares wants Hercules and him to be a team. Hercules asks, "What color is the sky in your world?"

Queen Melissa from War Bride said that Hercules inspired her to help the wounded. Jason and Alcmene arrive and Jason gets questioned. He says that Hercules turned his life around. Spencius says that Hercules' planned expedition killed the men that dies. Alcmene visits Hercules his cell, but cannot stay long. Dirce says that Iolaus will go in the witness stand for the prosecution.

Spencius brings up the fact that Iolaus had died, but was brought back because he is a good friend of Hercules . He says that Hercules' heroic deeds cost him his wife and children's lives. Villagers have trouble with some big guy named Mong, but Hercules refuses to go help. Ares visits Hercules and talks about destroying all of Greece without Hercules being able to stop it because he would be banished. Hercules helps Mong, who had a toothache.

Spencius says Hercules disrupts their order. Hercules gives a speech about if what he does is wrong, then he is guilty. Everybody needs Heroes to aspire to, and he will not stop being a hero. Iolaus says he is Hercules, and Jason, Alcmene, Cassandra, Dirce and everyone else, and Geleith. Case dismissed.

Geleith says her children have two heroes to look up to, Hercules and Kazankis.


"Due to extensive DNA testing, Hercules was proven innocent during the production of this motion picture."


Background InformationEdit

  • Trial by a magistrate with no jury, as depicted in this episode, would have been anathema to the ancient Athenians, who invented the concept of the trial by jury as we know it. Had Hercules actually been on trial, he would have been judged by a jury of twelve Athenian citizens.
    • In mythology, trials held in Athens during the heroic age were presided over by Athena herself, who acted as both the judge and as the swing vote in the event of a hung jury.
  • The series' habit of recasting actors to play different minor characters resulted in Lisa Chappell pulling double duty as Dirce and as Queen Melissa. Dirce comments on Melissa's beauty as an in-joke.
  • This marks one of the few appearances of Athens. In spite of being identified anachronistically as the capital of Greece, the city appears very infrequently.

Memorable QuotationsEdit

"We've had our differences, but it's because you refuse to look past what you think you see in me. We want the same thing for this world."
"Yeah. Order – perfect order. It could be a place without crime, without vice. Think how happy that'd make your beloved mortals. And wouldn't it set Zeus back a step or two? You and me? Think about it."
"You and me?"
"A team? What color is the sky in your world?"
"See, that's your weakness. You don't have the stomach for it."
"No, it's just that whenever you’re around, I lose my appetite."

Ares and Hercules

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