Are you in there, Dad?... Because if you are, we're never gonna stop looking until we find you.
—Cleo Bellows, "Red Wolf's Daughter"
MythQuest was a Canadian series that first aired on PBS and CBC in 2001, with the goal of teaching children and teens about the mythology of cultures throughout the world. It lasted for thirteen episodes before being prematurely cancelled.Archeologist Matt Bellows is scanning artifacts into the Cyber Museum when he finds an object he calls the Gorgos stone. When he scans it in, the trickster god Gorgos is released into the system. That same night, Matt disappears without a trace...Soon after his disappearance, his children, Cleo and Alex Bellows open up the Cyber Museum to find that it has undergone an unexpected upgrade. When one of them touches an artifact on the screen, they are instantly transported into a myth, taking the place of one of the heroes as the other sibling watches from the real world. They must now travel through the myths to find their father, all while avoiding the trickery of Gorgos.The show was never released on DVD, but it is available on Netflix in some regions. The first three episodes, as well as the fifth, recieved novelizations by the writers of the episodes. They contain scene extensions and a more canonical account of the myths that the episodes were based on. They are available on Amazon.
This series provides examples of:
Achilles' Heel: Shows up in two seperate myths, and Gorgos hints that true invincibility is impossible because of this.
A Load of Bull: The very first episode is about Theseus and the Minotaur.
An Ice Person: Yuki-onna, a Japanese snow demon, appears in "Minokichi".
Animorphism: Some of the gods take animal form or force others to be animals as punishment.
Badass Bookworm: Scrawny archeologist Matt Bellows manages to take out two armed Egyptian guards in "Isis and Osiris".
Bad Liar: Cleo tries to get information about a myth from Max Asher, without revealing that Alex is caught inside or that they found the Gorgos stone. She fails from trying too hard.
Bad Samaritan: Gorgos frequently takes friendly disguises and pretends to help the teens, trying to get them to unwittingly destroy the myth.
Because Destiny Says So: First shows up in Norse mythology with the concept of wyrd. Later on, when they discover that changing the myth means changing or damaging the real world, they enforce this trope on themselves.
Baleful Polymorph: Cleo is transformed into an owl as punishment for the actions of her character/persona of the week.
The Exile: Cleo is exiled in "The Blessing" because her character's brother convinces her in-laws that she's a witch
Fake Static: In the first episode, Matt is on a video call with his university collegue, who is angry at him for borrowing an archaeological artifact without permission. He claims he can't see or hear her, then hangs up. Her reaction indicates that he's done this before.
Fate Worse than Death: Loki is chained to a rock with the entrails of his son underneath a venomous snake.
Later in the series, being part of a myth that the Gorgos stone is inhabiting becomes this, as its influence slowly causes the story and everyone in it to first change, then fade completely out of human memory and existence.
Fingerprinting Air: Averted. The kids' mother is called down to identify a man found in a stream, because the water makes fingerprinting impossible.
Flashback: Used in "Blodeuwedd" when the characters give testimony.
Flashback Effects: In "Blodeuwedd", all the flashbacks are sepia-toned and have a slight echo/reverb.
Fourth Wall Observer: In-universe, Alex and Cleo whenever they go into a myth. Also Gorgos. He's a god, like half the characters Alex and Cleo meet, but the difference is he knows he's in a myth.
Frothy Mugs of Water: Averted in "Hammer of the Gods". Cleo and Alex are both underage, yet Alex takes advantage of and encourages Thor's drinking and Cleo jokes about it. Alex himself doesn't seem to take part, though.
God Emperor: Alex, when he becomes Osiris in episode 9.
Gods Need Prayer Badly: In "Red Wolf's Daughter", the spirits need someone to tell their stories or they will cease to exist.
Green-Eyed Monster: The brother in "The Blessed One" can't let his sister have anything because he's irresponsible and jealous of her success.
Honor Before Reason: Alex, when he decides not to get back to the real world after the Caradoc myth changes. Instead he asks to be beheaded by Eliavres instead of Arthur, on account of a promise he made a year earlier.
Human Sacrifice: Shows up in "Quetzalcoatl", when Alex travels to an Aztec myth.
I Gave My Word: In his request to be beheaded by Eliavres instead of King Arthur, Alex uses this reason.
Last Request: Alex has one in episode six, when he asks that instead of being executed for treason, he keep his word and let the unknown knight behead him.
The Legend of Chekhov: Minokichi's mentor tells him the campfire story of Yuki-Onna. Guess who shows up later?
Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: In episode six, Lancelot and Maleagant fight over Guinevere. During the scuffle, they both acquire an extra weapon (Maleagant an axe and Lancelot a sword). Lancelot points out that they're both honourable, and they return to fighting with matched swords.
The Lost Woods: The Blood Trees from episode 5, wherein lives Yuki-Onna.
Losing Your Head: The mysterious knight gets beheaded, then picks up his head and asks for his sword back.
Mr. Exposition: Max Asher is a professor of either Egyptology or Archeology, but he can read Japanese and has information on almost anything the teens need.
Multi-Part Episode: Just has one. The 9th and 10th episode are entitled "Isis and Osiris Part 1" and "Isis and Osiris Part 2", respectively.
Multitasked Conversation: This shows up most notably in episode two, when Alex is talking to Thor in the myth world and Cleo in the real world, simultaneously. However, other characters in the myth will always hear what the teen in the myth says, so this is always present.
Mysterious Mist: Surrounds the spirit of the Lake in "Red Wolf's Daughter."
Narnia Time: Some of the myths last for days, while the outside sibling has only been watching for a few hours. In episode five, they mentioned that the myth could skip ahead, over irrelevant parts, but those are usually large jumps, and don't entirely explain the discrepency.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Gorgos says Alex's name and distracts him before he can change a myth, thereby saving the world from destruction.
No Pronunciation Guide: Alex has plenty of trouble with the Welsh names in episode 13. But this seems to have affected the entire production team - "Blodeuwedd" is consistently mispronounced as bluh-D'OW-weth instead of blod-EYE-weth.
Off with His Head!: In "Sir Caradoc at the Round Table", a mysterious knight offers to be beheaded in return for the privilege of beheading his beheader. This kind of story is actually known as "the beheading game", and is mentioned in the episode.
"Rashomon"-Style: Small variation in "Blodeuwedd". The same version of events is presented three times, but there is a different tone, mood, and intent behind each of the conversations that take place.
Recursive Reality: In "Doppelganger", Alex touches a mirror which is reflecting him through the plasma screen, to get into a myth. He has some trouble with that when it comes time to leave.
Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Averted and played straight. If they change the outcome of a myth, the memories of people in the real world reflect that. However, the changes don't seem to affect the person that caused the change, so it's possible for them to change it back.
Save Both Worlds: Gorgos lives to change and destroy myths, thereby removing them entirely from human consciousness. Alex and Cleo go into the myths and attempt to prevent him from doing so.
Spiky Hair: Alex thinks this will impress his crush, Brittany.
Spoiler Opening: The title sequence contains information about Gorgos delivered by a character that wouldn't be introduced until the fifth episode.
Spoonerism: Used to show that Thor is "darely brunk"
Status Quo Is God: The kids have to be extremely careful to not change the myths that they go into, as changing the story in the myth world changes it in the real world as well, and after a short amount of time, within memory as well. This tends to have ripple effects, one of which is to make escaping the myth world easier for Gorgos.
Trapped in Another World: The teens' father. The only way to get out of the mythworld is to touch the item that you touched to get in, but he touched the Gorgos stone, which is very difficult to find.
Alex and Cleo are also trapped inside until they find the object that they touched, but they do this deliberately. They're also constantly afraid that someone will come and turn off the computer when one of them is in the myth world, causing them to be trapped in the story permanently. This is partially why they usually have the other sibling keeping watch on the screen and preventing people from coming in the study.
Trespassing To Talk: Max Asher comes home to find an unknown Chinese businessman sitting in his living room, waiting to talk about their mutual enemy, Gorgos.
The World as Myth: The later episodes hint that they aren't just going into the Cyber Museum, but into another world where the myth actually happened. Furthermore, changing the myth has disasterous consequences in other myths and the real world.
World's Most Beautiful Woman: Cleo becomes this when she takes the place of Blodeuwedd. She rather likes it in the beginning, but as the myth continues, she becomes increasingly irritated by how shallow other peoples' perception of Blodeuwedd is, and how her role had simply been a Trophy Wife.
You Can't Fight Fate: Merlin in episode six: "Never had much luck changing fate. You throw a rock in the river, and the water just moves around it."
You Can't Go Home Again: Matt Bellows can't get back unless he touches the Gorgos Stone. Unfortunately, it's not as easy to find as most of the artifacts the teens touch.
Your Door Was Open: Philthy walks in on Cleo multiple times, almost always when she's busy with a myth.