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Trivia / Young Hercules

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  • Ability over Appearance: Some executives were skeptical of casting Ryan Gosling as Hercules since he was so skinny (whereas Kevin Sorbo was brawny), but Gosling won them over with his performance.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In "In Your Dreams," Cheiron knows a fair amount about Morpheus and the dream realm. A few years earlier, Nathaniel Lees played a priest of Morpheus in "Dreamworker" on Xena: Warrior Princess.
    • In "Get Jason," Paul Norell plays Buterus, an assassin who infiltrates the Academy by pretending to be a cook. On Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Norell played Falafel, a recurring Lethal Chef.
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    • In "My Fair Lilith," Lilith says she knows a "red-haired bard girl." In Xena's "Sacrifice" two-parter, Jodie Rimmer played a childhood friend of Gabrielle.
  • Dueling Shows: Came about just as Hercules: The Animated Series was airing (as part of ABC's One Saturday Morning) as well.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Fox Kids opposed any major serialization, but they did allow some episodes to be linked (such as the Amazon and Bacchus arcs).
    • Fox Kids enforced the usual censorship rules. According to Eric and Julia Lewald, the writing staff could roll with it since they knew what to expect from working on previous Fox Kids shows, but the Renaissance Pictures staff chafed and frequently complained (likely because they were used to the freedom that came from working in first-run syndication).
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Ryan Gosling is a famously skinny guy, playing one of the great strongmen of legend.
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  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Unlike its parent series or Xena, Young Hercules spent many years under this trope (though it had been available in its entirety on Hulu for some time); this was par for the course as far as Fox Kids series went (Universal's The New Woody Woodpecker Show has suffered the same fate). The trope was finally averted in 2015, with Shout! Factory releasing a complete series set and individual volumes.
  • Old Shame: Averted. Despite having gone on to bigger and better things, Ryan Gosling seems to have fond memories of his work on the show.
  • Out of Order: Episodes sometimes aired in ways that contradicted continuity, such as characters already knowing each other and then meeting for the first time.
    • Lilith's introduction is the first such example. She has a prominent role in "Herc and Seek" and already knows the main trio, only for her to be a freshly arrived cadet in "Girl Trouble" (which premiered the following day).
    • Similarly, Hercules already knows Discord in "Inn Trouble" and then meets her during the "Battle Lines" two-parter. note 
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    • "Down and Out in Academy Hills" depicts the first time Hercules met Hephaestus, but it originally premiered after he had already made a few appearances.
    • Lilith accompanies Hercules and Iolaus to Alcmene's in "Mommy Dearests" for some R&R and helps clean up the mess Lucius made, but then meets Alcmene in "Home for the Holidays" and worries about being a stranger imposing on her hospitality.
    • Jason is Put on a Bus in "The Head That Wears the Crown" after finally becoming king, but he's present for "Me, Myself and Eye" and "Iolaus Goes Stag" (where he is referred to as still a prince).
    • The DVD set is in production order. Due to the production schedule, episodes had to be done in blocks (four at a time) to make use of the same sets and guest actors. This does solve the problems listed above, but it creates a few new ones that didn't exist in the airdate order.
      • "Under Siege" and "The Beasts Beneath" (both featuring Theseus) are slotted before "Adventures in the Forbidden Zone" (his introduction).
      • It also mucks up Hercules knowing about Kora being in service to Artemis. "Hind Sight" and "Iolaus Goes Stag" are placed early in the run, and he's fully in the know, but "Golden Bow" (where Hercules learns the truth) is placed towards the end of the run.
      • "The Head That Wears the Crown" is in the middle of the run and there are a number of Jason appearances still left. Some of these appearances can still work under this order, due to having Jason attend to state business and not explicitly referring to his title, but a few do make reference to him still being a prince.
  • Production Posse: The Lewalds hired several writers (such as Mark Edens, Brooks Wachtel, Steven Melching, and Len Uhley) who had worked with them, either on other Universal projects (Exosquad and Wing Commander Academy), other Fox Kids series (X-Men and the infamous The Avengers: United They Stand), or other shows (DuckTales and RoboCop Alpha Commando).
  • Promoted Fanboy: Writers/story editors Eric and Julia Lewald were fans of the other shows in the franchise, so they were thrilled to "write Hercules and Iolaus as kids."
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: One of the big rules was that Hercules could never meet Zeus in this series. When production knew they weren't going to be renewed for a second season, producer Cynthia Hsiung suggested doing just that for the last episode. Her bosses rejected that idea, but she managed to convince them to okay a story where Zeus met Hercules while in a mortal disguise.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Ian Boen played Young Herc in the pilot movie and on HTLJ. As Boen opted not to continue, Ryan Gosling took over for the series.
    • There was also Sharon Tyrell, who played Herc's mother, Alcmene, in the series. In the pilot movie, she was played by Rachel Blakely. In HTLJ, Alcmene as a young woman was played by Kim Michalis.
    • Anthony Ray Parker played Bacchus in one episode of Xena: Warrior Princess, but Kevin Smith (Ares himself) played him on this show.
  • Troubled Production: Slightly. The bonus feature on the DVD alludes to writers being dropped at the last minute and their replacements having to just jump right in. Also, due to the production schedule, the story editors had to juggle 15 to 20 scripts at once.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • There were discussions of doing a spin-off about Kora.
    • The Lewalds almost weren't involved in the series, as they were still on RoboCop: Alpha Commando and obligated to stay for another month or so to finish the remaining scripts. So they wouldn't lose a new job for a show that was winding down, an MGM executive agreed to release Eric early.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: According to Brooks Wachtel, the earliest episodes were written before the staff had seen video of the New Zealand-based actors' work. He said they had to take a leap of faith in regards to how the characters would sound and behave.
  • You Look Familiar: Michael "Iolaus" Hurst appears as a peddler in the pilot movie. He also returns in "A Lady in Hades" to reprise the role of Charon.
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