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This last HERCULES springboard I can recall must have only been a verbal pitch, as I don't seem to have a document to cut and paste here. So, I don't remember too much about it. But it was a Western pastiche, based on the television series BONANZA, called "Hercules and the Sons of Poseidon".
The idea was to treat Poseidon like he was Lorne Greene/Ben Cartwright.
And he had three sons:
THESEUS (Pernell Roberts/Adam Cartwright)
POLYPHEMOS (Dan Blocker/Hoss Cartwright)
TRITON (Michael Landon/Little Joe Cartwright)
Polyphemos, of course, is the cyclops from the Odyssey. Triton was going to be the youngest brother, but he was going to be the Triton who would someday grow up to become Ariel's father in THE LITTLE MERMAID.
And that's about all I can remember about the idea. Mark and Bob didn't go for it. But somehow, we took Theseus and found our way to making him the Grim Avenger for the one episode I DID end up writing for HERCULES.
"Versus the Volcano"
THE SET UP
CASSANDRA's twin sister POLLYANDRA is in town for a visit. Polly also has the "sight," but sheâs the complete opposite of her sister. Where Cassandra predicts gloom and doom, Pollyandra predicts sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Her perky personality (she even thinks Icarus is cute) drives Cass up a wall, but everyone else seems to like Polly a lot. Worse yet, they believe her predictions and completely ignore Cassandra's. At the peak of her frustration, Cassandra's struck by a massive vision revealing that the local dormant volcano is about to blow. Everyone turns to Pollyandra. She pauses then cries out: "Weâre all getting free food processors!!" The crowd cheers.
HEPHAISTOS, GOD OF THE FORGE, just doesn't get enough respect. So he decides to change his name to VULCAN and become the VOLCANO GOD. Unfortunately, he does this right after Cassandra's prediction. With everyone in full-out scoff mode, no one believes that a guy as creative and productive as Heph-- sorry, as Vulcan, would ever destroy a whole town. Well, Vulcan's gonna prove them wrong once and for all. He blows his stack. HERCULES and PEGASUS have to hustle to contain the boulders and lava that the volcanoâs spewing. That leaves Cassandra, Icarus and Pollyandra to deal with Vulcan before his volcano destroys all of Greece.
IN THE END
Cassandra and Pollyandra have to work together to both reach Vulcan and calm him down. Each one learns a bit from the other. Vulcan sees the error of his ways, stops the eruption and helps Herc to contain the damage. In fact, Vulc -- I mean Hephaistos -- feels so guilty he gives everyone a free food processor. The crowd cheers!!
Some people are glass half-empty types. Some are glass half-full types. It takes all kinds to keep the world spinning.
Just as a change of pace, here's a [rejected] premise that I wrote for Disney's HERCULES animated series:
âClean & Jerkâ
HERCULES is doing his strongman/hero-in-training thing. Heâs showing off a bit for this new girl in town. A very pretty young lady named DELILAH. Delilah seems impressed, and Herc is fairly pleased with himself, until Delilah says, âThat was great, Hercules. Youâre almost as strong as SAMSON.â In fact, no matter what Hercules does, Delilah continues to damn him with faint praise in comparison to Samson.
Hercâs had all he can take, and weâre off on a road trip to JUDAICA to prove once and for all whoâs stronger, Herc or Sam.
Samson, whoâs just finished holding off the PHILISTINES with the jawbone of an ass (and thereâs a running joke in there somewhere), is a good olâ boy, happy to oblige in a contest of strength. But the boys are pretty equal, and no clear victor emerges. The contest culminates with a bit of arm wrestling: the combatants wind up holding hands all weekend, uh... that is theyâre locked in conflict for three days and three nights. And still, no winner is declared.
Finally, Samson gets word that the Philistines are attacking again. He has to break off the contest to stop them. By this time, Herc is pretty worked up (thanks at least in part to Delilah). He wants to prove once and for all that heâs the top dog. He insists that Samson fight him, really fight him. Samson refuses. Heâs a Judge. Not much of a Judge, heâll admit, but at least he knows enough not to waste time fighting a buddy when there are real enemies to do battle against. He departs. Hercâs fuming, and Delilah gives him a tiny little ânudge.â
Samson prepares to do battle with the Philistines. The guy Samâs most worried about is this new kid, a nasty punk GIANT named GOLIATH. But Goliath isnât alone. Heâs got a new partner. Hercules.
Herc and Samson fight, but eventually Herc realizes what a jerk heâs become. He switches sides and helps Samson defeat Goliath and the Philistines. In the end, it doesnât matter whoâs stronger, as long as they work together.
Oh, and Delilah, who turns out to be a Philistine herself, gets her comeuppance from Herc. Although as soon as Herc departs, sheâs already working on getting back in Samsonâs good graces. She particularly admires his gorgeous long hair.