Hercules is on his way back to Cheiron's academy. He is walking through a wood when suddenly he hears music. Intrigued he follows the sound through the trees to its source. A young man playing a flute. Hercules leans against a tree, unnoticed, and listens. When the minstrel has finished Hercules applauds. The young man turns around, surprised to find he has an audience. Hercules recognises him. He is Orpheus, a minstrel who has previously played at Kora's - the inn near the academy where the cadets like to go in their free time. Hercules introduces himself and remarks on the beautiful instrument. Orpheus tells him that it was a gift from Bacchus. Surprised to hear that Hercules has not heard of Bacchus, Orpheus tells him that Bacchus is the God of Good Times. 'With Bacchus on your side you can kiss your cares goodbye.' He offers to take Hercules to him, but the young cadet declines, saying he must get back to the academy. But Orpheus has one more argument, asking how often one gets to meet a son of Zeus. That gets Hercules' attention and he now follows the minstrel willingly.

They arrive at Bacchus' cave. A lot of young people are inside, obviously enjoying themselves. Food is plentiful. Hercules looks around, impressed. No sooner has he asked Orpheus when he will get to meet Bacchus the god appears. He has the body of a man with the horned head of a beast. Orpheus introduces Hercules and Bacchus bids him welcome. Bacchus knows of Hercules and greets him like family. A beautiful girl who Bacchus addresses as Eurydice joins them. She takes Hercules' arm and leads him away to give him a tour of the cavern. When they are gone Bacchus praises Orpheus for his good work. The minstrel acknowledges this with a smile.

When Eurydice returns with Hercules to the great cave from which they have started she notices Orpheus standing next to Bacchus. The god is sitting on a raised dais on a throne-like chair. She sighs and exchanges a look with Orpheus before Hercules turns her attention to a spring that is located next to him. Eurydice tells Hercules that it is called the gilded spring and is said to come straight from the centre of the earth. As Hercules reaches out to touch the water Eurydice stops him with a warning that the spring is poisonous. She explains that Bacchus finds it so beautiful that he cannot bear to cover it over.

While this is happening Bacchus talks to Orpheus. The minstrel turns away and goes to pick up another instrument - a lyre. He begins to play it. Gentle, soothing notes fill the cavern with a hypnotic sound. Eurydice takes Hercules' hands and leads him into the middle of the cavern which serves as a dance floor. She softly tells him that Bacchus believes that all creatures should live for pleasure and freedom. Everyone in the cave - with the exception of Orpheus and Bacchus - rises to the music and begins to dance around Hercules and Eurydice in a hypnotising pattern. She continues to tell him that with Bacchus there are no rules, no fears and no regrets while the academy is all training, studying and no fun. She asks Hercules to be one of them. Forever. Bacchus looks on, clearly pleased. Orpheus has closed his eyes. He is totally absorbed in his music. Hercules slowly begins to realise that something is wrong, that he is being lulled into an enchantment by the music, the girl and her words. He shakes his head to clear it and tells Eurydice he has to go. She begs him to stay and become part of their family. Bacchus is upset when he feels his hold on Hercules slipping away. Eurydice almost succeeds in putting Hercules back under her spell but after a moment he can break it for a second time. Bacchus, seeing that he has lost for now, signals Orpheus to stop the music. The god invites Hercules to look upon the caverns as his home away from home and that he should feel free to return whenever the pressures of life get too much to bare. And to bring his friends. Hercules thanks Bacchus, says his goodbyes and leaves. After he has left the cave, Bacchus lets out a thundering frustrated roar. Everyone flinches. Orpheus comes down from the dais to stand by Eurydice. Bacchus complains about how close they had been to lure Hercules in. But the god is confident that when the cadet returns and brings his friends he will be easier to persuade.

Back at the academy Hercules finds his friends Iolaus and Lilith exercising fighting techniques. Hercules tells them about Bacchus and his nearby cave and suggests his friends should check it out. Iolaus and Lilith respond with scepticism as they know only too well that this idea of a good time is quite different from theirs. Hercules tries arguments like good food and interesting art work which leave his friends totally unimpressed. But the mention of girls gets Iolaus going at once. Hercules is pleased. Lilith is exasperated but follows them.

When they reach the cavern a party is in full swing with Orpheus rocking away at the lyre. Iolaus and Lilith are impressed. Bacchus notices them and makes his way through the crowd to greet them personally. Lilith is fascinated by Bacchus and thrilled when he offers to show her around. Moments later a girl comes up to them and leads a happily smiling Iolaus away to the dance floor. Then Eurydice appears before Hercules. Again she takes his hands and asks him to dance. She tells Hercules how happy she is about his return. Lilith and Iolaus are dancing and enjoying themselves. Orpheus' music gets more and more intense. Bacchus is watching over everything. Hercules suddenly notices that something is amiss. That something has changed. He turns away from Eurydice and therefore does not see that she, like everyone else on the dance floor except for Lilith, Iolaus and himself, has changed into a Bacchae, a vampire-like creature. She tries to bite him in the neck but he moves away, unaware of the danger. Hercules seeks out Iolaus and tells his friend that they must leave. Iolaus is unwilling at first but then senses the other's urgency. They look for Lilith. When they find her it is too late. The friends watch in horror as a male Bacchae comes up at her from behind and bites her in the neck. Hercules yells no and rushes forward. He grabs Lilith, dragging her through the crowd towards the exit. Iolaus follows closely behind. Bacchus seeing his prey get away orders his Bacchae after them. So a horde of excited Bacchae spill out of the cavern in hot pursuit of the three friends.
Inside Bacchus then turns to Orpheus who has stayed behind with Eurydice. The god reminds him that it is Orpheus' job to find humans to fill the ranks of the Bacchae which is the one and only reason why Orpheus is not a Bacchae yet. Orpheus clearly fears Bacchus' wraith and does not protest.

Meanwhile in the forest Hercules, Iolaus and Lilith run for their lives. The Bacchae have turned into wolves and are close on their heels. The cadets just barely make to the safety of the academy compound before the Bacchae catch up with them - turned back into their humanoid form - and are stopped by the gate.

The three friends enter the hall finding their mentor Cheiron, a centaur, there. Cheiron wants to know what is going on. When he hears that they have escaped from a strange party by a horned relative of Hercules the centaur immediately thinks of Bacchus. He tells the three that they were lucky to escape the god's cult. Suddenly Lilith sways and begins to fall. Hercules catches her. Cheiron discovers the mark of the Bacchae on her neck. He says that come sundown Lilith will belong to Bacchus. Hercules refuses to accept this.

The three cadets return to the forest to search for Orpheus. The sound of the instrument that led to Hercules' first meeting with the minstrel again leads them to him. Sarcastically Hercules asks if Orpheus is recruiting again. Orpheus claims he had had no choice. But Hercules could not care less. Instead he demands to know how they can stop Lilith from becoming a Bacchae. Orpheus takes a look at the girl who is obviously already suffering effects from the bite and answers that there is no way to help her. That she belongs to Bacchus now. Hercules grabs the minstrel by the shirtfront. Orpheus, clearly intimidated, adds that only Bacchus knows the cure. However, he tells them of a riddle about washing your spirit clean that some of the Bacchae remember. But nobody know what it means. Hercules announces that they are all going back there.

Bacchus tells Eurydice of his plans. With Hercules as his lieutenant he can use her and the other Bacchae to built an empire which he and she will share. At that moment Hercules, his friends and Orpheus enter the cavern. Eurydice calls out Orpheus' name. She runs to him and embraces him. Bacchus acknowledges Hercules. The cadet challenges the god to a one on one fight. Hercules offers that if Bacchus should win he would voluntarily become a Bacchae. Bacchus accepts the challenge. Hercules and Bacchus walk to the centre of the cavern and begin to fight. Upon looking out through the entrance Iolaus notices that the sun is setting which means that they are quickly running out of time.

Hercules proves to be quite a match for Bacchus. When he manages to daze the god for a moment, Bacchus calls upon his followers for help. Two Bacchae attack Herc from behind and in doing so give Bacchus a slight advantage which he puts to good use. He throws Hercules down. The wind is knocked out of him. Bacchus then orders his Bacchus to grab Iolaus and Lilith. Eurydice implores Orpheus that they cannot let this go on. Iolaus calls to Bacchus that this treatment is unfair as the fight was supposed to be just between the god and Hercules. Bacchus comments dryly that life is full of disappointments. Orpheus acts upon his girlfriends plea. When Bacchus commands his followers to bite their victims now, before the sun sets, and a female Bacchae bares her fangs over Hercules' neck suddenly soothing notes played from the lyre fill the cave. The music calms and lulls the Bacchae, distracting them from their tasks. Bacchus, irritated, demands an explanation and threatens to destroy Orpheus if he does not stop playing. Orpheus, intimidated, stops. The Bacchae get active again. Now Eurydice steps in and keeps the advancing Bacchae at bay, hissing at them threateningly. By now Hercules is sufficiently recovered to get up. He charges at Bacchus who stumbles backwards against the gilded spring. His right arm falls into the water that works like acid on it. Orpheus hurries to Eurydice's side. Bacchus is in pain. His followers shrink back in fear. Suddenly Hercules sees the answer to the riddle - washing your spirit clean. The water is only poisonous for Bacchus and his cult members! While the sun is setting further Hercules brings Lilith near the spring and pours water over her head. Iolaus tells him to hurry as he can see their friend already changing. The water saves Lilith, the mark of the Bacchae disappears from her neck. The three cadets are relieved, as are Orpheus and Eurydice. Iolaus, ever practical, suggest that they leave. The Bacchae are advancing on them once again. Iolaus, Lilith and Hercules run past them and past Eurydice and Orpheus, who stand unmoving. Hercules invites them both to come with him and his friends. They all run. Bacchus yells to his followers to stop them.

The next day Hercules, Iolaus and Lilith watch Orpheus and Eurydice leave the academy compound where they had found refuge for the night. Lilith wonders if Bacchus will let them be. Iolaus replies that he doesn't care as long as they - and the Bacchae - never come back. Lilith ponders it could have been her, trapped in that cult forever as a slave to that monstrous Bacchus. Iolaus quips they should have known better than to let Hercules pick their parties. Hercules, somewhat distracted by watching Eurydice - and Orpheus - leave, accepts their friendly banter with a smile.

Young Hercules © Renaissance Pictures and Studios USA

Young Hercules


Episode 1.19 LURE OF THE LYRE
(Part 1 of 4)

Original Airdate: 10/30/1998
(approx. 30 minutes)
Filmed in New Zealand

Written by Mark Reaves
Directed by Chris Graves

Created by
Rob Tapert & Andrew Dettman & Daniel Truly


Ryan Gosling (Hercules)
Dean O'Gorman (Iolaus)
Jodie Rimmer (Lilith)
Nathaniel Lees (Cheiron)
Kevin Smith (Bacchus)
Kieren Hutchison (Orpheus)
Morgan Fairhead (Eurydice)
Katherine Hubbard (Female Bacchae)

German Site
Kieren Hutchison