In 1994, Greek hero, Hercules became the main character in a series of live-action television movies. The films, set in ancient Greece, starred Kevin Sorbo as the titular hero and told action-adventure stories filled with gods and monsters.

The Hercules movies proved popular with audiences and were quickly re-developed into a television show called Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. This show in turn became the catalyst for an entire universe, which included a spin-off series in the shape of Xena: Warrior Princess, as well as a Hercules prequel series, and an animated musical feature film.

Not familiar with all of these shows and movies? Not to worry – in this post I am breaking down the Hercules and Xena universe to provide you with a run through of all the different shows and movies.

If you are feeling lost, stick with me and soon it will all become clear.

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Understanding Hercules and Xena

Image: ©Universal

As noted above, the Hercules/Xena universe began in 1994 with five television movies which aired at different intervals throughout the year. The movies included: Hercules and the Amazon Women, Hercules and the Lost Kingdom, Hercules and the Circle of Fire, Hercules in the Underworld, and Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur.

Due to the popularity of the movies, Hercules was given a television series called Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. This was a weekly show which delved deeper into the mythology, expanded Herc’s world, and introduced new characters.

During the first season of the show, one of the new characters that was introduced was Xena – a fearsome warrior played by Lucy Lawless. Xena popped up three times across the course of the season, creating a mini-story arc for the character in the process.

Image: ©Universal
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Xena proved to be a hit with audiences, and Lawless was quickly offered her own show. The series – Xena: Warrior Princess – would put Xena on a path of redemption, and become a companion piece to Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.  

For the next few years, both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess aired concurrently. The two shows existed in the same universe, shared many of the same characters, and on the odd occasion their stories would overlap.

Then in 1998, the Hercules/Xena universe expanded even further with the introduction of two new spin-offs: a prequel show, in the shape of Young Hercules, and a cross-over movie, in the form of Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus (1998).

Image: ©Universal
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Young Hercules was set during Herc’s formative years. The show ran for one season with Ryan Gosling taking on the role of Hercules.

Meanwhile, Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus (1998) was a feature film which combined characters from both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. The movie was a musical adventure featuring the vocal talents of both Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless.

For some fans, these two spin-offs were neat additions to the Hercules/Xena universe, while for others, they came and went with very little acknowledgement. However, regardless of how successful they were, they marked the peak of the Hercules/Xena popularity.

The following year, after six seasons, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys came to an end. The final season comprised just eight episodes, rounding out a 111-episode run.

With both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Young Hercules leaving the air in the same year, only Xena: Warrior Princess remained. The series continued until 2001, before concluding after six seasons and 134 episodes.

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Watching Hercules and Xena in order

Image: ©Universal

If you have never watched any of the Hercules/Xena shows, and you are just finding your way into this little universe now, you will need a timeline to help you find your way. Set out below is a list of every show and movie in the universe, presented in chronological order, beginning with Young Hercules.

Do you need to begin with Young Hercules? That is entirely up to you. Some fans would suggest skipping it, but I am including it at the beginning of this list, as this is chronologically the first entry in the timeline.  

  • Young Hercules – Season One (1998 – 1999) – TV series
  • Hercules and the Amazon Women (1994) – TV movie
  • Hercules and the Lost Kingdom (1994) – TV movie
  • Hercules and the Circle of Fire (1994) – TV movie
  • Hercules in the Underworld (1994) – TV movie
  • Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur (1994) – TV movie
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – Season One (1995) – TV series
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – Season Two (1995 – 1996) – TV series
  • Xena: Warrior Princess – Season One (1995 – 1996) – TV series
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – Season Three (1996 – 1997) – TV series
  • Xena: Warrior Princess – Season Two (1996 – 1997) – TV series
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – Season Four (1997 – 1998) – TV series
  • Xena: Warrior Princess – Season Three (1997 – 1998) – TV series
  • Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus (1998) – Movie
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – Season Five (1998 – 1999) – TV series
  • Xena: Warrior Princess – Season Four (1998 – 1999) – TV series
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – Season Six (1999) – TV series
  • Xena: Warrior Princess – Season Five (1999 – 2000) – TV series
  • Xena: Warrior Princess – Season Six (2000 – 2001) – TV series

Please note: The above viewing order is presented as close to chronological order as possible. As both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess aired at the same time, there might be some slight discrepancies during the cross over episodes, but this list should see you right.

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Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about the Hercules/Xena viewing order – I hope it sends you on a fun and exciting journey. For more nostalgia-inducing content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.

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