Legendary half-human, half-god Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) continues his journeys throughout Greece and the known world to spread goodness and charity and defend the downtrodden as the character's weekly TV series enters its third season. Likewise, still on hand is Hercules' mortal friend and traveling companion, Iolaus (Michael Hurst), not to mention such colorful recurring characters as itinerant peddler Salmoneus (Robert Trebor), self-styled "King of Thieves" Autolycus (Bruce Campbell), impulsive goddess of love Aphrodite (Alexandra Tydings), malevolent god of war Ares (Kevin Smith), harsh but fair god of the Underworld Hades (Erik Thomson), and the never-seen Queen Hera, the spiteful immortal stepmother of Hercules, who continues wreaking havoc in her efforts to punish her husband, Hercules' Olympian father, Zeus.
New to the series is another antagonist, the ferocious female warrior (and later immortal) Callisto (Hudson Leick) -- one of several "crossover" characters from Hercules: The Legendary Journey's companion series Xena: Warrior Princess. An additional antagonist appears in the form of the aptly named Strife (Joel Toback), nephew of war gods Ares (Kevin Smith). Also introduced during season three is the beauteous demigod Serena, played by actress Sam Jenkins (aka Sam Sorbo), wife of series star Kevin Sorbo. Originally a pawn in the schemes of Callisto to destroy Hercules, Serena (who also goes by the name of the Golden Hind) instead falls in love with the mighty muscleman, leading to a tragically brief marriage between the two characters. But though Serena dies at the end of her story arc, her character would continue to pop up in future episodes with appropriate "explanations" given for her remarkable durability. Spicing up the proceedings with a bit of variety, season three offers the first of a handful of episodes set in a time period other than Ancient Greece. Laid in 18th century France during the revolution, "Les Contemptibles" sets the template for all subsequent "time-displacement" episodes by casting several of the familiar Hercules stars and recurring characters in markedly different roles -- presumably as means to prevent the actors from feeling as if they were getting in a rut. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi