[Contains terrible “web-site” puns and SPOILERS!!!]
I was researching the myth of Arachne for a script, when I discovered that she’d appeared as a monster-of-the-week in an episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (#4.4), so I decided to give it a watch. In the original stories, she’s kind of an arrogant anti-heroine rather than a straight-up villain, but this series rewrites her origin, and casts her as a more-talkative/seductive rip-off of the Xenomorph Queen from Aliens. Tch! Still, the FX were pretty good, the costume looked great, and Josephine Davison played the part with gusto… so I’m sure I’ll be referring back to this portrayal in my own work at some point.
Another selling point for the episode was the casting of Gina Torres as a kick-ass pirate captain named ‘Nebula’… who was no match for the show’s heroes in hand-to-hand combat, but easily dominated them in the non-fighty scenes with her saucy banter and snarky attitude. Seeing her harass and (literally) belittle ‘Iolaus’ (Michael Hurst) was highly entertaining, so I’m not surprised they brought her back for another 7 episodes, over the course of the series! Thanks to the contributions of these two actresses, this is the first episode of T:LJ I’ve actually managed to watch in full, without having to skip any scenes!
Fun fact: Both Torres and Davison have played ‘Cleopatra’, in separate episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess… so I still have those cameos to look forward to, at some point…