The evil Voluptua.

Voluptua is the main villainess in the 1995 episode from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys called All that Glitters. She is played by the actress Jennifer Ward-Lealand. She appears in this episode only.

Voluptua’s backstory is not known. Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) and Salmoneus (Robert Trebor) meet her when they visit the realm of king Midas (Noel Trevarthen), whom they know from earlier adventures. Midas has allowed Voluptua and Segallus (Terry Batchelor), her companion, to virtually take over his kingdom by turning his palace into a gambling casino. While 

Midas’ subjects gamble away all their money and make lots of debts, the king and his daughter, Flaxen (Tracy Lindsey), are forced to participate in the entertainment programme by greeting guests or performing on stage.

Hercules is particularly upset when he sees Flaxen stripping while belly dancing, as well as two kids forced to tightrope-walking over metal blades. He decides to confront Voluptua and demand that she put an end to all this corruption and exploitation. She obviously refuses, arguing that people are gambling away their money out of their own free will.

Upon meeting Hercules, Voluptua plans to involve the semi-god in one of her gambling shows. Hercules refuses, but finally has to accept when Voluptua takes Midas and Flaxen as hostages and threatens to kill them. In addition, Voluptua worships the goddess Hera, who orders her to kill Hercules as part of the whole scheme.

The tables are turned on Voluptua when Hercules defeats Segallus in a show fight and frees Midas and Flaxen, who then call upon their people to rebel against the usurpers. Trying to take advantage from the confusion created by a mass brawl, Voluptua grabs several bags of money from her loot and attempts to flee. However, Flaxen sandbags her and thwarts her escape. Landing on her belly, the villainess is held down by the princess, who mocks her and ties her up using her own clothes as ropes. Realising that her game is over, Voluptua offers no resistance, but her expressions betray a deep frustration at being captured and restrained in this way. The heroes then celebrate their victory, apparently oblivious of Voluptua who lies at their feet.

In her final scene, Voluptua is seen plowing a field with great difficulty. She is wearing the same red gown she wore when she was captured by Flaxen. We learn that she and Segallus have to do forced labour to repay their debts to Midas and his subjects.

Throughout the episode, Voluptua shows herself to be vain, greedy and ruthless. Even though money is her main inducement, she does not shy away from blackmail and attempted murder in order to obtain it. Always extravagantly dressed, Voluptua uses seduction to advance her evil designs, but in the case of Hercules, she obviously fails. Like many villainesses, she is overconfident and arrogant, and eventually falls over these qualities. 

Trivia Edit

  • Jennifer Ward-Leeland also appeared as Zehra, Queen of the Cons in the 1999 episode, "The Play's The Thing" in the TV series "Xena: Warrior Princess".


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