Space Opera Superheroes - Flash Gordon TV Series (2007)
Pathetic Earthlings, who can save you now?
Yes, I do think that the new Flash Gordon TV series may be a bit below par ("pants", slang) when compared with earlier versions of the comic book or comic strip and with the 1980 movie.
The film clips advertising the new Flash Gordon series are placed immediately after scenes from the 1980 movie version starring football hero Sam Jones as Flash, Melody Anderson as Dale, Max von Sydow as Ming the Merciless, and directed by Mike Hodges. Thus, the advertisers of the new series are seeking a "halo effect" in that they seem to hope that the new series can ride into popularity on the coattails of the 1980 film.
This might be a play on the" Dr. Who" phenomenon in which numerous actors have played the part in several versions of a TV series for about 50 years. It is heady stuff at Science Fiction Conventions around the world to be able to meet and talk with some of these actors. I do not think the new Flash Gordon series will enjoy the same phenomenon. The new series will likely not compare to the old serial movie episodes starring film legend Buster Crabbe. They `will not match the comic books series and it will likely be below the quality of the 1980 film. Who is going to match the work of Max von Sydow, who has just completed the film Emotional Arithmetic with Christopher Plummer and Susan Sarandon?
There was also a 1954 TV series starring Steve Holland and Irene Champlin. It lasted 21 episodes. The New Animated Adventures of Flash Gordon ran on TV for only one season (1979-1980). In France and Canada, a 1996 animated TV series ran in English. There are some positive comments about this 1996 series on various message boards in the Internet. In 1982 there was a TV animated film, Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All and I know nothing about that one. Then there is one foreign-language film for TV and a couple of adult-content films as well.
In addtion to al lof this, there was a FLash Gordon radio program aired in 1935. These wre 15-minute programs and there is a link featured below form which you can listen to them on the Internet. Flash Gordon has a very long history -- at least 73 years at present, sine the first comic book was published on January 7, 1934.
In my opinion, the new Flash Gordon series will go the way of Enterprise as a chapter in the Star Trek universe. Some liked Enterprise very much, others scorned it as illogical and out of step with the rest of the offerings: TOS, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. Some felt that enterprise was forced into the puzzle like a piece that really didn't fit - like using a piece form a different puzzle to complete a gap in the one you're putting together. Some of the individual Enterprise episodes were very good indeed, but the ending was simply bad. The ending was foreshortened and made a part of a database accessed by The Next Generation crewmembers Troi and Riker. Simply stated, they had to hurry up and get it off the air. I expect that there will be some good episodes in the new Flash Gordon series, but not all of them will be good.
The new Flash Gordon (2007) of 11 episodes stars Gina Holden as Dale Arden, and Eric Johnson as Flash Gordon. John Ralston is Ming the Merciless and he doesn't look like the Ming I know, but I will watch and see. The warm-up suits and the ladies styles shown in some of the still shots available remind me of 1960s - 1970s China, or the Hong Kong chop-socky films.
I don't know much about Gina Holden, but she is listed first among cast members at IMDb, The Internet Movie Database. This suggests that she is the top star of the show and it will be about Dale Arden. We'll see.
Pathetic Earthlings -- who can save us now?
I'll watch a few episodes and see how they are. For now, I think I prefer the Buster Crabbe serials and the 1980s film.