FLASH GORDON is one of the sci-fi shows
I missed airing on SyFy when it first aired back in 2007. It is a 21st
century spin on the FLASH GORDON comic series which did stumble at first as a show, but the writing hits all cylinders by
the middle of the first and only season. Flash “Steve” Gordon
(Eric Johnson) is a runner/ mechanic who thinks his father (a scientist) is dead, but it all changes when he comes across
the world of Mongo and he is on the quest to find his missing father while trying to stop ruthless leader Ming (John Ralston)
from invading Earth. Ming’s designs on Earth are deadlier as he wants the
water since a big mining accident (referred to as The Sorrow) has poisoned the majority of Mongo’s water. Ming is able to control the various groups and races through clean source water.
Flash is joined in his quest by Dr. Hans
Zarkov (one of his father’s old colleagues), reporter Dale Arden (Gina Holden), and one of Ming’s former bounty
hunters Baylin (Karen Cliché). He gains allies form the various people
of Mongo as he tries to stop Ming’s plans of using dimensional rifts to invade Earth. The series does put their spin
on the various tribes of Mongo: Dactyls (Hawkmen), Verdan (Prince Barrin’s forest dwelling people), the Omadrians (women
who make medicine), The Frigians (people who live in frozen wastelands), the Zurn (blue people led by Queen Azura), and the
Deviants (people who drank the contaminated water known as Grey Water).
FLASH GORDON does some major world building that does stay true to the mythos set in the comic strip even though some
of the first few episodes are clunkers mixed in with some good episodes. Karen
Cliché and John Ralston are the stand out actors on this series. Ralston is sinister
as Ming even though you can understand the misguided reasons he has for projecting his daughter and yet he is also greedy
for power. Ming is ruthless and merciless because you can see why he is a villain
even when you think he is going to do something good.
VIDEO/ AUDIO: The DVD mastering by Cineomatic is quite good for five to six episodes per disc. It is better than expected. The audio track is a little
quiet and not dynamic enough even when it was presented in 5.1 on the discs.
FINAL ANALYSIS: The DVD Transfer is better than expected for a release with five to six episodes per disc. The show starts with some bad episodes, but it really becomes good once they get into some world building. It makes me sad the series didn’t make it past one season. Sci-fi fans and Flash Gordon fans should give this release a watch (or rewatch if
you have seen part or all of it years ago).
This DVD review is (c)5-2-2013 David
Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org