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Flash Gordon: The Complete Series


Can he still save every one of us?

Rod Lott May 3rd, 2013

Until Warehouse 13 and Haven came along, Syfy’s idea of an original series was a largely frightening prospect, and for good reason. I’d been led to believe that its short-lived Flash Gordon update (2007-08), carrying bad buzz before it aired, was one of those train wrecks.

flashgordon

Now that I’ve seen its long-delayed DVD set from Mill Creek Entertainment, I can say that, to my surprise, it’s not. Oh, it’s still not “good,” but it’s watchable in a minimal-investment, entertainment-as-wallpaper way.

The first step for interested parties is to remove any hopes that this small-screen Flash Gordon will be anything like the big-screen Flash Gordon of 1980. (I know this is tough, because lovers of that cult flick — myself included — are most inclined to check this out.) That Flash served as quarterback for the New York Jets, whereas this one (a bland Eric Johnson, TV’s Rookie Blue) is a track star, yet he still gets sucked into space — specifically, the planet Mongo, ruled by that ever-merciless Ming (John Ralston).

In these 22 episodes spread across four discs, Flash and friends easily warp back and forth between Earth and Mongo (“Did you bring the rift blaster?”), so the stakes don’t seem as high. Highest among said friends is Dale Arden (the lovely Gina Holden, Saw 3D), now a TV reporter and a newly engaged former flame of Flash’s. If you think the fires between them are extinguished, you may find the references to YouTube and the like hilarious.

Don’t expect greatness; do expect off-and-on fluff. For a better, slicker Syfy relaunch of a fellow King Features Syndicate comic-strip character, check out 2009’s The Phantom.   —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:
Haven: The Complete Second Season DVD review   
The Phantom Blu-ray review  
Queen’s Flash Gordon album review  
Saw 3D Blu-ray review        
Warehouse 13: Season Two DVD review      



 
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