Flash Gordon: Back to Save Earth, Yet Again

Flash Gordon... Savior of the Universe!For almost 75 years, the intergalactic hero Flash Gordon has been featured in comic strips, comic books, movie serials, feature films and even on a U.S. postage stamp. He’s also had more than a few television series. It looks like he’s about to get one more.

Flash Gordon was created back in 1934 by comic strip visionary Alex Raymond. The popular King Features strip centered around the exploits of the heroic Flash, his beautiful girlfriend Dale Arden, and the brilliant Dr. Hans Zarkov. The three are marooned on the distant planet Mongo as they attempt to stop an invasion of Earth by the evil dictator Ming the Merciless.

Olympic swimmer Buster Crabbe played Flash Gordon in three movie serials in 1936, 1938 and 1940. The 1936 serial was later condensed and released as a feature film. Flash returned to theaters in 1980 in a camp movie best known for its Queen soundtrack. The film featured Sam J. Jones as Flash, Melody Anderson, Topol, Max von Sedow, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed and Ornella Muti.

The character’s television career began back in 1954 and starred Steve Holland (who was the model for pulp-comics hero, Doc Savage). The live-action series lasted one season of 39 episodes and was later re-edited and issued as a movie in 1957.

Flash returned to his comic roots in 1979 with an animated series called The New Adventures of Flash Gordon on NBC. The series drew from the comic strip’s early material and lasted two seasons. Around that time, Crabbe paid homage to the hero on an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, playing veteran fighter pilot Brigadier Gordon.

In 1986, Flash became part of The Defenders of the Earth animated series that lasted 65 episodes. This series teamed our hero with other King Features heroes like The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician, Lothar and their prodigy teenage children.

Eric Johnson is the new Flash GordonIn 1996, a new Flash Gordon series depicted Flash as a teenager himself. Flash and girlfriend Dale teamed up with an older Dr. Zarkov as they attempted to rescue Flash’s astronaut parents who had been sucked into a “dimensional hole” in space. The hole was created by Ming who intended to use it to send invading forces to Earth.

Now, over 50 years after the first Flash Gordon live-action series, Sci Fi is beginning production on a new show in Vancouver. Eric Johnson has been cast as the lead character but the roles of Dale, Zarkov and Ming have yet to be filled.

Most will know Johnson for his work as Lana Lang’s boyfriend Whitney in the first season of Smallville. Rick Rosenthal (who has directed episodes of shows like Smallville, Tru Calling, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will helm the initial two episodes of the new series. They’ll be written by Peter Hume (Charmed) who is executive producer alongside Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr. (Legend of Earthsea).

The series will update the classic Flash theme and has been described as: “Ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances, they find themselves as Earth’s last line of defense against the forces of the merciless dictator Ming.” While the tone of the series won’t be as dark as that of Battlestar Galactica, it won’t be campy like previous versions either. The series has a 22-episode commitment and is scheduled to begin airing in August on Sci Fi. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

Canceled and renewed TV show

3 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Anonymous says

    A remake of 1934 comic book novel and scifi fantasy about an American athlete adventurer patriot freedom fighter liberator and revolutionary together with his companions dale Arden journalist and reporter and Dr.ivan Zarkov Russian-born scientist travels to outer space to destination planet Mongo a rogue planet was ruled by Ming the Merciless tyrant of Mongo flash dale and Dr.Zarkov landed in a strange new world ruled by aliens and monsters lived in the exotic planet to travel around was captured by Commander torch Ming ‘s military officer and loyalist taken to Ming’s fortress to see the entire people are three earth creatures captive Flash Gordon must stop the madness of Ming and his minions who will support Lord Barin ruler of Arboria King Vultan of the Bird people and lord Thun of the lion people united we stand and coalition of the willing to support Flash Gordon to overthrow Ming the merciless and his minions Flash and his friends to form a revolutionary government at king Vultan’s Sky City to become the base of operations to topple Ming and his red sword and his minions Ming and Dale in a royal ceremonial wedding then flash and his revolutionaries stormed the palace and the battle begins a showdown prince Barin and lord Thun joined forces to defeat Ming’s army king Vultan’s squadron soars the fortress and destroy Ming guards and surrender to rebel troops under Lord Barin’s command Flash and Ming fight to the duel and conceded defeat by the hands of Flash Gordon wins a revolution and the people that set you free again and Ming the merciless from power Flash Gordon to form a new government
    under a new constitution and appointed him a new king
    And queen of Free Mongo ((Federation
    Of Mongo) was formed by a group of council members
    and collective presidency of the new government
    of Mongo declared a nation a democratic country over tyranny after Ming the merciless ended his dark reign for several years and exiled in Magnetic mountain as a hideout for the ousted leader of mongo Flash Gordon a new hero of Mongo and a new savior of the univers proclaimed by the people of Mongo turns jubilant
    and happy people to see the triumph of Flash Gordon
    as the protector of mankind as earth protector and finally Flash Dale and Dr.Zarkov returns to earth ended their mission
    And fond farewell and they will be back again to
    save the universe into the future.story by:Alex Raymond. Thanks for the information
    For your comments in your opinion.from:Wayne

  2. says

    The return of 2007-08 tv series reinstated to syfy once again Eric Johnson a Canadian-born actor reprise the role as the intergalactic adventurer and space hero to return to Mongo via portal/spacebridge to see his opposing enemy Ming the Merciless generalissimo of Mongo Empire and dictator ruled with an iron fist must overthrown and possible a revolution begins to ignite with the aid of their allies former slaves/prisoners middle class defectors from Ming’s military as well as prince Barin leader of Arboria Thun the lion prince and king Vultan leader of the bird men/bird people to form a revolutionary government in sky city in a military plan to invade nascent city to becomes a contested area into a civil war all cities towns and villages was liberated by rebels
    To claim victory then to the capital city into the palace fight to the duel until Ming is defeated and conceded Flash Gordon wins the war and freedom begins and people are jubilant once again after several years suffered by Ming the Merciless the empire of Mongo is ended a new revolutionary government setup led by the council of junta a round table collective presidency and chosen as the new king lord Barin and lady Aura is the new queen of Mongo kingdom (State of Mongo Federation) Flash Gordon Dale Arden & Dr.Ivan Zarkov returns to earth and a farewell to the people of Mongo and they will be back for another mission in the universe and thanks for the liberation of their planets .story by Alex Raymond American novelist author and cartoonist.thanks for the information about the history of comic strips and send e-mail to your comments.from:Wayne

  3. frankie smales says

    sadly folks the series has finished and it is
    currently shownig on the scifi channel and it is now on dvd
    and it only made one season of the show because it caused
    criticism from the fans of the orignal flash gordon shows and
    movies and the updated show disapointed fans the world over
    frankie smales
    (frankie smales movie and tv review uk)

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