Flash Gordon is an American science fiction television series that debuted on Sci Fi in the United States on August 10, 2007 and continued airing new episodes through February 8, 2008. It has also appeared on the United Kingdom Sci Fi Channel and SPACE in Canada. The series was developed by Peter Hume, who served as executive producer/show runner and wrote the first and last episodes, among others.
The series, based loosely on the comic strip of the same name and incorporating elements from several previous adaptations, follows the adventures of Steven "Flash" Gordon (the nickname is a reference to his abilities as a high school track and field athlete), played by Eric Johnson, who lives with his mother in Maryland and whose scientist father was lost in a mysterious accident when Flash was 13 years old. Flash's former girlfriend, Dale Arden (Gina Holden), is a television news reporter and is engaged to police detective Joe Wylee. They meet the elder Gordons' eccentric former assistant, Hans Zarkov (Jody Racicot), when rifts in space appear, allowing travel between Earth and the planet Mongo.
Mongo is ruled by the ruthless dictator Ming (John Ralston), who controls "Source Water", the only source of safe drinking water on Mongo. Unlike the previous adaptations, he is not normally called "the Merciless" and is instead called "Benevolent Father". He also exhibits the traits of modern, media-savvy dictators, rather than the more simplistic, stereotypically evil characterization of earlier incarnations. Also unlike previous depictions, Ming resembles a blond Caucasian human, rather than a bald East Asian man, possibly to avoid the allegations of racism associated with the original depiction. Ming has a daughter, Princess Aura (Anna van Hooft), who is disturbed by her father's brutality. The series adds a new non-Terran character, Baylin (Karen Cliche), a bounty hunter from Mongo. She finds herself trapped on Earth and becomes a comrade of Flash, Dale and Zarkov and their guide to Mongo and its inhabitants.
The peoples of Mongo live in "cantons", tribal groups that echo the animal-human hybrids of the original comic strip. The cantons include the Verdan (based on Prince Barin's forest-dwelling people from the strip), the Turin (based on the strip's Lion Men), the Dactyls (the series' version of the strip's Hawkmen), the Omadrians (women who create powerful medicines), the Frigians (who live in the frozen wastelands), the Tritons (who live beneath the ocean), and the Zurn (painted blue "Magic Men" led by Queen Azura). There is also another group known as the Deviates, mutants whose ancestors drank "Grey Water" (toxic water) to survive. The Deviates are led by Terek, their unofficial king (and Aura's brother) and are distrusted by almost everyone.
On April 3, 2008, it was announced that Flash Gordon was cancelled. Re-runs of the show began airing weekly on ION Television on August 1, 2008.
The show was generally not well received. Metacritic gave the show an average score of 35/100 based on reviews from 13 critics. UK science fiction magazine SFX described episode 3 as 'possibly the worst episode of anything, ever.', and as part of their 200th issue features, they named the series as the worst they had ever reviewed. The New York Post gave the show 0 stars describing it as "a disgrace to the name of the enduring comic-strip-character-turned-movie-and-TV space hero."
Season 1 (Complete Series)
|1.13||Secrets and Lies|
|1.15||Stand and Deliver|
|1.17||Thicker Than Water|
|1.18||Ebb and Flow|
|1.20||Cold Day In Hell|