44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2013
FLASH GORDON: The Complete Series! This was a fun show and years overdue for a U.S. DVD release! Starring Eric Johnson ["Smallville", "Rookie Blue"] as Flash Gordon, Gina Holden ["Blood Ties", "Harper's Island"] as Dale Arden, Karen Cliche ["Mutant X", "Adventure, Inc."] as Baylin, Jody Racicot as Dr. Hans Zarkov, John Ralston as Ming the Merciless, Anna Van Holt as Princesss Aura, Steve Bacic ["Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda"] as Prince Barin and Ty Olsson ["Defying Gravity"] as Prince Vultan. 22 episodes - a SyFy Channel Production! FLASH GORDON is well worth adding to your DVD library - grab this inexpensive DVD set from Mill Creek!!!
1) "Flash Gordon: The Pilot" (part one)
2) "Flash Gordon: The Pilot" (part two)
7) "Life Source"
10) "'Til Death"
11) "Conspiracy Theory"
12) "Random Access"
13) "Secrets and Lies"
14) "The Sorrow"
15) "Stand and Deliver"
17) "Thicker Than Water"
18) "Ebb and Flow"
20) "A Cold Day in Hell"
21) "Revolution" (part one)
22) "Revolution" (part two)
NOTE: It's worth mentioning that the 2009 out-of-print Canadian DVD release from Phase 4 Films is a FIVE Disc set featuring: 1) Optional English SUBTITLES and 2) Optional French soundtrack. The Mill Creek version is a FOUR disc set with no special features (no subtitles).
47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2013
Let me start off by saying I am a big fan of Flash Gordon. not just the 80s movie, but also the Filmation animated series, the orginal comics, and even the Buster Crabbe serials. I even own reprints of orginal Sunday comics. now i did not expect this series to be exactly like those. I dont mind a little diversity. however I found that this series failed on every level for me. Eric Johnson was a bit bland as Flash, Holden a so so Dale Arden. Dr. Zarkov was okish. Hooft was uninspiring as Aura. the few decent characters were Balyn, Rankol, and Prince Baron. their characters were fun to watch. now i dont need Ming to be a cackling villain. but still Ralston didnt seem to inspire menace for me. also Hawkmen without wings!! I can not overstate just how wrong that is. now its not just bland actors that put me off. now i did not expect the show to be total redo the old stories, as the Filmation series did. but i did expect some more action packed stories. which i feel this show lacked. i think what annoys me most of all is that the series takes place all on Earth and the heroes only visit Mongo on occasion, and most of the time deal with things that come from Mongo. this irritated me to no end. it's basicly 'creature' of the week stuff. where the characters have to deal with something from Mongo coming to earth and putting a stop to it. only on a few occasions going to Mongo itself. this most of all is why the show failed in my eyes. Flash Gordon should always be set on Mongo. ANY story not set on this planet, and there have been many, is not a represntation of the concept. it should be in the same vein of Edgar Rice Burroghs. where the hero has to fight to survive with nothing but his bare fists, his wits, and his physical strength. THAT is the Flash Gordon of the first comics, the animated series, the serials, and yes the 80s movie too. flash should be stranded on Mongo fighting for his life. that was the first concept. many comics, show, have taken that away and they failed. the only successful attempt to my eyes is Defenders of the Earth. but that is just the only one. this new show, shown first on SciFi, failed in that. hence my low ratings and review. if you enjoyed this series thats fine. if you are a fan of Flash Gordon the orignal i say avoid this at all costs. instead check out the comics, even the animated series,and yes the 80s movie too. or the old serials. each are far better repreentations of the Flash Gordon story.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Flash Gordon was a popular 1930's comic strip by Alex Raymond and ended its run in 2003. In 1935 it became a weekly radio series. The comic made its way onto the small screen in the live-action 1954-1955 series and the animated 1979-1980 series. Three more short-lived cartoon series followed in 1982, 1986, and 1996. Flash even made it on the big screen in forty serials between 1936 and 1940. The comic is more famously known for the 1980 box-office flop that featured a soundtrack by Queen, but over the years it has been become a cult classic.
Flash Gordon returned to television on Sci-Fi (now known as SyFy) for the 2007-2008 live-action series. It was released on DVD in Canada in 2009, but it was unavailable in the United States until Mill Creek Entertainment released it on DVD on Tuesday, which I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
The series followed Flash Gordon's quest to find his lost scientist father, who had disappeared when Flash was only a thirteen-year-old. His father's former assistant Dr. Hans Zarkov informs him that his father didn't disappear. His father had found a rift between space and traveled to another world called Mongo. Along with his ex-girlfriend reporter Dale Arden, Flash travels to Mongo, a world ruled by the dictator Ming, who controls Mongo's only water supply. Flash and Dale soon befriend Baylin, who helps them try to stop Ming.
The episodes on the DVD set are:
Pilot Part One
Pilot Part Two
Secrets And Lies
Stand And Deliver
Thicker Than Water
EBB And Flow
A Cold Day in Hell
Revolution Part One
Revolution Part Two
I recall catching a few brief moments of Flash Gordon when it originally aired, but it didn't catch my interest as I kept comparing it to the cheesy 1980's film. I thought I would give the series another try by watching the entire 22 episodes on DVD. I have to say that it takes several episodes for the series to become actually watchable. The first half spends way too much on Earth, unlike the second half that shows more of Mongo. The cast has a lot of chemistry, but the dialogue can be a little juvenile at times. My favorite character is the warrior Baylin (played by the beautiful Karen Cliche). After watching the complete series, I actually liked the series as a whole, especially for the "Source Water" storyline in the latter episodes. The series got better with each episode, but sadly it ended in a cliffhanger. There are no extras on this release, but each episode comes in crystal clear, which surprised me considering there are only four discs. Overall, I think Flash Gordon is an underrated science fiction adventure and I do hope it finds a new audience on DVD.
45 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2011
I find it disingenuous when this series is reviewed and derided by those who consider the "Queen soundtracked, Sam Jones as Flash" version to be the criterion. I consider the original Buster Crabbe version to be the true original. Compared with the original, this version with Eric Johnson as Flash is good, with no more deviation from the original than the Sam Jones version, which seems to have been a parody.
Flash Gordon in any version is not to be taken seriously, or critiqued for accuracy of science, it is to be enjoyed as a diversion of fantasy, and in that context, this version succeeds. The characters and effects are supposed to be somewhat cheesy, and the situations predictably favourable to the core characters. Those who demand a higher degree of realism have many other choices.
Unfortunately, there are those who feel they must defend their favourite version by tearing down other versions, so there were many negative posts on message boards during the series run, and many comparisons to the "original" Sam Jones version being protected. But there are also many who watch series to have fun, who can suspend disbelief on their own, and who consider low-tech camp as part of the fun.
No series pleases all viewers, but for those of us who enjoyed this version, an affordable DVD set would be desirable. Or, to replay the series on TV, at least.
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2011
The series starts off kind of slow but gets better every week. It's too bad that the Scy Fy channel only likes to produce boring paranormal reality shows now. Take the time to watch this series. It's great fun!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2014
The people posting that this was a good series HAS to be employed by the distributor. I was so eager for this show and when it aired on SyFy it was a total disappointment. If you think otherwise, consider this: The series barely lasted one season and then cancelled with no fanfare; the cost of the set is under $5 - still too much. Still not convinced? The cover has Flash wearing a hawkman costume... yes, that is a hawkman costume. Even if this low-budget series was trying to be humerous, it missed the mark. If this series was trying to be dramatic, it still missed the mark. If you were a fan of the Sam Jones Falsh Gordon - stay away from this series. If you were a fan of the old Buster Crabbe episodes, stay away from this series. Do not reward the distributor for putting out junk like this.
30 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2010
I'll put my hand up and admit it; I was excited. When I first heard the news that a brand new series of Flash Gordon was coming to the Sci-Fi Channel, the Nostalgia Nerd inside me thought back to the gloriously camp and wonderfully garbage 80s movie, or the action packed, spirited capers of the Buster Crabbe serials. The Serious Nerd inside me pondered what such a show would be like, sitting alongside more intelligent sci-fi reboots like Battlestar Gallactica. Would it be possible to produce a grounded, realistic science fiction show based on the bonkers adventures of the ancient comic strip hero, with rocket ships and Hawkmen and all kinds of "Simpler-Times" lunacy? Or would the show go all out, embrace the Boys Own adventure theme, hoping to capture the tone and attitude of the strips?
Turns out it would be a little bit of both, with a huge dollop of "Suck" added in for good measure.
So, it turns out that in 2007, certain plot points just aren't realistic in this oh-so modern adaptation. So no rocket ships to the planet Mongo (it's now a parallel dimension which Flash and co can hop in and out of, yeah that's much more realistic than, uh, space travel) and certain names have been altered as well. Flash Gordon is now Steven "Flash" Gordon (because he can run fast, plus that unfortunate incident with the brown mac and the ten year old girl, possibly) and Ming the Merciless is now, God help us, Benevolent Father, and is an obvious take on Saddam Hussein. Wow. How chin-stroking and relevant. Except the crucial difference isn't the lack of Ming's famous beard and robes from the comic, serials and movie - it's the fact this new Ming is quite possibly the most boring villain of all time. Not in the least bit threatening, intimidating or even amusing, he's just sort of.. there. He looks like your bank manager.
But then, he's evenly matched, because this reboot's Flash is every bit as dull and pointless as his "nemesis." I understand the character of Flash Gordon isn't exactly a famous archetype; he's not the tortured billionaire of Bruce Wayne, he's not the guilt-ridden, socially awkward Peter Parker, so you could pretty much fill in a lot of blanks in Gordon and run with it. So those blanks that have been filled in are now "smug", "hateful" and "incapable of any emotion other than apathy." In the first episode he ends up on Mongo, a new UNIVERSE, remember, and placed in jail about to be killed, by ALIENS, remember, and he acts like he's just nipped out for a pint of milk. He sighs, he quips, and that's it. He doesn't care, so why should you?
The other characters are just as bad. Dale is like Flash-Ette, similarly good looking, similarly sarcastic and equally hateful. Zarkov is the nervous nerd and Ming's daughter; fiery tempered and spunky in the serials and the most beautiful creature who ever walked the earth in the 80's movie (Ornella Muti, quite possibly from another planet.. she really was too damn sexy to be entirely human), is dull and pouty in this series. She, like the others, have the exact same flaw; they're the same initial characters we all know, but with no spark. You don't believe, sympathise or even like any of them. Oh, and Token Black from South Park has been added to the cast list too, providing nothing but his obvious reason for being there. It's almost like the writers of this drivel had a) never read any Flash Gordon comics before and b) never watched any science fiction television before, instead deciding to pitch these characters as a cross between Beverly Hills 90210 and Friends, all unfunny quips and pointless mugging as each tedious, stupid story pans out.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the show tanked and was cancelled after its first season, but it's not like the rot began to set in after the first 12 episodes; it was dire - positively DIRE - from the very first episode. If it didn't have the words "Flash" and "Gordon" in the title I would have switched off after the first episode (hell, the first twenty minutes). I actually survived past episode 3 which SFX Magazine described as "possibly the worst episode of anything, ever." In fact, I lasted right up until the end of episode 8, until I found myself sobbing into my hands at the thought there were still 14 episodes left to go.
It's a damn shame. It had the budget, it had the potential audience, it had decades of potential storylines to take inspiration from and it had a full season run. Far more deserving shows had much less to work with before they were binned before their time. To re-write several key elements of a comic strip for being "dated" and then hampering the show with characters and dialogue worse than an episode of He-Man is baffling. Filling the show with bland, boring performances when history has provided the exact opposite is just galling. A waste of time, money and a potentially great franchise.
Flash Gordon 2007 could have been great. With better writers and cast it could have taken key elements that made the original great and evolved it into a relevant, intelligent piece of science-fiction. Or it could have given us enjoyable romps a la Xena or the BBC's Merlin series. It did neither, and ended up a boring, idiotic mess that made you believe (British joke alert) the writers were from Ming's home planet, or as we like to call them... Mongoloids.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I guess I'll never learn. The Sci-Fi (or SyFy, or whatever) Channel has created some of the most awful dreck that I've ever had the misfortune to waste time on. I don't have cable TV at home, but I occasionally have the "opportunity" to partake of it when I'm visiting relatives or in hotels when traveling. I almost never find anything on SyFy worth watching.
This "Flash Gordon" series is a case in point.
I checked the DVD set out of the public library, expecting to be able to spend a couple of pleasant days binge-watching a show I'd never seen. I was wrong. I only got through six episodes before I gave up.
Everything about "Flash Gordon" is horrible. The cast members, a bunch of 20-somethings who all look the same to me, have little skill in their craft. Their attempts to act are laughable, and they offer nothing with which the viewer can connect with or care about. The special effects are so cheesy and amateurish that they beg description. The inter-dimensional portal ("rift") is fairly well done, but don't look for any state-of-the-art CGI here. Everything on the planet Mongo glows with lurid red light that does nothing but conceal some of the cheese. The rendered landscapes and the city look like someone cranked them out on a low-end PC in an afternoon between energy drink breaks. The characters are abysmally stupid and/or annoying. The story line (I hesitate to use the word "plot") could have come from a five-year-old child.
The only thing this series has in common with Alex Raymond's classic "Flash Gordon" comic strip, with the old black-and-white Buster Crabbe serials, and even with the 1980 cinematic release, is the characters' names. The producers of this tripe could not have done worse if they'd named them Dick and Jane.
It's no mystery to me why this series only lasted for one season of 22 episodes.
Don't waste your time.
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2011
If you like the cheesy Flash Gordon made either in the late 70's early 80's you will find this show entertaining. The series had a new and different twist on the way Ming is interested in earth. I would have given it a five but the acting is a little weak in some parts.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2014
The absence of subtitles (even english for the inpaired) and the dvd quality of sound (voices) doesn't allow fully understanding. Otherwise the stories are too much common.