Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Flash Gordon thru Film and TV

Flash Gordon film serials staring Buster Crabbe: 
Flash Gordon (1936)
Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938)
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)

Fun Fact: First published January 7, 1934, the strip was inspired by and created to compete with the already established Buck Rogers adventure strip. 

Flash Gordon TV series (1954-1955) 
staring Steve Holland ran for 39 episodes. 

Fun Fact: The first 26 episodes had the distinction of being filmed in West Berlin, Germany less than a decade after the end of World War II. This is notable, given that some episodes show the real-life destruction still evident in Germany several years after the war.

The New Adventures of Flash Gordon animated TV series (1979-1980) 
staring Robert Ridgely ran for 32 episodes. 

Fun Fact: NBC was unhappy with the serial nature of the first season, as it clashed with their re-run style (details can be found on a documentary included on the DVD), so the second season was much changed and also aimed at a younger audience. Each episode included two stand-alone stories, often featuring a young dragon named Gremlin, introduced for comic relief. Unfortunately, this decision led to a decline in ratings and the show was canceled thereafter.

Flash Gordon film (1980) staring Sam J. Jones. 

Fun Fact: Sam J. Jones was a Playgirl centerfold model. 

Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All animated TV movie (1982) 
staring Robert Ridgely

Fun Fact: Filmation produced this successful animated television movie, written by Star Trek writer Samuel A. Peeples, before they began their Saturday morning series, but the TV-movie did not actually air until 1982. It was critically well-received, and is considered one of the best film versions of Flash Gordon, though it would never be re-broadcast following its premiere.

Defenders of the Earth animated TV series (1986) 
staring Lou Richards ran for 65 episodes.

Fun Fact: The series' introductory theme song lyrics were written by Marvel Comics' Stan Lee, who also wrote some "Defenders of the Earth" comic-book stories.

Flash Gordon animated TV series (1996) 
staring Toby Proctor ran for 26 episodes.

Fun Fact: This Flash Gordon was voted "A Major Suck Ass" by me.

Flash Gordon TV series (2007)
starring Eric Johnson ran for 21 episodes.

Fun Fact: Advertisements featured a cover version of Queen's "Flash's Theme" (from the 1980 film) performed by the band Louis XIV. The song was not present in any episode of the show.

Dork Note: Flash Gordon is one of the five properties I would buy if I was super-mega-ultra rich.

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