Flash Gordon (1954–1955)

TV Series  -   -  Action | Adventure | Fantasy
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 119 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 2 critic

Space hero Flash Gordon and his crew of the Galaxy Bureau of Investigation patrol space, battling space monsters, power-mad alien dictators and other threats to the stability of the universe.

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Title: Flash Gordon (1954–1955)

Flash Gordon (1954–1955) on IMDb 6/10

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Season:

1

Year:

1955 | 1954

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Steve Holland ...
 Flash Gordon (31 episodes, 1954-1955)
Irene Champlin ...
 Dale Arden (31 episodes, 1954-1955)
Joseph Nash ...
 Dr. Hans Zarkov (31 episodes, 1954-1955)
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Storyline

Space hero Flash Gordon and his crew of the Galaxy Bureau of Investigation patrol space, battling space monsters, power-mad alien dictators and other threats to the stability of the universe.

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Release Date:

1 October 1954 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(39 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This program was syndicated to local television stations from late 1953 to late 1954, before being carried by the DuMont network. The release date of 1 October 1954, is the DuMont broadcast date for the first episode. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Angel: Sense and Sensitivity (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Better Than You'd Think
23 August 2009 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

I recently inherited a massive television set with a blown color tube and have been availing myself of the opportunity to watch exclusively B&W productions on it, which inevitably led me to watch the classic "Flash Gordon" serials again. Which in turn led me to watch these marvelous old "Flash Gordon" TV shows as well. Sure, they don't come anywheres near the epic art deco masterpieces of the Buster Crabbe era, but by golly there's something going on here that's pretty darn interesting.

The show was apparently a co-production between US, West German and French studios filmed on & around the rubble heaps of a still partially demolished West Berlin in 1953. The series aired in syndication on the old DuMont Television Network, a fascinating chapter of American pop consumerism eating itself. The series doesn't have Ming or Mongo or the Tree Men, but what it does have is an abundance of US issue Cold War era military industrial complex effect going on, crossed with German neo-expressionism and even some good old Sartre inspired French existentialism.

It's easy to laugh at the low budget sets, costumes, space helmets, ray guns and cheap model rocketry spaceship effects, but it's always easy to poke fun at past forms that now seem quaint or silly. Dig up some old pictures of yourself & the crew from the early 1980s and you'll see what I mean. Either you guys deliberately dressed like jerks, or you were enmeshed in the times and unable to see how ridiculous you looked because you & I both didn't know any better. Same thing goes for old science fiction props, production design, costuming, and applied science.

The only genuine criticism I can find for the series is the awful theme music, but once you get beyond that what you're left with is a deceptively creepy little television show that, as others point out, make the Captain Video type American made SF efforts of the era seem completely vapid by comparison. There is a sophistication to the execution of the show that belies it's cheapness, and the action scenes set amongst the rubble strewn streets of an actual bombed out city have a kind of eerie pathos to them that is at odds with the space opera scripts. I hesitate to say it creates a profound juxtaposition of pop culture semantics set against the actual ravages of dystopian angst, but that's exactly what it amounts to.

7/10: Several episodes have turned up on bargain bin public domain DVD sets out at the dollar stores. Buy a couple, they are worth it.


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