Hometown Celebrity Steven "Flash" Gordon discovers a secret his father tried desperately to keep hidden. He then embarks on a journey to another dimension in hopes of finding his father who... See full summary »
At least 13 episodes have fallen into the public domain. The known episodes are: "Flash Gordon and the Planet of Death", "Akim the Terrible", "The Claim Jumpers", "The Breath of Death", "Return of the Androids", "The Lure of Light", "Flash Gordon and the Race Against Time", "Flash Gordon and the Brain Machine", "Struggle to the End", "Saboteurs from Space", "The Forbidden Experiment", "Deadline at Noon", and "The Subworld Revenge". See more »
The Flash Gordon 1950's TV series is interesting, mostly due to it's being one of the first science fiction series to be shot on film. The fact that it was made in the still recovering post WWII Germany, and the later episodes in France gives it different look and feel than comparable American lensed shows, such as Rocky Jones, Spacer Ranger.
Some of the German episodes are rather dark and grim, with an almost expressionistic look. The budgets are quite low, and while there are a number of model shots of the space craft (such as Gordon & Co.'s Skyflash) many of the effects in the German episodes are largely photo and cel animation. The French episodes feature the Skyflash II, a very shiny rocket model, which seemed to complicate matters for the slightly more ambitious FX in the later episodes.
Male model Steve Holland played Flash, which is intriguing, as Holland was the artist model used by James Bama for the Doc Savage novel reprints that were highly successful in the 60's and early 70's. Holland turned up on the cover of many action hero paperbacks. For someone with no real acting experience, he's not too bad -- but he's certainly no match for Buster Crabbe's portrayal.
Joe Nash is generally quite good as Zarkov. Irene Champlin seemed to have some trouble (as did many of the actors) in getting her lines out and try to make an actual performance gel in the rushed looking -- possibly single take -- scenes.
Producer Ed Gruskin was known for his work in radio (including a Doc Savage series) and writer Bruce Elliot wrote for the pulps, notably a number of Shadow novels under the house name of Maxwell Grant.
Some of the music by Roger Roger (yep, that's his name) in the French produced episodes will be very familiar to viewers of low budget horror and Sci-fi films of the 50s,60s, and 70's. The tracks became part of a music library, and are still licensed for use today.
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