When the SciFi channel announced that they were going to do a new take on Flash Gordon, it was hard not to be at least a little bit enthused. After all, Battlestar Galactica has been some of the best TV of the last few years. Sadly, they seem to have missed out on everything that would have made this good.
While it’s great that they appear to have given Cory Doctrow his first acting role as Hans Zarkov (and yes, that’s a joke), pretty much everything else on the show is a miss.
First off, Flash Gordon is nothing like Battlestar Galactica. You’re not taking a badly executed property with a kernel of a good idea and remaking it. You’re taking a very successful comic strip with gorgeous artwork by Alex Raymond as a starting point. Even the serials with Buster Crabbe were successful. You’re not competing with the special effects of the 1930’s, you’re competing with the visuals of Raymond’s strips. That’s what they were trying to recreate as best they could back then. You’ve got to do the same. It’s space opera and you’ve got to get to Mongo and spaceships, ray pistols, hot looking people, and lots of action as fast as possible. Also, it might be nice if there were some chemistry between Flash and Dale Arden…
Anyway, if you want to catch a little bit before it’s cancelled you can get the first episode free from iTunes right now: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewVideo?id=261786418&p=261559757&s=143441