Flash Gordon TV series: the press reaction

The first episode of the SciFi Channel's new take on Flash Gordon has now aired in the States. Er, things could have gone better...

The new Flash Gordon. Not very good

Oh dear.

I did have hopes for this, but it looks like the SciFi remake of Flash Gordon has gone the way of many a cheapy science fiction show and will probably be panned and canned soon.

With Gordon being ‘Dead’, even before he was ‘Alive’ (sorry, I couldn’t help getting a quick Blessed in there) it’s a shame that no channel, production company or show-runners can handle a franchise like this any more. Given the fantastic source material, you’d think a show like this would be a dead cert hit.

It all seemed so easy when Joss Whedon produced Buffy and the guys from Galactica got the formula right with the re-imagining stuff – it just goes to show really that these guys are extra talented or that most producers couldn’t find their behinds with both hands.

Ad – content continues below

Everyone knew that the show could never beat the 1980 camp-fest but Alex Raymond’s source material should be treated with at least a little respect. But it looks like Sci-Fi, as it has many times before with ‘classics’ like Blade, Mutant X and Painkiller Jane dropped the ball.

Maybe it’s the fact that they always filmed on the cheap in Canada with a no-star cast and zero budget. Or it could be that there is no real talent or imagination there in those corporate offices Who am I to judge..? But really, come on, it’s not a great hit rate, especially when you should be passionate about what you are doing.

I am sure that I, along with every other person reading this site, would kill for a job on the SciFi channel. Still I won’t moan any more, I will let those who were forced to watch this tripe give their opinion:

USA Today ‘… While the latest version is less outrageously awful than the best-known, out-of-this-universe 1980 big-screen remake, it’s also much less fun, as amateurish mediocrities tend to be. … Badly written, badly cast and done on the cheap in the Canadian woods, Flash is the kind of fantasy toss-off that gives sci-fi, and Sci Fi, a bad name.’

The New York Post gives it no stars and says: ‘I wish I could have been in the pitch meeting for Sci Fi’s latest reincarnation of “Flash Gordon.” It must have been an out of this world experience – because there’s no other way this incredibly dopey series would ever have, er, gotten off the ground. … I apologize to all the Flash Gordon fans around the world. I know I had nothing to do with this series , but it’s so horrible I somehow feel responsible – just by watching it.’

Newsday says: ‘Watch Sci Fi’s new “Flash Gordon” series and wonder where the magic went. It’s hard to see how a show could take such a perennial fave and go this completely wrong.’

Ad – content continues below

Variety says: ‘A 90-minute premiere replete with playful if dimwitted banter, dimension-breaching nonsense, and a cast seemingly plucked from Revlon commercials. Nostalgia might win out, but barring a last-minute rescue, this bit of fluff will be forgotten in a you-know-what. … lacking the requisite wit, excitement or sense of adventure to survive for long in this dimension, much less the next.’

Oh dear… I told them if they didn’t get Peter Duncan, dwarfs, Orela Muti and Brian Blessed in it, it wouldn’t work…