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Flash Gordon: Remastered/Reinvented

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There are many names in pulp era of the 1920s-40s that have stood the test of time. The Shadow, Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Zorro. Some of these characters have influenced future characters and stories while others have been rightfully seen as problematic. It was a different time back then, but there are few characters who were both problematic and have remained in the zeitgeist for almost a century. Flash Gordon is one of those characters.

History, Adaptations and its Influence

Originally a comic strip inspired by Buck Rogers that ran from 1934 to 1992 as a daily newspaper, Flash Gordon and characters like him can be seen as misogynistic and outdated in today’s world. However, we probably wouldn’t have Star Wars if not for the character.

From space opera aesthetics to the opening credit crawl, Flash Gordon and the stories set “in a galaxy far, far away” have much in common. George Lucas has said that characters like Gordon and Rogers had an influence on Star Wars. Today, the intellectual property spanning generations has gone on to inspire other works in the science fiction genre. Everything from fan fiction in various media and officially licensed spin-offs, series and specials to new stories with similar aesthetics.

Flash Gordon: Fourth Wall Cracks and Bad Acting Humor

The second episode of “Amazing Interplanetary Adventures of Flash Gordon” starts with the camp dialed up to 11. It both sounds like something that might’ve aired in the twentieth century while also sounding modern. The best analogy that the opening leans into is the bad porno scene, complete with wooden acting and obvious innuendo. It’s clearly intentional, but it wasn’t until they escape that it becomes obvious that this is an original script with characters from the series.

The first hint that this isn’t an adaptation comes from the back and forth between Flash Gordon and Prince Baron are talking about faces. When Baron responds to “Oh yeah, say it to my face.” with “I am, literally, right now.” The scene acts as a fourth wall crack. It’s not quite a break, but it makes clear that the words were written after the original series ended.

Despite the new material, the people at the Mindstream Players production and Lumen Actus productions clearly know how capture that sense of wonder many of us find goofy today. There are 6 episodes in total so far.

8/10 Stars