Flash Gordon (1996 TV series)
DVD cover of pilot movie.
|Developed by||David J. Corbett
|Starring||The voices of
|Country of origin||USA
|No. of episodes||26|
|Executive producer(s)||Carol Monroe/David J. Corbett|
|Running time||30 mins|
|Original channel||Syndicated by Hearst Entertainment Productions Channel 4, YTV, TCC|
|Original run||September, 1996 – 1997|
Flash Gordon is a 1996 animated television series based on the science fiction comic strip of the same name. The character, who had been around in the comics pages since Alex Raymond created him in 1934, had already starred in several movie serials, a 1980 feature, and two earlier cartoon series — The New Adventures of Flash Gordon and Defenders of the Earth.
For this series, the dashing blond hero was regressed to his teenage years, and he employed a hoverboard. As in previous versions, he teamed up with Dale Arden (also a teen) and balding, bespectacled scientist Hans Zarkov. Flash's parents were American astronauts who got sucked into a dimensional hole just outside the earth’s atmosphere. The trans-dimensional portal was placed there by Ming the Merciless, emperor of the planet Mongo, who hoped to provide open access for his invading armies. In this series, Ming resembled and showed characteristics of a lizard and seemed to have a wife who was long dead (it was implied in some episodes that she had gone to Earth).
Flash, Dale, and Zarkov followed Flash's parents in their own space vehicle, rescuing them and closing the dimensional hole. Unfortunately, Flash and crew were stuck on the Mongo side. The earthlings discovered other nearby planets with anti-Ming factions and put together a loose coalition, determined to overthrow Mongo’s evil emperor and return, Princess Thundar, Flash, Dale, and Zarkov to their native planet.
- Alex "Flash" Gordon: The blonde, teenage hero of the series. He is charismatic, daring, and always willing to impress Dale Arden (which doesn't always succeed). He met Dale during a skateboard contest, shortly before Ming's army attempted its first invasion on Earth.
- Dale Arden: Flash's partner and love interest, she is far removed from the classic damsel in distress, being on the contrary courageous and sarcastic. She does have feelings for Flash, but also tends to rebuff him just as much when things don't go her way. Like Flash, she is quite adept at skateboarding.
- Doctor Hans Zarkov: Flash and Dale's elderly, balding scientist ally. He met the pair during Ming's first invasion attempt of Earth and traveled with them to Mongo to try and close the trans-dimensional portal. Zarkov is brilliant, but extremely pessimistic and cowardly. He is usually reluctant to put himself in danger, no matter what. He is in direct rivalry with Sulpha, Ming's head scientist.
- Ming the Merciless: The indisputable ruler of Mongo, he supposedly has already conquered many neighbour worlds, and now wants to invade Earth. Ming bears the characteristics of a lizard, just like the rest of his army, and whether or not his species was indigenous to Mongo is unclear. His ruthless temper contrasts with his unconditional love for his daughter Aura. Once had a wife named Rosaura, supposedly dead since long ago.
- General Lynch: Ming's sniveling, incompetent second-in-command. Lynch doesn't have much to say in Ming's decisions, and just carries out the orders, attempting to have the job done by brute force and failing most of the time. Still, he is no less evil than his Emperor, and if Ming wasn't here, his schemes would be just as bad, if not worse.
- Kobalt: Ming's top mercenary. Kobalt is a Pantheron. He has a sort of rivalry with Lynch.
- Sulpha: Ming's female Dragon head scientist, charged with designing his weapons and ships. She is extremely brilliant due to a binary brain, and is in a fierce rivalry with Doctor Zarkov for being the greatest scientist on Mongo. Sulpha is the last of her species, which was more than likely exterminated by Ming. She has a soft side in spite of her grumpy attitude, with ambiguous loyalties, serving Ming but all the same hating him, and often helping out Flash and his allies when they're in a pinch.
- Talon: Flash's most prominent and gung-ho ally and Prince of the Birdmen of Hawk City, a species of winged human-like beings. Talon is a brave and enthusiastic man.
- Thundarr: Another one of Flash's loyal allies, Thundarr is a female Leonid, coming from a species of felinoids. She is an impetuous and excellent fighter, expert at hand-to-hand combat.
- Prince Barin: Renegade Prince of Arboria, first hostile to Flash and his friends. He nonetheless ends up joining them in their battle against Ming.
Production and series run
A multinational co-production, Flash Gordon came into weekly YTV, syndication and Channel 4 in the fall of 1996. 26 episodes were produced.
|Episode||Title||Original airdate||Production number|
|1||"Escape to Mongo"||301|
|Earth teenagers Flash Gordon and Dale Arden, and their reluctant friend Dr. Zarkov, journey to the fantastic planet Mongo where they fight to defeat the evil planetary dictator, Ming the Merciless.|
|2||""Jaws of the Jungle""||302|
|Flash, Dale and Dr. Zarkov rescue the Lionid princess Thundar from Ming and the treacherous Vine People. This feat earns them the respect of Prince Talon and renews the rebellion against Ming.|
|3||""The Caves of Doom""||303|
|Flash races time to save Dale and Dr. Zarkov from being sacrificed to a volcano by the Trogs, a tribe of suspicious cave dwellers.|
|4||""Vandals from the Void""||304|
|When Mongo is attacked by a fleet of UFOs, only Flash questions Ming's attempts to form an alliance with the Rebel forces.|
|5||""Fangs of Fury""||305|
|Thundar's mother falls fatally ill, and only Ming holds the antidote. His price for the cure‹Flash Gordon! How will Thundar decide?|
|6||""Terror Beneath the Waves""||306|
|Queen Kayla and her Shark People hold Flash captive underwater while Ming prepares a sneak attack on the Rebel forces.|
|7||""Wings of Destruction""||307|
|Flash competes against Aura in the Mongonian Aerial Games. Although a truce is in effect during the games, Ming attacks.|
|8||""The Invisible Claw""||308|
|Sulpha, Ming's dragon scientist, creates an army of invisible Rock People to conquer a peaceful desert kingdom. Can Flash stop them?|
|9||""Pit of the Tigrons""||309|
|While Ming is away, Aura takes command of Mongo. She offers a truce if Flash will agree to marry her and rule Mongo at her side.|
|10||""Cry of the Pantheron""||310|
|Kobalt the mercenary pretends to fall in love with Thundar, raising Flash's suspicions when he joins an attack on Ming's bomb factory.|
|11||""The Dragon Strikes""||311|
|Flash, Dale and Dr. Zarkov discover Mango's legendary lost Hall of Science. Surprisingly, Sulpha helps keep the secret from Ming.|
|12||""The Wrath of Ming""||312|
|Believing that Ming has lost his mind, Aura and Kayla hatch separate plots to overthrow Ming and take the throne of Mongo.|
|13||""Rocket to Oblivion""||313|
|Flash, Dale and Dr. Zarkov set off for Earth in an experimental space ship, unaware that Sulpha has hidden a bomb in the ship.|
|14||""Ambush in Arboria""||314|
|Dale joins forces with one of Ming's loyal supporters, handsome Prince Barin of Arboria. Is Dale betraying Flash and the rebellion?|
|15||""Moon of Mystery""||315|
|Flash and Aura form an uneasy alliance to protect the peaceful inhabitants of a previously undiscovered moon from Ming's wrath.|
|16||""Revenge of the Dragon!""||316|
|Sulpha finds a cache of what seem to be dragon eggs, and asks Flash to stall Ming while she searches for the secret to her lost race.|
|17||""The Fiendish Experiment!""||317|
|Zarkov literally loses his mind in a dangerous Dynacrystal experiment, enabling Ming to lure Flash and Dale into a deadly trap.|
|18||""The Dungeons of Despair!""||318|
|Ming throws Lynch in jail, but his replacement performs so well that Flash, Aura and Barin trick Ming getting Lynch back.|
|19||""Treasure of the Depths!""||319|
|Talon discovers Ming's powerful energy source, a priceless hoard of Dynacrystals hidden deep in a mountain lake.|
|20||""Fortress of Fear!""||320|
|Ming prepares to attack King Vultan of the Hawk People, It's up to Flash and Talon to keep Hawk City from being blown from the sky.|
|21||""Palace of Peril!""||321|
|Ming's Imperial Palace becomes a battleground when Flash reprograms a factory to turn out Rock Warriors with minds of their own.|
|22||""Shadow of the Shark!""||322|
|Ming's plan to invade Earth threatens Kayla's underwater kingdom. Flash must prevent a war between them before it destroys Mongo.|
|Flash shoots down Ming's Megaraptor with Ming himself aboard. So who is the mysterious double of Ming taking his throne?|
|24||""The Fur Flies""||324|
|When Ming fires Kobalt, the Pantheron mercenary goes into business for himself, posing a threat to a secret Rebel mission.|
|When Aura, Ming and Flash crash land on a barren moon, they must work together to avoid being captured by space pirates.|
|26||""Escape to Earth!""||326|
|Earth is placed in jeopardy when Flash and Dale's parents attempt to rescue their children by reopening the black hole doorway.|
- "Flash Gordon synopsis". Hearst Animation. Retrieved 2009-06-08.