Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Flash! Na-ahh! (and Bulldog Drummond too)

I gave it a shot. Really I did.

In spite of pre-show publicity about wormholes instead of spaceships and how Ming was going to be all charming and stuff, I wanted to like SciFi's new Flash Gordon show. But I just don't.

I get that they're trying to reach a "modern audience" and want to make the relationships and the tech "believable." But did that have to make it so boring in the process? In the '30s serials, the premise is set up quickly: an alien invasion is coming and someone needs to stop it. Zarkov has the plan and Flash and Dale get swept up in it by happenstance. Then the rest of the series is the three of them trying to save their planet from the merciless Ming and running into all sorts of monsters and aliens in the process. It's adventure after adventure after adventure. It's the stuff that inspired freaking Star Wars.

The SciFi series adds the element that Flash's dad discovered Mongo years ago in some sort of top secret project (supposedly for NASA, but the real sponsors are a mystery). Dad's former assistant, Zarkov (at least I think he's Zarkov; two episodes in and I swear I haven't heard him called by name), teams up with Flash and Dale (Flash's ex-girlfriend who's just moved back to town as a local news reporter) to uncover the mystery and figure out what the heck's going on with all the alien sightings lately. Seems people from Mongo are starting to come to Earth to retrieve a device that belonged to Flash's dad.

Instead of giant, sexy, space opera adventure, the show is going for a cross between The X-Files and Stargate SG-1 by keeping our heroes mostly earthbound and trying to uncover conspiracies. It might not make for a bad show if it weren't Flash Gordon. And if we hadn't seen the same type of story done better already in other shows. I mean, it's Flash Freaking Gordon! I want to see him teaming up with the Lion Men to fight the Shark Men! I want him to kill giant monsters, escape deadly traps, and battle in alien gladitorial arenas! What's with this lame ass skulking around at night trying to open a wormhole to Mongo while keeping the aliens' presence on earth quiet?

I've given it two episodes; I'm not giving it any more. Someone let me know if it gets better and I need to check out the DVDs someday.

And speaking of series I'm getting tired of, I'm about done with John Howard's Bulldog Drummond movies. They're pretty harmless and disposable at only an hour in length each, but having every movie be about Drummond's wedding getting interrupted by a sudden, unavoidable adventure has snapped my suspension of disbelief right in two.

I also don't understand why Scotland Yard keeps trying to actively keep Drummond away from cases when he's always right about them, nor why the Colonel so objects to being called "Inspector." I much prefer the ones I watched first where the Colonel and Drummond are on good terms, with the Colonel going so far as to call Drummond in as a sort of consultant on cases that the Yard was having a problem with.

1 comment:

snell said...

You made it one episode longer than I did. Boring doesn't begin to describe this limp, lifeless show. My whines about the show echo many of yours....


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