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With: (voices) Robert Ridgely, Diane Pershing, Allan Melvin, Melendy Britt, Bob Holt, Alan Oppenheimer
Written by: Ted A. Pedersen, Samuel A. Peeples
Directed by: Hal Sutherland, Don Towsley, Lou Zukor
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 600
Date: 03/19/2013

Flash Gordon: The Complete Series (1979)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Flash Hits

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This TV series from Filmation, which briefly ran in 1979 and 1980 under the title, "The New Animated Adventures of Flash Gordon," looks ultra-cheesy at first glance. But a second look shows a ragged, fearless quality that many later, mid-1980s cartoons tended to lack. The series has a more homemade feel, boasts a few amazing pre-computer special effects shots, and has a certain patience that later cartoons slowly rejected in favor of short-attention-span speed. It even features a few grown-up themes (many of the well-built female villains lust after Flash). The first season is presented in serial format, just like the "Flash Gordon" of the 1930s; one single storyline (Flash and several adversaries team up to beat Ming the Merciless) plays out over 16 half-hour episodes. In season two, the producers ordered shorter storylines, and it was the beginning of the end.

DVD Details: As they have done with other Filmation titles ("He-Man and the Masters of the Universe," etc.), BCI Eclipse has done a remarkable job packaging this series. The set comes with four discs, a detailed, printed episode guide and two "trading cards," drawn by contemporary comics artists. There are three fun audio commentary tracks, a making-of featurette, storyboards, character profiles and trivia. There's a preview of BCI Eclipse's upcoming "Defenders of the Earth" DVD set, and DVD-Rom extras include printable scripts and the complete series bible. The press release mentions an Easter egg or two, but I'm told there aren't any.

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