Flash Gordon was an animated series produced from 1979 to 1980. 24 half-hour episodes were produced in two seasons. "Flash Gordon" is the title seen on screen, although the series is now known by a variety of names, including "The Adventures of Flash Gordon" and "The New Adventures of Flash Gordon". In fact, each source seems to have a different variation on the name. The 2006 DVD box set calls the show Flash Gordon, which is the title given on screen. The official Hearst Entertainment site calls the show The Adventures of Flash Gordon. Wikipedia favors The New Adventures of Flash Gordon. TV.com calls it The Animated Adventures of Flash Gordon, and IMDB.com combines all the titles and calls it The New Animated Adventures of Flash Gordon.
Filmation produced the series in 1979, partly as a reaction to the mammoth success of Star Wars in 1977. The series was an homage to the original Flash Gordon comic strip and featured most of the original characters, including Flash's girlfriend Dale Arden, and the scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov.
The original project was produced as an animated TV-movie. When NBC saw the finished work, it was decided to turn the concept into a series. The original movie, which introduced the characters and brought Flash, Dale and Zarkov to Mongo, was held back until 1982, when it aired as Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All. Therefore, the opening of the series as broadcast is rather abrupt -- the characters are all on Mongo, already engaged in adventures.
In the series, Flash and company are forced into battle by Mongo's ruler, Ming the Merciless, his daughter Princess Aura, and his army of Metal Men. To help their cause, the heroes lead the formation of an alliance beginning with Prince Thun, leader of the Lion Men; Prince Barin, leader of Arboria; and King Vultan, ruler of the Hawk Men.
Three members of the voice cast reprised their roles from the TV-movie: Robert Ridgely as Flash, Diane Pershing as Dale, and Melendy Britt as Aura. Bob Holt, who voiced Zarkov in the movie, provided supporting voices in the series.
When a second season of episodes was ordered, NBC insisted that the serial format be dropped and that the stories be written for a more juvenile level. This resulted in the addition of the pet dragon Gremlin, an artist in nose-blown smoke. This second season of episodes was not well received and the program was canceled after completion of the second season run.
The entire series has recently been released on DVD, as Flash Gordon: The Complete Series.
- A Planet in Peril (Sept 22, 1979)
- The Monsters of Mongo (Sept 29, 1979)
- Vultan, King of the Hawkmen (Oct 6, 1979)
- To Save Earth (Oct 13, 1979)
- The Beast Men's Prey (Oct 20, 1979)
- Into the Water World (Oct 27, 1979)
- Adventure in Arboria (Nov 3, 1979)
- The Frozen World (Nov 10, 1979)
- Monster of the Glacier (Nov 17, 1979)
- Blue Magic (Nov 24, 1979)
- King Flash (Dec 1, 1979)
- Tournament of Death (Dec 8, 1979)
- Castaways in Tropica (Dec 15, 1979)
- The Desert Hawk (Dec 22, 1979)
- Revolt of the Power Men (Dec 29, 1979)
- Ming's Last Battle (Jan 5, 1980)
Episodes in the second season included two stories.
- Gremlin the Dragon / Royal Wedding (Sept 13, 1980)
- Sir Gremlin / Deadly Double
- The Game / The Seed
- Witch Woman / Micro Menace
- Flash Back / The Warrior
- The Freedom Balloon / Sacrifice of the Volcano Men
- Beware of Gifts / The Memory Bank of Ming
- Survival Game / Gremlin's Finest Hour
- The closing credits misspelled the names of two of the voice actors: Alan Oppenheimer, who played Zarkov and Ming, and Allan Melvin, who played Vultan and Thun, were both given the erroneous first name "Allen".
- Flash Gordon: "Hang on! We're going to crash!"
- Dale Arden: "I don't think I like being referred to as the day's catch."
- Dr. Hans Zarkov: "They seem to be mutants, bred to live in the sea."
- Ming the Merciless: "I know who you are."
- Princess Aura: "Hold!"
- Prince Barin: "What strange manner of fish have we here?"
- Thun: "And you've hunted every living thing, haven't you, Prince Barin?"
- Vultan: (laughs) "Why, it's royalty! Come a-calling on poor old Vultan!"
- Flash Gordon / Prince Barin: Robert Ridgely
- Dale Arden / Queen Undina / Queen Fria / Queen Azura / Queen Desira: Diane Pershing
- Dr. Hans Zarkov / Ming the Merciless: Alan Oppenheimer
- Princess Aura: Melendy Britt
- King Vultan / Prince Thun: Allan Melvin
- Other Voices: Bob Holt
- Executive Producers: Norm Prescott, Lou Scheimer
- Produced by Don Christensen
- Animation Director: Gwen Wetzler
- Story Editor: Ted Pedersen
- Art Director: Herb Hazelton