The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, April 16, 2013

by Ethan Alter April 16, 2013 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The new Flash Gordon wasn't such a miracle.

Flash Gordon: The Complete Series
Back in 2007 -- buoyed by Battlestar Galactica's success -- the Sci Fi network (the Syfy rebranding was still two years off) decided to give another campy science-fiction property a serious ground-up reboot. In its original incarnation, Flash Gordon was a '30s comic strip about a sports-hero-turned-interstellar-warrior that begat a series of radio and movie serials, TV shows and one very trippy would-be blockbuster. For his present-day re-imagining, Charmed producer Peter Hume abandoned the rocket ships and outer space travel for a terrestrial tear in the space-time continuum that gives Flash (Eric Johnson) a more convenient way to make the trip from Earth to the distant alien world of Mongo, ruled by the merciless Ming and populated by human-animal hybrids like soaring hawkmen (called Dactyls here) and ferocious lion dudes (Turin). But BSG's creative lightning didn't strike twice in the same place, as the new Flash suffered from formulaic plotting, bland characters and distractingly low-budget production values, which were encapsulated by Flash's leather cape-and-pants outfit, which looked more suited to a Magic Mike-style strip show than an alien world. To no one's great surprise, Flash Gordon was permanently exiled to Mongo at the conclusion of Season 1 and the character has vanished back into nostalgic obscurity... until the next attempt at a reboot.
Extras: Zip, zero, nada, but a $10 sticker price for 22 episodes is kind of a bonus, n'est-ce pas?

Also on DVD:
David Tennant trades in his TARDIS for old-school subterfuge in Spies of Warsaw, a BBC America supported co-production based on the novel by Alan Furst. Set in the post-World War I era, Flowers follows a French war veteran (Tennant) residing in Warsaw, where he gets himself romantically entangled with a lovely lawyer (Janet Montgomery) as well as a whole espionage plot, the outcome of which will set the stage for another global conflagration. The lone extra is an interview with Tennant that's not about Doctor Who for once. History Channel's Pawn Stars births its latest spin-off in the form of Counting Cars: Season 1, centered around the Las Vegas-based car customization outfit, Count's Kustoms.

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