As I watched the new Flash Gordon, I had to fight back the urge to sing
"ah-ah" every time someone said our intrepid hero’s first name. Good
times. Except the show didn’t start with the theme song. Boo.
Spoilers! Ah-ah! They’ll spoil every one of us!
The show open’s with the Universe’s savior, Steven "Flash" Gordon
(Eric Johnson, Smallville) racing through the woods en route to his
third marathon win in a row. He’s met at the finish line by his mother and best
friend, Nick (Panou), for congratulatory hugs. There’s a news crew there to
interview Flash, the reporter being none other than ex-girlfriend Dale Arden
(Gina Holden who’s pulling double genre duty as she also appears as Correen on Blood
Ties). She twists her engagement ring around before she approaches with her
crew. They catch up – Dale went to a fancy Ivy League college and became a
reporter and Flash … still lives with his mom. But he does own a mechanic
business that he operates with Nick out of his house. Awkward.
After the interview, Nick and Flash walk towards the car (a spiffy red
old-school convertible) and Flash’s laments how lame he must’ve sounded. He
feels that since his mom hasn’t been ill for a while, it’s time for him to move
on. Nick disagrees – if Flash moves, Mom sells the house. If Mom sells the
house, they can’t run the garage.
Later, Flash visits the grave of his physicist father, Dr. Lawrence Gordon, who
had died 13 years ago. He talks to him, leaving his marathon medal there with
the previous two. A flashback reveals that it’s his father who gave him his
nickname while racing in the backyard. The watch Dad used to time Flash is the
same watch Flash is wearing. As he leaves, we see a disheveled, bespectacled
man in an RV has been watching him.
Later that night, a Spanish-speaking truck driver has a run-in with a weird
floating mini-ship that scans him. He shoots it with a shotgun. Mental note:
truck drivers carry shotguns.
Back in town, Nick and Flash are trying to get in a club when Flash spots the
RV. Flash excuses himself and approaches the vehicle. RV Guy gets freaked out
and drives off, with Flash running after him. He catches up to the RV, climbs
up the back ladder and walks across the top the front. Dropping in front of the
windshield like Spiderman, he demands the guy pull over. Which he does since
it’s hard to drive with a person on your windshield. Upon confrontation, the
squirrelly RV Guy (who doesn’t like to be touched) reveals himself to be a
colleague of dear old dad. He tells Flash to deliver a message to his father:
don’t trust anyone. Except Papa Gordon is dead. Or is he? RV Guy apologizes and
says for Flash to ignore what he said and takes off.
A new day brings the truck driver, with a bag full of scrap and goo, to Dale’s
office. He says, via translator, that he killed an alien bee and he has the
remains. Dale trades a lotto ticket for the bag…and feels cheated.
Meanwhile, a robotic automaton that looks like a cross between a Borg and a
cylon appears at a bowling alley. Since the Borg-lon apparently hates the idea
of fun, it starts destroying the bowling balls and causes general panic, the
Dale is told about the story and reluctantly goes to cover it. Flash and Nick
are in the garage working on his car and Flash tells Nick about his run-in with
Crazy RV Guy. He overhears the news report and sees CRVG in the crowd behind
Dale. All this stuff must have a connection. And Nick points out her engagement
He goes to see Dale and asks for her help in connecting the dots. Dale,
thinking he’s there for something else, apologizes for not telling him that she
was engaged. He’s not at all upset, which surprises Dale. First stop on the
detective trail: the bowling alley.
The police are there and this is where we meet the fiancé – Detective Joe Wylee
(who comes from a rich family, which explains the rock on her finger). Flash
notices a pair of footprints that are deeply set in the ground. When he points
them out to Joe, Joe gets a little grumbly and Dale initiates their exit.
Next stop: research CRVG. They find him with the help of the Internet and
online yearbooks. (Heaven forbid online yearbooks become super popular. The
horror … the horror.) His name is Dr. Hans Zarkov (Jody Racicot) and they track
down his warehouse address. Once there, they confront Hans who tells Flash what
really happened to his father. They were working on some special, secret
project and, while there was an accident and a fire, Papa Gordon didn’t
actually die – he got sucked through a rift in space. Zarkov has been
monitoring energy signals and when the rifts started appearing again, he had
hoped the father had found a way back home from wherever he was.
Too bad no one warned Mom. A Borg-lon breaks into the house and inserts some
weird probe into her neck, bringing her under its control. Mom-borg calls
Flash’s cell and asks where the Imex is. What? Realizing something’s wrong,
Flash, Dale and Zarkov (armed with a weapon that’s only good for one shot and
should fry the Borg-lon…theoretically) race to the house.
Flash walks through the front door and sees Mom-borg standing in the doorway to
the kitchen. She says she baked him a pie. As Flash inches forward, he sees the
probe in Mom’s neck – and the Borg-lon attached to it – and keeps it distracted
as Dale and Zarkov sneak into the kitchen. Dale smashes it in the back with a
golf club, which only succeeds in getting its attention. Releasing Mom from its
clutches, a fight breaks out. Flashes punches and kicks don’t do much and
Zarvov’s weapon doesn’t even shoot straight. Dale ends up attaching the plug
from the blender to a fork and jamming it in the back of the Borg-lon’s head,
causing it to fry and melt into a puddle of goo and parts.
Fortunately, Mom doesn’t remember any of it moments later and Flash sends her
upstairs to pack for her trip (that’s conveniently the next day). Returning to
the kitchen, he updates Dale and Zarkov on Mom’s thankfully good condition as
they spoon the remains of the Borg-lon into a bucket. Dale notices some device
with lights on it and picks it up, handing it to Zarkov who identifies it as
some sort of tracking device. Flash also finds something in the goo – his dad’s
They follow the signal on the device and it leads them to an empty field. Flash
presses a button and a rift opens up. He wants to head through it to try and
find Dr. Gordon but Dale tries to stop him. Except as they talk, Flash
accidentally touches the rift and it transports he and Dale to another
planet…where they’re promptly beamed up in a ship and transported towards a
Captured, Flash and Dale request to talk to someone in charge and mention they
are from Earth. They are put in a holding cell with a fairly disconcerting
looking creature whom they bond with by giving him chewing gum. While Ming is
in an audience with some subjects, he is told of their arrival by Rankol, his
Chief Science Officer, and clears the room. Ming is unhappy with Rankol because
the constructs he sent were unsuccessful (of course they sent the Borg-lon and
the mini-probe ship).
Flash and Dale are brought to Ming and introductions are made all around. They
are on the planet Mongo, in its capital city. Ming takes an obvious liking to
Dale, who is, strangely enough, charmed. Flash tells them all about the
Borg-lon and how it was looking for the Imex and asks about Papa Gordon. Ming
says that he’s heard stories about a man from the stars but, sadly, he must be
dead. When creepy Rankol (who seems to float instead of walk) presses Flash for
additionally info, Flash realizes that Ming is not trustworthy but it’s too
late. Flash is sent to be tortured by Rankol for information and Dale is to be
brought to Ming’s quarters. All the while, a mysterious woman in red has been
listening in on them.
Rankol has Flash shirtless (a little something for the ladies…and a few of
the fellas) and strapped into a weird looking chair. He asks Flash again about
the Imex, which Flash knows nothing about, and Rankol proceeds with the
torturing, using some device on his eyes that we thankfully don’t see.
Meanwhile, courtesans are preparing Dale for her big evening with Ming (which
one courtesan says will be short and the others giggle). There’s a device that
she’s to put in her ear that will put her in a trance so she won’t remember
anything. Ming looks in on her and is pleased. Dale, using the distraction to
her advantage, puts a bit of space-cotton in her ear before she puts the device
Back in the torture room, Rankol realizes that Flash really didn’t know what or
where the Imex was. Unfortunately, that means he’ll have to take a brain scan.
As the sound of a saw fills the room, the door bursts open and a figure in
white robe shoots and stuns Rankol, who falls to the ground. It’s the woman in
red, who identifies herself as Chandra, one of Ming’s abbots. She will help
Flash escape if he takes her with him. He agrees and she gives him the robe to
disguise himself as she tells him "a little torture looks good on
you." Flash makes sure to grab the rift tracker before they flee.
As they make their way through the city, Flash tells Chandra that they have to
rescue Dale. Initially reluctant, Chandra agrees. As they make their way to
Ming’s quarters, they run into Dale who’s put one of the other courtesans in
her place. They make their way through the water plant (the only clean water on
the planet comes from underground) and escape outside. With ships in pursuit,
the three barely make through a rift only to appear in the middle of the road,
almost getting hit by a car. Zarkov picks up on the rift energies and picks them
Zarkov isn’t too pleased to see they’ve brought an alien with them but Dale is
suspicious of Chandra, who’s insisting on going with Flash back to his house.
Dale vetoes this and brings her back to her apartment.
Flash helps Mom put her stuff in the cab while she asks where he was all night.
When she finds out he was with Dale, she’s ecstatic until he tells her Dale’s
engaged and they were researching what really happened to Dr. Gordon. He asks
if he left any stuff behind and she tells him where to find what little is
left. Before leaving, she tells Flash that she’s finally dealt with Papa
Gordon’s passing and, while she supports him trying to get closure, she doesn’t
want her peace disrupted.
At Dale’s place, she gives Chandra a dress to change into and walks into the
other room to talk to fiancé Joe. She tells him she’s been busy with a story
that she’ll fill him in on later. When she goes back to check on Chandra, Dale
finds her in the bedroom going through all her clothes (which are thrown about
everywhere) and wearing her earrings. When asked what she’s doing, Chandra says
she’s looking for something suitable to wear – she can’t be caught in
"that burlap sack." Dale also notices a tiny gun strapped to Chandra’s
leg and since when do servants carry weapons? The jig is up and Chandra reveals
herself to be Ming’s daughter, Princess Aura (Anna Van Hooft), before
shooting Dale and knocking her out.
Meanwhile, a rift in the same field opens up and a woman emerges. This woman
jacks a monster truck from a guy (the truck driver who won the lotto thanks to
Dale’s ticket) and drives away.
Back at Flash’s, he goes through his dad’s stuff – a few pictures, some
knickknacks and a couple watches. While looking at his own watch, Flash adjusts
the hands and…gee. Looks like they’ve been looking for a Timex all along.
Flash opens the back of his watch and a holographic light show fills the room.
He closes it and calls Dale. The ringing of the phone wakes her up and, after
he tells her he’s found the Imex, she warns him that Aura is on her way. Except
Aura is already there.
Aura holds Flash at laser-gunpoint and makes him hand over the watch. She wants
to prove to her father that she’s more than just a pretty girl and can handle
more responsibility. Aura explains that the Imex is a sophisticated database
with a lot of knowledge that would be dangerous in the wrong hands (well, I
added that dangerous part). Flash tries to convince her to take him with her,
but she says no. Suddenly, the rift woman shows up and traps Flash in some sort
of energy field. How is that everyone can find his house so easily? She reveals
herself to be Baylin (Karen Cliche, Mutant X), one of Ming’s police,
sent to retrieve the princess. She carts Aura away as Flash struggles to free
himself. He finally does and takes off in hot pursuit.
Baylin and Aura tear past Zarkov (who’s conveniently there) and his RV and
across the field, Flash pulling up shortly after. He takes off after the girls,
who are now on foot and running towards a freshly open rift. Of course he
catches up to them and tackles Baylin from behind. She had been carrying Aura
over her shoulder so they all go tumbling to the ground, the watch flying from
Aura’s hand. A scuffle occurs, the watch changing possession several times, and
Baylin ends up holding a laser gun to Flash’s head. Zarkov appears behind her
and holds the Anti-Borg-lon gun to her head.
Flash takes Baylin’s gun and Aura tries to convince Flash to give her the
watch. She says she’ll take him to his father. Flash throws the watch to the
ground, shoots it, picks up one of the strappy bits and tells Aura she can have
it. Angered, she yells that he’ll never see his father again and she takes off
through the rift. Baylin waited a little too long and doesn’t make it through
in time. She takes off running.
Back on Mongo, Ming orders Aura to be confined to her room. If she weren’t his
daughter, he’d have her "stripped and hunted for sport" as
punishment for her failure.
Back on Earth, Dale meets the guys at the field and they wrap everything up.
Zarkov doesn’t understand why Flash had to destroy the watch, but naturally he
didn’t. He destroyed one of the other watches and hands the real one over to
Zarkov. Dale says this would be a great story, too bad she can’t tell it. But
Flash is now determined to find out what happened to his father …
… who happens to be lying motionless in a room somewhere with wires and suctiony bits
attached to his head. That can’t be fun.
So that was it. The pilot’s a bit rough but I think it has potential. What do
you all think? Should Flash get all the lock’s on the house changed? Are you
waiting with bated breath for the Hawkmen? Do you think Flash should’ve still
been a football player? And how flavorless was Ming?