Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Flash Gordon: The Series?

Hey, my buddy Fred sent me this interesting news tidbit from Geek Monthly:

Currently being developed by SciFi Channel under a cloak of secrecy is a new television series based on the classic comic book character created by Alex Raymond, Flash Gordon. Despite critical acclaim, SciFi’s stellar Battlestar Galactica re-imagination has had continued ratings erosion which network honchos believe may be attributable to the show’s dark tone.
It has been known for awhile that SciFi has been looking to develop “lighter” properties in the vein of their Stargate series, although it is expected that Flash Gordon will have a far more serious tone than the campy 1980 film starring Sam Jones, Melody Anderson, Timothy Dalton, Max Van Sydow and Topol.

Two thoughts on this:

1. A Flash Gordon series could be pretty impressive today, given digital technology and a *hopeful* fidelity to Alex Raymond's designs. Wonder if it will be set back during the era of America's War on Fascism, the original context. Oh, and hey, today show runners can do a season (or multi-season...) arc like the takedown of Ming the Merciless.

2. Battlestar Galactica is facing "continued ratings erosion"? Gee, who didn't see that one coming? The audience for the show has always been small, and though it has a vocal, militant fan base...I don't personally know a single long-time science fiction cinema/TV fan who actually likes (or watches...) the show. Sure, the mainstream critics drool all over it, and the re-imagination drew heavy curiosity viewing initially. But fads do fade. I chalk up the ratings slide to the fact that BSG eschews basically all sci-fi trappings to serve - as my friend Tony calls it - The West Wing in Space. That concept gets pretty tiresome pretty quickly...


  1. Anonymous3:53 PM

    So you think the reason BSG is losing viewers is that it isn't scifi enough?

    How about it's a densely packed drama that gets hard to follow, or many fans are choosing to get the DVD sets or watch online instead?

    I really don't think there are a lot of Old Galactica fans still grousing about this show the way you do, Muir.

  2. Hey John,

    Yeah, I hear you. I'm a tenacious cat.

    I grouse whenever I can; it's like a personal statement.

    In this case, someone needs to point out the Emperor wears no clothes.

    Besides, so many critics drool over the new BSG, isn't there room for an alternate opinion?

  3. Anonymous10:18 AM

    I am an old school BSG fan that grouses just like Muir!

    The funniest thing to me is that if the new BSG was on a network it wouldn't have lasted half a season. I mean come on, it draws something like 2 million viewers a week! Star Trek: Enterprise was considered a failure that supposedly no one watched and it regularly drew around 5 million viewers a week. The popularity of the new BSG is 100% spin.

    Chris Johnson

  4. Anonymous3:14 PM

    John, let's hope that the producers don't set the series back in the 1930s. We've talked before about how no comic/pulp adaptations set in that period have been successful (e.g. The Shadow, The Phantom, The Rocketeer, and to a lesser extent, Dick Tracy). I would think the show would be set in present day, like the 1980 movie, so the audience would be able to relate more to the characters.
    In fact, now that Stargate SG-1 is all but finished, wouldn't it be cool to have Ben Browder and Claudia Black as Flash and Dale?


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