Saturday, April 02, 2016

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Flash Gordon: "King Flash" (December 1, 1979)

More "peril and adventure await us" on this week's Flash Gordon (1979) episode, Chapter 11, "King Flash."

When last we left our stalwart hero, he was trapped in the caverns of the Blue Magic witch queen, Azur
a. She had cast a spell on Gordon making him believe he was "Gor-Don," a conquering King of Mongo from years past...and her lover.

As "King Flash" opens, Gordon and Azura lead their war chariot and magical sorcerer minions into battle against Vultan and Barin. Dr. Zarkov has concluded that Azura's spell is "electrical," but is still unable to free Flash from the clutches of his new queen. Zarkov then determines he must "fight magic with magic."

Gor-don's army is triumphant and Vultan and Barin are captured.But when Barin says "Flash...remember," something of his true character comes through Gordon's psyche. Azura attributes this to weariness and sends Flash off to bed. There, Zarkov, Thun and Dale capture him and restore his memory, leaving in his stead a hologram. 

Unfortunately, Zarkov notes, Flash will retain a double personality for some time, even after he is healed. Another side effect of the restoration: Flash Gordon literally becomes "a shadow," a tool he will use to defeat Queen Azura.

When Azura realizes she can never own Flash Gordon body and soul, she releases the ancient "Fire King," Talors, from the cavern to destroy him. But Flash is able to defeat the lobster/dinosaur creature in battle, and thus wins freedom for himself and his friends. Azura is now his new ally in the war to overthrow Mongo's despot, Ming.

Free and triumphant, Flash, Barin, Vultan, Dale, Zarkov and Thun leave the blue magic caverns...only to be captured by Princess Aura and Ming the Merciless.

So, another kingdom down, another Queen converted, and more monsters defeated in battle.  Yep, just another week on Mongo, for the exceptional Flash Gordon. By this point in the series, the storytelling and plotting are absolutely rote. 

Next Week: "Tournament of Death."

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