Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Flash Gordon: "The Game" / "The Seed" (October 2, 1982)

In “The Game,” the rulers of Cavern City burrow into Arboria (interrupting a dance) and capture several denizens -- including Flash -- to serve as gladiators in their arena games.

In “The Seed,” Ming the Merciless embeds a new weapon inside a meteor, and then crashes it into Arboria. The strange seed sprouts a giant tentacled monster, which goes on a killing rampage.

The second season of Filmation’s Flash Gordon (1979-1982) doesn’t gain much momentum from the two stories in this installment.

We have already seen Flash in an arena fight before (in the first season installment “Chapter 12: Tournament of Death”), and we’ve also seen him lead slave rebellions too.  Accordingly, "The Game" doesn't break much in terms of new ground.

However, this story does feature a nice opening shot. We move down, from Mongo orbit, through the clouds -- down to Arboria.  It’s a nice segue, and one that gets reused a few times in the second season, and in the next batch of episodes.

As, we get to see Flash act like a “first rate ham” dancing with Dale in “The Game,” and it is hard not to reflect how his character has become more cocky and less sincere than in his first season incarnation.  He doesn't feel like Flash anymore. He doesn't take anything, even danger, seriously.

“The Seed” is pretty dire too. 

The monster that the seed looks like a cross between The Real Ghostbusters’ Slimer and the creature from Cloverfield (2008), but is vaguely humorous all the same.

Here, the best character touch involves Dae Arden learning to fly a rocket on a simulator in Arboria (about time too…).  I also liked the new hovercraft design we see during the attack on the creature.  

The episode’s ending, with the monster turning on Ming in his science lab, is pretty risible. It's a typical cartoon ending.  The villain gets his comeuppance, but by the next episode everything is back to normal.  We are never told how Ming gets rid of the beast.

Next week: “Witch Woman” and “Micro Menace”

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