Far be it for me to criticize a new SciFi series before it really gets started, but was I the only one left cold by the series opener of Flash Gordon? It could have been bold, new, and adventurous, but instead it seemed kind of tepid. For a show I had been anticipating for some time, this one was a bit of a disappointment.
First you have Flash himself. Young, handsome, and virile, yes, butlacking an indefinable something. The actor did a credible job, but given the rather poor dialog and uninspired directing there was not much for him to do.
Dale Arden was almost a non-entity. Her impact on the episode was mainly to provide Flash with a wanna-be girl-friend reporter. The performance was listless and dull,and lacked anything resembling verve. Again, I blame the director here for not properly coaching the actors.
As dreadful as Dale Arden was, Dr. Hans Zarkov was even worse. A parody of a mad scientist, he serves as plot exposition and bumbling side kick, though nothing else. I cannot blame the Director so much as the writers in this case, though.
Ming the Merciless was just pathetic. This was the saddest excuse for an evil dictator that I have ever seen. Bad acting, bad direction, bad writing, and atrocious casting combined to make like the perfect storm to form a simply ridiculous performance. Give me a break, were no Asian actors available? Was Max von Sydow on vacation? This was pitiful!
The effects were ripped off from Sliders, so at least they did not seem too silly, and the Mongo City sets were actually pretty good, as was the costuming. The Princess Aura was not terrible, but they made a mistake in revealing her identity to the audience too early.
All in all, I give this show a D+, however I will continue watching in the hopes that it gets better. One can only hope.