Parents' Guide to

Flash Gordon

By Will Wade, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Update of classic sci-fi series is fun for teens.

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It's been more than seven decades since daring adventurer Flash Gordon first blasted out of the comic strip pages to battle the evil Emperor Ming on the mysterious planet Mongo; since then, the character has starred in dozens of film serials, TV series, radio dramas, novels, comic books, animated shows, and one big-budget blockbuster movie. This version is sleek and polished and certainly entertaining, but it's also a bit bland.

With Flash and his enemy now using the rifts to travel between Mongo and Earth, the fancy spaceships that our hero once used to zip across space are gone, as are the oh-so-basic special effects that made the original 1930s serials such classic kitsch. Also (and more regrettably) missing are the cliffhanger endings for which the original Flash Gordon stories were famous -- and which gave some of the old films their magic. With such a legacy to live up to, the bar is high for any Flash Gordon remake, and though the new show's plot details and characters are obviously based on the original stories, it doesn't really stand out when compared to so many other adventure shows.

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