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    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    SciFi Friday

    The through line of the new series FLASH GORDON is, “How can we take the really interesting bits of Flash Gordon and make it filmable for ten cents?” We have the technology to not repeat the serials of the 40s and 50s. Why can’t we pull it off? Might as well dig Buster Crabbe up and make him into a marionette. It’d be more interesting. I’ve come to this based on many things, but solidified it on the portrayal of the “Hawkmen” as testosterone laden idiot cape gliders. FLASH GORDON gives shows like HURCULES and XENA a bad name. At least they knew what they were, and we loved them for it.

    The Friday Sci-Fi line up is antithetical in that it begins with the new DOCTOR WHO and ends with PAINKILLER JANE. It’s basically telling the audience to tune out after the good stuff. They should have done it in reverse order, so people would suffer through two hours of crap to get to DR. WHO. When was the last time anyone said that about Dr. Who, and I’m the biggest Dr. Who fan I know?

    On a good note, Sci-Fi has finally found HAUNTED and is premiering it Wed, Sept 26. Watch this show, of course knowing it will never fully evolve. I’m pretty sure it never even made it to 9 eps. But what I remember, it was solid, honest and scary in ways no show has been since. Plus it’s Mathew Fox of LOST being righteous in a completely new and interesting way.

    1 comment:

    Alan said...

    I have to second you on your Flash Gordon assessment. I missed the first episode (or two maybe) but the first week I tuned in we began . . . at what looked like the Brady Bunch house. Oh, no - it's Flash Gordon's house. On EARTH. What the hell are we doing on Earth and not Mongo? Or on a SPACESHIP!? What a sorry excuse for a show. Jumping through transport circles? Hmm. Let's see - where I have we seen this before? Oh yes, that little series that could, STARGATE. (Not to mention echoes of Sliders, and even further back, Adam Strange and his Zeta Beam.)

    And yes, if it was possible for a show to jump the shark in the first season, Flash Gordon did it with that pathetic Hawkmen episode. How can you take the absolute COOLEST race from Flash Gordon and make them a laughingstock!? It is very rare that I watch a TV show and feel embarrassed for the actors - but oh did I pity the men who were asked to jump around and screech like birds ALL. EPISODE. LONG. That group of Birdmen did NOTHING but dance around in a circle from start to finish. I just hope they made better than the SAG minimum, but somehow I doubt it. If the amount of money being spent on that show's FX budget is any indication, they're working for craft services donuts.

    And don't get me started about the supervillain on the Segway.

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but let's hope somebody pulls the plug on Flash, and soon. And I bitch and moan only because I care - it's Flash Gordon, man! It could have been so cool. But the cheeseball 70's Buck Rogers was better than this claptrap.

    Ah, but as you say, what a joy Doctor Who has been! Despite the occasional stinker (Daleks in Manhattan, anyone?) there have been some really BRILLIANT episodes, like, oh, say, last week's BLINK! That. Was. Genius. Haven't sat riveted to the TV like that in ages - and it was FUNNY too! Doctor Who is hands down the most entertaining show on television right now.

    And the nice thing is, when it's over you can turn off "Sci-Fi Friday" and still have time to read a good science fiction novel . . .