Flash Gordon (1936)

Watch Flash Gordon (1936)

  • Approved
  • 1936
  • 1 Season
  • 7.0  (2,594)

Flash Gordon (1936) is an action-adventure science fiction television series based on a comic strip of the same name by Alex Raymond. The show follows the adventures of Flash Gordon (Buster Crabbe), an American polo player who is catapulted into a distant planet called Mongo along with two companions, Dale Arden (Jean Rogers) and Dr. Hans Zarkov (Frank Shannon).

Upon landing in Mongo, the trio is immediately confronted with dangerous and fantastical creatures, as well as the ruthless and power-hungry ruler of Mongo, Ming the Merciless (Charles Middleton). The show's plot revolves around Flash, Dale, and Zarkov's attempts to stop Ming and his nefarious schemes while navigating the treacherous landscapes of Mongo and uncovering the planet's secrets.

Buster Crabbe delivers a standout performance as the swashbuckling hero Flash Gordon, imbuing the character with a charming wit and physical prowess that make him a joy to watch on screen. Jean Rogers is similarly compelling as Dale Arden, bringing a plucky determination to the role that makes her much more than just a damsel in distress. Frank Shannon, as Dr. Hans Zarkov, serves as the trio's scientific advisor and brings a grounded intellect to the fantastical world of Mongo.

Perhaps the most memorable aspect of Flash Gordon (1936) is its imaginative world-building. The show's creators spared no expense in bringing the strange and diverse environments of Mongo to life, utilizing impressive practical effects and ambitious set designs to create a truly immersive viewing experience. From the lush forests of Arboria to the rocky deserts of Frigia, every location in the show feels distinct and lived-in.

Of course, no description of Flash Gordon (1936) would be complete without mentioning the show's iconic villain, Ming the Merciless. Charles Middleton brings a chilling malevolence to the role, portraying Ming as a tyrannical ruler with a god complex and an insatiable appetite for power. The character's all-black wardrobe and distinctive Fu Manchu-style mustache have since become fixtures of pop culture.

In addition to its impressive production values, Flash Gordon (1936) also features a lively and memorable soundtrack. Composer Charles Previn's score perfectly captures the adventurous spirit of the show, incorporating sweeping orchestral arrangements, tribal percussion, and even some piano jazz into its mix.

Of course, no show is perfect, and Flash Gordon (1936) does have its share of flaws. The show's writing can be somewhat simplistic at times, relying on broad strokes and archetypal characters rather than deep characterizations and complex themes. Additionally, some of the special effects and action sequences may seem dated or simplistic to modern audiences accustomed to more advanced CGI and stunt work.

However, these minor quibbles ultimately do little to detract from the overall enjoyment of watching Flash Gordon (1936). This seminal science fiction series remains a beloved classic to this day, thanks in no small part to the timeless appeal of its characters, the imaginative world-building, and the thrilling sense of adventure that permeates every episode. Whether you're a longtime fan or a newcomer to the world of Mongo, Flash Gordon (1936) is an absolute must-watch.

Flash Gordon (1936)
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Rocketing to Earth
13. Rocketing to Earth
April 6, 1936
Escaping from the Turret House by an under­ground passage, they all return to an electrically protected laboratory. Ming, under attack by Thun's rocket ship, fails in his attempt to thwart the Earth men and flees to exile in the Palace of Tao.
Trapped in the Turret
12. Trapped in the Turret
April 6, 1936
Prince Barin persuades Aura to help their escape as the only way to win Flash's friendship. The Earth party assembles in the Turret House, which is set aflame by fire from a mysterious rocket ship.
In the Claws of Tigron
11. In the Claws of Tigron
April 6, 1936
With the aid of an invisibility machine, Flash releases Vultan and together they prepare to return to Earth, while enemy Aura makes plans to intercept them.
The Unseen Peril
10. The Unseen Peril
April 6, 1936
Flash's memory is gone but Zharkov accom­plishes a memory restoration.
Fighting the Fire Fragon
9. Fighting the Fire Fragon
April 6, 1936
Outraged by Flash's defeat of the "Orango­poid", Ming orders an injection of "drops of forgetfulness" and sends him to the abode of the sacred Fire Dragon.
Tournament of Death
8. Tournament of Death
April 6, 1936
Flash is pitted against his own friend, Prince Barin, in a deadly battle which results in a further battle with the "Orangopoid".
Shattering Doom
7. Shattering Doom
April 6, 1936
Flash is threatened by Vultan's atom furnaces and electro-charged mechanical devices.
Flaming Torture
6. Flaming Torture
April 6, 1936
Upon landing in the Sky City, Flash and his .friends are immediately taken prisoner by Vultan who demands that Dale renounce Flash forever.
The Destroying Ray
5. The Destroying Ray
April 6, 1936
Ming saves the doomed Shark City, and delivers Flash and his friends into the hands of the Hawk Men. At the same time King Vultan plots against the Prince of Justice.
Battling the Sea Beast
4. Battling the Sea Beast
April 6, 1936
When Aura cuts off the air supply to Kala's underwater palace, Flash rushes to the aid of Dale.
Captured by Shark Men
3. Captured by Shark Men
April 6, 1936
After thwarting Ming, in his intention to force Dale into marriage, Flash faces the terrors of the dreaded King Kala and his Shark Men.
The Tunnel of Terror
2. The Tunnel of Terror
April 6, 1936
Escaping the threat of the ape-like killers in the arena, Flash must now face a battle with Thun and the Lion Men, in a struggle which almost costs him his life.
The Planet of Peril
1. The Planet of Peril
April 6, 1936
When a mysterious planet comes hurtling through space threatening to destroy the Earth, Flash fearlessly meets the challenge. He falls into the clutches of the merciless Ming and is forced to battle for his life against huge ape-like man killers...
  • Premiere Date
    April 6, 1936
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (2,594)