Flash Gordon (1996 TV series) facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsFlash Gordon
DVD cover of pilot movie.
|Developed by||David J. Corbett
|Directed by||Norman Leblanc
|Voices of||Toby Proctor
|Country of origin||United States
|No. of episodes||26|
|Executive producer(s)||Carol Monroe
David J. Corbett
Michel L. Lemire
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Lacewood Productions
Editions Dupuis France
|Original network||Syndication Channel 4, YTV, TCC|
|Original release||September 1996– 1997|
Flash Gordon is a 1996 Canadian animated television series based on the science fiction comic strip of the same name. The character, who had been around in the comics pages since Alex Raymond created him in 1934, had already starred in several movie serials, a 1980 feature, and two earlier cartoon series — The New Adventures of Flash Gordon and Defenders of the Earth.
For this series, the dashing blond hero was regressed to his teenage years, and he employed a hoverboard. As in previous versions, he teamed up with Dale Arden (also a teen) and balding, bespectacled scientist Hans Zarkov. Both Flash and Dale are children of United States Air Force personnel. Flash's parents were American astronauts who were in space during Ming the Merciless’ initial assault on Earth, and barely escaped his dimensional worm hole and the "space torpedoes" used by Ming's forces. The trans-dimensional portal was placed there by Ming the Merciless, despot emperor of the planet Mongo, who hoped to provide open access for his invading armies. In this series, Ming had reptilian characteristics, and seemed to have a human wife; who was long dead (it was implied in some episodes that she had gone to Earth).
When the Airforce escort sent to bring Flash and Dale to a secure location is knocked unconscious mid flight, Dale and Flash manage to crash land the small aircraft they are on board in a marshy area with no one hurt in the crash. Flash and Dale set out to find help for the pilot and come across the laboratory of Dr. Zarkov. Zarkov mistakes them for two crew members that were supposed to bring him an important piece of his near completed inter dimensional rocket craft. Flash and Dale unknowingly are brought along for the experiment and by the time anyone realizes the mistake it is too late, the three are brought aboard Mings ship. Once there they become aware of Mings plans, and Ming takes a dislike to Flash immediately. With help from Ming's daughter Princess Aura the three earthlings manage to free a child prisoner of Mings, escape and destroy his portal generator closing the wormhole to Earth. Unfortunately, without the part Zarkov was expecting, and with the portal closed, Flash and crew were stuck on the Mongo side. The rest of the show follows the earthlings adventures as they discover other nearby planets with anti-Ming factions and put together a loose coalition, determined to overthrow Mongo's evil emperor and return Princess Thundar, Flash, Dale, and Zarkov to their native planets and restore Mongo to independence and freedom from Ming's cruelty.
- Alex "Flash" Gordon: The blonde, teenage hero of the series. He is charismatic, daring, and always willing to impress Dale Arden (which doesn't always succeed). He met Dale during a skateboard contest, shortly before Ming's army attempted its first invasion on Earth. The name "Alex" is specific to this version.
- Dale Arden: Flash's partner and love interest, she is far removed from the classic damsel in distress, being on the contrary courageous and sarcastic. She does have feelings for Flash, but also tends to rebuff him just as much when things don't go her way. Like Flash, she is quite adept at skateboarding.
- Doctor Hans Zarkov: Flash and Dale's elderly, balding scientist ally. He met the pair during Ming's first invasion attempt of Earth and traveled with them to Mongo as part of his own experiments before being stuck after they destroyed the portal. Zarkov is brilliant, but extremely pessimistic and cowardly. He is usually reluctant to put himself in danger, no matter what. He is in direct rivalry with Sulpha, Ming's head scientist.
- Ming the Merciless: The militant ruler of Mongo, he supposedly has already conquered many neighbour worlds, and now wants to invade Earth. Ming bears reptilian characteristics, just like the rest of his army, and whether or not his species was indigenous to Mongo is unclear. His ruthless temper contrasts with his unconditional love for his daughter Aura. He once had a wife named Rosaura, supposedly dead since long ago.
- Princess Aura: Ming's teenage daughter who is half reptilian/half human. Unlike her father, Aura is more sympathetic to the people of Mongo's plight and goes out of her way to help Flash and his friends. But will not engage in any treason against Ming. Despite Ming's dissatisfaction in how Aura does not follow his example of being deceitful and manipulative, Aura is very good at playing people for her own needs.
- General Lynch: Ming's sniveling, incompetent second-in-command. Lynch doesn't have much to say in Ming's decisions, and just carries out the orders, attempting to have the job done by brute force and failing most of the time. Still, he is no less evil than his Emperor, and if Ming wasn't here, his schemes would be just as bad, if not worse.
- Kobalt: Ming's top mercenary. Kobalt is a Pantheron. He has a sort of rivalry with Lynch.
- Sulpha: Ming's female Dragon head scientist, charged with designing his weapons and ships. She is extremely brilliant due to a binary brain, and is in a fierce rivalry with Doctor Zarkov for being the greatest scientist on Mongo. Sulpha is the last of her species, which was more than likely exterminated by Ming. She has a soft side in spite of her grumpy attitude, with ambiguous loyalties, serving Ming but all the same hating him, and often helping out Flash and his allies when they're in a pinch.
- Talon: Flash' most prominent and gung-ho ally and Prince of the Birdmen of Hawk City, a species of winged human-like beings. Talon is a brave and enthusiastic man.
- Thundar: Another one of Flash' loyal allies, Thundar is a female Lionid, coming from a species of felinoids. She is an impetuous and excellent fighter, expert at hand-to-hand combat. She is based on Prince Thun of the Lion People from previous versions.
- Prince Barin: Renegade Prince of Arboria, first hostile to Flash and his friends. He nonetheless ends up joining them in their battle against Ming.
|Episode||Title||Original air date||Production number|
|1||"Escape to Mongo"||TBA||301|
|Earth teenagers Flash Gordon and Dale Arden, and their reluctant friend Dr. Zarkov, journey to the fantastic planet Mongo where they fight to defeat the evil planetary dictator, Ming the Merciless.|
|2||"Jaws of the Jungle"||TBA||302|
|Flash, Dale and Dr. Zarkov rescue the Lionid princess Thundar from Ming and the treacherous Vine People. This feat earns them the respect of Prince Talon and renews the rebellion against Ming.|
|3||"The Caves of Doom"||TBA||303|
|Flash races time to save Dale and Dr. Zarkov from being sacrificed to a volcano by the Trogs, a tribe of suspicious cave dwellers.|
|4||"Vandals from the Void"||TBA||304|
|When Mongo is attacked by a fleet of UFOs, only Flash questions Ming's attempts to form an alliance with the Rebel forces.|
|5||"Fangs of Fury"||TBA||305|
|Thundar's mother falls fatally ill, and only Ming holds the antidote. His price for the cure‹Flash Gordon! How will Thundar decide?|
|6||"Terror Beneath the Waves"||TBA||306|
|Queen Kayla and her Shark People hold Flash captive underwater while Ming prepares a sneak attack on the Rebel forces.|
|7||"Wings of Destruction"||TBA||307|
|Flash competes against Aura in the Mongonian Aerial Games. Although a truce is in effect during the games, Ming attacks.|
|8||"The Invisible Claw"||TBA||308|
|Sulpha, Ming's dragon scientist, creates an army of invisible Rock People to conquer a peaceful desert kingdom. Can Flash stop them?|
|9||"Pit of the Tigrons"||TBA||309|
|While Ming is away, Aura takes command of Mongo. She offers a truce if Flash will agree to marry her and rule Mongo at her side.|
|10||"Cry of the Pantheron"||TBA||310|
|Kobalt the mercenary pretends to fall in love with Thundar, raising Flash's suspicions when he joins an attack on Ming's bomb factory.|
|11||"The Dragon Strikes"||TBA||311|
|Flash, Dale and Dr. Zarkov discover Mango's legendary lost Hall of Science. Surprisingly, Sulpha helps keep the secret from Ming.|
|12||"The Wrath of Ming"||TBA||312|
|Believing that Ming has lost his mind, Aura and Kayla hatch separate plots to overthrow Ming and take the throne of Mongo.|
|13||"Rocket to Oblivion"||TBA||313|
|Flash, Dale and Dr. Zarkov set off for Earth in an experimental space ship, unaware that Sulpha has hidden a bomb in the ship.|
|14||"Ambush in Arboria"||TBA||314|
|Dale joins forces with one of Ming's loyal supporters, handsome Prince Barin of Arboria. Is Dale betraying Flash and the rebellion?|
|15||"Moon of Mystery"||TBA||315|
|Flash and Aura form an uneasy alliance to protect the peaceful inhabitants of a previously undiscovered moon from Ming's wrath.|
|16||"Revenge of the Dragon!"||TBA||316|
|Sulpha finds a cache of what seem to be dragon eggs, and asks Flash to stall Ming while she searches for the secret to her lost race.|
|17||"The Fiendish Experiment!"||TBA||317|
|Zarkov literally loses his mind in a dangerous Dynacrystal experiment, enabling Ming to lure Flash and Dale into a deadly trap.|
|18||"The Dungeons of Despair!"||TBA||318|
|Ming throws Lynch in jail, but his replacement performs so well that Flash, Aura and Barin trick Ming getting Lynch back.|
|19||"Treasure of the Depths!"||TBA||319|
|Talon discovers Ming's powerful energy source, a priceless hoard of Dynacrystals hidden deep in a mountain lake.|
|20||"Fortress of Fear!"||TBA||320|
|Ming prepares to attack King Vultan of the Hawk People, It's up to Flash and Talon to keep Hawk City from being blown from the sky.|
|21||"Palace of Peril!"||TBA||321|
|Ming's Imperial Palace becomes a battleground when Flash reprograms a factory to turn out Rock Warriors with minds of their own.|
|22||"Shadow of the Shark!"||TBA||322|
|Ming's plan to invade Earth threatens Kayla's underwater kingdom. Flash must prevent a war between them before it destroys Mongo.|
|Flash shoots down Ming's Megaraptor with Ming himself aboard. So who is the mysterious double of Ming taking his throne?|
|24||"The Fur Flies"||TBA||324|
|When Ming fires Kobalt, the Pantheron mercenary goes into business for himself, posing a threat to a secret Rebel mission.|
|When Aura, Ming and Flash crash land on a barren moon, they must work together to avoid being captured by space pirates.|
|26||"Escape to Earth!"||TBA||326|
|Earth is placed in jeopardy when Flash and Dale's parents attempt to rescue their children by reopening the black hole doorway.|
Flash Gordon (1996 TV series) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.