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I'm Andrew. I write about the past and future of tech, music, media, culture, art, and activism. This is my blog.

Flash Gordon (1954)

Posted: September 3, 2021

Flash Gordon was a TV series for the 1954-1955 season, produced in west Berlin. The series was direct to syndication throughout many parts of the US, and specifically aired on the east coast on the DuMont Television Network. The show is now in the public domain, and about half the episodes produced are available on home video. Today, I present an episode we captured that is not available on home video

This episode aired March 25, 1955. It’s the 23rd episode of the show’s run.

Updated September 2021 Here’s a new video transfer:

Here’s the original video transfer:

Wikipedia has a little more on this iteration of Flash Gordon, but not much more.

It appears that most of the actors spoke little to no English, and much of the dialogue was delivered phonetically. The German accents are wide spread throughout.

Modern reviewers have been pretty rough on the show, comparing it unfavorably with the Buster Crabbe serials of the 30s and 40s, and I can understand that. This show had a much lower budget than those serials. I think that many of the episodes of this show are pretty brilliant, though, and the occasional use of scenes in and around war torn Berlin as set dressing for this far future series gives an air of mennace to the show which is welcome.

in the first version of this post, I said:

This episode, more than most film we’ve captured recently, highlights some of the problems that our current transfer method encounters. I have recently ordered a new Telecine, and this will be the first film to run through our new transfer equipment when that arrives in a few weeks. When that’s done, I’ll post a comparison, and maybe a walkthrough of the two pieces of equipment.

which was true! I’ve since done what I said I would do. See the new transfer above, and the comparison here.

If you’d like to help me keep doing this kind of film and television archival, get better equipment, and afford more films, I’m on patreon (where I will hopefully remember to share things in advance in the future): https://www.patreon.com/ajroach42


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