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Ming Watched Flash Gordon On "The Televisor"
You can watch Flash Gordon on DVD and your home theater

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In the early days of public television, rock and roll was yet to ne nostalgic and teenage kids bopping to Jerry Lee weren't likely to fork over bucks to hear La Traviata. Budgets were not yet sufficient to bankroll big band concerts as a decade later. PBS found two offerings that would light up telephones during rattle the tin cup drives. U.K.'s BBC answer to Red Skelton, Monty Pythons' Flying Circus and pre-Trek Flash Gordon serials ripped from the 1930's cinema serial days. The shows normally ran weekend nights on most PBS stations in the 60's, but they'd run marathons overnight of Flash; each episode was about 20 minutea which gave a ten minute pitch time. Well, now it's rock and roll nostalgia that rings public television donation chimes, but what the heck. Oldies Television has flashes of Flash for those who fondly remember big theatre auditioriums with sticky cement floors, chomping on gooey JujyFruits while Ming the Merciless planned his dastardly deeds.

The Rise Of Flash Gordon. the hero of a science fiction adventure comic strip originally drawn by Alex Raymond, which was first published on January 7, 1934. The strip, inspired by and created to compete with the already established Buck Rogers adventure strip, has since surpassed Buck Rogers for longevity[citation needed]. Also inspired by these series were comics such as Dash Dixon (1935 to 1939) by H.T. Elmo and Larry Antoinette and Don Dixon and the Hidden Empire (1935 to 1941) by Carl Pfeufer and Bob Moore[citation needed]. In Australia, the strip was retitled Speed Gordon[1]. The change was necessary due to the negative meaning of the word "Flash" in 1930's and 1940's Australia, where it refers to someone who is flashy, showy, or vulgar. As Australian usage changed, the original US title was reinstated, certainly by the late 1960s, for the comic strip, though increasingly obscure usage of the term did continue as late as the 1970s.

The Flash Gordon comic strip has been translated into a wide variety of media, including motion pictures, television and animated series. The latest version, a Flash Gordon TV series, has recently finished airing on the US Sci Fi Channel, and has just begun on the United Kingdom Sci Fi channel.

There was an awful TV series version of Flash Gordon starring Steve Holldand produced in Sweden. but we won't go into that. It was booed off syndication and OTV~

Remember Space:1999 Britain's answer to the NBC Star Trek

About Buster Crabbe Born Clarence Linden Crabbe on February 17, 1907 in Oakland, California. To the time of his death, April 23, 1983, Buster Crabbe was getting considerable fan mail from all over the world, most of it commenting on his portrayal of interplanetary adventurer Flash Gordon, the comic-strip crusader he brought to life in three memorable movie serials: Flash Gordon (1936), Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938), and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940). Born in California but raised in Hawaii, Crabbe became a top swimmer and even won a gold medal in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. He initially worked in movies as a stunt double (swimming for Joel McCrea in 1932's The Most Dangerous Game to begin with) and was signed by Paramount the following year. Topbilled in King of the Jungle (1933) as an imitation Tarzan-he played the Ape Man himself later that year, on loan to indie producer Sol Lesser, in the serial Tarzan the Fearless-Crabbe gave a good accounting of himself but was sent to the B-picture units for seasoning. Over the next six years he played in Westerns (1933's To the Last Man 1935's Nevada 1936's Arizona Raiders comedies (1934's You're Telling Me with W. C. Fields), crime dramas (1937's King of Gamblers 1938's Tip-Off Girls and collegiate yarns (1935's Hold 'Em Yale 1936's Rose Bowl 1939's Million Dollar Legs He was loaned to Universal for the first two Flash Gordon serials and two other chapterplays, Red Barry (1938) and Buck Rogers (1939).

Crabbe graduated from the University of Southern California. In 1931, while working on That's My Boy for Columbia, he was tested by MGM for Tarzan and rejected. Paramount put him in "King of the Jungle" as Kaspa, the Lion Man (after a book of that title but clearly a copy of the Tarzan stories). Publicity for this movie emphasized his having won the 1932 Olympic 400-meter free-style swimming championship and suggested a rivalry with Weissmuller. Sol Lesser wanted him for an independent Tarzan (the Fearless), though he first had to get James Pierce to waive rights to the part already granted by his father-in-law, Edgar Rice Burroughs. The film was released as both a feature and a serial; most houses showed only the first serial episode which critics panned as a badly organized feature. Just prior to the film's release he married his college sweetheart and gave himself one year to either make it as an actor or start law school at USC. Paramount put him in a number of Zane Grey westerns, then Universal put him in very successful sci-fi serials (Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers) 1936-40. In 1940 he did a string of Billy the Kid westerns. After World War II he did acted only occasionally, devoting much of his time to his swimming pool corporation and operation of a boys' camp in New York.

The handsome, brawny Crabbe spent most of the 1940s at the PRC studios, churning out dozens of ultra-cheap Westerns (playing an overage Billy the Kid in 1941-43 oaters) and occasional B's, such as Jungle Man (1941) and Queen of Broadway (1942). Leaving PRC in 1946, Crabbe played heavies in various lowbudgeters, including Swamp Fire (1946, opposite fellow Olympic swimming star and former Tarzan Johnny Weissmuller), Last of the Redmen (1947, as Magua in this "Last of the Mohicans" remake), and Caged Fury (1948). At Columbia he starred in three serials: The Sea Hound (1947), Pirates of the High Seas (1950), and King of the Congo (1952).

No stranger to the small screen, Crabbe hosted an early 1950s kiddie show, "Buster's Buddies," and starred in the 1955-57 series "Captain Gallant of the French Foreign Legion," which was filmed in and around Morocco. Back in the States, he made a few more movies-including Badman's Country (1958), Gunfighters of Abilene (1960), and The Bounty Killer (1965)-before getting involved in the swimming-pool business and taking a post as athletic director at a New York summer resort hotel. He was surprisingly effective-and even touching-in a lowbudget improvisational comedy, The Comeback Trail (made 1971, but never officially released), playing a former Western star persuaded to come out of retirement by unscrupulous producers who insure him heavily and then try to kill him during shooting of a new film.

In later years Crabbe made frequent appearances at nostalgia-oriented film festivals. As a lark he took a supporting role in a 1979 episode of the "Buck Rogers" TV series, and appeared in The Alien Dead (made 1981, released 1985), directed by a longtime fan


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