The Flash Gordon rewatch continues…
Last week, Ming “precipitated” Flash and Dale through a trap into the undersea city of the Shark Men were Flash ends up trapped in the arms of an “octosack” and is about to drown.
King Kala forces Dale to watch as Flash battles the eponymous sea beast – at least until she faints. Again.
Luckily for Flash, Princess Aura and Prince Thun arrive and force Kala to drain the water. Aura leaves Thun and Dale to stand watch over King Kala while she frees Flash. Despite Kala’s attempts to thwart her, Aura finds and frees Flash. Proving the apple doesn’t fall far from the megalomaniac tree, Aura tells Flash that Dale and Thun have left on a hydrocycle (Hydracycle? Hypercycle? Who knows?) and will meet them on the surface – the lying little minx.
Meanwhile, Zarkov and his short shorts are trying to contact Earth (so he is a good guy after all). The signal gets through to Earth where Flash’s dad recognises that it is a message from the mysterious planet that is presumably still on a collision course with Earth.
Ming interrupts Zarkov and reveals that he has Kala’s underwater city completely in his control. Continuing to build trust with Ming, Zarkov explains that he has discovered a “new ray” that will help Ming with his quest to conquer “the sea, the air, the earth, the universe.”
A random fight breaks out between Ming’s outer guards and people loyal to some Queen that we haven’t heard of yet. Presumably, this is foreshadowing for a later chapter.
Flash is unconvinced by Aura’s lie about Dale and Thun being safe and instead heads back to the throne room. They encounter a guard along the way and the ever traitorous Aura gets Flash to attack him. While he does, Aura destroys the machines that control the air and keep water out of the city!
Thanks to Aura’s recklessness, the city begins to flood. With the oxygen cut off it becomes hard to breathe, and Dale passes out again.
The city’s only hope is to contact Ming on the spaceograph. Unfortunately, the reception is too bad and the message doesn’t get through.
Flash and Aura reach the throne room and join Dale and Thun just as the city’s walls collapse and the throne room is flooded!
Is this the end for our heroes? Will Aura’s deviousness cost them their lives? Will Dale finally do something other than pass out?
It has to be said this isn’t the most exciting episode, not a lot happens really and there’s no new threats to liven things up. Other than the mysterious Queen and her supporters of course. I’ve got no idea what that is all about. I’m sure it’ll get cleared up at some point. Or not, it’s hard to predict.
I was relieved to see Zarkov turn out to be a good guy though. I think they call that storytelling trick “Doing a Snape” nowadays. On the other hand, Princess Aura is marvellously wicked. She also seems to have a self-destructive streak, presumably brought on by her jealousy of Dale who continues to be the one person Flash is actually concerned about.
Barely a scene, more of a screw up. There’s a point where Ming is explaining to Zarkov what’s happened to Flash and Dale that has obviously been spliced in after the scene was filmed – it’s not even Ming’s voice. Without that addition the dialogue that follows would make very little sense so presumably it was added to clarify things for the audience. Or because Charles Middleton flubbed his lines one too many times.
“The air machines have been destroyed, we are doomed”
Princess Aura really outdoes herself in this one. Not only does she boss Prince Thun around, she twice overpowers one of King Kala’s lackeys. She also shows just how much of Ming’s mercilessness she’s inherited – even going as far as endangering her own life by flooding the city.
Presumably she has a plan, I hope so for Flash’s sake.
Find out how Flash and co escape a watery demise next week in The Destroying Ray. I’m sure Dale will do something to help.
My homage to serials like Flash Gordon, a science fiction novel called Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet, will be released later this year. But I’ll be giving everyone on my mailing list the book for FREE a couple of weeks before it launches. If you’d like a copy, just sign up here – I’ll give you FOUR of my other ebooks right now, as a thank you.[Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 4 – Battling the Sea Beast by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 18th July 2015]