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I Hate Myself For This, Too

May 24th, 2007

In years past, I’ve found it amusing when fanboys got their Doctor Who underwear in a twist over “re-imagined” versions of old sci-fi properties. They got all wrapped in the details (“Starbuck is a woman?”; “Bumblebee isn’t a Volkswagen?”), and overlook the big picture, which is that no matter how much affection they might inspire, the likes of Battlestar Galactica and Transformers really weren’t all that good in the first place.

That’s why it’s a little bit hypocritical to be feeling the way I am after reading this article about the Sci-Fi Channel’s new Flash Gordon. According to its star, Flash doesn’t visit the planet Mongo in an old-fashioned rocketship, but via wormhole technology (think Sliders) that his father invented. And he fights an android in his kitchen! Oh, remember Ming the Merciless? Turns out he’s not entirely evil; he’s an incredibly good-looking, charming guy, and you’ll be able to understand where he’s coming from. (What part of “merciless” didn’t they understand?)

Please allow me to indulge in my “Bumblebee isn’t a Volkswagen?” moment here. If there’s one thing I know about Flash Gordon, it’s that he flies a rocketship invented by the brilliant scientist Dr. Zarkov…who isn’t even mentioned in the article. It sounds as if the travel-by-wormhole thing is a budget-cutting measure, though how expensive is it to whip up a CG spaceship these days? Honestly, if you’re going to remake Flash Gordon with a Ming the Not-So-Merciless, and without a goddamned rocketship, what on Mongo is the point?

Next thing you’re gonna tell me is that the new Bionic Woman won’t make that boing-oing-oing sound when she does something bionic. She won’t? Curse you, Hollywood re-imagineers!

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