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Chief Justice Michael Stailey's Blog

Chief Justice Michael Stailey • Location: Santa Monica, CA
• Member since: May 2002
• 181 full reviews
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August 7th, 2007 4:52AM

During the last week of June, we were invited up to Vancouver, British Columbia by SciFi Channel to tour the set of their new series, Flash Gordon and meet with the cast.

Located about 45 min outside the city, the studio is actually an old farm which they've converted over to a production facility. The barn houses all the main sets. The horse stables double for hair and makeup. The acres serves as versatile exteriors. Operating on a shoestring budget, the production team has been forced to get creative, and the results are remarkable. Looking at what the costume designers have come up with is just one example.

The set designers faced similar challenges and created swing pieces that could be used for multiple interior locations, depending on what the script called for.

But, as with most shows, it's the writing and what the cast is able to do with it that will detemine its ultimate success. We had an opportunity to talk with four of the series regulars -- Eric Johnson (Flash), Gina Holden (Dale), Karen Cliche (Baylin), and Jody Racicot (Zarkov) -- about their involvement and experience working on the show. When we arrived, they were in the midst of shooting episodes 6 and 7 of their 24 episode season.

Listen to the Q&A session (57:16)

For those who didn't make it down to Comic-Con this year, we also have access to the cast and crew's panel which took place on Sunday, August 26.

Watch their panel appearance (48:02)

For a sneak peek at the series, SciFi has provided us with a behind the scenes promo, as well as several clips from the pilot episode, which premieres August 10 at 9:00p ET /8:00p CT.

Reunion of Flash and Dale -- Flash's ex, Dale Arden, returns to town as a television reporter, rekindling their friendship. Only problem is, Dale has moved on with her life, her career, and her relationships, while Flash is living at home, working as a grease monkey, and running marathons in his free time.

Flash questions his mom about Dad's work -- The premise of the series is that Flash's father, a physics professor, died in fire 13 years before. But what they come to learn is that he was doing work off the books investigating a rift in the space-time continuum, one which opens directly onto the planet Mongo.

Flash and Dale meet Ming -- Here's the potential deal breaker for me. With legendary actors like and Max Von Sydow breathing life into Alex Raymond's Ming the Merciless, seeing John Ralston in the role is a major disappointment. Granted, this is all based on my own personal expectations for the character, but first impressions are important and he just doesn't seem to cut it.

"Return of a Hero" -- A behind the scenes look into the updated legend of FLASH GORDON: the cast, the characters, the stories, and even the return of the theme song by Queen.

For as much as I love the rich tapestry of the FLASH GORDON universe that has been woven over the years, I'm approaching this series with trepidation. I do give showrunner Peter Hume and his team the benefit of the doubt and hope that they can pull this off, adding yet another campy, costumed jewel into the crown of this scifi fantasy legend.

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