Flash Gordon: Race Against Time (1955)

Flash Gordon

Television Series – Race Against Time

Country: United States
Director: Gunther V. Fritsch
Starring: Steve Holland, Joe Nash, Irene Champlain
Roger Roger
Theme: Kurt Heuser
Based on characters by Alex Raymond

In the year 3063, after years of interplanetary war, the planets are now a ‘Galaxy of Peace’ thanks to the Galactic Bureau of Investigation (or the G.B.I.). The G.B.I., which is a democratic organization, is very select in its dissemination of knowledge and weapons to ensure that this peace lasts. But certain planets want to breakaway and rule themselves. The ambassador from Pluto is very vocal about this, and plans to vote for independence.

But Pluto is not alone. It seems that half of the planets no longer want G.B.I. control. A special G.B.I. council meeting has been called to resolve the issue, and the vote is to take place on Mars. As half of the planet want G.B.I. control, and half don’t it appears that the deciding vote will be the Earth’s vote. Commander Richards has been selected to announce Earth’s intentions. To make sure Richards get to the meeting safely and on time, he is to be accompanied by Flash Gordon and Dale Arden.

Meanwhile, the Pluto Ambassador has joined forces with an intergalactic villain named Melton to ensure that Richards never arrives at the council meeting.

I know that Flash Gordon is only a kids show, but if you look at the political overtones of this episode it could do your head in. If you see the G.B.I. as an all-powerful single ruling body; ruling to keep everybody equal and then you could say the galaxy is a communist society and those who want independence are trying to break free of their oppressive communist shackles. But as the G.B.I is a democratically elected governing body that only intervenes against planets that are corrupt, then I guess the G.B.I. could be a mirror of how America saw itself in the mid 1950s — watchdog of the world — or in this case ‘universe’.

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