Shortly after Star Wars came out, I was still soaking up any kind of SF TV i could find. I was around 11 or 12 when I first saw the New Adventures of Flash Gordon on NBC. Made by Filmation, who would later bring us Masters of The Universe, this cartoonwas a labor of love for producer Lou Scheimer, who was a fan of the Alex Raymond comic strips and the serials of the 40’s. This series ran for two seasons from 1979 to 1982 and was originally conceived as a made-for-TV film, but was restructured as a weekly series. NBC was unhappy with the serial type storytelling of the first season and revamped the show to be more episodic, as well as adding the ubiquitous goofy sidekick animal, and it was cancelled shortly thereafter.
The show featured all the classic characters, including Flash, Hans Zarkov, Dale Arden, and Ming the Merciless, as well as Princes Barin and Thun and Princess Aura. It essentially followed the already existing Flash Gordon mythos, paying homage to the works that come before it.
As with many of the cartoons of the time, Flash Gordon had a series of action figures from Mattel to go along with the show. I had the Flash figure, but to continue with my strange habit, the first figure I purchased was the Lizard Woman. Go figure.
While I enjoyed the movie from 1980(at the time), I believe this is the superior presentation of the story of Flash Gordon, especially with the release of the reconstituted full length TV movie, Flash Gordon:The Greatest Adventure of All which was more adult oriented. Below is a link to watch the entire film. Check it out!