Friday, September 16, 2011

Classic Serials: Undersea Kingdom (Faster-Paced Version), Chapter Eight

(originally posted December 20, 2008)

Nine installments down, four to go in our bracingly brisk edit of Undersea Kingdom, Republic's answer to Universal's smash hit chapterplay Flash Gordon.

In the original version, Unga Khan sends his forces to catch Billy before he can make it to the Holy City, with his usual zero in the way of results. Still, it was almost a shame to lose this sequence, since it features Volkites flying that weird bomber thing from Chapter One.

I say "almost" because, having reached the Holy City, it promptly disappears from the plot, raising a bunch of questions. Most notably, why the heck doesn't it attack? I know, I know... according to a scene (which I also cut) in an earlier chapter, bombing would threaten the integrity of the dome that keeps Atlantis (very, very) dry. So why did Unga Khan bomb the city back in Chapter One? You really don't want to ask these questions; it's not exactly rewarding.

You get the feeling the writers didn't put a whole lot of effort into the plot logic of this puppy. But if it moves fast enough, and it doesn't self-defeatingly beg questions so much, you notice less. I mean, until I tell you all about it below the YouTube viewer every week.

Another "funny" incident involving Salty and Briny's captivity bites the dust, as does perhaps the serial's most notorious "cheat" cliffhanger. The original goes on from where I end it to show the Juggernaut crashing through the gates. Next week, it, well, doesn't.

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