Cult Cartoon Essentials

Cult Cartoon Essentials: Defenders of the Earth

Back in 1985 our world was rocked by Defenders of the Earth. The show featured three comic strips distributed by King Features Syndicate – Flash Gordon (voiced by Lou Richards), The Phantom (Peter Mark Richman), Mandrake the Magician (Peter Renaday), and Mandrake’s assistant Lothar (Buster Jones) defending Earth from Ming the Merciless (Ron Feinberg) in the year 2015. It ran for 65 episodes.

The show also introduced to the next generation of heroes including Flash’s son Rick Gordon (voiced by Loren Lester), Jedda Walker – daughter of the Phantom (voiced by Sarah Partridge), Mandrake’s adopted son Kshin (voiced by Adam Carl), and Lothar’s son L.J. (voiced by Dion Williams).

As the series begins Ming has exhausted all of his planet Mongo’s natural resources so seeks out Earth as a replacement. During the attack Flash and Rick escape but Ming captures Flash’s wife Dale Arden (although not directly named in the series but is named in the accompanying comic book) and attempts to brainwash her. Dale resists the brainwashing attempt and dies in the process! Dale is voiced by Diane Pershing – reprising her role from Filmation’s Flash Gordon cartoon. Somehow Dale’s psyche is absorbed into Dynac X – the central computer of the Defenders’ Headquarters via a magic crystal- Pershing remained in the show voicing the computer.




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