We left Flash, Happy, Dale and Zarkov being crushed to death by some stalactites while the evil Clay People look on and laugh with silent cruelty. The enormous prongs descend and it is all the Flashettes can do to slow them down a bit.

Then Flash remembers they have an alien gun and uses it to blow a hole in the wall. Everyone survives.

The Martians – dignity a stranger to them – pursue Flash and his gang through the caves.

Rather brilliantly, the Martians are standing round looking for Flash when a bunch of Clay People simply run up behind them and steal their guns. They run off while the Martians just carry on standing round looking for Flash Gordon.

They regroup and their commander simply says "The Clay People!"

It’s Flash’s turn – more Clay People sneak up on Flash and pinch his atom gun (or whatever it is called this week).

The Martians find Flash’s party. A fight breaks out.

Dale: Warrior Princess stands back and diddles about with her hair.

But wait! There appears to be some kind of gas coming out of the walls.

Dale faints!

Happy faints too. Flash picks him up in a very unscientific way and bundles him out of the caves, leaving Dale to carried rather more gingerly by Zarkov.

But Zarkov collapses too. This is turning into a pattern.

Flash tries to carry them both at once but collapses himself. He cleverly works it so Dale falls on top of him. That’s called making the most of a bad situation.

The Clay People all pile on.

Flash wakes up in some kind of throne room and wearing different clothes.

A Clay Person with a cloak enters the room. He can sit down and speak so they must’ve made him the king.

Dale wakes up and realises some pervy old Clay Man has given her a new frock. New clothes are good, pervy old men are bad. You can see the confusion in her eyes.

Flash explains the first two episodes to the Clay King who, incidentally, is played by this man from Undersea Kingdom.

The King explains that Dale is to be held hostage while Flash and co go to Azura’s kingdom dressed as her guards. They are to get Azura, Queen of Magic, to come back to the Clay People’s caves and free them.

Flash and Zarkov find a convenient ship to steal.

But this man is on their tail.

Flash has already realised his hat is silly, Zarkov has not been so lucky.

Meanwhile, in Azura’s city…

Flash lands and they pull off a hilarious jape as Flash pretends he’s captured Zarkov. He wants an audience with the queen.

He either gets it or is fooled by a nearby portrait.

Gracious! They have something called a Light Bridge in Azura’s city.

It lets people walk between buildings supported by nothing but light.

Cool – Azura appears to have her own harem filled with pretty young ladies. She’s now my new favourite baddie.

Flash gets up close and personal with Azura.

He cleverly distracts her with his finger…

…and grabs the magical necklace from around her neck.

They get rid of the guards and abduct Azura, Queen of Magic.

They escape over the light bridge, unaware that they were being watched by Ming the Merciless.

Ming tells his science people to destroy Flash’s rocket ship using "the oscillator".

The oscillator involves lots of sparks and flashes. As usual.

Flash, Zarkov and Azura stop walking when they hear something queer going on. Azura explains that it is the oscillator and that if they don’t surrender they will be "dashed to death". Whatever the hell that means.

This really is the silliest bit of evil yet seen in the serial. The oscillator appears to be some kind of earthquake machine. To stop Flash and destroy his rocket ship, Ming has trashed a whole chunk of Azura’s city. Rather than just, for example, shooting at them or sending some men.

The bit Flash is standing on gives way and he slides down to who knows where.

Because it is such a brilliant plan, Flash himself has to stop the Queen from being killed.

Now the rest of the city is on fire. Ming the Moron – that’s what I’m going to call him from now on.

Ancient enemies? Who need enemies when Azura has friends like Ming?

 

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