The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, also known as The Adventures of Flash Gordon, is an animated television series. The series is actually called Flash Gordon but the expanded title is used in official records to distinguish it from previous versions. Filmation produced the series in 1979, partly as a reaction to the mammoth success of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1977. The series was a homage to the original Flash Gordon comic strip and featured most of the original characters, including Flash's girlfriend Dale Arden, and the scientist Hans Zarkov. The series is still regarded as one of the most faithful adaptations, and one of Filmation's finest overall efforts. The basic story follows Flash and his companions as they travel to Mongo, where they are forced into battle by its ruler, Ming the Merciless, his daughter Princess Aura, and his army of Metal Men. To help their cause the heroes lead the formation of an alliance beginning with King Thun, leader of the Lion People; Prince Barin, ruler of Arboria; and King Vultan, leader of the Hawkmen. The original project was produced as a made-for-television feature film. When NBC saw the finished work, it was decided to turn the work into an animated TV series. The change in format resulted in the story being significantly expanded with a subplot of Ming secretly giving military technology to Hitler being dropped, as well as being set in the present day rather during World War II. When the series was cancelled after its 2nd season, the original footage was reassembled with the original soundtrack, including the final role of Ted Cassidy, and aired on primetime in 1982 as a TV movie, Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All.