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Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Comp Epic Series [Import]

 Unrated   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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With its campy combination of lightweight adventure and Spandex disco chic, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is a nostalgic throwback to post-Star Wars opportunism. Series co-creator Glen A. Larson was incapable of originality, and former soap star Gil Gerard (in the title role) was a bland incarnation of the comic-strip hero, so the much-anticipated series premiered on September 20, 1979, with serious disadvantages. Although the two-hour pilot "Awakening" had tested successfully as a theatrical release, Gerard and the show's producers could never agree on a stable tone for the series, which presents Capt. William "Buck" Rogers as a jovial space cowboy who is accidentally time-warped from 1987 to 2491. Earth is engaged in interplanetary war following a global holocaust, and Buck's piloting skills make him an ideal starfighter recruit for the Earth Defense Directorate, where his closest colleagues are Dr. Huer (Tim O'Connor), squadron leader Col. Wilma Deering (former model Erin Gray, looking oh-so-foxy), the wisecracking robot Twiki (voiced by cartoon legend Mel Blanc), and a portable computer-brain named Dr. Theopolis, who's carried by Twiki like oversized bling-bling.

The series struggled through an awkward first season, with routine plots elevated by decent special effects and noteworthy guest stars including Jamie Lee Curtis, ill-fated Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten (appearing, with her voice dubbed over, less than a year before her tragic murder), Batman alumnus Julie Newmar, Buster Crabbe (veteran of vintage Buck Rogers movie serials), and several others in a show that favored vamps and vixens over credible science fiction. A full-scale overhaul resulted in a disastrous second season, but devoted fans still gravitate to Hawk (Thom Christopher), the charismatic alien "birdman" who was introduced with new characters and a new, space-faring search for lost tribes from Earth (with echoes of Larson's own Battlestar Galactica). Behind-the-scenes squabbles continued, and by mid-season of 1981, NBC pulled the plug on a breezy, still-engaging series that suffered from uneasy chemistry and never realized its full potential. Existing somewhere between Galactica and Lost in Space in the TV sci-fi food chain, this Buck--with a dearth of DVD extras--now functions as a cheesy stroll down memory lane. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STRAP YOURSELF IN AND JOIN BUCK ROGERS ! May 29 2006
By The Critic TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Unlike a lot of old Sci-Fi shows coming to DVD this one includes the original two-hour pilot movie "Awakening" as it was shown in theatres. Climb into your Starfighter and join Buck, Wilma and the gang for all 37 galactic episodes spread out over 5 double sided discs. Yes that's right, five double sided discs from Universal Studios once again. The picture and sound are well done and better than I remember seeing on television, but it's too bad the soundtrack wasn't remastered in 5.1 Dolby digital like the original Battlestar Galactica.

Created by Glen A. Larson "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" with its lame special effects is really cheesy and dated by today's standards, but still fun to watch. The series premiered on September 20, 1979 after the two-hour pilot "Awakening" was successful as a theatrical movie release that I was fortunate to see at the Drive-In. Former soap star Gil Gerard stars as Buck Rogers a hot shot pilot who is accidentally time warped from 1987 into the 25th century. Following a global holocaust the Earth now finds itself embattled in an interplanetary war and its newest inhabitant has just become an intergalactic Starfighter pilot. Joining Buck in his galactic crusade to protect the Earth Defense Directorate is the Ultra hot Col. Wilma Deering played by former model Erin Gray.

Once again Universal Studios has failed miserably to give fans what they really want, bonus material! Gil Gerard and Erin Gray are still alive so why wasn't a cast interview or look back featurette included in this DVD release. It would have been nice to see the stars from the show again and get their thoughts about working together for this DVD release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Buck stops here June 22 2009
This show is corny at best. The acting not the best. But in my eyes the show has an entertainment value. It was an early version of all those space shows out there now and this is where they learned to write better shows. If you like to see something with more entertainment than good acting or writing I would suggest watching this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 2 2014
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I love it great old tv show
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great TV show from the 80's March 26 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you like SCI-FI like i do....it's a good show, and i use to watch this when i was a kid.
It's old, and cheezy sometimes, but i love it!

Great seller, and product was perfect!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buck is back Jan. 11 2014
By Falcon1
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was an amazing set of DVD's brought back a lot of good memories, even my children thought it was a brand new series because of the qualities of the video. Thought it was amazing even 30 years later.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, very charming 70's Sci-Fi ...... June 22 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I remembered this series along time ago. Also being a Logan's Run fan I just had to have this series. Yes it is silly, dated, laughable by today's standards, but that is part of what makes it so much fun. Gil Gerard had a certain presence and charm as the hero. Erin Gray was good in a supporting role. Dr. Theopolis and Tweekie were just silly but added to the story. The nice thing about owning this series is that one can pull it out anytime and watch it. This series had a good amount of action, certainly was not overly violent or gory, and was entertaining at times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Too Cool! Aug. 8 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What a bargain!!! So many cameos and big name actors. Surprised to see the original Buck Rogers( Buster Crabbe) as an aging fighter pilot. Too Cool!
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