Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Comp Epic Series [Import]
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Now, to the matter at hand: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I greatly enjoyed watching this show when it aired originally on NBC 1979-1981, (and in syndicated reruns since) so when I saw this set in the store there was no question that I was going to get it.
The series was well cast, with Gil Gerard very good as fish-out-of-water 20th century astronaut Buck. The first season also sported two of television's best assets: beautiful, sexy Erin Grey (Wilma) and Pamela Hensley (spoiled Princess Ardala) Season 1 was great fun with Buck and Wilma, along with Buck's robot sidekick Twiki (Felix Silla, voice by Mel Blanc) and their computer friend Dr. Theopolis fighting evil throughout the galaxy for the Earth Defense Directorate, lead by Dr. Elias Huer (Tim O'Connor). I agree that it was a very fitting passing of the torch to feature the original, movie serial, Buck Rogers, Buster Crabbe in Planet of the Slave Girls as ageing Brigadier Gordon (a nod to another of Mr. Crabbe's sci-fi roles, Flash Gordon), with this classic exchange after the climactic space dogfight:
BUCK: Gordon, where did you learn to shoot like that?
GORDON: I was doing this sort of thing before you were born.
BUCK: You think so, huh?
GORDON: Son, I know so.
Then there was season 2 (delayed a bit by the 1980 actors' strike). This is the reason this review is four stars instead of five.
After season 1's so-so ratings, a new producer, John Manley, was brought in. Inspired by the success of the original Star Trek series in reruns and Star Trek: The Motion Picture in theatres, Mr.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
well here is another very good show Buck Rogers in the 25 Century some of the guest star are Julie Newmar (catwoman 1966 Batman show)also Cesar Romero(Joker 1966 Batman show)Frank... Read morePublished 11 months ago by robert
I love this show but how can you ask such a GIGANTIC price for it?Published 17 months ago by J. Davis
some how it seamed to have some shows missing from what I rememberPublished on Oct. 2 2014 by butch
Just the way I remembered the show, a little campy but fun anyway.Published on Sept. 2 2014 by Derek Stewart
Good to watch, it's 80's type series. If you in to this type you will mostly like it, funny at times.Published on Aug. 29 2014 by Pontiac1976