Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
The year is 1987, and NASA launches the last of America's deep space
probes. In a freak mishap, Ranger 3 and it's pilot, Captain William
"Buck Rogers" are blown out of their planned trajectory into an
orbit which freezes his life support systems, and returns Buck Rogers to
Earth... five hundred years later.
A slick, goofy, sci-fi action-based series on the superhero character
created by Philip Francis Nowlan, "Buck Rogers in the 25th
Century" is about a man lost in time... in more ways than one! The
series debuted in the fall of 1979 - months after the movie
of the same name was released.
As played by Super70s and Awesome80s TV heartthrob Gil Gerard, this
Buck Rogers is less the classic hero type than a space pilot from a disco
age. Terminally stuck in the Super70s, with futuristic fashions made of
polyester and spandex, the show nonetheless possesses a certain charm and
cheekiness. Mostly pretty girls and ray guns, the show was never meant to
change the world and the Super70s was never known to be the dawn of great
science fiction television.
Still, some of the goofy stories are actually more fun than today's
reality TV, and there really are some gems hiding in the mix - little
ones, but gems nonetheless. The special effects and model work are
second-to-none for their time (the show had the full resources of the team
that was producing Battlestar Galactica),
and some interesting characters and settings made this show at least
memorable, if not groundbreaking.
Supporting performers Tim O'Connor (Doctor Huer), Felix Silla (Tweeky
the Ambiquad robot), Mel Blanc (the voice of Tweeky), Erin Gray (Colonel
Wilma Deering), and Pamela Hensley (the ever-luscious Princess Ardala of
the Draconians) join in the fun to make Buck a delightfully cheesy
Super70s camp-fest. The show even had a cameo appearance from 1930's
science fiction movie-serial star Buster Crabbe - the original Buck Rogers
and Flash Gordon - in the first regular episode "Planet of the Slave
Girls, " as the Buck of "today" meets the Buck of
yesteryear. Classic stuff.
If you want serious Seventies science fiction, you can try 'Galactica,
' but for those of you who like your sci-fi light and fluffy, this is the
show for you.
series has now been released on DVD!