Thanks to Netflix I have started watching a childhood favorite of mine, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, which debuted in September, 1979. The television series revolves around a five-hundred year old Earthling, Captain William “Buck” Rogers. His ship was “blown out of their trajectory into an orbit which freezes his life support system and returns Buck Rogers to Earth 500 years later.”
Buck Rogers was inspired by the smashing success of Star Wars back in 1977. Originally, the pilot episode was a feature length film released March 30, 1979, about 6 months earlier than its television debut. This series was produced by Glen A. Larson was a follow up to the successful sci-fi TV show, Battlestar Galactica that lasted one season, 1978-1979.
After coming to grip with what has happened, his friends, family dead, now 500 years later Buck must adapt to the future, but does not hesitate to use 20th century vernacular, which causes puzzled looks from many of his peers. While he declines to become a member of the Defense Directorate, Dr. Huer calls upon Buck for his services and his “unique” abilities.
One of the best reasons I enjoyed this series was Erin Grey, who played Colonel Wilma Deering and Pamala Hensley, who was the chief villain, Princess Ardala of Draconia. Both women have contrasting dress styles. While Grey enjoyed the tight, sleek look of spandex, Hensley is usually seen with her midriff exposed. Both women carried a sexual presence in the series, as well as implied (off screen) romance between Buck and Wilma. Although, Buck probably would have bounced Princess Ardala as well.
The technology was similar to that of Battlestar Galactica. In fact some of the props were reused from the previous series. Many of the scenes were shot on location of the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles and remaining buildings from Expo ’67 in Montreal.
The acting is sometimes quirky and poorly rehearsed, but Buck Rogers was an enjoy sci-fi series. The first season was definitely the stronger of the two seasons. Season two was delayed by an actor strike and when production resumed the show had changed. This season reminded viewers of Battlestar Galactica, as much of the show was filmed on the ship Searcher which Buck and Wilma were now part of. Many of the episodes dealt with “serious issues such as evolution, ecology, racism, pollution, war, nuclear power, identity, the self, and religion.”
By no means was this the best sci-fi series to make its way to television or onto DVD, but it does help set the table for many future programs. Buck Rogers was a mainstay for a few years, based off the success of Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica. If you want a fun and adventurous series, with some hot looking 80’s chicks, then give Buck Rogers in the 25th Century a view.?