The year was 1987 as NASA launched the last of America's deep space probes. In a freak mishap that freezes his life-support systems, Captain William "Buck" Rogers was thrown into an orbit which returned Buck Rogers to Earth... 500 years later.
He is susequently revived in the year 2491 by the malevolent forces of the Draconian (interstellar) Empire. He discovers that the Empire has plans to conquer Earth and escapes. When he is close to Earth he encounters the Earth Defense Force and is taken into custody. Soon after, it is revealed to him that he is 500 years in the future. The world he lived in was devastated relatively soon after he left in a nuclear holocaust. (I guess that that's why the intro says 'the last of America's deep space probes').
Buck is shocked by this turn of events, but slowly builds a life working with the Earth Defense Directorate, who have the technology to explore the universe as well as defend Earth.
Memory plays tricks on your mind and I was surprised when I saw a few episodes of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century recently. What surprised me the most was just how serous they took themselves! Up until then I thought they had been playing for laughs.
Buck Rogers was a light drama set in the disco loving 25th century where voluptuous alien women in skimpy outfits threatend to dominate the Earth. Later episodes had Buck and his friends, including "Hawk" -a cousin of Harvey Birdman or something- traveling around and exporing space on board a research vessel.
Very much a product of its time, Buck Rogers was so tragically hip that it comes off totally campy today. Still, as I said at the top of the review, the actors never let on that they were making pure shlock aimed at children, they act as though they were making high drama! It's almost unnerving to watch.
Like most shows of the era, it does have its lighter moments and really was family friendly. It's not the greatest show ever, but as a kid I enjoyed it and I think today's kids could too. As an adult, I call it "Mediocre" and give it a 5.
This show came out when I was about 9 years old. I use to love this show. I saw the pilot episode at the theater and it reminded me of Star Wars. After that I would watch show every week during the first season. I must of got sidetracked during season 2. I recently bought the series on DVD. Decent story & special effects especially for the time. As a 38 year old sure its cheesy & goofy but it does bring back the 9 year old in my. I still love it! Star Trek its not but a good time it is!
As you can tell from my previous reviews, I am a fan on friday night scifi shows. This was one of the great "Movie to TV crossovers" At the tender age of 11 or 12 Wilma in her skin tight uniform did things to me, kind of like " the feeling I get when I climb the rope in gym class" LOL. I have the dvd's and the acting wasnt that great as the special effects, but I love the ships. And one christmas I got one of eh raiders as a present. I really enjoyed this show, and mel blanc doing the voice of twiki was classic. I really like it when "Hawk" I believe his name was came on the show.
The late seventies was a big boom for sci-fi after Star Wars, Glen Larson, having celebrated his recent success with Battlestar Galactica, decided to resurrect a Sci-Fi legend, and modernize it for the seventies culture at large. Buck Rogers In The 25th Century was always going to be a series, but was first tested in movie theaters as a feature film. It was a great idea, which I remember as being very entertaining. I used to have a great fondness for the show, and like Galactica, used to record the audio from episodes onto my trusty cassette recorder. Gil Gerard was a perfect Buck Rogers for a seventies culture. He was handsome, sexy, reasonably intelligent and sarcasticly funny. Erin Gray as Wilma Deering? Meeeeoooww! Gotta love those skin tight pants. Space Vampire, anyone? Tim O'Conner was perfect as Dr. Huer, and Mel Blanc was the perfect voice as Twikki. The plots were okay for what they were, enjoyable homages to the Sci-Fi serials of old, which was appropriate enough. Even the titles reflected this same spirit " Planet of The Slave Women", "A Plot To Kill A City", etc. So..as Sci-Fi fluff, it was cool, and a guilty pleasure. When I heard the news about them being in re-runs, It sparked nostalgia in me, and I gleefully tuned in to relive a nugget from childhood. I never got very far. I had to turn it off after brief peeks at various episodes. It was bad. I mean..bad. I found myself laughing at elements of episodes which, in my youth found so thrilling. I gagged at certain cultural reference which I used to find funny. Why? Well, two reasons...one of which, I fault the actors and creators for, the other was just a fluke of circumstance, but an unavoidable shortcoming. #1: As mentioned in another review, the actors should have been making this tongue in cheek, with a wink, and sarcastic elements of parody..but they did indeed take themselves and the stories waaay to seriously. That in itself, makes this show hard to swallow nowadays. However, the second element, harms it even more. #2: The show depended too heavily on modern (70's) cultural references for the show's humor, and for Buck's personality. The plot says that Buck left Earth in 1987. The show was filmed in the last years at of the 70's, at the very peak of the Disco Years, and that fashion culture which everybody in the 80's did just about everything they could to forget, and in fact, deny they were even part of. As a result, so much of the shows elements which were considered as clever and humorous comedic references in the 70's, make Buck, at least to me, an incredibly unbelievable personality . And that's a shame, because most of the apeal of this show depended on Buck's personality. All this being said, I have read some of the existing reviews, and they bring back memories long forgotten. I'm gonna rent the set, and watch some of my favorite episodes again, this time in entirety. Who knows? I might edit this review, and lighten it up a little. But..I don't know. But for now, this is my impression after my initial revisit.
Simply one of the best Sci-Fi shows of its era. Gil Gerard and Linda Grey rocked in this, as did Thom Christopher in later episodes. As a kid, I watched this religiously. Now, as a middle aged adult, I own the DVD set, including the theatrical movie release, WHICH I saw in the Theaters! :) My father took us. He was a WWII vet. He sat there in the theater, crewing on his cigar and watching nervously during the opening sequence, when Gil rolled around on the floor with a bunch of scantily clad, gorgeous alien babes. When we left the theater, at the end of the flick, he got in the car and said; "Now, we're not going to tell your Mom about this one, are we?" :> Simply a wonderful series. It's a shame it ended so soon.
This series was so high in cheese content it could supply Dominoes Pizza for 100 years! The plots were ridiculous and the sets were only a hair better than Doctor WHO. Most of the episodes were dull and predictable. The little robot guy was just plain irritating. Buck himself looked some some Gigolo porn star.
At the time I watched it mainly as a 10th grader in highschool mainly to see Erin Gray in those hot skin tight uniforms as my hormones were raging. Now shes an old lady, too bad.
I really dont care if I ever see it again. Its better left in the dust bin of history. Except maybe some shots of Erin Gray when she was smoking hot.
All-in-all, Buck Rogers was a fun and entertaining series. Given its episodic nature, the shows were somewhat uneven. The earlier episodes tended to be more interesting than the later episodes, but you could always count on a bit of fun. The series didn't take itself too seriously, but also didn't degenerate into farce (usually). It's biggest problem was its lack of direction.
The show suffered from the same problem that most tv sci-fi shows (and most tv series, in general) have it had no definite story to tell or ultimate destination. Each episode took you on an adventure, but with little link to previous or future episodes. Thus the characters didn't grow and the settings didn't change. The show never seemed to decide how decimated the Earth was, or how advanced the rest of the galaxy was. In some episodes the Earth is a wasteland, with a few sheltered cities. In others it seems to be on par with the rest of the galaxy. There were few continuing plot threads other than the cold war with the Draconian Empire. The attempt to find direction in the final season led to its downfall mainly because the plot of that season had little to do with the first season.
Still, many episodes were quite fun including "The Return of the Fighting 69th", "Vegas in Space", "Planet of the Slave Girls", "The Plot to kill a City", "Unchained Woman", "Space Vampire", "Flight of the War Witch", and any with Kane and Ardala. The final season was completely forgettable, as were those with Gary Coleman.
Erin Gray was given a much larger role in the series, but still ended up as the damsel in distress. Twiki was annoying, but did provide some comedy. Pamela Hensley was still quite the vixen and Michael Ansara was a welcome change as Kane.
The first season of this series was great, an interesting concept, good story line, and fine characters. NASA’s Captain William "Buck" Rogers created a great turmoil upon his arrival to the 25th century. The Earth had change, during is time away, but upon this return, Buck Rogers had an influence on everything and everyone. It was a simple concept that worked very well during the first 24 episodes of the first season. It was entertaining, fun to watch and every week it was a new adventure.
However, on the second season, the storyline changed dramatically. Now, some of the main characters are in a Spaceship, the Searcher looking for a lost human tribes. This concept is very similar to another Glen A. Larson series, the original Battlestar Galactica. This new concept did not work at all and after only 13 episodes it was canceled.
I am sorry they did not keep the original concept, maybe than the Buck Rogers would have survived a little longer.
I have heard some negative opinions of this show. And not that I disagree with some of it. However, there seems to be a few things left out of the equation. Was some of the writing campy?...yes. Was some of the acting cheesy?...yes (actors sometimes can just make the best with the scenes that are written). Was the special effects bad?...well maybe. OK factor in these variables. The creator gets the green light for a show, but a very limited budget. The creator, Glen Larson, had just created Battlestar Galactica. Battlestar Galactica was on the heels of Star Wars. There was a legal issue between George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, and Glen Larson over copyrights of some of the special effects and sounds. Therefore many of the special effects were not only constrained budgetarily, but in appearance, too. Again, to limit costs, Larson used the same special effects techniques for Buck Rogers, which was expensive at the time.
So, with what they had to work with, I think it was an adequate show. Then you put Erin Gray in the mix, and it becomes much better. And I think all of the main cast of actors did great.
This show quickly degraded to unwatchable with chessy sets, bad costumes, bad writing, marginal special effects and poor acting.
The only cool thing about this show were the fighter ships (I still have a plastic model of it) The pilot was at least interesting but like so many other shows that have a mini-movie as it's debut the regular run turns to garbage after a few episodes.
Gil Gerard was little more than a Micheal Knight in space with talking robots....be-de-be-de-be-de Save ME!!
And don't get me started on the "Hawk" guy....come on!...bird man with feathers on his head? Bad. bad. bad....
Wilma in her tight flight suit was the only interesting thing about this show.
I still enjoy watching this show.I like the way the history dept. mistakenly idenifieding certain object by the wrong name. The humor in the show was good and light hearted. It dealt with some good issues and the Scifi aliens and tech were good for the time period.The charactors were good and Tiki the robot was fun to watch. The interaction of Buck with Wilma, you always want them to get together but they never do, but he did get together with a number of other women around earth and alien women. The culture created in this show about 500 years in the future was unique.
yeah so it was a little too disco, but hey it was the late 70's and early 80's. and all those girls in those tight outfits, now that's good tv. the writing wasn't super great and gil gerard was kind of a dork in my opinion, but all in all one of the best sci-fi shows of its time. i'd like to know how much money they spent on production, because as corny as they were, the show had some elaborate sets and special effects. now that it's out of dvd i just may have to shell out the 80 bucks.
I watched this series off and on when I was younger but could never get interested in it. Why? Because it was awful in every area of production. Cheap FX, grade school acting, retarded writing, kitchy costumes, kindergarden sets .. I could go on and on. A total disaster. The only redeeming features - and I mean only - where beautiful Erin Gray and the stunning Pamela Hensley.
I always like Buck Rogers. It was a great show then and it would make a great show now. If it does get revived, let's hope that they choose the casting carefully and they don't try to make it like the Battlestar Galactica revival. I want to see science fiction, not sexual fantasy. Anyone can write about the later, because even with a poor storyline it will get someone's attention. But with the former, it takes talent to grab people's imagination, and if they can do that, then they've made fans forever.
Watched it when I was young. Revisited as an adult and much like Battlestar Gallactica, great idea, great premise, leaves me wondering what if we fine tuned it and gave it new life as with BSG? Surely today's technology could take this shows wonderful idea, preserve it and advance it.
I have seen parts of the show when i was a little boy. Seeing back the show after several years brings back memories. If you compare that show to the shows that they are playing now , you say its bad. But If you think back to the time that show was first released , you realise that in that time it was a nice show to watch. My favorite character of the show was the robot Twiki. So , after all of these years , i am glad that i have seen the show again. I really enjoyed watching it , with the point of view that it is an old show off course. So for the people who like seeing old series again , this show must be seen again.
Well, This is one of the reasons Science Fiction got a bad name.
I loved this show when I was a kid. Until I found the joys of the internet, the words to the "theme" song were my holy grail.
I've recently had the opportunity to watch the entire series on DVD. Oh my goodness, was I that young and naive?
Don't get me wrong. It was fun and a game effort. But, like the old Batman TV show A product of it's time. Big over the top acting, huge goofy set peices, action scenes that were more scene than action (do good stunt men really cost that much?)...
The first season is enjoyable enough. A fun romp that, okay science fiction...In a way it captured the spirit of it's source material, while being completely disco kitsch. The second season however (seperated of course, by that writer's strike) was something completely different. ANd not in a good way. It was, as I read somewhere, Bad Buck Rogers but good science fiction. I'd rather it were good television, but it isn't really. The production values got a little higher, but that didn't save it from cancellation (probably hastened it.)
So, if you're new to the show what should you do? give it a chance. They try hard. Gil Gerrard is affable and likeable, Erin Gray is the embodiment of many men's childhood fantasies. And Twiki rocks (if a little annoying at times-but so is R2-D2.) Not much else to say. Give it a chance. It's worth it to see some of the really top quality guest stars like Gary Coleman, Ray Walston, Jack Palance, Frank Gorshin, Peter Graves and Caesar Romero!
This show rocked! It had it all: Space battles, great guest stars, cool stories, great outfits, beautiful women, swave men, action, excitement, etc... Mr. iwatchtoomuchtv, I know Gil Girard, you're know Gil Girard! We loved this show as a kid. As a teen the action scenes and space exploration rocked our world. The hot, scantily clad gorgeous women made us realize we were men. Gil Girard was great in the lead. Don't forget, this cat was married to the hot Connie Selleca in her prime at the time, not the warm leftovers John Tesh got. This only added to his male mystique and got the female audience watching as well. The scifi losers loved the space scenes, the old Batman lovers the costumes and Ceasar Romero, the young men (and older) the hot chicks! Check out Tangie in "Vegas in Space", enough said. This show jumped the shark after the first two Hawk Episodes. That old goat scientist Wilfred Hyde White or whatever his name was, boy, was he irritating! Erin Gray, man, with braces and certain augmentations, she would've been the Pam Anderson of her day. Worth watching!
After decades of being shown only as part of weekend movie matinees, science fiction became a hot property for TV executives to mine for potential hits. One such item was Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, a story that previously was depicted in newspaper comic strips and serialized films that played on weekends at the local cinemas. The cast for the show consisted largely of new faces to television with Buck Rogers being portrayed by Gil Gerard, Wilma Deering played by Erin Gray and Tim O'Connor as Dr. Huer. In fact, the most famous person associated with the show was Mel Blanc, famous for his work in the Bugs Bunny cartoons, who provided the voice for the small robot Twiki.
For the first season, Buck's main opponent was Princess Ardala, played by Pamela Hensley, who was the high ranking princess of the Draconian Empire and dressed like she was always on the prowl for an amorous encounter. Some of the episodes are decidedly dated at this time but are still fun to watch.
In the second season, there was a major change in the series focus and the supporting cast. Instead of the focus being on Earth, it was shifted to a giant starship called the Searcher that was traveling far from Earth. Dr. Huer was dropped and replaced by the maverick fighter/pilot birdman known as Hawk. Episodes shifted to more of a galactic nature though many of these were, well, plain awful.
Overall, Buck Rogers in the 25th century is a fun show to watch though much of the series is dated nowadays.
I recently was watching a rerun of this Buck Rogers on SciFi. I hadn't watched it in years. Oh man was it bad! I remember not liking the show when I was a teenager. But, wow, I couldn't believe how much more I dislike it now! I tried to think of any redeeming aspects to the show, and I have to say, I couldn't think of any. I have no idea what people see in this show. I really enjoy scifi, but this show sucks.
I liked the show when I was a kid. I have caught a few episodes on the Sci Fi Channel. Granted, it does not stand up to the test of time, but I did not run screaming toward my television set to quickly turn the channel. The charcters were interesting sometimes, though I'm still pissed that they dropped the Wilma and Buck romance storyline.
Bucks Rogers in 25th Century was a fantastic movie and happy to see the cast reprised their roles for the TV Series. Erin Gray and Pamela Hensley alone made the show worth watching.
Many of the shows were kind of silly by today's standards but back in 1980, this show was wild and hip.
The first season was by the far the best but when the show concentrated more around New Chicago but when they tried to copy off Battlestar Galactica and move the show to the spaceship 'Searcher' which was searching for the lost tribes of Earth, I lost interest in the show.
If you have a chance to watch the first season, take the time and enjoy as it is well worth it..
“Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” was a pretty cool show when it came out in late 1979. It made an attempt to be ‘hip’ and ‘up to date’. These are the same reasons the show isn’t so much fun now. The pandering to a 1979 audience, all the cultural references to the 70’s and the clothing styles that were designed to impress viewers as ‘modern’ since they were just starting the 1980’s, tend to look silly now. Unlike other older Sci-Fi shows (like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, who tried for a look they thought would be futuristic, not just impressive to their audience) this endless striving for “coolness” did the show in and make it look even worse now.
Gil Gerard and Erin Gray did okay with what they had to work with. Many of the special effects (such as the fighter ship launching tubes) seem to be lifted directly from “Battlestar Galactica”.
There is no justification for “Hawk”.
While the series is available on DVD, it sells for about 3 to 4 times what is reasonable.
At the time this show came out there were few sci-fi space shows on tv. After Star Wars came out, I wanted more outer space anything. Being a sci-fi lover I would try any new show that came along. Even at the time it was campy in it's own way, but fun to watch. One of the things that kept me watching was the female guest stars, and of course Erin Gray. Seeing her wearing those skin tight one piece zipper jump suits was an enjoyable way to spend an hour. What can I say, I was a teenage guy then. On the whole it was a fun show, a bit dated by todays standards but I still enjoy it when it runs on the sci-fi channel!!
Having been a kid when this show aired originally, this show has always held a warm spot in my heart. What I have discovered in watching this show again over 20 years later, is that it is not nearly as good as I remembered it. The stories are simplistic at best, and the dialog is worse. One thing is certain this show is a victim of the times in which it was created. It reeks of early 80's hair, clothes, music, and even worse...ROLLER DISCO!!! Yikes. Buck Rogers has not held up nearly as well as another sci-fi show from the same time period, the original Battlestar Galactica.
All that having been said, it can be fun revisiting this show, and watching it with friends makes it almost bearable.
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