A pilot and his young passenger crash-land on a mountaintop and are put into suspended animation by a strange gas. They awake 500 years later to discover that the Earth is now ruled by a ...
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A pilot and his young passenger crash-land on a mountaintop and are put into suspended animation by a strange gas. They awake 500 years later to discover that the Earth is now ruled by a tyrannical despot called Killer Kane, and they lead a fight to overthrow him. Written by
In the original comic strip, Buck Rogers is actually a former World War One pilot who was working as a mine surveyor at the time he came to fall into his long (500 years long) sleep. For some reason, the regulations would not allow the screenwriters to use the comic strip's continuity, so the serial is actually a completely original story with the comic strip characters added. See more »
Chapter seven: The space radio, which Buck has difficulty moving, is picked up by Buck as it was so much balsa wood. See more »
Westmore Observatory calling dirigible Chandril. Westmore Observatory calling dirigible Chandril.
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Opening credits are displayed on a kaleidoscope background. See more »
Buck Rogers as rendered in this serial is a far cry from the comic strip. Somehow, the producers & director managed to create what amounts to a pale shadow of the original strip. The sets used in the 1939 Buck Rogers series are painfully and obviously recycled from the prior Flash Gordon series. Not only that, but some of the film sequences seem to be recycled shamelessly (e.g. the sequences of the underground subways).
For anyone who wonders about the genesis of the homo-erotic themes of Batman, though, look no further! Buck and Buddy do seem to be the prototypes of the now common comic book stereotypes. I am not certain whether this was intentional or not. Possibly the director merely had in mind an appeal to the pre-adolescent social constructs of a bygone age? Buddy still looks like he's the "boy wonder" of this series, though, while the Buck Rogers films date back to 1934 or so, several years before the Batman debut (1939). There must be a master's thesis waiting to be written here.
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