Buck Rogers and Wilma Deering arrive at Theta Station to have Twiki serviced, but soon a freighter crashes with the space station. The freighter's crew are found in a state somewhere between life and...
After capturing notorious assassin Raphael Argus, Buck Rogers learns that the killer-for-hire is to attend a meeting with a group of elite assassins known as the Legion of Death on Aldebaran II. Buck...
In 1987, NASA astronaut William "Buck" Rogers is caught in a freak accident in deep space, causing his space shuttle Ranger 3 to be blown into an orbit that returns him to Earth - over 500 years later. The combination of gases that freezes him comes close to the formula commonly used in the 25th century for preservation, and his rescuers are able to revive him. In 2491, when Buck awakens from the freezing, Earth is recovering from a nuclear war and is coming under hostile attack by the Draconian Empire. In the second season, Buck has been assigned aboard the Searcher, a starship exploring the unknown reaches of space while searching for former Earth colonies that are scattered across the galaxy. Written by
Buck's space shuttle is called "Ranger 3" by the narrator. In real life, NASA's Ranger Program ended in the 1960s, and Ranger 3 was a 1962 lunar probe which missed the moon and was lost in space. See more »
In the narration intro Buck's spacecraft is called "Ranger 3". But the Ranger series spacecraft were unmanned lunar landers, and NASA never repeats project names to avoid confusion. See more »
[voiceover during narrative]
The year is 1987, and NASA launches the last of America's deep space probes. In a freak mishap, Ranger 3 and its pilot, Captain William "Buck" Rogers, are blown out of their trajectory into an orbit which freezes his life support systems, and returns Buck Rogers to Earth... 500 years later.
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The opening credits for the first season finale "Flight of the War Witch" differ from the credit sequences for the rest of the season's episodes (except the pilot). After the show title appears there follows a succession of short scenes from this episode as well as from the TV version of the pilot (including the episode). After about 20 seconds, the credits resume as normal. See more »
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. There were many fine guest stars; with the likes of Roddy McDowel, Jamie Lee Curtis, Buster Crabbe (the original Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon), Peter Graves, Julie Newmar, Frank Gorshin, Ceasar Romero (hmmm, lot of Batman stars), Ray Walston, and Jack Palance.
Overall, the series was quite fun; but stick with the first season, and mainly the first half of it.
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