After one of their number gets killed by an Earth Defense Directorate agent, an elite group of lethal assassins known as the Legion of Death vow revenge and devise a plan to destroy New Chicago. Buck...
A 20th century astronaut is caught in a freak accident in deep space, causing his spacecraft Ranger 3 to be blown into an orbit that returns him to Earth almost 500 years later. Earth is recovering from a nuclear war and is coming under hostile attack by the Draconian Empire. The later series has based on a spaceship exploring the unknown reaches of space. Written by
Paul Peters designed the two hour NBC film pilot, and is credited as Production Designer. MCA-Universal released the pilot as a summer film event anticipating popular (young to mid age male) audience reception; expecting the film to build a TV viewing audience when the production started airing on NBC's Fall 1979 TV schedule. Universal art department's policy was to assign alternating design teams to Universal Studio TV episodic series production schedules. After the completion of the two hour pilot, Paul Peters functioned as the supervising Production Designer over two alternating Art Director/Assistant Art Director/Set Decorator/Special Effects Supervisors/and Prop Master teams. Paul supervised the following four filmed episodes. Bill DeCinces (Universal Art Department Director) moved Paul Peters to another film project. Fred Luff had been team one's Art Director with Bill Talifero as his Assistant AD. Bill Camden was team two's Art Director with Bonnie Scott as his Assistant AD. With Paul Peters departure, Fred Luff became the Supervising Art Director, adding Hub Braden to head his team with Bill Talifaro as Braden's Assistant AD. With the exception of Bill Talifaro, all of these art directors had worked together previously at NBC Burbank Color Television Tape Studios, associated with each other on shared and related television specials, game shows, syndicated programming, dramatic daily series, commercials, and network holiday events (Pasadena Rose Parade, sporting event and news specials). 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 »
Shall I order the ambuquad disassembled?
You ever have TWO broken arms, buster?
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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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