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|Index||30 reviews in total|
46 out of 53 people found the following review useful:
What's not to love, 13 November 2000
Author: mezzb from Boston
This stuff is classic. Pretty good plots. Nice little performances. You
had Mr. Down-to-earth 20th century macho man Buck (complete with 70's
dry-look over-the-ears hair) & straight-laced, but sexy fighter-pilot Wilma,
and comic-relief, lusty little robot Twiki. And a talking necklace and
boring old man, both named "Doctor".
Every week you could count on intrigue, double crosses, and buck knocking out 25 armed henchman, using his patented "Buck Fu" technique. And near the end, Twiki would say something like, "BDBDBDBDBDBD, Buck rocks me like a hurricaine."
This stuff is infinitely more amusing and entertaining that much of the sullen, sensitive and overly technical tv sci-fi of today.
It's a simple formula that works. action action action, tight shiny space outfits (on men & women) and a few lame jokes.
40 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyable Hokum, Until Things Got Serious..., 16 May 2006
Author: Ben Burgraff (cariart) from Las Vegas, Nevada
What do you do when you served as Executive Producer to one of the
decade's most expensive failures, and you have all these leftover
props, costumes, sets, and special effects film footage lying around?
If you're Glen Larson, and the failed series was "Battlestar
Galactica", you consider producing another Science Fiction-themed
series, less pretentious and more 'audience-friendly', that can utilize
all the surplus...
...and in a very real sense, that's how "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" came to television, in 1979! Based, originally, on a 1928 short story, 'Buck Rogers' achieved his greatest fame in comic strips, radio, and a movie serial in the 1930s, but by 1979, the character had been 'retired' for 28 years, and Larson knew he could 'update' the story without arousing much controversy. The 'new' Buck was an astronaut piloting the last of Earth's 'Deep Space' probes, Ranger 3, in 1987(!), which was thrown off-course by a cosmic disturbance, and damaged, entering a centuries-long looping orbit back to Earth, and releasing a mix of gases that placed Rogers into suspended animation for 500 years. Revived by the evil Draconian Empire, Rogers soon is returned to an Earth in ruins after a nuclear holocaust, where he gradually earns the government's trust, and becomes a civilian 'troubleshooter', using his 20th century wiles to save Mankind, again and again.
Casting was essential for the series to succeed, and Larson made an inspired choice in Gil Gerard, 36, as the lead. Ruggedly handsome, Gerard combined maturity with a boyish charm, and an ability to make even the most risqué remark seem unoffensive (and the series pilot, released theatrically, had a LOT of risqué remarks!) As Wilma Deering, a Colonel in Earth's Defense Force, Erin Gray, 29, was a bit wooden, but gloriously beautiful, and wholesomely sexy; Tim O'Connor, 52, as wise Dr. Huer, provided kind stability and statesman-like wisdom to the mix, and a goofy little robot, "Twiki", voiced by Mel Blanc, gave the kids something to enjoy (although he would utter an occasional risqué or ethnic aside, as well).
The first season of "Buck Rogers", while certainly not 'Classic TV', offered an entertaining mix of adventure and comedy, with stories that intentionally avoided the 'heaviness' that plagued "Galactica". Rogers would face a variety of galactic terrorists, dictators, and madmen, fend off advances by a variety of scantily-clad women, and maintain a "Will they or Won't they?" relationship with Deering. High points were the guest appearances by Pamela Hensley as the evil but vampy Drackonian Princess Ardala, in huge head wear (and little else), and, in a wonderful cameo, the legendary Buster Crabbe, who'd played both "Buck Rogers" and "Flash Gordon" in the 1930s, as 'Brigadier Gordon'.
While ratings were mediocre, at best, the series was renewed for a second season...and all the mistakes of "Galactica" were repeated, when the Earth-centered series was dropped, in favor of a starship-based, 'serious' adventure, as Buck and Wilma joined in a "Galactica"-like search for 'lost' tribes of humans who'd fled Earth at the time of the Holocaust. Why was the entire concept changed so abruptly, and disastrously? The reason I've been told, was that Gerard, a devout Christian, did not like the sexual undercurrent of the first season, and wanted stories that would be more uplifting and family-friendly, and that he forced the changes on a less-than-enthusiastic Glen Larson. Whether or not this was true, the season lacked all the swashbuckling joy of Season One, and despite an attempt to introduce a bird-like, stoic alien ('Hawk', portrayed by Thom Christopher), to attract the "Spock" crowd, the episodes were frequently dull and uninspired, and the ratings plummeted. When NBC canceled the series, just 13 episodes into Season Two, no one was truly surprised.
While Gerard's post-"Buck Rogers" career was a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows, Erin Gray enjoyed a long, successful run on "Silver Spoons", and both actors, today, are popular Convention guests, as both "Buck Rogers" and Larson's "Battlestar Galactica" have achieved 'cult' status.
"Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" will never be held in the kind of esteem "Star Trek" or "Babylon 5" enjoy, but, as a rare chance to see how television viewed Science Fiction in the "Disco Decade", the series has earned it's own piece of immortality!
26 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Leave Your Brain Behind And Enjoy!, 22 September 2002
Author: Big Movie Fan from England
Before watching Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, can I make a suggestion?
Deposit your brain in another room, sit down and enjoy a fantastic
Gil Gerard (with a straight face) played Buck Rogers who was a man 500 years out of time. He awoke in the 25th century to battle evil, mainly the Draconians. He met other villains along the way. Joining him was an annoying (but loveable) robot called Twiki and the sexy Wilma Deering (played by Erin Gray).
Fans of Flash Gordon will enjoy this. It's camp, it's tongue in cheek and it's got everything a sci-fi fan will want. Forget painfully average shows like Star Trek:Voyager and check out this show full of action, drama and most importantly beautiful women.
19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Buck Rogers must see for Sci-Fi fans!, 7 January 2005
Author: Sharon Fell from United Kingdom
Although never having seen the original pilot movie, I could remember
watching Buck Rogers as a child, well mainly Twiki was the part I
remembered! I remember enjoying it very much but obviously as a small
child I could not appreciate the wonderful wit, great characters and
sometimes hilarious plot lines, and of course as a child completely
overlooked how deliciously handsome and charming Captain Rogers was! So
when I spotted Buck Rogers for sale as a complete set I became
uncontrollably over excited, in the middle of the shop it was rather
embarrassing. However after sitting and watching the entire 24 episode
lot over a couple of days it was every bit worth the embarrassment of
over excitement and definitely worth watching.
Although we all know from the opening credits of the show how Buck ended up in the 25th century it was great to see what happened to him when he first arrived. The show has a fantastic appeal for all ages I am now 28 and both of my children 91/2 and 7 both were totally fixated, and along with their glued to the screen mummy, they laughed at the great humour of the show were totally engrossed in the story lines even the rather flaky ones! and now want a Twiki the robot! Although made in 1979/80 apart from rather hilarious special effects, which are funnily enough part of the appeal, the show is every bit as good if not better than anything on TV now. As an avid sci-fi fan it rates one of the highest if not at the top of my list of all time favourite shows.
From the rather serious but likable Dr Huer, sexy but sweet Wilma that rather fab Princess Ardala, and of course Twiki and Buck who rather hog the show with their great partnership and wit. Buck with his perfectly styled hair-note even after fight scenes, watch closely! ; ) great style and what a wonderful smile that seems to end every episode! You could not go wrong to watch Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. In fact I must insist that everyone should watch it! You will smile ( you can't help it when Buck beams his grins across the screen) laugh, cry if you are soppy like me! and most definitely want more when you have watched all of the entire series, well I did : ) BidiBidiBidi over and out Buck.
19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
entertaining and watchable, 17 August 2000
Author: terp_92 from Bethesda, MD
Although I didn't like this series as much as Battlestar Galactica which
out at the same time, as a kid the more scifi series on TV the better.
I would never pass up the chance each week to see the beautiful Erin Gray.
I also thought it was neat when they had one episode where they had the
original Buck Rogers, Buster Crabbe, make a special appearance as an old
It was too bad that they changed the format of the series in the second season, but it was still watchable.
23 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
I paid money to see this..., 12 January 2005
Author: Blueghost from The San Francisco Bay Area
...but I don't regret it. Not too much, anyway. Yes, it's true. When
the pilot episode was given a theatrical release I went and paid good
money to watch it.
I wasn't too thrilled at the production values, but I still enjoyed it as a stand alone film. I'd seen the B&W Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials rerun on a couple of UHF stations, and figured I'd see an upgraded reprise of Buster Crabbe's role.
What the audience got was essentially a made for TV movie that would lead to a pretty fun series. I think the other commentators have got it right; the first season of this show was just good fun. A guy tuned in to see Gerard and Gray save Earth from sundry space-vixens and other off world baddies. The most notorious being Princess Ardala, played by the very talented and alluring Pamela Hensley. With the help of Dr. Heur, Theopolis and Twiki, Buck and Wilma thwarted the villains of the 25th century.
If the viewer tuned in to see some high brow brain-candy moral wrapped in science jargon, then he had the wrong show. Late 1970's Buck Rogers was about adventure, the perils and dazzling technology of the 25th century, lusty and dangerous space-babes, all pitted against a 20th century man's mettle and his equally gallant comrades.
But that was the first season. The second season took a page out of Roddenberry's play book, and transformed into this cheap "Star Trek" knockoff, complete with a Spock-like character in the form of a man sporting a feathered wig, played by Thom Christopher. Buck was no longer bumping flirtatious intrigues with scantly clad space-babes with his daring-do, and Wilma's hard-nosed gut-driven "I am 25th Century Woman, hear me roar!" character was taken down a notch... that and she rarely wore her very appealing spandex uniform :)
In short, first season = Good: Second season = bleh.
I'm not sure what went wrong. The fist season teetered on the high-kamp abyss, but Gil Gerard and Erin Gray had a kind of relaxed and realistic chemistry that helped bring the viewer into their world. The stories were out of Hollywood Formula 101, but they were fun, thrilling, and enjoyable. The action sequences, the alluring fashions of the 25th century, the concept of a man from our time roaming the far future, scantly clad space-vixens, it all adds up to a fun show, if somewhat far fetched... then again plausibility wasn't what Buck Rogers was all about.
This show could've really gone the distance with its original formula, and should have. Why the show changed for the second season is beyond me, because it didn't need to. Part of the attraction of Buck Rogers wasn't the "science" in this science-fiction show, but Buck and Wilma's daring-do. Whoever thought otherwise, and tried to turn Buck into a more "serious" sci-fi venue, was dead wrong, and, as someone else said, quite thoroughly torpedoed the show by fixing it until it was broke.
I'm not a big Glen Larson fan. "Manimal" and "Automan" come to mind, but if I had one wish, with regards to a TV show, it would be to go back in time and see to it that Larson continued producing "Buck Rogers" as he envisioned it for the first season. Heck, maybe I could save Dorothy Lee Stratten for another guest appearance on the show. But alas we're only left with the legacy of the first and second season of this very adventurous TV series.
Well, Larson's helped relaunch BSG, and is now doing a "Knight Rider" revival... maybe he can give Buck Rogers another shot as well, only this time, if he does, let's hope he'll stick to his guns.
Until then; so long, Buck.
11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Good, brainless fun!!, 25 March 2004
Author: Michael Wilcox (nmk2002uk) from Harlow, Essex, England
Like the other creations on Glen A. Larson, this was mindless fun too. Like Knight Rider, Battlestar Galactica and The A-Team, It had the ideas, the story, the characters and was executed very well. It used the same effects system as Battlestar Galactica but was based along the lines of the 1930's series of Buck Rogers starring Buster Crabbe. The story goes that in the year 1987, Buck blasted of into space to probe space. Events take a drastic turn as his ship and his life clock freeze, putting him into, what seems, an eternal orbit until four and a half centuries later when he is revived by Princess Ardalla of the Draconian Empire and sent back to earth but it's not as he knows it!!! Gil Gerard stars as Captain William 'Buck' Rogers in what isn't as good as Battlestar Galactica but is good in its own right. Where as Battlestar Galactica has, in my opinion, a grittier feel, Buck Rogers has a comic strip, family appeal and look to it. Some of the acting is suspect but not in some places. If you liked Battlestar Galactica, give this a go. You never know, you may like it!!!
22 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Fun, but confused., 30 January 2003
Author: grendelkhan from Xanadu
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.
9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyed the show as a kid. Not sure how much I would like Buck now., 18 July 2010
The fact I have not seen this show since I was a kid makes me not want to give this show a score. I am quite certain that though I enjoyed the show as a kid I would probably think less of the show now. This film was in the same vein as a lot of other science fiction shows of the 70's and 80's. It has the cheese to it, it has spaceship battles, robots and it did not last all that long. This show was about Buck Rogers of course, a man of the past, saving the day in the future from strange women with his female and robot sidekick that had that funny little thing it did when it spoke. Of course, it was not high quality show, but when you are a kid you eat this kind of stuff up, especially if you were the type of kid who enjoyed "Star Wars" and things of that nature and I most certainly did. Gil Gerard was good as Buck and Erin Gray was good too in this one. She would later go on to be in the family comedy "Silver Spoons", but I am not sure what else she may have appeared in after that one. I am reading here that the show went off track during season two, however I do believe that the hawk dude was in the show then and I may well think differently now, but then I thought he was rather cool. I also enjoyed the episode where Buck is on this desert planet being tracked by this on robot guy because Buck I think was posing as a prisoner. Don't know why, always enjoyed it for some reason. All in all a show I enjoyed as a kid, not sure if I would now then though.
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Stock footage a-go-go, 8 June 2010
Author: cyclone259 from USA
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember seeing the Buck Rogers movie in 79', which was obviously
trying to cash-in on the Star Wars craze that was still roaring across
the world. Ironically, my brother and I tried to see a showing of the
Buck Rogers movie (later re-worked and shown as the t.v. pilot) on
Easter and it was actually 'sold out'. Funny the things you remember,
but we did see the movie later in the month.
Moving on. Watching with the wide-eyed glee of a nine year-old, even then I loved it, although it wasn't 'as good' as Star Wars. Many, many years later the show has not stood the test of time that well, although on a campy/nostalgia level, it's great fun.
Flaws? So many flaws. They shaved the budget down to Kleenex level by re-using stock footage and the same shots over and over and over and over again. Even at nine, I realized it. Looking at it now, it's amazing how EVERY marauding ship is Draconian in nature. There was a scene where a shuttle leaves the hanger in one form and the next shot, it's Princess Ardala's ship from the pilot episode.
So much spandex. All the women either wore a variation made from curve-hugging spandex, a raunchy, revealing leather outfit or some god awful be-jeweled costume that also left nothing to the imagination. Did I complain? Back then, maybe. I wanted to see some space battles. Now? Not so much.
The ships themselves were pretty cool and the effects weren't too bad, aside from those terrible 'explosions' that were obviously super-imposed over certain vehicles (I guess they needed to save the models). Remembering that this was before anybody with a laptop could create an entire armada for about.99, Buck Rogers was actually decent. All in all, not too painful to watch.
Now for the characters. Buck had charisma and charm. Wilma had looks, although as wooden as a tree stoicism. Twikki was a C3PO wannabe and could be annoying, but gave needed comic relief. There were hordes of character actors who could be seen in other shows of the day and probably worked on the cheap. I mean, how often does (did) Frank Gorshin get work outside of sci-fi conventions and Batman reunions? I really didn't mind the switch to the new style with the bird guy back in the day, but I haven't gotten that far on Netflix yet, so who knows how I'll feel now? Along with all of the cameos, how about that one by the late Gary Coleman? I'm looking forward to that one.
Anyway, it seems there's a movie in the works. I really hope someone is able to update Buck Rogers for a whole other generation. Still, I have good memories of the show and have introduced my wife to it as well.
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