|Index||4 reviews in total|
After spending fifteen years imprisoned underground on a remote planet,
which has resulted in poor eyesight and deadly glowing hands, a bitter
Cornell Traeger plots revenge against the man he blames for his
predicament: Dr Elias Huer of Earth's Defence Directorate.
In order to locate his target, Traeger plans to capture Raylyn Derren (Morgan Brittany), a beautiful courier who has the details of Dr. Huer's itinerary implanted in her brain, and gain access to the information with the help of an old acquaintance, Delora Bayliss (Tamara 'Cleopatra Jones' Dobson), a Psych Med.
Meanwhile, Buck, who is rapidly approaching his 534th birthday, is feeling homesick for the 20th century. Wilma decides that a surprise party is in order and temporarily gets Buck out of the way by asking him to escort the lovely Ms. Derren on her trip to New Detroit.
A so-so episode from Series One, 'Happy Birthday, Buck' lacks a truly memorable villain, and features too few silly aliens, zero zany disco dancing scenes, and nowhere near enough badly choreographed fights, ultimately registering several notches lower on the 'cheese-ometer' than some of the earlier adventures. Manky props and daft set designs are limited to a pair of 'synthi-flesh' masks, a convenient Buck-sized air vent, and Delora Bayliss's psychiatrists office, which is designed to offer zero confidentiality to its patients (who are all gorgeous women!).
At least Erin Grey looks great as always (first in a peach outfit, which is followed by a skin-tight blue Spandex number), and Morgan Brittany is also rather scrummy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The bitter and vindictive Cornell Traeger (a lively and nicely nasty performance by Peter MacLean) escapes from a remote prison planet that he's been imprisoned on for fifteen years. Traeger blames Dr. Elias Huer (the excellent Tim O'Connor) for what happened to him and plans to get revenge on Huer. Traeger uses sweet courier Raylyn Merrit (a pleasingly perky portrayal Morgan Brittany) and reluctant Psych Med Dr. Delora Bayliss (robustly played by foxy Tamara Dobson of "Cleopatra Jones" fame) to achieve this nefarious goal. Meanwhile, Buck Rogers (Gil Gerard doing some solid dramatic work) feels homesick for the 20th century on the eve of his 534th birthday. Director Sigmund Newfeld Jr., working from an engrossing script by Martin Pesko, relates the involving story at a snappy pace, maintains a basically serious tone throughout, and adds a few amusing moments of dry deadpan humor (Huer's confusion about 20th century birthday customs is especially funny). Moreover, it's neat to see Huer and Wilma Deering (the ever fetching Erin Gray) working together to cheer Buck up. Of course, we also get the trademark cruddy matte paintings, ropey (not so) specials effects, and a couple of poorly choreographed fight scenes. As a tasty plus, Wilma looks quite yummy in a clingy blue dress. A typically fun show.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Happy Brthday, Buck is a decent entry in Season One, I feel, due in
part to Col. Treager, one of Buck's more unusual, and deadly opponents.
Guest-star Morgan Brittany is a welcome addition of course, gorgeous,
as always. I also liked the homesickness that Buck is feeling as his
birthday nears for the 20th century, something a person displaced in
time like this would no doubt suffer from a good deal.
Col. Treager's ability to transmute objects(or people) into other items, or substances is a nifty idea, although I did wonder when his sunglasses are broken near the conclusion, why he didn't simply make himself a new pair! Having him killed by falling onto his own hand at the conclusion was a bit of a cheap way to dispose of him, I thought. One does have to wonder if his bitterness wasn't at least mildly justified from Dr. Huer's comments; it seems no effort to make sure if he were actually alive, or dead during the fifteen years he was missing had been.
The late Tamara Dobson is better-known to me from her appearances on another sci-fi television series of the time, Jason of Star Command, although she makes an excellent villainies here, of course.
Altogether, a good episode if not one of the very best.
PLOT: As Rogers' 534th birthday nears and Wilma & Huer plan a surprise
party, a homesick Buck is commissioned to escort a psychic courier to
New Detroit (Morgan Brittany). Meanwhile an embittered man with newly
acquired powers (Peter MacLean) seeks revenge on Huer by kidnapping the
courier in order to target his prey. Tamara Dobson is on hand as a 25th
century psychologist forced to team-up with the vengeful man.
COMMENTARY: This episode's mostly notable for the presence of petite beauty Morgan Brittany. Other than that, the surprise party element is heartwarming and the villain's powers are formidable, but the plot's a little on the convoluted side.
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