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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Buck Rogers at its best!

Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
20 March 2008

First off, the title for this double length episode is pure trash perfection: it's not entirely accurate (there are slaves of both sexes in this one), but it brilliantly captures the camp/schlock sci-fi ethic that made Buck Rogers in the 25th Century such an entertaining series.

Jack Palance stars as Kaleel, a mutant with deadly glowing hands who has poisoned Earth's food supply in order to weaken its defences. Buck (Gil Gerard), his rival Major Duke Danton (David Groh), and Wilma (Erin Grey—the woman with dimples to die for) travel to the source of the corrupted food discs—the planet Vistula (I hate that name—it sounds too much like fistula!)—where they discover the existence of human slavery, come up against a ninja/gimp assassin with an acid-edged metal boomerang, fight vicious desert people, escape from certain death several times, and ultimately destroy an entire enemy attack fleet.

On top of all that, this episode features the brilliant Roddy McDowall as the ignorant governor of Vistula, Buster Crabbe (the 'original' Buck Rogers) in a welcome cameo, an uncredited Tim Robbins as a slave, an obnoxious super computer called Carl, a sexy slave girl and a leather clad hench-woman, and also gets Erin Gray all hot and sweaty in a flimsy outfit that makes me feel rather light-headed just thinking about it.

Planet of the Slave Girls is quintessential Buck Rogers, and is unmissable stuff for fans of 70s sci-fi.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Planet of the Slave Girls

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
20 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In this exciting two-parter, with quite the busy plot and number of familiar faces (Roddy McDowell, Jack Palance, Karen Carlson, Buster Crabbe, and David Groh), has Buck and company contending not only with a food illness that is crippling the Earth's defense directorate but also a planned armada orchestratd by a villainous foe with designs on conquering the planet! Palance, restraint not in his nature, plays his character, Kaleel, to the hilt, a Jim Jones like cult leader who has captured the hearts and souls of nomadic farmers on a distant planet known for providing the food eaten on Earth. McDowell, in royal garment and a huge hat (he looks like an alien humanoid version of a crowned prince right out of Ali Baba), portrays the alien planet's Governor of the Food Directorate, living in lavish splendor off the sweat and backs of the nomadic slaves who are under Kaleel's spell. Kaleel, with help from Stella (Carlson, in fine bitchy form), who had been on Earth as a spy for him having destroyed a machine named Carl (who was helping scientist named Dr. Mallory, portrayed by Days of Our Lives' Macdonald Carey of all people, in finding an antidote against the food poisoning overtaking Earth), and Galen (Robert Dowdell, who many will know on Voyage of the Bottom of the Sea), responsible for leading the armada that will supposedly head an assault against a weakened Earth defense. So Buck and Col. Deering, along with Major Duke Danton and Major Fields (Groh and Sheila Wills), head to the planet as special guests, soon becoming involved with Kaleel and Stella, leading to all sorts of action scenarios, escape attempts, and death dodging. With Brianne Leary as Ryma, a former nomad who went to work as a waitress for McDowall's Governor Saroyna, is one of a few working as part of an Underground Movement against Kaleel's tyranny, soon joining forces with Buck and Deering in trying to stop Kaleel. While he isn't in the two-part episode very long, McDowall makes the most of his aristocratic, self-absorbed character, a fool who ignores his son, Regis (Michael Mullins), a young man with good advice but little true love by his father. Palance relishes his delicious part as a towering, commanding leader, whose power comes in grandiose speeches, overtaking the nomads with his charisma. The script includes a power Kaleel has in his hands that light orange, allowing him to kill those that fear him, particularly useful against those who wish to overthrow him. Gil Gerard and Groh have some fun scenes (including a brawl involving football tackles!) whose competitive spirits and massive egos cause quite a bit of friction, especially when vying for the super foxy Erin Gray's affections. This mammoth episode has seven Earth fighters against a whole fleet led by Galen, with Crabbe a delight as Brigadier Gordon, a great hero coming out of retirement to help out, Buck and Danton on foot after their ship is crashed having to ward off desert marauders out to steal from them, and an escape from a bubbling hot furnace as Buck, Deering, and Ryma are sentenced to perish. Seeing the very confident Palance and Carlson petering in spirit as their forces are slowly reduced to staggering defeat is a joy, as is Buck's facing down Kaleel, emasculating the supposed great leader in front of the nomadic people held under his footstool for far too long. The costumes, sets, and performances are all indicative of the period for which this show was made giving it a charm that is endearing and campy.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

It doesn't matter what he's doing - Jack Palance is awesome!

Author: bensonmum2 from Tennessee
8 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When the Earth's tainted food supply knocks most of its pilots out of commission putting the planet's defenses at risk, Buck and Col Deering visit the planet the food comes from to investigate. What they find is a population enslaved by the charismatic and ruthless Kaleel (Jack Palance), a clueless Governor (Roddy McDowell), and an attack force ready to strike the Earth. Once again, it's up to Buck Rogers to save the day!

To begin with, "Planet of the Slave Girls" is something of a misleading title. But it's probably more effective from a marketing standpoint than the truth - "Planet Where Everyone is Enslaved, Not Just the Hot Women". Whatever the title, this is a very enjoyable two-part episode. There are a number of things that I could point to as highlights, but at the top of that list would be Jack Palance. His character, Kaleel, is not unlike a television evangelist inspiring the troops (or slaves in this case) to do his bidding. Instead of healing hands, however, Jack's got glowing red hands of death. He's awesome! Beyond Jack, the rest of the episode is enjoyable. The plot is interesting and the episode is entertaining throughout. If you've seen Buck Rogers before, you pretty much get what you expect – some cheesy but fun special effects, Twiki being annoying, Erin Grey in a variety of spandex, gaudiness everywhere you look, and Buck. There aren't a whole lot of surprises. "Planet of the Slave Girls" does feature a plot thread involving a Major Duke Denton who represents a rival to Buck for Col Deering. Denton is played by David Groh. He and Gil Gerard seem to have developed some immediate chemistry. The pair play off each other nicely. My biggest complaint with "Planet of the Slave Girls" is how underutilized Roddy McDowell is. He was given virtually nothing to do.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Buck and Wilma help foil a plan to poison Earth's food, and also invade it

Author: jefffisher65-708-541158 (jefffisher65@yahoo.com) from United States
14 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Planet of the Slave Girls(I guess for the sake of PC, it would be Slave Women today) is one of the first season's more enjoyable episodes. Sure, the title is not accurate, and of course, the effects are dated. As others here have pointed out, modern-day viewers need to keep in mind the period in which Buck, and other sci-fi series of the time were made, no CGI, no cable networks devoted to science fiction and horror, and so on. It is campy by modern standards, a little more than usually intended I imagine for these reasons.

This two-part episodes deals with evil mutant Kaleel(Jack Palance) and his plan to first poison earth's defense fighter pilots, and then invade the weakened planet with enslaved fighters of his own. The plot discovered, Buck, Wilma and Major Duke Danton(David Groh( along with Leutient Willis )travel to Vistula to set matters right. A number of other veterans genre fans know are here as well, Don Marshall, Roddy McDowell(in a wasted part as the Governor of Vistula), and of course, original Buck Rogers, Buster Crabbe as Brigadier Gordon- a real delight. I enjoyed the rivalry between Buck, and Duke who played well off of each other and it's a shame Major Danton wasn't used again. he could have made either an on-going rival of Buck's for delectable Erin Gray's attentions, or a good male-bonding friend for him. possibly.

I must mention the sequence where lovely Brianne Leary, and Wilma are sent to perish in a furnace room of sorts which is heated by what appears to be a boiling mud-spring - Erin Gray hot and sweaty in that slave-girl outfit isn't to be missed! Of course, I realize many women probably do not like this series precisely because it featured so many beautiful women usually in quite revealing outfits of one sort or another. It should be kept in mind that such television series' main audience was younger males, and BRI25C was clearly aimed mostly at the teenage guys segment of viewers. Although I'm sure the women didn't find Gil Gerard objectionable, either, for what it's worth.

I would say that Jack Plance did maybe "ham it up" a bit too much a couple of times, but he was never noted for restrained performances, to say the least.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Buck Rogers meets Flash Gordon

Author: ShadeGrenade from Ambrosia
14 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Planet Of The Slave Girls' was the first episode of 'Buck Rogers In The 25th Century' to be shown on I.T.V. The network did not have the rights to show the pilot - 'Awakening' - ( it would, however, be screened a year later ). 'Girls' went out on 30/8/80 as part of a line-up that included 'The Crowther Collection' ( starring Leslie Crowther ), the final part of the U.S. series 'From Here To Eternity' ( starring William Devane ) and 'Tales Of The Unexpected'. Luckily, the premise was fully explained in the opening titles. 'Buck' was soon grabbing a big share of the Saturday night audience ( outstripping the B.B.C.'s 'Dr.Who' which then starred Tom Baker ).

Buck and Wilma are returning to Earth ( the Stargate is featured here for the first time ) when they save a pilot who is under fire from pirates. He has gone down with poisoning brought on by ingesting a corrupted food disc. The protein for the discs came from the agricultural planet Vistula, which is built on slave labour and is run by 'Kaleel', a mutant able to control minds who wants to take over Earth first by poisoning Defense Directorate pilots and then sending in a space fleet. Buck, Wilma and 'Major Duke Danton' ( the late David Groh ), a rival for Wilma's affections, fly to Vistula to stop the madman...

People who complain endlessly about the quality of 70's television sci-fi would do well to appreciate that there was no Sci-Fi Channel back then, and that shows such as 'Buck' had to appeal to a mass audience if they were to survive. It wasn't possible to make a show then aimed exclusively at sci-fi fans. 'Buck' and 'Battlestar Galactica' got by by shamelessly plundering other genres, such as 'The Gun On Ice Planet Zero' two-parter of the latter show which was a virtual remake of 'The Guns Of Navarone'. 'Girls' is a fairly standard episode ( running to 90 minutes ) though enjoyable. Gerard had 'Buck' down pat by this time ( incidentally, that's 'Funk and Wagnalls' he says, not f...oh never mind! ) and Erin Gray's Wilma is stunningly sexy. Jack Palance acts as though he's just walked off the set of 'The Shape Of Things To Come' ( 1979 ), and Roddy McDowall is wasted as an ignorant Governor, dressed like an extra from 'The Thief Of Baghdad'. A couple of cast members would have been familiar to sci-fi fans because of their work on other shows - Robert Dowdell ( of 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea' ) and Don Marshall ( of 'Land Of The Giants' ). Dowdell's character is 'Galen', coincidentally the name of Roddy McDowall's chimpanzee in the 'Planet Of The Apes' television series!

The influences are there for all to see - the acid-tipped boomerang thrower is pure James Bond, while the creatures in the desert who attack Buck and Danton put one in mind of the Jawas from 'Star Wars'. What really makes this a treat is the appearance of Larry 'Buster' Crabbe, the original 'Buck Rogers', cast as 'Brigadier Gordon' ( he was famous for playing 'Flash Gordon' too ) who briefly comes out of retirement to help Buck. Crabbe later claimed that the producer wanted to call him 'Flash Gordon' but could not as it was a copyrighted name. Even so, seeing the old and new Bucks together is a moment to savour. Interestingly, Crabbe told Gerard that while modern day audiences laughed at the original 'Buck' serials on account of their dated fashions and special effects, the day would come when they laugh at the new show. He was dead right!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable episode

Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
20 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Evil and charismatic mutant Kaleel (a gloriously hammy Jack Palance) poisons Earth's food supply so he can weaken the planet's defenses and launch an attack on our world. Buck Rogers (the always engaging Gil Gerard), Wilma Deering (lovely and sunny Erin Gary in fine go-getter form), and Buck's hard-nosed rival Major Duke Denton (gruffly essayed by David Groth) travel to the planet Vistula to thwart Kaleel's dastardly plans before it's too late. Director Michael Caffey, working from an absorbing and eventful script by Steve Greenberg, Aubrey Solomon, and Cory Applebaum, relates the cool story at a steady pace, stages the pitched spaceship dogfights and knock-down, drag-out fisticuffs with a reasonable amount of flair (an abortive assassination attempt on Dr. Huer by a black leather-clad killer brandishing a lethal boomerang and an attack by a ragged bunch of dessert nomads rate as the definite exciting highlights), and further tops things off with an amusingly dry'n'deadpan sense of humor. Moreover, the tip-top guest cast adds immensely to the considerable kitschy fun: Palance tears into his stock glowering villain character with delightfully unrestrained glee, the fetching Karen Carlson likewise vamps it up nicely as Kaleel's equally wicked hench wench Stella Warden, Roddy McDowall makes the most out of his regrettably minor role as the blithely clueless Governor Saroyen, 30's action/adventure serial star Buster Crabbe has a great part as hearty veteran Brigadier Gordon, the comely Brianne Leary does well as feisty servant girl Ryma, and Michael Mullens contributes a likable turn as Saroyen's sensitive and sensible son Regis. The funky-groovin' disco score hits the right-on chillin' spot. The lovably crude (less than) special effects possess a certain endearingly creaky charm (the obvious matte paintings in particular are an absolute tacky hoot!). As a sweet added bonus, the delectable Gray spends the bulk of her screen time in a skimpy'n'sweaty slave girl outfit. An entertaining show.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One of the greatest moments in Sci-Fi History

Author: knightrider1987 from United States
1 March 2006

Okay, this show was terrible. But, face it for budgetary reasons so was Dr. Who. I love them both. This show was never destined for greatness, but by having Buster Crab basically playing Flash Gordon getting into the cockpit of a starfighter after all these years was intensely satisfying.

My Grandfather raised me. He grew up in the thirties watching the original series and he explained what was going on during this episode. How Buster Crabbe had played both Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.

As far as I can remember; this many years down the road, the exchange went something like this: After a canned battle sequence probably pieced together from the feature film. Buck has a moment to compliment "Gordon" on his flying.

Buck: "That was some nice flying back there." Gordon: "Son, I've been flying these things since before you were born." Instant sci-fi history was made. Crappy show, great moment.

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