While traveling through an asteroid field, Buck Rogers and crew come across a life pod. Inside is a young golden-skinned boy, Vellus, who displays the unusual ability to alter the nature of... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jay Garner ...
Admiral Asimov
David Hollander ...
Anthony James ...
Mr. Graf
Bruce M. Fischer ...
Diana Chesney ...
Richard Wright ...
Onlooker #1
Arthur Eisner ...
Onlooker #2


While traveling through an asteroid field, Buck Rogers and crew come across a life pod. Inside is a young golden-skinned boy, Vellus, who displays the unusual ability to alter the nature of metals. When the Searcher becomes hopelessly stuck on an asteroid, Vellus suggests that his friend Relkos, whose life pod landed on a nearby planet, is more powerful that he and could lighten the ship enough to free it from the asteroid. Buck and Vellus head down to the planet, unaware that it is a penal colony full of unruly prisoners. They discover that the criminals are also after Relkos's metal-altering powers, hoping he can lighten a crashed vessel enough for them to escape. Written by Twenty Penguins

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Release Date:

19 February 1981 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The village set is the same one used in the original Frankenstein movies. See more »


When the searcher gets stuck on an asteroid, Hawk increases the power to the engines. When it switches to a scene of a gloved hand moving a large slider the uniform arm is blue when it switches back to Hawk he is still wearing his black outfit. This happens twice in the space of 2 minutes. See more »

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User Reviews

Entertainingly dippy episode
10 July 2011 | by (The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left) – See all my reviews

Buck Rogers (Gil Gerard, affable as usual) and company discover a precocious gold-skinned boy named Velis (a charming portrayal by David Hollander) who can alter the nature of metal. After the Searcher gets trapped in an asteroid, Velis suggests that both Buck and himself travel to a neighboring planet to retrieve Velis' bigger and more powerful, but simple and child-like companion Relcos (a touching and sympathetic performance by Russell Wiggins) so they can free the ship from the asteroid before a severe storm hits. However, said planet turns out to be a penal colony populated by mean and rowdy criminals. Director Vincent McEveety, working from a gloriously asinine script by Calvin Clements, Jr. and Stephen McPherson, relates the amusingly ridiculous story at a steady pace, treats the inane premise with admirable seriousness, and adds a few nice moments of intentional deadpan humor for good measure. The commendably sincere acting from the capable cast helps a lot, with especially praiseworthy work by Thom Christopher as Hawk (who walks around the prison planet wearing a very conspicuous huge flowing red cloak complete with a massive hood in order to avert detection from the inhabitants!), Anthony James as evil inmate leader Mr. Graf, and Roger Rose as kindly, compassionate farm boy Marcos. Meanwhile, Diana Chesney provides a wealth of unintentional belly laughs with her uproariously over-the-top hammy turn as a noisy old hag with a laughably ludicrous overdone Cockney accent. Moreover, the dodgy (not so) special effects, goofy make-up, and such inspired daft touches as having the gold-skinned aliens age in reverse (yep, Relcos is actually the son of Velis!) further add to the considerable campy appeal of this winningly kitschy show.

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