A year after Liberation Day, courtesy of the red-dust bacteria, the humanoid, lizard-like aliens develop a resistance to the micro-organism and try to regain control of the Earth--only now some humans are knowingly working with them.
In 1987, Captain William "Buck" Rogers pilots his space shuttle Ranger 3 on a mission but a meteor storm freezes him into an orbit that returns him to Earth - 500 years later. In 2491, his shuttle is found and captured by the Draconian flagship, under the command of Princess Ardala and her second-in-command Kane. Reviving him, they return him to Earth after secretly planting a homing beacon aboard his shuttle to track a path through Earth's defense barrier. Buck is under arrest and learns that Earth has been rebuilt over the centuries in his absence following a nuclear holocaust. Buck Rogers must adjust to the 25th century, and convince the Terrans that the Draconians are secretly planning to conquer Earth.Written by
David Thiel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The space dogfights were choreographed with the aid of a Hewlett-Packard "45" computer See more »
When Captain Buck Rogers fights Tigerman in the launch bay of the Draconian flagship, the actor is very dissimilar from the one in the rest of the film. See more »
[voiceover during narration]
In the year 1987, at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, NASA launched the last of America's deep space probes. The payload, perched on the nose cone of the massive rocket, was a one-man exploration vessel - Ranger 3. Aboard this compact starship, a lone astronaut - Captain William "Buck" Rogers - was to experience cosmic forces beyond all comprehension. An awesome brush with death: in the blink of an eye, his life support systems were frozen by ...
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Erin Gray and Pamela Hensley appear as "dream girls" along side their names in the original (theatrical) credits. See more »
When the movie was broadcast on network television in 1979 as the first episode of the spin-off series, several changes were made. The original, sensual opening credits sequence was replaced with a simple starfield, some of Buck's more suggestive comments to Wilma were deleted and Tigerman's death was removed (allowing the character to return in later episodes). Most notably, a newly filmed epilogue was added, introducing viewers to Buck's apartment, the notion of Buck working for Dr. Huer and New Chicago and, most memorably for fans of actress Erin Gray, this marked the first appearance of Wilma's trademark catsuit. See more »
I remember seeing 'Buck Rogers' in the theater in 1978, back when 'Star Wars' was king of the box office, 'Battlestar Galactica' was smashing all ratings records, and science-fiction was experiencing a renaissance of sorts - it was a great time to be a kid.
'Buck Rogers' struck me as an all-right kind of guy: dashing with the ladies, quick with a punch, did a nifty spinning side kick, had a way with a laser pistol, occasionally danced a little disco.
The movie itself was a harmless piece of fluff. Even as an 11-year-old, I found it to be simple, low-key, even charming. I bought the requisite number of toys, talked about it with my friends, and enjoyed the occasional episodes (once the film left the theaters and went to the small screen) with a bowl of Cheerios in my jammies. Life was good.
Looking back now, it's pretty obviously a product of the '70s. Sure, it had chicks in spandex. Sure, it had the gravity-defying hairdos (and bosoms) of some of Hollywood's most buxom beauties - who can forget the 'Volcanic Hot-Tub Room' scene in "Planet of the Slave Girls?", or Jamie Lee Curtis in "Unchained Woman"? Sure, it had the simple, brainless plots typical of '70s television. Sure, it had the unredeemable stupidity of the 'Searcher' episodes...
But, for a time, it was the best thing going for sci-fi on television.
Remember, this is a time before Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, or Star Trek: Fill-In-The-Blank. Science fiction on television wasn't a sure bet, nor was it always a ratings winner...even with it's target audience. Which, at the time, was me.
But 'Buck Rogers' had something going for it, something none of the other sci-fi shows ('Battlestar Galactica', et al) had going for them.
Oh, yeah. Erin Gray.
Let me tell you, one of the dates that stands out in my mind the strongest is January 3, 1980 - the date that the episode "Space Vampire" premiered. The day I became a man. :)
Okay, not really...but you have to understand - Erin Gray, spandex and vampires all combined to give my 11-year-old brain (among other things) something to think about with regard to women. Since then, no woman is truly attractive to me unless she can say in a sultry voice, "I like the taste of fear best." :)
Come on, it's only television! It doesn't have to be smart to be funny, it doesn't have to be expensive-looking to be cool. Just ask David Hasselhoff if he'd be in Baywatch Heaven without a certain Trans-Am, or if Dirk Benedict would have REALLY been as interesting to watch on the A-Team if we'd never seen him battling Cylons.
Erin Gray. Spandex. Vampires.
See, it all makes sense.
'Buck Rogers' appeals on the intellectual level of an 11-year-old, and for most of us, that's saying something.
'Buck Rogers' fueled a lot of my early television viewing entertainment, folks. Watch it, and you'll see why.
Of course, it helps if you watch it from an 11-year-old point of view, but that's more than most of us can muster anyway, yes?
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