Blu-ray Review:“Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” (1979-1981)

“Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” (1979-1981)

3-stars

Sci-Fi, TV Show

37 Episodes

Created by: Glen A. Larson, Leslie Stevens

Featuring: Gil Gerard, Erin Gray, Felix Silla, Mel Blanc

Narrator: “For 500 years, Captain William “Buck” Rogers has been miraculously preserved, frozen by temperatures beyond imagination. Now, in Earth year 2491, he is rudely awakened by the sinister forces of the Draconian Realm.”

In 1987, NASA astronaut William “Buck” Rogers is caught in a freak accident in deep space, causing his space shuttle Ranger 3 to be blown into an orbit that returns him to Earth – over 500 years later. The combination of gases that freezes him comes close to the formula commonly used in the 25th century for preservation, and his rescuers are able to revive him. In 2491, when Buck awakens from the freezing, Earth is recovering from a nuclear war and is coming under hostile attack by the Draconian Empire. In the second season, Buck has been assigned aboard the “Searcher”, a starship exploring the unknown reaches of space while searching for former Earth colonies that are scattered across the galaxy.

Whilst I am not a massive fan of nostalgia per se this particular TV show is a real blast from the past as I remember going to the movies to see the pilot and was a massive fan of this short lived show and always caught repeats of it when it aired. So when I found out a Blu-ray was being produced and released I could not wait to see it and to see if I would enjoy it as much as years gone by – and I have to say that while it does not hold up to original Star Trek episodes and all the references are a bit on the nose, I still loved re-watching this and seeing what Sci-Fi on TV looked like over thirty years ago.

The series generally followed Buck as he attempted tried to fit into 25th-century culture. There were no records of him at all and he had skills such as his pilot and combat skills and personal ingenuity, to help Earth Defense foil assorted evil plots to conquer the planet. Buck is aided in his adventures by his friend and sometimes romantic interest, Colonel Wilma Deering (Erin Gray), a high-ranking officer and star fighter pilot as well as Twiki, a small robot Twiki, who became Buck’s comic sidekick and communicated with an electronic noise that sounded like “biddi-biddi-biddi”, but also spoke English (usually after saying “biddi-biddi-biddi-biddi” for several seconds.) Also aiding Buck was Dr. Theopolis, a sentient computer in the shape of a disk, about 9 inches wide with an illuminated face. He was capable of understanding Twiki’s electronic language, and was often carried around by him.

Now I am not saying this is the greatest Sci-Fi show ever in fact it made the list of one of the worst TV shows in history but time has actually been kind to this series and it is a lot of fun to watch and to see how the effect of the success of Star Wars made this a viable property from the orgins of its serialized 1930s format. The stories are simple but they are pretty great and I recommend this as it does have re-watchability and the humor has gotten fine with age.

Have fun with it!

Special Features

Bonus Theatrical Version of the Pilot episode (in Standard Definition)

Bonus Feature-length version of Flight Of The War Witch (in Standard Definition)

Ending and Opening sequences for 2-part version of Awakening

Bonus Syndicated 2-part version of Journey to Oasis (in HD)

Opening Titles without narration

Text less Opening and Closing Titles

Isolated Music & Effects Audio Track on each episode

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