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>
Originally, Buck was to have been put on trial, found guilty and banished to Anarchia, along with Twiki and Theo, until Wilma comes looking for him with an idea that might prove his innocence. In the finished film, after reshoots, the story was restructured so that Buck chooses to explore Anarchia (with Twiki and Theo tagging along), until Wilma arrives to bring him back, then he's put on trial, found guilty and sentenced to be terminated, until Wilma presents him with the opportunity to prove his innocence. Since these changes came late in production, there were several tie-in publications released (including the novelization and comic adaptation) which followed the original sequence of events. See more »
When Buck is in the ruins of Chicago and the graveyard, the likelihood of the signs in the streets and the gravestones still being legible after 450 years is nil. Weathering would have totally erased the words from the signs by then. 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 »
Okay, if I had not grown up with the show then I am sure I would not find it so endearing - and speaking of Deering - Colonel Wilma Deering that is, what adolescent young man would not like seeing her each week? What Erin Gray does to tight green, red, blue, and purple spandex pants should be criminal...but I digress. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is a lot of fun for me. It has lots of hokey, enjoyable dialog, a zippy story of a guy returning 500 years later and dealing with everything he has missed, lots of familiar faces from my childhood, and the aforementioned Erin Gray who actually is fairly tame in this pilot/movie released for public consumption in theaters(Pamela Hensley as Princess Ardala gets to get the motors running in this one!). Yes, I saw this in the movie theater and didn't feel duped at all. I then watched it on a fairly regular basis and always enjoyed it. Returning to it has brought back fond memories, and unlike some shows that interested me as a child but made an unfavorable impression in middle age - Buck Rogers withstands the test of time and is still fun to watch. Sure, the effects are very dated and the actors are mugging for the camera and really saying dialog that will occasionally make you wince, but when I hear William Conrad's voice and know all systems go - I always seem to be entertained. Gil Gerard is a pretty good Buck. He has the looks and charisma to carry off the role. Sure, he is no Buster Crabbe - that might be a good thing? Other notable performances in this pilot are again Erin Gray(I don't know why but my mind keeps shamelessly drifting to her, Hensley, Tim O'Connor in the thankless role of Dr. Huer, Joseph Wiseman, and Henry Silva as Kane. Twiki the annoying robot is in here, and I am sure I liked him when I was younger but now more than anything I find his role to be unnecessary and a serious detractor from the plot as he seems to be able to understand Buck's language and speaks it with 20th century references to the point of Ad Nauseum. I think his character could have been excised or at least the stature of the role greatly changed. The round computer disc - Dr. Theopolis is a welcomed character and I wished they had used this voice in the latter episodes rather then the one they switched to in the series. One other note is check out that groovy soundtrack of the theme sung to some really far-out words by Kipp Lennon.
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