Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Logo

"The year is 1987, and N.A.S.A. launches the last of America's deep space probes. In a freak mishap Ranger 3 and its pilot Captain William 'Buck' Rogers are blown out of their trajectory into an orbit which freezes his life support systems, and returns Buck Rogers to Earth five-hundred years later."

Possibly the most kitsch of all television science fiction series, ‘Buck Rogers in the 25th Century’ is also one of the most fondly remembered shows of the 1980s. The character of Buck Rogers first appeared in a newspaper comic strip in 1929, which ran for almost forty years; it followed the exploits of ex-Air Force pilot Buck Rogers, who was knocked unconscious by a strange, noxious gas while exploring an abandoned mine shaft near Pittsburgh, U.S.A.. After spending the next five hundred years in suspended animation, Buck was eventually reawakened and found himself in the futuristic world of the Twenty-Fifth Century. In 1939, the comic strip was translated to the silver screen as a Saturday-morning film serial starring Buster Crabbe, in which our dashing hero met with space rockets, death rays, killer robots and evil villains.

However, for the television series, the flavour was very much of the glossily-packaged, special-effects laden, tongue-in-cheek variety. Ably played by Gil Gerard, Buck is a handsome, fun-loving astronaut who is frozen for five hundred years after his spaceship is accidentally thrown off course; when the ship finally returns to Earth, Buck finds himself caught up in a war between Earth and the forces of the Draconian empire. Buck befriends the lovely Colonel Wilma Deering of the Earth Defense Directorate, scientist Doctor Elias Huer, and a short robot named Twiki (bee-de-bee-de!). Over the course of the first season, Buck encounters many strange alien races and becomes involved in some extremely bizarre adventures. The show proved very popular with audiences, and subsequently returned for a second season; but this time there was a radical change in format: Buck, Wilma and Twiki were now assigned to the spaceship Searcher, on a mission to find Earth’s lost colonies (rather like a reverse ‘Battlestar Galactica’ crossed with the ‘Dan Dare’ comic strips from early issues of ‘2000AD’). But despite the introduction of the vengeful man-bird named Hawk, Admiral Asimov (an descendent of Isaac), the avuncular Doctor Goodfellow and his annoying robotic assistant Crighton, the show quickly declined into farce, as stories became silly and the acting cheesy. After only eleven episodes, the show was cancelled.

It’s still great fun though, and fondly remembered by everyone who watched it. If you haven’t had a chance to see the show, then rush out and buy the DVDs that will be coming out in late 2004!

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - Season 1
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - Season 2

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Legal Bit: 'Buck Rogers in the 25th Century' is a registered trademark of Universal Studios; the 'Buck Rogers in the 25th Century' logo and all images from the television series are copyright Universal Studios unless otherwise stated; music is copyright the original composers and producers; no copyright infringement is intended. All specially created images and text are copyright © Clive Banks; please do not use these without my permission. All rights reserved. No profit is made from this website, and any revenue made from using the banner-links featured goes straight back into the costs of maintaining it, which comes out of my own pocket in the first place. No profit advertising is accepted. This website was created purely to entertain and amuse, and any references to persons living, dead, comatose, in suspended animation, not born yet, or a figment of someone's imagination is purely coincidental. All opinions expressed are my own, so there...

Other cool sites out there include Jon Hassall's 'Buck Rogers' Soundboard!

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