Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Discuss: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Karen: Any thoughts on this show? Thinking back now, I feel it strongly falls into the "It's all we had" category...although I know some of you undoubtedly watched it for Erin Gray.


Graham said...

Beedy Beedy Beedy! Yep, I watched it. Like you said, it was all we had, but Gil Gerard was pretty cool as Buck and Twiki was pretty good comedy relief.....and Ms. Gray didn't hurt things a bit by being there. :) I actually ended up enjoying it more than I did Battlestar Gallactica.

dbutler16 said...

I'm in the Erin Grey category, though I did have the Twiki action figure. I was young enough that I found him amusing.

Edo Bosnar said...

Ah, that title sequence, albeit from that inferior, Star Trek wannabe second season, brings back memories. At the age of 11 when this show first came out, I actually sincerely liked it - and not just because of Erin Gray. I liked Gil Gerard, I liked Twiki, I liked the whole concept for some reason. I didn't even mind those occasional guest appearances by Gary Coleman wearing that blue polyester onesie.
It was only later, when I was a teenager watching the reruns in syndication, that it dawned on me how truly campy it all was. However, at that point I had acquired a genuine appreciation for Ms. Gray's erm, talents.

David Piper said...

Adored the first season as a kid, wrote to Erin Grey and get a nice packet with bio, and two photos, one of which is her in her star warrior outfit, the other a then-contemporary shot of her with her hair down, looking forlornly and artistically intensely into the distance.

Then the second season of that show began and I dropped it fast. Luckily, Magnum, P.I. came around to fill that Thursday night void over on CBS.

The vampire episode really upset me back then, as I hated when our heroes weren't themselves or lost control. I had the same reaction with Lis Sladen of Dr Who, when she was taken over by Eldrad in "The Hand of Fear." Yes, I also wrote her around that same time but got back a personally signed photo, which I still have.

david_b said...

I had mixed feelings about 'Buck Rogers', I was still nursing very hurt feelings about Galactica being cancelled, primarily because it was finally getting away from being 'space-battle-of-the-week', it started adding depth and more supporting characters, really becoming more than the sum of its parts. And while it stayed in the Top 20 in the ratings, ABC found it just too expensive to keep shelling money out for.

That being said, I know there was again a huge rush to get Buck Rogers on as a weekly series, leaving little if any story arc development (as in Galactica..); early on, they actually reused footage from BG (like the colonial shuttles and other models used..).

There was a freshness to the production and lead interplay with Gray, Gerard and especially O'Connor as Dr. Huer. O'Connor's departure after the first year really killed a nice, light-hearted chemistry they had.

Much like the stupid decision for 1999's second year to emulate Trek, Buck did the same exact thing at Gerard's insistence. What began as a light-hearted, 'Hey, it's space stuff, why take it so seriously' space romp quickly disintegraded into inconsistent insipid dung in it's second year. The worst part was relegating Erin Grey to a bit part, who once was quite a screen presence in the first year, now making her wear 'space stewardess' attire..?

They wanted a 'Trek copy'..? They got it, and of course everyone loses.

Why..? Because it's not Trek.

I really liked the starfighter spacecraft, but the enemy fighter ships..? One of the stupidest designs I've ever seen.

J.A. Morris said...

I seem to recall often watching the last 30 minutes because something else was on at 8 on another network. But I thought Twiki was funny, didn't know it was Mel Blanc until years later. I'd watch the show again on Netflix if it's available.

Garett said...

I really enjoyed this show! I remember a deeper voice for the intro, so that must have been for the first season. The whole cast was good, and I liked both Erin Gray and Pamela Hensley as Princess Ardala.

The Flash Gordon movie came out at roughly the same time, and I liked the adventurous action/sexiness/humour of both.

Aggy said...

Peole refering to a second season? I'm confused. There was no second series... I said THERE WAS NO SECOND SERIES OK!

*crawls to corner rocking back and forwsrd muttering "and the same for Space 1999"*

And yes Erin Grey was gorgous but so was Psmela Hensley (Thank god for Matt Houston soon after)

david_b said...

Aggy, BEST point of view I've heard in decades. Well spoken.

Actually, for you Trek fans out there, there's been a TOTALLY amazing fan-based Trek series called 'Star Trek Continues'.

It.. Is.. Amazing.

Awesome stories (only two done so far..), Jimmy Doohan's son is actually playing Scotty, just beautiful lighting and story pacing. Except for the change in actors, you'll fully believe they're made back in '69 during TOS's third season.

Well 'Lolani' has Ms. Gray playing a Star Fleet Admiral, with Lou Feringo as the Orion slave trader.


And she still looks marvelous.


Anonymous said...

I liked the show in general and I definitely had a thing for Erin Gray (and I agree with Aggy about Pamela Hensley...you gotta love those bad girls!)

My cousin had a bunch of the Buck Rogers toys, but I never had any. They were fun to play with when you got sick of your Star Wars toys.

Mike W.

Doug said...

I interrupt this program for some important news bulletins!

A. Channing Tatum has been cast as Gambit in a standalone film. Meh..

B. The first image of Ben Affleck's Batman suit, as well as the next Batmobile, has been released. Wow!


Doug said...

Well, screwed that up.

Here's the direct link to the Batman photo.
Still Wow!


Dr. Oyola said...

I never watched it, though I did have a Twiki doll for some reason.

That Batman shot needs to be darkerer and grittierer. ;)

Edo Bosnar said...

Sorry if this is a thread derail, but David B., have I got news for you - since you like Star Trek Continues (by the way, thanks for the heads up on the newest episode, haven't visited that page in a while), feast your eyes on these:

Star Trek Phase II is the first of these retro Trek fan series as far as I know, and they have the most episodes (with George Takei and Walter Koenig among others make guest appearances).

Starship Farragut is a similar, related series, and they even made a few animated episodes.

Starship Exeter is, like Farragut, about another starship on a mission at the same time as the original Enterprise, but they only made one episode.

When I first discovered these retro-style fan series a few years back, I just devoured them.

By the way, there's also this: Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, a really cool movie made by alumni from the various Trek series (Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Tim Russ, etc.).

O.k. sorry for the interruption, got back to Buck (and Ben Affleck Batman, apparently).

Anonymous said...

I watched Buck Rogers but could never get the Erin Grey thing. I was always more intrigued with Hensley. Maybe it was the horns.

But what really stuck with me was Twiki's "biddi-biddi-biddi". To be a goof, I would say it with a "P" instead of the "B". When we had our oldest, that was the first thing I said to my little sidekick. And it's still their nickname.

And now for something completely different: Tatum? Really?

The Prowler (this comment deleted by the author).

david_b said...

Thanks Edo, I've tried a few of the others, and they've provided marginal interest.

Except for the terrible portrayal of Spock in 'Continues', it seems to hit ALL the marks for me. The guy doing Kirk has all the posturings and mannerisms of Shatner..

AND, AND 'Lolani' features the famous 'Flying Kirk Kick'...!!

If you watch for no other reason, you'll certainly enjoy the splendid flying kick.

So VERY Shatneresque.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED this show when I was a little kid (around 6 or 7, I think). The cool opening, the music, Twikki and DR Thelopolus (sp.), I somehow already knew Erin Grey was a sexpot, the fighter/spaceships, and Hawk (or Hawkman), what was that guys name? And he had a girlfriend/wife with the same weird "feather"-hair.
I also remember being scared by one of the episodes with Hawk, when he is injured (???)

I'd like to revisit the episodes....but I'm afraid I will be disappointed, so I haven't pursued them.


Rip Jagger said...

I well remember seeing the trailer for this show (the original movie that is) in a theater. It went on and on and I distinctly remember thinking I no longer needed to see the actual movie as most if not practically all of the movie had been revealed. When I did finally see it, I was proven correct.

Rip Off

Edo Bosnar said...

Rip, one thing I distinctly recall about the previews to the movie is the scene when Buck teaches Ardala and the other denizens of the 25th century how to "get down." And I still think that entire scene is unintentional comedy gold, i.e., a guy supposedly from 1987 who still thought disco was the height of cool.

Edo Bosnar said...

Oh, and David, I just watched that ST Continues episode (took a little extra time on my lunch break). Indeed, the flying kick was most excellent. Also amusing to see Ferigno wearing green body make-up again, but not growling and roaring.
However, the guy playing Kirk tends to overdo it. It almost looks like caricature at times. Personally, I like the Phase II stuff better. I can't really put my finger on why, but it just seems to capture the feel of the original the best.

david_b said...

Edo, I'd tend to agree on Vic Mignogna doing Kirk, but he's still fairly restrained from going over the top.

But Michele Specht as the Counselor is definitely watchable (translate: hubba-hubba) and brings a fresh dynamic into the mix.

I just can't get over how exact the dramatic pacing, music, everything effectively mimics a 3rd year TOS episode. "Lolani" was a great return to form harkening Trek's style of morality plays.

(Just wish they'd get a more convincing actor to do Spock, to me it's their largest shortcoming to date.)

(And SORRY everyone, didn't mean to hijaak.. Just expressing how good Ms. Gray was on this webseries episode.)

Edo Bosnar said...

To add to David's apologies, I'll also note that - just as Erin Gray appears in that Trek web series episode he linked - so too does Buck Rogers himself, Gil Gerard, make a brief appearance in the most recent Star Trek Phase II episode ("Kitumba"). And, I have to say, he's not looking nearly as fit and spry as Gray...

Anonymous said...

Twikki an I doing fine.
At home in Kansas now.

Karen said...

I can only vaguely remember this show, but I do recall there was a huge tone shift from one season to the next. I also recall the Hawk character, and liking him, although his feather headdress was pretty silly.

Regarding the Star Trek "homemade" series, I tried watching some of them but invariably the acting takes me out of it. I would agree that Star Trek Continues has an impressive look, really matching the original series.

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