Friday Flashback - Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Friday Flashback is where I look back at the books, films, TV shows and million and one other things that have inspired me over the years in my art and storytelling. This week it is the turn of the discoing and space adventuring: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century! 

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is an American science fiction adventure television series produced by Universal Studios for two seasons between 1979–1981. The series was developed by Glen A. Larson and based upon the classic TV and comic character Buck Rogers created in 1928 by Philip Francis Nowlan.

The series followed the adventures of Captain William Anthony "Buck" Rogers, played by Gil Gerard, a NASA pilot who commands a space shuttle that is launched in May 1987 and due to a life support malfunction is accidentally frozen for 504 years before it is discovered drifting in space in the year 2491. The defrosted Buck is revived to learn that civilization on Earth has been rebuilt following a devastating nuclear war that occurred in late 1987, and is now under the protection of the Earth Defence Directorate.

The theme of the series, beyond space adventures in this new future world, is focused on Buck as he tries to fit (not always successfully) into 25th-Century culture. As there were no traceable personal records for him, he was uniquely placed, due to his pilot and combat skills and personal ingenuity, to help Earth Defence foil assorted evil plots to conquer Earth, normally by a scantly clad Space Pirate Princess or other such fantasy science fiction villains.

However, Buck is not alone in his quest to save the Earth in the future! He has the help of several friends in his adventures such as the (smoking hot!) Colonel Wilma Deering, played by Erin Gray, and his comic sidekick robot, Twiki, voiced by Mel Blanc (who had previously voiced Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers in spoofs of the early Buck Rogers and other science fiction serials) – "biddi-biddi-biddi"!

I have many fond memories of this television series, nostalgic and recent, and highly recommend it to any fan of classic sci-fi or for that matter anyone who likes a bit of cheesy 70's/80's television. The show has some fantastic design elements,  such as the costumes, weapons, robots and who can forget the iconic starfighters (I genuinely prefer these to the Viper from BSG).

Gil Gerard is outstanding as Buck through out the series and Erin Gray as his love interest/sidekick is equally as good – for several different reasons...

As all shows like this it is very much a product of its time from story themes to tone and look, however that is where its charm and its entertainment comes from. For me it is a show that has stood the test of time and has become an iconic TV show for this reason.

Click on this link for the pilot episodes intro anyone from my generation and watch them get all excited: 

Show me the Intro and Get my Buck Nostalgia Going!


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