I, like many others grew up on great shows from the 70’s and the 80’s. I have written about several other shows before and now I think it is time to write about another.
In 1979 there were many projects in the making. One particular writer had his name all over the science fiction industry, and his name was not George Lucas or Gene Rodenberry. It was Glen A Larson. The creator of Battlestar Galactica also created the television show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
Actor Gil Gerard played Buck Rogers and brought the character to life through his personality unique creativity with his acting style. The lovely and memorable Erin Gray played Colonel Wilma Dearing. Tim O’Connor played Doctor Huer.
With 33 episodes in the entire epic series, this show had guest stars such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Julie Newmar, and many other BIG name actors and actresses. As a child I loved the show. Having only been about 4 years old when it first aired, it would seem that my most memorable episode of that age was the episode with Jamie Lee Curtis and her line I will never forget, “SAND SQUID!” She warns Buck Rogers of a subterranean squid that lives in the sand and attacks her while the two of them are attempting to escape a maximum security prison with a damaged and malfunctioning android prison guard tracking them all the way.
Also in several episodes you will find a young Dennis Haysbert. If you don’t recognize the name, he is the spokesman for Allstate Insurance, and played many roles in television shows such as 24 and The Unit.
Episode 1 (Awakening)
Episode 2 (Planet of the slave girls) Roddy McDowall & Jack Palance
Episode 3 (Vegas in space)
Episode 4 (The plot to kill a city part 1)
Episode 5 (The plot to kill a city part 2)
Episode 6 (Return of the fighting 69th)
Episode 7 (Unchained woman) Jamie Lee Curtis
Episode 8 (Planet of the Amazon women)
Episode 9 (Cosmic wiz kid) Gary Coleman
Episode 10 (Escape from wedded bliss)
Episode 11 (Cruise ship to the stars)
Episode 12 (Space vampire)
Episode 13 (Happy birthday, Buck)
Episode 14 (A blast for Buck)
Episode 15 (Ardala returns)
Episode 16 (Twiki is missing)
Episode 17 (Olympiad)
Episode 18 (A dream of Jennifer) Dennis Haysbert and Anne Lockhart
Episode 19 (Space rockers) Richard Moll
Episode 20 (Buck’s duel to the death)
Episode 21 (Flight of the war witch part 1) Julie Newmar and Sid Haig
Episode 22 (Flight of the war witch part 2) Julie Newmar and Sid Haig
After part two of the Flight of the War Witch, the series seemed to have taken a serious change. Doctor Huer was gone from the cast as of episode 23, and rather than Buck and Colonel Dearing working from the Earth base in New Chicago, they were aboard the exploring vessel Searcher. The voice of Twiki had changed abruptly without any explanation. There was no longer a deep voice saying, “b-d-b-d-b-d, hey Buck!” It was a more annoying voice that sounded like Twiki had had his robotic manhood removed.
This first episode in space introduces Hawk as a vengeful character who is mistaken to be a villain. His wife is accidentally killed during an encounter with Buck Rogers and Hawk is responsible for her death. He becomes a friend and ally to Buck Rogers and his colleagues.
Just like in many other shows of the 70’s and 80’s, the same actors and actresses were used over and over to play different characters. Sid Haig was introduced in the Flight of the War Witch where his character dies with Julie Newmar’s character aboard her battle cruiser. He returns right away as a new villain in the following episode that introduces Hawk, Time of the Hawk.
Episode 23 (Time of the Hawk) Dennis Haysbert
Episode 24 (Journey to Oasis)
Episode 25 (The guardians) Dennis Haysbert
Episode 26 (Mark of the Saurian)
Episode 27 (The golden man)
Episode 28 (The crystals)
Episode 29 (The satyr)
Episode 30 (Shgoratchx!)
Episode 31 (The hand of Goral) Dennis Haysbert
Episode 32 (Testimony of a traitor)
Episode 33The dorian secret)
With Battlestar Galactica cancelled, Buck Rogers seemed to take on many of its traits. Watch the entire epic series. I managed to find it on Netflix. For more information about Gil Gerard or Erin Gray, go to their websites:
Article by Kevin C. Davison