Howdy doodly doo!!! Back again for more Larson 80s TV Week and what better way for Larson to be on top of his game I believe given its collection of action figures, vehicle and playsets that this particular marketable show got almost as much love as Battlestar Galactica. Based on comic strip artist Philip Francis Nowlan’s work which became novellas, radio shows and even serials starring Buster Crabbe; this phenomenon swept the nation is a big rush. So strap your blaster, prep your starfighter and get ready to defend Earth in the future. This is Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
|Thanks to Head and Shoulders I'm not afraid of flakes.|
Twiki: Put me down, you big spoiler.
Due to the popularity of Star Wars dominating the big screen and Empire Strikes Back carving itself a slice out of the box office, Larson felt now was the time to hit the Sci-Fi market and hit it hard to squeeze as much material out of it as possible. Revamping the old serial formula and putting a handsome and built guy in the lead role was a sure fire bet to win over America’s youth and possibly entertain the adults as well.
|Damn you, space vortex!!!|
Captain William “Buck” Rogers (Gil Gerard of Man on a Swing, Not Another Affair, Johnny Blue, Sidekicks, The Stepdaughter and Ghost Town) is a 20th century astronaut caught is a freak accident blown out of orbit of the planet and causing his return trip to lapse him 500 years into the future. By this time the planet has recovered from nuclear fallout but is under constant attack by the Draconian Empire (D&D nerds are giggling). The Earth Defense Directorate in need of combat pilots and hand to hand combatants (because apparently since we are done blowing each other up, we all forgot how to fight) Buck is drafted in. Somehow his superior officer Colonel Wilma Deering (Erin Gray of The Fall Guy, Six Pack Born Beautiful, Code of Vengeance, Silver Spoons and Friday the 13th Part 9: Jason Goes to Hell) adheres to most of Rogers’s make it up as you go plans leading them into fire fights, starfighter dog fights and more of Buck trying to outdo Kirk in the making out with aliens category. Personally, I think Kirk’s record is safe.
I had a few fun facts about the show. The production managed to recycled a buttload of props from Battlestar Galactica from scale model effects, costumes, blasters and even more than a few of the cockpits of the Viper starships. Universal studios were so thrilled to receive a good Neilsen run that it opted to release the Buck Rogers TV movie.
With the rising popularity amongst kids, two sets of action figures were produced by main toy distributor Mego for a 12 inch high line as well as a series of 3 ¾ figures and scaled starships. Milton Bradley released a board game and several jigsaw puzzles while model kits were created by Monogram. A few die cast space and land vessels were created by Corgi, Topps has a hand in a series of trading cards and of course a Buck Rogers lunch box to follow.
Even Gold Key Comics produced comics of the very same stories from the pilot and the second episode but there after followed the old comic strips and novellas.
|Colgate: Earth's official toothpaste for 500 years.|