Watching Buck Rogers In The 25th Century

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Trinity Jinglebrocks, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. Trinity Jinglebrocks

    Trinity Jinglebrocks All hail Doctor 13 Premium Member

    I'm still smiling over "Shgoratchx!" I can't even pronounce it so amusing that someone made up a word like that. I'm going to watch this episode for the very first time once I start season 2
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Please do not get your hopes up. It's got some amusing moments, but it's very dumb and has a scene of borderline sexual assault played for laughs.
     
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  3. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That sounds really stupid, I liked Twiki's voice in Season 1, you really couldn't go wrong with Mel Blanc.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Although they kinda did, because Twiki was a terrible character in season 1. All they gave Blanc to work with were snarky wisecracks and anachronisms that Buck presumably taught him, and the constant "bidi-bidis" in front of them ruined the comic timing, so he was just an annoying, useless character who got far too much screen time. (The first line of my review of "Twiki Is Missing" was "He is? Good. Moving on..."). In season 2, they didn't overuse him and actually managed to give him some actual personality and plot relevance from time to time, so it was good when Blanc took over again from Bob Elyea and was able to actually have something to say as Twiki.
     
  5. Pubert

    Pubert Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I quite liked it. Sure it was a silly but damn those ladies looked nice. Also I liked the way the song was sung. Great opening.
     
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  6. Trinity Jinglebrocks

    Trinity Jinglebrocks All hail Doctor 13 Premium Member

    Oh no I don't have any expectations or hopes for this episode when I see it.
     
  7. Armus

    Armus Commodore Commodore

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    Im on a Buck Rogers marathon binge at the moment. There's something very comforting about that show, there were some great guest stars, and I liked the glossy 1970's disco look and feel of the first season. The first half of the first season is a lot of fun. I think "The Plot to Kill a City" and "Happy Birthday Buck" are my favorite episodes. The writing got stale by the time you get to episodes like "Space Rockers". The second season feels like an entirely different show, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be when I finally saw it. I liked "The Mark of The Saurian" and "The Golden Man" the best.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  8. Trinity Jinglebrocks

    Trinity Jinglebrocks All hail Doctor 13 Premium Member


    I'm near the mid point I think and saw "Space Vampire" and I really liked the episode.
     
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  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Plot" is kind of fun, yeah. It's by comic book scribe Alan Brennert, and it's very comic-booky, with a team of superpowered villains led by the Riddler (Frank Gorshin).


    Yes. Both story editor Brennert and script supervisor Anne Collins had been driven off the show by then due to conflicts with Gerard and the network, and the show suffered as a result. "Space Rockers" is probably the worst of season 1, other than the theatrical cut of the pilot. It falls into a cliched formula of '60s and '70s TV, attempts to address youth culture by writers who have no understanding of it (Star Trek: "The Way to Eden" is another example). Oh, These Kids Today are being driven to delinquency by Their Heathen Music, but it's all just mind control and they're really good, wholesome sitcom kids underneath, since of course there's no reason that the younger generation would have any legitimate reason for protest in a galaxy fraught with war, poverty, and slavery, now, is there? Eegh.


    For all intents and purposes, it is an entirely different show, since it has zero creative staffers in common with season 1. And while it has three returning characters/cast members from season 1, they're essentially written as different people.


    Wow, I didn't like those much at all. (My reviews.) Although "Saurian" deserves limited credit for being the only season 2 episode in which a female Searcher crew member other than Wilma gets to say more than two words. (Nurse Paulton has a sizeable role, and a random female crewmember gets a single line.)


    That would've been a rather good episode if not for the laughably awful makeup design on the space vampire, and if Wilma had been more in character.
     
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  10. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    Since he wasn't the only one saying something similar, I would be curious to know on what data these beliefs were based. I mean, Star Trek and Twilight Zone were thought-provoking (well, in comparison to other shows) and still managed to have more seasons than your average 70's space/futuristic sci-fi tv show. If anything, viewers demonstrated exactly the opposite.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The Twilight Zone was more a fantasy show, and it and Star Trek were always exceptions. '60s and '70s SFTV were dominated by the likes of the Irwin Allen shows, the bionic shows, Wonder Woman, things like that. SF was seen by network executives as a children's adventure medium. Even though Star Trek was created with the specific intent of contrasting with the usual kid stuff and doing the first non-anthology SF adult drama, its syndicated reruns were still highly popular with children and frequently aired in daytime slots.

    Anyway, ST had the same number of seasons as Lost in Space or Wonder Woman and fewer than Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea or The Six Million Dollar Man. And it had famously struggled in the ratings during its original run, garnering critical respect but losing money. Network executives aren't running a charity, so profit is their highest priority, and Star Trek's intelligence did not make it profitable.

    Really, though, '70s TV execs' low opinion of their audience's intelligence extended beyond genre programming. There were plenty of mainstream action shows and sitcoms that were equally targeted toward the lowest common denominator.
     
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  12. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's pretty much a "remake" (ripoff) of Space: 1999's Bringers of Wonder! But, yeah, as a kid, I could feel Buck's frustration!
     
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  13. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You have to watch Buck Rogers with the right mindset--as a fun series filled with 70s cheese, it's awesome. I rewatched it last year and really enjoyed it. If you go in with a more serious SF mindset, you'll be disappointed.

    I really enjoyed Gerard's portrayal of Buck. Yeah, they made him out as a ladies' man, but he had a softer side too. Erin Gray was fanastic as Wilma Derring. Twiki was fun too. Dr. Huer was a pleasant fellow. I felt like the cast gelled and it felt like a family. I was expecting the cheesy fun, but the great cast and family vibe was a pleasant surprise.

    Season 2 might as well be a different series! They took out the cheesy fun, great cast, and nothing was left!
     
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  14. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

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    Absolutely, Gil Gerard's Buck and Martin Landau's Koenig live an almost identical event.
    If you watch both episodes back to back it is amazing the stories are the same.
    Space:1999 "Bringer of Wonders"
    Buck Rogers "Mark of the Saurian"
     
  15. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Surely that concept predates either series and has been presented enough (in various mediums, not necessarily just TV) to be considered a trope?
     
  16. Trinity Jinglebrocks

    Trinity Jinglebrocks All hail Doctor 13 Premium Member

    I can't continue..... I watched the two parter introducing Hawk and the one with the dwaves and gave up. It was too much. Bye, bye Buck.
     
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  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "The Dorian Secret" is at least worth a try. And maybe "Testimony of a Traitor," which delves into Buck's backstory and the Holocaust, though in a way that contradicts details from season 1 and makes a total hash of plausible courtroom procedure.
     
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  18. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Relax. We're just saying those two episodes have many similarities.
     
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  19. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    Most of the models/sets were the offspring of Larson's Battlestar Galactica.

    The Starfighters were the original design for the Colonial Viper (it even looks like the two fangs of a viper)
    Buck's NASA shuttle, Ranger 3, was the ship used for the Terrans fleeing the Eastern Alliance
    A lot of the ship interior sets and such were ship interiors and sets from BSG
    The fighter launch tube concept was from BSG
    Most (if not all) of the model camera movements were from BSG. There is even a scene from War Witch with the capital framed in the scene and burning exactly like the Galactica.
    Blasters and sidearm visual effects were exactly the same.
    Those ubiquitous computers and light hoses/tubes/ropes used for refueling were all through BSG (and in other shows, as noted by someone above)

    I always hated how The Searcher's rear section was almost always out of frame in the camera shot

    I thought Hawk was the coolest thing from Season 2. Loved his ship. I still think about how the claws would come down and tear into an enemy fighter, then rip up and away.

    I actually loved Twiki in Season 1 and the bidibidi is, in my mind, happily iconic. Yeah, it could have been overdone.
     
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  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I realized when doing my rewatch that Twiki's "bidi-bidi" was basically the electronic equivalent of Porky Pig's stutter.