Biddi, Biddi, Biidi…Welcome back Buck! The Sci Fi soap opera of the late 70s and early 80’s is back! In HD Form!
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, the cult classic has finally returned in High Definition to thrill us with all with its adventures through space thanks to Madman Entertainment!
As a kid growing up in the 80’s id always remembered the introduction for Buck Rogers, Buck spinning haplessly through space and time, only to be awoken in a new perilous place called…Earth?!
The intro narrative tells the story,
“The year is 1987, and NASA launches the last of America’s deep space probes. In a freak mishap, Ranger 3 and its pilot, Captain William “Buck” Rogers, are blown out of their trajectory into an orbit which freezes his life-support systems, and returns Buck Rogers to Earth, 500 years later.”
Alot has changed since then…
With the Star Wars boom in the late 70’s, Buck Rogers entered the scene, along with Battlestar Galactica to take the TV Audiences by storm. Space travel, odd dwarf robots, a Doctor that looks like an illuminated clock, laser guns and tight fitting “Space Age” costumes were only the beginning for the series.
Upon being discovered, by a Legion of Space Pirates, headed by an evil Princess, Buck is restored from his frozen 500 year slumber, to be thrown into a plot of intrigue between the Legion and its target…Bucks home planet, Earth. Buck, played by Gil Gerard, is a likable character, and comes across as a cross between Han Solo, Steve Austin (6 million Dollar man…not the wrestler..) and Lone Star from the movie Spaceballs.
Being frozen in space for 500 years and being plonked into a futuristic setting, although a rude awakening, has quite alot of comical elements. Bucks slang seems lost on the people he meets, as well as his care free attitude, causes some hilariously uncomfortable moments.
Unsure if X-Wing pilots and Astromech droid or…
Once, he makes it back to earth, the grim realization kicks in. The world as he knew it had been torn asunder. Downtown Chicago was no more, now just barren deserts with a few dots of civilization spattered throughout.
Buck meets a the reluctant team of the Earth Alliance, and despite his alleged “barbaric personality” (by future standards…) slowly gains their trust and helps repel the attack from the Pirate Legion.
Along for the ride are Colonel Wilma Deering, a somewhat..emotionless leader initially, but slowly warms to Bucks casual ways and becomes an “on again, off again” love interest, and most memorable of all.. Twiki..the…sort of..weird dwarf robot that has the catchphrase of “Biddi biddi biddi” before he actually says something… (Cool nerd fact, Twiki was voiced by the late great Mel Blanc from Looney Toons fame)
“Biddi Biddi Biddi…Thats all Folks!”
The pilot film is a rollicking space adventure, with impressive sets, great visual effects and very impressive miniature work.. so much so that i think its on par with some of the original Star Wars effects. (The last explosion looks so much more impressive than the original Death Star explosion!) These quality effects, combined with a strong likable cast, really helps draw you in to the universe of Buck Rogers.
Want more? Well, with the box set, not only do you get the pilot, but also the full 2 seasons of Buck Rogers on a whopping 8 discs. After the initial film, the series pans out with 50 minute length episodes, still retaining its core cast, and seting off on a myriad of different adventures across the galaxy. The cameos also keep it interesting, Gary Coleman(Different Strokes), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween), Cesar Romero (The Joker), Frank Gorshin (The Riddler) and even Julie Newmar (The Catwoman) make appearances throughout the 2 seasons, keeping the eagle eyed geek impressed.
Blu Ray set in all its glory
Special features wise, the set includes,
-Theatrical Version of the Pilot Episode (Standard Definition)
-Ending and Opening sequences for 2 part version of “The Awakening”
-Opening Titles (Without narration)
-Opening and Closing text-less titles
-Bonus “Awakening” feature length version (In Standard Definition)
– Bonus “Journey to Oasis”syndicated 2 part versions (in HD)
– And an awesome double sided poster featuring either Buck or Wilma
So, phew… after all that awesomeness…. where can you pick up a copy?