Buck used to be a BBC Saturday teatime institution! Its certainly one of my clear childhood memories. It had that sort of not taking itself too seriously feel that Stargate has today.
Sure, you can spot the flaws in effects and acting compared with todays shows, but hey, considering when it was made, it was ahead of its time really.
The basic principle of the show is that Buck Rogers is a former NASA astronaut whose shuttle goes on a little detour. The result is that he ends up back at Earth a little behind schedule having been turned into a human lollipop for the best part of 500 years. Unlikely? Perhaps.
When I first saw the show, the acting wasnt really an issue. I loved the futuristic special effects, and, of course, the spaceships. The ship that Wilma flies, and that Buck also adopts, is very simply called a Starfighter. It was one of my favorite Corgi toys of the early eighties. It could go Interatmospheric for gods sake. Yeaah!
Enemies tended to use Hatchet fighters, perhaps because they were cheap, or perhaps because it was cheap to use stock footage! Generally not too much trouble for Starfighters, once Buck has persuaded the Starfighter pilots to go manual. Haha.
One nice thing about this series is that it didnt forget its roots. I wouldnt have recognized him at the time, but the series features the re-appearance of the original Buck Rogers from the old black and white serials which I do actually vaguely remember. Perhaps a very early example of a follow up series acknowledging its roots, like Star Trek The Next Generation actively involving characters from its past.
Sega even released a video game of it.Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom in 1983. The user controls a spaceship that must destroy enemy ships and avoid obstacles; Buck is never seen, except assumedly in the illustration on the side of the game cabinet, and its only real connections to Buck Rogers are the use of the name and the outer space setting. You gotta love those 80s games!
Of course, history has repeated itself with another Glen A Larson show - this time its the new show thats nodding its head to the Glen A Larson original with Battlestar Galactica involving the original Apollo. And so the wheel turns.
Posted by Life in the 80's at 2:15 PM