The adult critques a childhood favourite, which went over the child’s head

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Released March 30, 1979

OLD REVIEW/A CRITQUE OF Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979).

This theatrical edit, a pilot episode for the television series, was executive produced by Glen A. Larson.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century might play down serious-minded space fare for the title hero’s quick wit, his cavalier bedside manner, the funky, silly sidekick Twiki, the curious computer Dr. Theopolus, and a-by-the-book commander, played by Erin Gray, who doubts Rogers’ astronautical abilities (perhaps she is more bemused), but the film version certainly did not play down the opening credit sequence.

A more playful space film compared to the others of its kind from the late 1970’s, the story goes that Buck Rogers (Gill Gerard), an astronaut from 1987, and frozen for 400 years, winds up in the 25th century.

A thawed Buck awakes in the blue and green planet and faces the arrival of a space claiming they are on a peace mission to earth. The space city’s leader (Henry Silva) and seductive princess (Barbara Hensley) appear to be quite friendly, but Buck wants to find out more about these new arrivals and their intentions while Erin Gray as a sensible commander fends off Buck Rogers’ unwanted interest in her.

For a film suited for families, one wonders why there were so many flirtatious females in the opening five-minute credit sequence with indelibly dreamy theme music by Stu Phillips. Later, an unfortunately seductive princess may be of doubtful taste as well.

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers


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