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Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
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TV Series
    (September 20, 1979-April 16, 1981)
    Aired on NBC
    Gil Gerard as Captain William 'Buck' Rogers
    Erin Gray as Colonel Wilma Deering
    Felix Silla as Twiki the Robot
    Mel Blanc or Bob Elyea as the voice of Twiki
    Premise: Due to a life-support malfunction, NASA/USAF pilot Buck Rogers is frozen for 504 years until he is discovered and thawed out in the year 2491
    It was one of many attempts to cash in on the post-'Star Wars' boom in sci-fi.
    Producer Glen A. Larson recycled props, costumes, sets and effects shots from the recently-cancelled Battlestar Galactica.
    Buck Rogers was supposed to be an Air Force Captain, but he wore Navy wings.
    Elements from the pilot episode (such as large swaths of Earth being radioactive wastelands following a nuclear war) were ignored or directly contradicted later in the series.
    Gary Coleman guest starred in an episode, demonstrating that no matter how much some things may change in five centuries, precociously cute black kids will still be a ratings booster.
    Who knew Farrah 'dos would be all the rage in the 25th century?
    Star Gil Gerard disliked the often tongue in cheek tone of the first season and told 'Starlog' magazine he hoped the series would be cancelled.
    The producers gave in to Gerard's wishes and made the second season more serious in tone, leading to a drop in ratings and the series' cancellation.
    The pilot was successfully released as a feature movie six months before the series premiered.
    It won an Emmy for its musical score.
    For exterior shots of futuristic buildings, the series used footage of the pavilions from Expo 67.
    During the first season, Buck Rogers got busy with enough hot space babes to make even Captain Kirk jealous.
    Second season character Admiral Efram Asimov was said to be a descendant of author Isaac Asimov.
    Buster Crabbe, who had portrayed Buck Rogers in the 1930s film serial, guest starred in an episode.
    The series was popular enough to revive the 'Buck Rogers' comic strip.

Credit: C. Fishel


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