Friday, April 13, 2012

Buck Rogers

I've always had cool memories of the television show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. It is actually one of my first memories of Sci-Fi on TV. I don't remember too much as I was three when the show first came out in 1979 and lasted only 2 seasons. But I do have fond memories of the show. I recently rediscovered it on Netflix and was instantly transported back to those young days of wonder (I love Netflix).

Doesn't that look cool?

Quick synopsis: Buck Rogers is a modern day astronaut on a mission in space. Something goes wrong and his life support keeps him in stasis. He is discovered and woken up 500 years in his future. Things are very different and Buck has to come to grips with the fact that all he knew is dead and gone and find a way to live in this strange new earth and universe.

Great premise for a show and actually carried out very well for its time. It's obviously filmed in the disco era. It is funny how the future looks like a bad trip at a seventies house party much of the time. Especially since Buck is supposed to be from 1987 and wakes 500 in the future. In comparison to today the robots and computers are positively archaic looking, but back then must have been so cutting edge. However, aside from the cheese factor of viewing it with modern eyes, it was actually a well acted and plotted show for its time. I was pleasantly surprised that story wise, the show has held up still today, at least for the few episodes I've watched so far. I look forward to watching the rest of the series. I actually want to purchase this for my collection!

Watching the first episode I immediately understood why I liked this show so much as a very young child and why memories of it stuck with me so long. This show is obviously set in the future and it had people that looked like me and my family. Of course all of the main characters were white but the black characters that were on the show weren't all just in the background. Some of the black characters that were on the show were actually important secondary characters in various episodes. Actually there were quite a few characters of many ethnicities that showed up throughout the show not just black and white. Back in 1979-1980 this was quite progressive for american television. I suppose the idea of those who greenlit the show was Sci-Fi wasn't important anyway so let them have all different kinds of people in it because no one would watch this silliness. I figure the show was allowed to be made because of the huge success of Star Wars, another underestimated Sci-Fi phenomenon. Well "their" ignorance was my gain because here is where my admiration and infatuation with Science Fiction began. And I could actually, truly identify with this show, more than Star Wars, because *I* was included in this future! (This was before Lando Calrissian showed up in the next Star Wars movie.) Even as a young child somewhere in my psyche this resonated and I know this because it still resonates today. The young me deep inside is jumping up and down with glee at rediscovering  Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. If you are so inclined check it out.

1 comment:

  1. Oh damn, now I'm going to have to check this out! I've had it in my queue ever since we found it on Netflix that time, but have been putting it off due to the cheesiness factor. But now that you say the storylines hold up well, that's really all that I care about anyway. So, have you come across Dennis Haysbert yet? I'm dying to see him so young! :)