Film & Water #140 – Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

THE FILM & WATER PODCAST

Episode 140: BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY

Bidi-bidi-bidi! Semi-regular co-host David “Ace” Gutierrez returns to discuss BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY, the TV pilot that was released to movie theaters in March 1979!

If you want to hear more about Buck Rogers, check out the May 12, 2018 episode of TREASURYCAST for a discussion on the comic book adaptation of the movie!

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27 responses to “Film & Water #140 – Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

  1. I remember seeing this in the cinema down here, as well as, on another occasion BSG in a double feature with Logan’s Run. I remember my grandfather being super-irritated by that combo as entertainment for a 12 year old.

  2. I never heard of the 70s Page Boy cut referred to as “The Twikki”, but I am guilty as charged, just like 75% of boys of that time. I looked just like the kid on the Mego Batcave box.

    I have vague memories of watching Buck as a kid (mostly of Twikki), and I think I had one of the Mego vehicles, but I don’t recall owning any figures. But yes, those Mego Pocket figures were susceptible to thumb breakage!

    I also remember that Sidekicks show! I think the boy in the series was in the second TMNT movie, as I recall.

    One of the antenna channels I get (Laffs, maybe?) actually airs Silver Spoons, and I caught a snippet of an episode for the first time in 30 years. I think that may be the show that introduced the world to the dumb dad stereotype. Schroder always seemed smarter than his old man, and that was a no-no on TV before that. Erin Gray always brings class to a project. And yes, I really liked the Starman TV series!

    Fun show, and I for one always appreciate a Mego commercial ending Rob!

    Chris

    1. Now they call that haircut “The CFranks.”

      You’re thinking of Ernie Reyes Jr, Chris. He was the child star of Sidekicks and was the first two TMNT films, though as Donatello’s stunt double in the first. Allow me to spew for a second – Sidekicks was the series. The Electric Knight was the TV movie pilot (a Disney Sunday Movie, I believe), and Gil Gerard’s return to genre TV.

      Erin Gray. Sigh. Oh, Erin Gray. Swooooooooon.

      1. I always just called that haircut “the bowl cut”, but mileage may vary.

        Yeah, that’s him. I remember that initial Disney Sunday movie as well, now that you mention it.

        Chris

      2. Did you ever see Gil Gerard’s short-lived TV series, E.A.R.T.H. Force? It was so bad, that CBS cancelled it after 3 episodes.

  3. Great show as always Rob! I remember seeing both Buck and BG in the theaters when I was a wee lad. Still love the movie opening credits as it always reminded me of how the James Bond credits that mostly was done by Maurice Binder created. Despite the cheese or not holding up, I still enjoy Buck today for childhood memories.

  4. I remember watching both Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica (as well as 3-2-1 Contact and Mister Rogers) as a kid, though I don’t recall seeing either of them in the theater. Of the two series, I think BSG made a bigger impression on my friends and me. During recess, we’d play as Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica characters, but I don’t recall us ever playing as Buck Rogers. Wilma, Twiki, and Dr. Theopolis are the most memorable characters from that series for me.

    Also, my standard late 70s/early 80s hair cut was short along the sides and back, tapered in the back, and parted on the left. Those were my mother’s instructions to the barber every time my brothers and I had our hair cut.

    Thanks for another great episode.

  5. You know, I feel I have to defend Buck’s taste in music (which is rather alarming). I don’t know ANY current pop music (or even any past 1989) and my wife’s preferred music style is either 80’s pop or disco. So a man from 1987 liking 70’s music isn’t that far fetched, at least in my mind.

    1. Listen, my taste probably ends at Fastball/Sloan-era, BUT he’s in his twenties by 1987 and would be hip. He’d be more Crue than KC and the Sunshine Band.

      1. I would argue that my tastes in my 20’s steered more into the classic rock of the 70’s and 80’s, rather than anything in the 90’s/2000’s, but there that whole “hip” thing. I am, and have always been, terminally un-hip.

    2. Definitely not. When we didn’t have radio playing, all us 80s teens listened to was 70s music (Zeppelin, Rush, Beau Dommage…).

      It’s even more likely an adult would still be listening to the music of HIS teen years/early adulthood. Unless music is a passion or part of your work, most adults stop discovering music after their personal golden age. My mom listened to 50s rock’n’roll. My dad classical music (he grew up playing piano). Music WAS part of my work for a time, so I listen to all sorts, but I prefer the 90s, which was my main period of musical discovery.

      It’s a lot more realistic than Star Trek, I’ll say that.

      1. NuTrek referred to the Beasties as “classical,” so I think they’re on point there. But yes, the TNG recitals always having music that’s nearly a thousand years old for them is a bit much. But hey, if Lincoln and Hitler are still top of mind in the 24th century, I guess anything pre-2100 makes a big return.

        The thing is, Siskoid, as Robert pointed out, Buck is essentially Three’s Company’s Larry Dallas with a starship. And while he may have grown up in the late 70s, he would probably be a Top 40 kind of guy.

  6. I was never a big fan of the Buck Rogers series as I was so enamored by Star Trek that everything else seemed like a cheap knockoff. However I did go to Motor City Comic Con several years back & Gerard & Gray were appearing together. I got them to sign my copy of the recent collection of the original BR comic strips from the 1920s. They were both very gracious.

    Hey, if you’re doing TV movies now : does anybody recall Murder Can Hurt You (1980)? It’s very much like Murder By Death but spoofs the TV cops of the 1970s like Kojack, Ironside, & Starskey and Hutch.

          1. My 2 favorite TV movies:

            Dying Room Only (1973): A mystery thriller starring Cloris Leachman, Ned Beatty, Ross Martin, & Dabney Coleman. A creepy cult classic by Richard Matheson.

            Guilty Conscience (1985) A cool thriller starring Anthony Hopkins as a husband trying to come up with the “perfect crime “ to kill his wife Blythe Danner. Written by Richard Levinson & William Link.

  7. Oh, man, such a lack of enthusiasm for what I think of as classic late ’70s camp SF. Yes, you need to turn a part of your brain off when you watch this movie and the ensuing series, but it never fails to bring a smile to my face. And that disco scene is just so unintentionally hilarious.
    I watched the show in its first run and then later in syndication, and I now have a bootleg version of the pilot movie as televised, but I never saw the cinematic release version until quite recently (it’s posted on YouTube). Needless to say, I very much had a WTF moment when I saw that opening sequence with the lovely ladies (including Dazzler – good call!) who were apparently told they were doing a shoot for a phone-sex service.
    Anyway, I suppose that if just this movie had been made and nothing else, I probably wouldn’t like it as much. But knowing that it’s a pilot for a series makes it much more enjoyable, because you know characters like Col. Deering and Dr. Huer eventually get more fleshed out. Also, the TV version has two 5-10 extra scenes that add a little more to the story (Buck and Dr. Theopolis having a chat in Buck’s new pad before they go out to the old city, and then Buck, Wilma and Dr. Huer, again in his now slightly redecorated pad, chatting at the end, which basically sets up the premise for the ongoing series).

    By the way, besides Buck saying “s**t” during that fight scene with Tigerman, the two other bits I caught that were cut out of the televised pilot are:
    Buck telling Wilma it was “Very ballsy” of her to come out and rescue him, Theo and Twiki from the unruly mob of mutants or whatever those poor people are;
    Twiki saying “I’m freezing my ball-bearings off” when they’re hiding in that freezer unit in Ardala’s battleship – in the televised version he says something like “My micro-disks are turning blue.”

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