Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is an American science fiction adventure television series produced by Universal Studios. The series ran for two seasons between September 1979 and April 1981, and the feature-length pilot episode for the series was released as a theatrical film before the series aired.
The film and series were developed by Glen A. Larson and Leslie Stevens, based on the character Buck Rogers created in 1928 by Philip Francis Nowlan that had previously been featured in comic strips, novellas, a serial film, and on television and radio.
A UFO lands outside New Chicago and presents a device for navigating an interdimensional vortex into another universe. Buck agrees to be the pilot to enter the vortex, but Princess Ardala steals the device and intends to follow him. Once through, Buck finds the planet Pendar, whose people tell of their conflict with the Zaads, an enemy race ruled by the War Witch Zarina. Lacking the means to wage war, the Pendarans ask Buck to fight their enemy for them. Meanwhile, the Draconians arrive, with Wilma and Dr. Huer against their wishes, but Ardala refuses to help the Pendarans. Buck also declines and the aliens withhold the means for returning to their universe leaving Buck and Ardala trapped with no other choice but to comply. Buck asks Ardala to join forces, but Ardala instead tries to befriend the evil Zaad leader Zarina. However, Ardala’s plan backfires when Zarina thinks her a spoiled child, and Ardala is forced to work with Buck in combating the Zaad forces after all.
Part Two here.
- This was a two-hour episode, later syndicated as a two-part episode.
- The opening credits sequence of this episode differs from other first season episodes in that it incorporates footage from the TV version of the pilot film, as well as special effects footage that would not be used until the second season premiere, “Time of the Hawk”.
- This episodes also marks the last appearances of Dr. Huer, Dr. Theopolis, Princess Ardala, and Kane.
- Guest stars: Sam Jaffe (as the Keeper), Kelley Miles (as Chandar), Vera Miles (as Tora), Donald Petrie (as Kodus), Sid Haig (as Spirot), Brent Davis (as Goneril), Tony Carroll (as Pantherman), Larry Ward (as 1st Council Member), Gary Adler (as 1st Security Guard), Julie Newmar (as the War Witch Zarina).
- Pamela Hensley makes her final appearance as Ardala, as does Michael Ansara (as Kane).
Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century Series
You can find a full index and overview of Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century here.
You can find a full index of the Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century TV Series here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 27 March 1980.
- Running Time: 60 minutes (per episode, with adverts).
- Rating: 15.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.