Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Glen Larson revived the old space opera of Buck Rogers in his 1979 TV series.  Having just recovered from the cancellation of the more popular Battlestar Galactica, he wrote Buck to be far less serious and closer to comic book lore.

Buck was a superman, revived from a deep space exploration mission gone awry and thrust into a conflict between the Earth Directorate and the Draconian Empire.  Buck’s universe was filled with beautiful women and simplistic villains.  Buck solved all of his problems through fistfights and gunplay, just the way any real space hero should.

Gil Gerard brought a unique charm to the campy Buck character.  Winning the affections of a new woman every episode, he managed to bring a an evenness to many otherwise unbalanced scripts.  Where the earlier versions of Buck fought alongside his younger human companion, Buddy Wade, Gil managed to explore the role opposite a small, often annoying robot named Twiki, a combination companion and watchdog.  Gil successfully portrayed a man lost in time but not lost in confidence, values, or purpose.


Buck Rogers showcased an impressive guest cast for the  time, including Larry “Buster” Crabbe, who played Buck in the 1939 film serials.  The more famous of the guest cast was fleshed out with faces from the cancelled Battlestar Galactica.

For many, the most memorable element of Glen Larson’s Buck Rogers was the character Colonel Wilma Deering, played by the gorgeous Erin Gray.  Originally Buck’s adversary, and responsible for the defense of Earth, she became his close ally and confident.  Her relationship with Buck was never well defined, which was a bonus for every red-blooded, heterosexual teenage male.

The most memorable of all the villains was the Princess Ardala, forward leader of the Draconian Empire.  Portrayed by the stunning Pamela Hensley, she was unique in that her weakness was her strong passion for Buck.  Based largely on the Catwoman character from Batman, Ardala could never successfully destroy Buck Rogers despite her many opportunities to do so.

Despite its many weaknesses, Glen Larson’s Buck Rogers remains one of the most fondly remembered space series for many fans.