227 of 233 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2004
The shows are uncut and look better than you've ever seen them. Thank goodness, they've also included the original theatrical version of the pilot (released to theatres several months before the series aired) which has the most hilarious open credits scenes ever.
Don't worry about the "broadast" version of the pilot not being included; it is mostly just an *edited version* of what was shown in theatres anyway. A brief scene or two were added in the NBC aired version, but these were brief and didn't amount to much. Yes, they would have made a nice extra, but I for one am glad they went with the *original theatrical version* in the set, as it came first anyway.
I never much cared for the second season, but it is also included here! The entire series in one set...who can ask for more?
172 of 178 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2004
I will never forget first seeing the theatrical movie at the Mall of the Bluffs in Colorado Springs the day after a huge blizzard in 1979. I had no idea what to expect. I was already obsessed with Star Wars and my Dad took us to see a movie called Buck Rogers which he described as being similar to Star Wars so I was already expecting droids and robots and all kinds of special effects.
I had immediately recognized the similarities in production design to that of Battlestar Galactica which was also produced by Glen Larson and I had enjoyed very much. I was not at all surprised when it became a weekly series. Although it was much campier than the mythic Galactica, it was still a guilty pleasure whose tone harkened back more to Classic Trek with Buck's weekly womanizing reminiscent of Captain Kirk. It became a guessing game as to which colorful flavor of spandex Colonel Wilma Deering would be wearing each week, but who could forget most of all the lovely Pamela Hensley as the exotic Princess Ardala! My favorite episodes were "Space Vampires" featuring the uninhibited Wilma and "Flight of the War Witch" featuring Julie Newmar from Batman. The series also had its fair share of cheeze with cornball episodes like "Space Rockers" and "Space Olympics" but are amusing to watch for the sake of 70's nostalgia. Season 2 was a dreadful attempt to re-tool the series to make it more like Star Trek as the emphasis shifted away from Earth to a space quest onboard The Searcher. Gone were Wilma's luscious spandex outfits and her role was minimized to that of recurring guest-star. However, Season 2 introduced Thom Christopher as Hawk making his impressive debut with the cool talon-clawed ship.
Minus one star for Universal's bad decision to nix the commentaries by Gil Gerrard and Erin Gray and episodic promos, interviews and documentaries would have been nice. I'm just happy to see that this show has finally been re-awakened from the 20th Century and I didn't have to wait 500 years to see it again.
74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2005
Some of you are like me, you watched this show as a kid and loved it. It didn't matter what the quality was or anything, you just enjoyed it. And now that you're in your thirties you're wondering if this little part of your past can be recaptured. You've been disappointed with other early 80s things that don't hold up so well these days.
Don't worry. This is a great DVD set. I thought about buying it for weeks and finally broke down and bought it for my birthday. I don't regret it. It was great reliving the past. I saw the last episode this evening and re-watched the first. The DVD has 24 episodes of season 1 and only half a season of season 2 which is all they made. The original theatrical intro is here (which is a hoot) and they don't have Mel Blanc dubbed over Twiki in the first several episodes of season 2.
Still, the show is just as watchable now as it was then. Erin Grey is still beautiful and Gil Gerard is still the guy to be. If you're agonizing over whether to buy this or not, go ahead and buy it. Sure, it ain't 21st century pyrotechnics and CG but the stories are still fun and it'll provide hours of harmless fun.
And isn't that the point? I'd rather have a new generation of kids watching this than a lot of the junk that is on TV these days.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2007
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was a great series, since the primary goal of the entertainment industry was/is to ENTERTAIN. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century does this in spades!! I was not a young child when this series aired, I was 23, and yes, I had (and still have) a HUGE crush on Erin Gray. Yes, Pamela Hensley was delicious, too, but Erin Gray was my favorite by far! I would have loved to see the special features others have mentioned, especially the commentary from Erin Gray and Gil Gerard, but at this price point, I can't complain.
By the way - Amazon is incorrect when they say that the show was cancelled in mid-season the second year. The reason the second season has only eleven episodes is that there was an industry-wide actors strike at the beginning of that season, which delayed production and shortened the second season. Buck Rogers was cancelled at the END of that strike-abbreviated second season, despite the fact that the ratings (though lower than the first season) were still strong. NBC cited cost concerns. Wikipedia has a good article on this.
41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2004
For people concerned about the runtimes of the DVDs, here is what is listed for each disk from the Universal site:
Disc 1: Run time: 6 hrs 23 minutes
Disc 2: Run time: 6 hrs 31 minutes
Disc 3: Run time: 6 hrs 31 minutes
Disc 4: Run time: 6 hrs 30 minutes
Disc 5: Run time: 4 hrs 4 minutes
Judging from those times (about 52 minutes an episode), I'd guess that each of the first four discs would have eight episodes each (four to a side), with the final five episodes on the last disk. Looking at the time on disc 1, I'd guess that the original movie version will be shown in place of the re-edited version for the two-part opener, "Awakening" (which is fine, as the movie had a sexier opening sequence anyway ;) ). That would fit the advertisement of "five double-length episodes" included in the set (Planet of the Slave Girls, Plot to Kill a City, Flight of the War Witch, Time of the Hawk, and Journey to Oasis.)
In any event, this should be a good pickup with both seasons included in the set, even if it is a bare-bones release.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2007
The video and sound were great, in spite of the mono audio format. This show brought back so many memories of that late 70's and early 80's "middle-school" period for me, I almost expected to see roller skaters everywhere and bell-bottom corduroy pants on people when I stepped outside. It's really hard to believe it was THAT long ago. But boy does an internet search for current pics of the actors slam that point home! It's just wrong what time does to people. That being said, Gil Gerard does look a lot better today than he did a few years ago. Check out "Action Hero Makeover" at YouTube and you'll see what he went through. Also, Erin Gray is still very beautiful for a woman in her late 50's. And she has accomplished a lot too. What a lady.
If you were a fan of this series when it was new, you should enjoy watching this set. It looks better than it did when it was broadcasted for TV. But be warned, there are some seriously cheesy moments! It's hilarious to see what Hollywood of the 1970's envisioned the future to look like-- just like the 1970's, but with talking computers and laser guns.
Season one was the best, but you could count on most episodes involving good people enslaved by the villain and Buck rescuing them while keeping in touch with Dr. Huer and/or Wilma back on earth. In just about every episode he managed to save the earth, either as a primary or secondary plot.
Season two got overly preachy about things that most hour-long 70's shows got into back then, and contained a lot of cheesy/campy situations, lines, effects, etc.
I was disappointed that the DVD set didn't include any extra interviews, commentaries or documentaries. However, I heard that they did actually record cast interviews for it.
DO NOT BE SURPRISED if the company that put this out releases a set later on with those extras included as a "Special Collectors Edition" or something similarly titled. I almost didn't buy it because of that, but it was only 20 bucks for the whole series. Well worth it.
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2005
I am now returning my second set of this DVD set. I love the show, I wish they had special features, but most of all I wish that I could get side A on all my discs to play. On both of the returned sets side A on 3 out of the 5 discs will not play. I have even contacted Universal about it. I had the same problem with Ray (another Universal release). The packaging on this Buck Rogers set is beautiful, but as it won't play, what good is it to me! So, here's hoping that my third attempt to own this series will be successful. I see from some of these other reviews that I am not alone. Why has Universal not fixed this?
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2006
Ok, now that I got your attention...
This is a great trip down memory lane for any of you Star Wars nuts that grew up in the late 70s/early 80s. Remembering how things were back in 1979, I can see how this show managed to captivate me. No internet, no video games, no cable, VHS, DVD... not a single luxury. Like Robinson Crusoe, as primitive as can be. We had nothing else. Even though as an eight year old, I knew this was kinda lame, it was an absolute godsend when there was only one TV in the house with a total of four channels.
Anyhow, stream of consciouness bullet list:
- First season is great cheese and hot chicks, second season is horrid.
- This is what Star Trek would have been if Roddenberry had come around ten years later.
- A Gil Gerard (circa 1979) versus William Shatner (circa 1969) stagefight would probably put me into a coma due to it's mind-blowing awesomeness.
- Ahead of even the great Princess Leia and the not-quite-as-great Cassiopia, Colonel Deering and Princess Amadala are the two women who made me realize I was down with the ladies, if you catch my very blatant drift. Nothing surpirsing here, but Erin Gray was my first crush.
- Twiki is not nearly as annoying as some stick-in-the-mud types would have you believe. His cheeseball comic relief works perfectly with Gil's cheeseball chest carpet and martial arts ability.
- Every scene involving "dancing from the future" or previously referenced martial arts is twenty times more entertaining that anything in the history of "reality TV".
- Hawk is not an interesting character, he is just the least crappy thing in a completely crappy second season.
- There are no extras at all, pretty dissapointing given the price point and the target audience of sci-fi geeks who thrive on that kinda stuff
In conclusion: I miss the days when Sci-Fi didn't have to beat you over the head and then strangle you with nothing but dread and darkness and doom. Buck Rogers takes place in post-apocolyptic, nuclear wasteland, mutants living in the desert, planet Earth... and it's still a hundred times less depressing than any of the cookie cutter sci-fi series plopped out in the last ten years.
Of course, we are a much more critical society nowadays... plumped up on years of cable networks, easily accessible VHS/DVD movies and other competitors for our time. Long gone are the days of shows like this. Shows where everybody involved, audience included, knew it was escapist/fantasy crap but just went along and had fun with it. Gil Gerard is an absolute joy to watch just because you always knew he was in on the joke (at least during the first season). Everybody takes themselves too seriously nowadays, especially Sci-Fi. The new Battlestar series is so painfully self-aware it's basically a soap-opera that happens to be in space.
Anyhoo... If are a male sci-fi fan who was between the ages of let's say... 6 to 12... when this series made it's run, go out and buy it. For better or worse, Buck Rogers took me back to the late 70s much more effectively than Star Wars or Battlestar.
4/5 only due to the complete lack of extras
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2004
All I can say is - it's about time.
For those of us who have been capturing the episodes from SciFi channel, or buying sub-par DVDs, this is a welcome announcement.
I just about fell out of my chair when I read the "Dr. Theopolis shaped box" comment. What a great idea!
If you enjoyed Battlestar Galactica, Six Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman, Star Wars, or Star Trek (maybe even Magnum P.I.), then you will probably like Buck Rogers. He's a likeable character who has some fun adventures. The women in this show are beautiful, and the storylines can be engaging as well as enjoyable.
I do agree that the first season is much better than the second season. There are only a couple of episodes in the second season which are any good - I can immediately think of The Guardians, Mark of the Saurian, Testimony of a Traitor (one of my favorites), and The Dorian Secret.
From the first season, definitely check out Plot to Kill a City, Unchained Woman, Space Vampire, Happy Birthday Buck, A Dream of Jennifer, and Space Rockers (cool music!). I've left out a couple of episodes which I'm sure others will agree are pretty good too.
It's great to see this classic series finally get to DVD. The decision to remove the commentary is unfortunate, but they evidently did it to save money. Bottom line is that we will get our episodes in DVD quality, so we should be grateful! Buck Rogers lives on!
43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2005
Most of these set's are defective! I returned 3 sets they all froze on disk 2 side b. and disk 5 on my first set had a dime size piece missing from it. what happend to quality control? universal need's to recall all of the sets. When I kept returning my set's they said that they had alot of returns on this set.and I see by reading the reviews that many more people are having this problem. Universal If you read this please do somthing about it.