Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
One of science fiction's pioneering heroes reinvented for the Star Wars generation.
Buck Rogers had been knocking around since 1929 as the star of comic strips, a film serial and TV series when producer Glen A Larson decided to revive him in 1979, on the character's 50th anniversary.
Larson's Battlestar Galactica had aired the previous year and was proving uneconomical. Larson wanted a surefire post-Star Wars hit, and hoped Buck would do the job.
As in his previous incarnations, Buck (Gil Gerard) was an air force pilot frozen then awoken in a post-apocalyptic future. There he had a variety of problems, not least dealing with the attentions of two women: his perennial girlfriend Wilma Deering (Erin Gray – very glossy lips) and the equally beautiful Princess Ardala (Pamela Hensley – diaphanous dresses). There was also the small business of a future war to be fought.
Though it was possibly lost on its tea time audience, the new Buck was played tongue-in-cheek. Its tone was characterised by the robot Twiki, whose vocals were provided by Looney Tunes cartoon voice artist Mel Blanc ("Bidi-bidi-bidi"). He was either annoying or cute, depending on your view. Shedding viewers, a second series played it straight(er), but it was too late to save the show.
Nominated by Jayshawk, kiwiscifi and super_orac.