20 May 2008 | BA_Harrison
Not a great way to wrap things up.
Whilst transporting a group of refugees to a new planet, The Searcher is immobilised by a huge craft manned by Dorians, a mutant race who, ashamed of their appearance, hide their faces behind decorated masks. When asked to give an explanation for the attack, Koldar, the Dorian supreme leader, reveals that one of the refugees is actually a Dorian woman who is wanted for murder, and that, once she has been handed over to them for execution, The Searcher will be free to resume its journey.
Buck, who knows the identity of the now-unmasked-and-actually rather-attractive woman, is unable to believe that she is guilty, and refuses to comply. Angered by the response he receives, Koldar uses his ship's thermal intervention beams to drastically alter the temperature on board The Searcher. As things get rather uncomfortable for the refugees, they begin to turn on each other, and attempt to discover which one of them is the Dorian.
Whereas much of season two had a distinctly Star Trek vibe about it, the 13th and final episode of Buck Rogers (the series was abruptly cancelled due to plummeting ratings) resembles a tale from the Twilight Zone. Like that show's classic 'The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street', 'The Dorian Secret' deals with human fear, paranoia, and suspicion, and closes with a typically Rod Serling-style conclusion.
Just what in the Hell were the writers thinking of?
Buck Rogers began as a light-hearted, cheesy sci-fi show that revelled in its own campness; fans expected silly aliens, dodgy effects, pretty ladies, innuendo, bad matte paintings, and poorly choreographed fights (with unconvincing stuntmen). Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the show lost its fun factor, with 'The Dorian Secret' being the least enjoyable episode of all: there's no humour, no action and no sense of fun.
And, forgive me for sounding like a letch (I can't help it, because I am), but surely Wilma Deering would've stripped down to her undies in such an unbearable heat. An oversight of that magnitude is unforgivable!