cosmowarriorzero

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Reviews

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Time of the Hawk
(1981)
Episode 1, Season 2

Meet the Birdman of Space
Of the second series, one of the genuinely interesting characters and episodes. Buck may be back for a second season but this show is only recognizable in name from the first. There quite clearly must be some interesting behind the scenes stories as to what happened. The original Glen Larson production crew is gone and a new one has taken over. The show has a had major overhaul and is unrecognizable from the first. In addition to Glen Larson departure or abandonment, the music has changed and was as significantly the cast and story. Dr. Huer and Theopolis have both been dropped and Twiki is back with a new voice actor disturbingly without this being explained in the plot. He not only has a new voice, but a personality and seems to have confusion and his identity. He is also soon to be replaced by Hawk as Buck's sidekick. Instead of Huer, we now get fat and boring Admiral Asimov, as executive officer the tolerable Dr. Goodfellow as chief medical scientist. The most annoying addition is the decision to make a new intellectual robot called Crichton ( I assume an homage to Jurassic Park author) who has to be the worst robot created on film. The show no longer takes place on Earth but on a spaceship called the Searcher. Buck and Wilma return but their mission is now to find missing colonies of man in space (read Star Trek). The show is now mostly polyester and disco free but is also boring and unentertaining. The earth defense star-fighter is rarely featured and Buck flies around in Space shuttle. Wilma's role is reduced to eye candy and she walks around in a demeaning Shirley temple sailor costume. These creative decisions seem to be the final nail in the coffin of Buck and co.

The season pilot opens with Hawk the Birdman returning from space to find his village of Bird People destroyed by humans. Him and his wife Koori are all that are left.He vows to kill all humans possible in his lifetime. Hawk is a humanoid descended from Birds but no longer has wings. He appears different from Humans in that he has feathers come out of his head instead of hair. Buck has been sent by the federation from to take Hawk in. Buck finds Hawk and tries to catch him by holding his wife Koori hostage. Hawk follows him in his own spaceship, probably one of the coolest spaceships in sci-fi, shaped like a Hawk, complete with retractable claws which he uses to hijack Bucks ship in midair, and harms his own wife who is on board. The story is continues in the next episode.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Time of the Hawk
(1981)
Episode 1, Season 2

Meet the Birdman of Space
Of the second series, one of the genuinely interesting characters and episodes. Buck may be back for a second season but this show is only recognizable in name from the first. There quite clearly must be some interesting behind the scenes stories as to what happened. The original Glen Larson production crew is gone and a new one has taken over. The show has a had major overhaul and is unrecognizable from the first. In addition to Glen Larson departure or abandonment, the music has changed and was as significantly the cast and story. Dr. Huer and Theopolis have both been dropped and Twiki is back with a new voice actor disturbingly without this being explained in the plot. He not only has a new voice, but a personality and seems to have confusion and his identity. He is also soon to be replaced by Hawk as Buck's sidekick. Instead of Huer, we now get fat and boring Admiral Asimov, as executive officer the tolerable Dr. Goodfellow as chief medical scientist. The most annoying addition is the decision to make a new intellectual robot called Crichton ( I assume an homage to Jurassic Park author) who has to be the worst robot created on film. The show no longer takes place on Earth but on a spaceship called the Searcher. Buck and Wilma return but their mission is now to find missing colonies of man in space (read Star Trek). The show is now mostly polyester and disco free but is also boring and unentertaining. The earth defense star-fighter is rarely featured and Buck flies around in Space shuttle. Wilma's role is reduced to eye candy and she walks around in a demeaning Shirley temple sailor costume. These creative decisions seem to be the final nail in the coffin of Buck and co.

The season pilot opens with Hawk the Birdman returning from space to find his village of Bird People destroyed by humans. Him and his wife Koori are all that are left.He vows to kill all humans possible in his lifetime. Hawk is a humanoid descended from Birds but no longer has wings. He appears different from Humans in that he has feathers come out of his head instead of hair. Buck has been sent by the federation from to take Hawk in. Buck finds Hawk and tries to catch him by holding his wife Koori hostage. Hawk follows him in his own spaceship, probably one of the coolest spaceships in sci-fi, shaped like a Hawk, complete with retractable claws which he uses to hijack Bucks ship in midair, and harms his own wife who is on board. The story is continues in the next episode.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Guardians
(1981)
Episode 3, Season 2

Buck find s a Magic Green Box!
Buck and crew find a magic green box which has mysterious powers, particularly changing the course of time. The box belongs to the time guardians who regulate time, and if not kept in the right hands, lead to disasters. The box seeks it natural owners and as such, takes control of this Searcher and takes its in out in deepest space. Admiral Asimov realizes that if they maintain present course, all the crew will starve to death as they do not have adequate food supplies. Meanwhile, the cursed box shows visions of the past and future to any one who touches it: Wilma goes blind, Asimov destroys the Searcher by leading the crew to starvation, Hawk sees Koori, Buck goes back home to Earth 1987. All these will only be restored to normality if the box finds its rightful owner. Will Buck and co survive and find the rightful owner or will they starve to death lost in Space? What do you think?

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Golden Man
(1981)
Episode 5, Season 2

Meet the Golden Boy and the Golden Man !
Buck and co on the Searcher find a life pod ( i.e. lifeboat) floating in space while navigating a dangerous asteroid field which strands the Searcher precariously in space. On the life pod, Buck finds a boy made of living gold (i.e. cheap gold paint and a cheap polyester gold disco suit). This boy apparently has the ability to manipulate matter on a molecular level and change its weight and density. Buck decides to take a shuttle to the planet below to find the boys missing companion, the Golden Man, who with his larger size can change matter at a greater level than his smaller counterpart. While there, Buck and both the Golden men are captured by the savage populace beneath who Buck and co were not aware of. The planet is a prison colony and the prisoners want the Golden men for their ability to transmute matter to other forms, turn metal to diamonds, as well as to help repair a damaged spacecraft to escape. While Buck is captured, Hawk rescues them in an amusing disguise showing off his commanding voice and presence. Needless to say, Buck, Hawk and the Golden men return to the Searcher to save the day. As the episode ends, the true nature of the relationship between the Golden men is revealed in what is supposed to shocking twist to the audience, and some more badly written comedy dialog ensures. This episode, like many others on series 2, was directed by veteran Star Trek: TOS director responsible for some of the better Star Trek episodes so it is unsurprising the series and plots continues to come off as a mediocre Star Trek clone. In an amusing and odd note, one of the female prisoners on the planet has a bad, fake English East End accent straight out of "Oliver!"- Corr Blimey!

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Journey to Oasis
(1981)
Episode 2, Season 2

The Return of Sarek
Two part episode oddly featuring Spock's father apparently playing Spock's father. In this two part episode, Buck and party must escort an alien ambassador from the Searcher to an intergalactic peace meeting. Tension arises from the fact that the said ambassador is an old flame of Wilma's and wants to rekindle their romance after seven years or something. This causes tension and jealousy in Buck and Wilma's relationship and is complicated more by the fact that Buck must escort the ambassador to the meeting and they instantly dislike each other. Failure to get the ambassador to said destination will result in intergalactic war between earth and the aliens as well as the destruction of the Searcher. These seem to be a rather blunt and obvious reference to the Cold War which is now irrelevant and outdated. Unsurprisingly, when en route to the meeting, Bucks ship crashes due to a radiation cloud which renders the ship and all weapons powerless. On their way, the party which includes Buck, Hawk, Wilma, the Ambassador, and Doctor Goodfellow must overcome some Indiana Jones like obstacles, including a weird light saber duel. To complicate matters, the weaponless Buck and co are pursued by some spear-throwing Neanderthals called the Atavars or something. Unfortunately, their religion consists of chopping the heads off strangers before mounting them on a pike and worshipping them. Apparently, this planet is a dumping ground for genetic experiments gone wrong. Along the way, they are aided by a bearded blue midget called ODX who speaks in riddles. The most startling thing about ODX is that when the credits roll, we finally learn what Twiki looks like under the costume. There is a strong Star Trek influence in this show no less than by having the actor most famous for playing Spock's dad on the show dominate proceedings and to behave, look and act identically to Sarek. While in Star Trek, he appears in the episode the Journey to Babel, playing an ambassador, while in this this episode is called Journey to Oasis. While ST:TOS he comes off as dignified and impressive, he comes off as extremely unlikable here. Like Star Trek, the Searcher is in danger all episode. The only difference is here Sarek sports a weird 80's Kevin Keegan bubble-perm. Another subplot is that Buck is worried about Wilma's feelings for Sarek as she is unaware that as a Vykarian, Sarek is biologically different from humans and has the ability to detach his head from his body. Apparently, this becomes an important plot point in the end. Will Buck get Sarek to the ball on time and save the galaxy form intergalactic war yet again? These two episodes were disappointing, and gave way too much focus to Sarek, considering that Time of the Hawk was relatively interesting and made the series briefly watchable again, and promised improvement.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Hand of the Goral
(1981)
Episode 9, Season 2

Buck and Hawk on strange planet
Buck, Wilma, and Hawk go onto the planet Verdeeth, meaning Planet of Death, in search of more lost humans. There they find Rickard, the solitary survivor of a spaceship crash. Rickard and Wilma return to the Searcher while Buck and Hawk remain. There they discover the space wreck has disappeared before returning to a false duplicate of the searcher as they realize the power of the planet below is to reshape all matter to its will. Also aboard, all the crew are duplicates! Will Hawk and Buck figure out the danger in time? Buck now uses a space shuttle as his preferred choice of transport while Hawk has the more stlylish and cooler Hawkship. Hawk is the best thing aboutthe second series as Buck gets a useful preferrred. However, Twiki gets relegated to the scrapheap and even isn't themost importnant robot. Wilma gets even less to do. Despite this, this is one of the better episodes of the inferior second series.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Dorian Secret
(1981)
Episode 11, Season 2

The end for Buck and gang
The last episode of Buck ends on a disappointing note. Buck takes aboard a supposedly pretty fugitive woman being chased by the masked Dorian police onto the Searcher. When contacted by the Dorians, Buck refuses to hand over the fugitive woman who is a wanted murderer and faces death. In return, the Dorians hold the Searcher hostage and torture the crew by controlling the temperature of the Searcher and alternating it between cold and hot. Unknown to Buck, the passengers on the Searcher vote amongst themselves and decide to hand over the fugitive to the Dorians. Buck goes aboard the Dorian ship where he saves the woman when the truth of the real murder leaks out and the terrible Dorian secret is revealed. The last series and final episode is unrecognizable from the first and has lost all the qualities that made it entertaining. A new production team has taken over the show and the only things that remain are Buck and Wilma. A creative decision seems to have been made to make Buck serious science fiction drama and to jettison the heavy camp factor of the Glen Larson days. However, in doing so, they also seem to have exorcised the entertainment value. The problem with attempting serious drama is that it has to be done well which it it isn't here. This episode is a hackneyed, common story transplanted into space with little or no science fiction elements which has been done better elsewhere. This episode was so predictable, and boring that is was practically unwatchable. The series mercifully ends but on a bum note, and sinks into TV nostalgia land.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Satyr
(1981)
Episode 7, Season 2

Buck meets the Goatmen
Buck and Twiki are sent to the planet Arcadus in search of another lost colony of Man. While Wilma and Hawk are busy at an asteroid belt, the orbit of Arcadus and its three moons means that Buck will not be able to contact the Searcher for ten days. This colony has not been been in contact for ten years and was seen as a potential Garden of Eden. While there, Buck encounters two settlers called Delph and Sira, a 10 year old boy and his Mom who are sole survivors of the original colony. While there, Buck must rescue them from the savage attacks of the goat-men, the legendary half-man, half-goat people, and their terrifying leader Pangor! What is the startling secret of Arcadus, the lost settlers, and the goat-men and what startling transformation will Buck undergo in this exciting episode? In other notes, Mel Blanc returns as Twiki and there is an entertaining comment about moonlight between Buck and Wilma. Other than that, this average episode has a strong classic Star Trek feel and comes off as a poor, but predictable clone. An unsuccessful but ambitious attempt for the series to be more than it is but overall, not a bad episode for Buck. A strangely cheese free episode. Given time and more episodes, the series might have found its feet again as it struggled to find new direction.

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