Monday, 24 April 2017


From the dying days of the VHS era: a stand-alone BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY tape, released as part of a series of similarly-branded tapes as a tie-in between Universal Playback and the Sci-Fi Channel (when they used to show SF).

The three episodes on this better-value-than-usual (CIC and the BBC tended to just bung two episodes of a drama on a tape... this label gave us three!) release were the not-as-good-as-it-sounds PLANET OF THE AMAZON WOMEN (Buck ventures into Carry On territory, giving Gerard a chance to flash his chest hairs for a bevvy on man-hungry space babes); SPACE VAMPIRE (the legendary banned-by-the-BBC horror show... even through it had previously popped-up in a family viewing slot on ITV and was part of the Buck sticker album.  This tape is only a 'PG' as well) and HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUCK (assassination-based silliness).

Predictably, the back cover stills are nothing to do with the selected episodes and actually feature a cut scene/ character from the original pilot episode.  Draco appeared in some of the publicity material, was made into toys and generally looked like he was going to be a player... but was then all-but-cut from both the theatrical and TV prints.

I'm currntly rewatching selected first season episodes in HD thanks to an imported Australian BR set... and really enjoying revisiting some episodes I've not seen in a while.  They look great in High Def even if it does expose some sloppy production standards... and Gerard's almost ever-present stunt double.  Sadly, except for some alternate cuts of a couple of the episodes, there is nothing in the way of new bonus features.  Which is a pity.

There is also a fan-made edit of the pilot (aka THE AWAKENING) which combines the theatrical and TV cuts into one longer piece.  What it doesn't (can't) do is restore the scenes that never made it into either print.

1 comment:

  1. SPACE VAMPIRE is one of my favorite episodes of anything ever!
    I had hoped - before all their original shows became grim angst-fests shot in a space-age boiler room - that SyFy would realise that by spending pretty much buttons on it, they could produce a "Season 3" of Buck Rogers in the same style as the 1978 show - much as the Phase 2 and Star Trek Continues lads have done with Roddenberry's creation. Alas, we sci-fi fans are all "grown ups" now, apparently, so fun and camp romps are out the window. BAH!


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