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 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - The Complete Epic Series

Buck Rogers In The 25th Century

Show Type: Sci-Fi

First Telecast: September 20, 1979

Last Telecast: April 16, 1981

Broadcast History:

September 1979-July 1980, Thursday 8:00-9:00 on NBC

August 1980-September 1980, Saturday 8:00-9:00 on NBC

January 1981-April 1981, Thursday 8:00-9:00 on NBC


Captain William "Buck" Rogers..... Gil Gerard

Colonel Wilma Deering..... Erin Gray

Dr. Huer (1979-1980)..... Tim O'Connor

Twiki..... Felix Silla

Twiki's Voice..... Mel Blanc

Twiki's Voice (1981)..... Bob Elyea

Dr. Theopolis (Voice Only) (1979-1980)..... Eric Server

Princess Ardala (1979-1980)..... Pamela Hensley

Kane (1979)..... Henry Silva

Kane (1979-1980)..... Michael Ansara

Hawk (1981)..... Thom Christopher

Dr. Goodfellow (1981)..... Wilfred Hyde-White

Admiral Asimov (1981)..... Jay Garner

Crichton (Voice Only) (1981)..... Jeff David

Lieutenant Devlin (1981)..... Paul Carr


This updated Buck Rogers was far more elaborate than the version aired on ABC almost 30 years earlier. It benefited from much-improved technology, the interest generated by theatrical films like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and a budget that enabled the utilization of fancy special effects. Also, unlike earlier versions of Buck, in the comics and on film, radio, and television, this series didn't take itself seriously. It was a good escapist entertainment with a tongue-in-cheek quality that prevented it from getting pretentious.

Capt. Buck Rogers was an astronaut whose deep-space probe, launched in 1987, was lost for 500 years. Fortunately for Buck, he was frozen in suspended animation, awakening when his craft was discovered by Draconians in the year 2491. The Draconians, led by beautiful but evil Princess Ardala and her henchman, Kane, hoped to take over the Earth and thought that Buck was a spy. So, too, did the Earth Defense Directorate, based in the city of New Chicago. Buck, using a combination of wit, charm, brains, and brute strength, eventually prevented the Draconians from achieving their ends (though they did keep reappearing with new plans to defeat Earth) and became a valued ally in defending Earth. He became a good friend of Dr. Huer, the most renowned scientist on Earth, and of Wilma Deering, the beautiful commander in charge of Earth's defenses. Dr. Huer provided Buck with a small robot aide, Twiki, and the services of talking computer, Dr. Theopolis (usually seen in the form of a large disk around Twiki's neck). Together, they fought the Draconians and others who threatened peace and security. Buck's acclamation to the world of the 25th century was not always easy and his use of 20th-century slang tended to rub off on both Twiki and his human associates.

When Buck Rogers In The 25th Century returned for its second season in 1981 (delayed several months by an actor's strike), it had been completely overhauled. No longer based on Earth, Buck and Wilma were now crew members aboard the Searcher, an interstellar spaceship seeking survivors of the "great holocaust" that had sent many Earthmen into space not long after Buck's original probe had been lost. In many respects, this new format had elements of both Star Trek and Battlestar Gallactica. Other members of the Searcher's crew included its commander, Admiral Asimov (descended from science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov), Lt. Devlin, Asimov's assistant; Dr. Goodfellow, an elderly, eccentric scientist with an insatiable curiosity; and Hawk, part man and part bird, searching for other members of his race. In addition to Twiki, the Searcher carried Crichton, a highly intelligent but very obnoxious robot that could not believe it had been built by humans, and especially by it's creator, Dr. Goodfellow. Missing from the second season, in addition to the departed cast members, was the narration provided by William Conrad during Buck Rogers' initial year.

The pilot for this series, titled Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, was released theatrically in March 1979, six months before the series premiered on NBC.