Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Buck Rogers pilot film (1979)

I have just finished watching the pilot film for the 1979-1981 BUCK ROGERS show and my feelings are mixed to say the least. This is the first time I've watched it since my childhood and as I feared it did not come off well. Indeed, it came off as overly silly and rather half-assed. Not that I expected to find hidden depths of quality in the film or in the series that it spawned on American TV but I did wonder if it might be better than my dim memories lead me to believe. Even as a kid I knew the show wasn't the best piece of science fiction around but at the time it was one of a very few SF offerings available and in those days you didn't complain. You took any genre morsels that came your way, smiled and asked for more- all the time hoping that the next dish would be taster and have fewer calories.

I suspect I'll eventually watch some of he regular series episodes just for fun and to see if there are any surprises beyond playing spot the guest star. The pilot had Henry Silva as bad guy Kane which means that this is probably the first place I ever saw that scary thespian! I know Roddy McDowell, Vera Miles and Jamie Lee Curtis show up somewhere down the line so maybe that will entice me to watch more. Maybe.

Oh! And one more thing- I was shocked at the credit sequence for the pilot film. I was used to the TV show opening scene and was wholly unprepared for the soft-core bikini-pose-a-rama/make-out session that is presented here. Wowsa! I have no idea what a younger version of myself would have thought of this but as an adult it made me slightly uncomfortable. Go here to check it out on YouTube


Randall Landers said...

I love the theatrical opening credits sequence done in Maurice Binder style. I recall reading way back when that Binder had done the credits, but I find no evidence of it these days. Might be the memory going...

Rod Barnett said...

The Bond idea is not one the occurred to me until after I posted this blog. Indeed, it was a buddy who watched just the opening and made the connection. I can see that might well have been the concept they were going for- Bond in the 25th Century - but it failed, I think. And I doubt Binder really was involved but I'd love to find out he was! What a strange thing if he was.