Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Trivia

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Trivia



BUCK ROGERS in the 25th Century: Trivia

  • Props from series “Battlestar Galactica” (1978) were used in this series.

  • The show’s theme tune, “Suspension”, originally had lyrics, but these were only heard in the pilot.

  • Throughout most of the first season, ‘Erin Gray’ plays Wilma as a blonde. Near the end of the first season, and for the remainder of the series, she was allowed to return to her normal brunette hair color.

  • US broadcast of the second season was delayed until midway through the 1980-81 TV season due to an actor’s strike. During the strike, the series was retooled to make it a variation on “Battlestar Galactica” (1978).

  • While working on this series, Mel Blanc provided voices for the parody _Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 241/2th Century (1980) (TV) .

  • Mel Blanc was briefly replaced by Bob Elyea as the voice of Twiki at the start of the second season. After protests from fans, he returned to the role for the final episodes.

  • The studio decided to cancel the series before the last episode was shot. The producer was evidently incensed that this happened, without his prior knowledge, and began to clear out his office immediately upon hearing the news. To exact a measure of revenge, however, he assigned an intern, Guy Magar, to direct the final episode. Magar had just happened to pop into the director’s office to see if he needed anything just after the producer got the call about the cancellation. The studio had no idea that Magar had never before directed a TV show (or anything beyond a student film). Magar went on to direct episodes of “Sliders” (1995), “La Femme Nikita” (1997) and other shows.

  • The opening of the show said, “In 1987, NASA launched the last of the deep space probes.” However, following the Challenger accident in January 1986, NASA suspended flight operations. The next launch did not happen until 1988.

  • Written on the side of the spaceship Searcher (season two) is “Per Adua Ad Astra” , which is a misspelling of “Per Ardua Ad Astra” (Through Adversity To The Stars), the motto for The Royal Air Force (‘ardua’ is the plural of ‘arduus’, meaning ‘the steep place’, so the phrase could also mean “Past the summit to the stars”).

  • The Earth Starfighter spacecraft seen in the series was originally supposed to be the Colonial Viper in Battlestar Galactica, and was designed by ‘Ralph MacQuarrie’ . When Galactica producers went with a different style for the Viper, the original design resurfaced in Buck Rogers as the Starfighter.

  • In “The Golden Boy”, the village set is the same one used in the original Frankenstein movies.

  • Buck’s ship is called “Ranger 3” by the narrator. Ranger 3 was a 1962 lunar probe which missed the moon and was lost in space.

  • The series is effectively divided into two separate shows with the first season set on Earth and the second set aboard a deep space exploration vessel. The first season villains the Draconians are never seen in the second season and neither is Buck’s mentor Dr. Huer. The shift from a permanent Earth setting to a spacecraft plot was an effort to boast ratings and provide for more diverse episodes. The shift had exactly the opposite effect, with many fans seeing the “Space Buck Rogers” a disappointment from the “Earth Buck Rogers”.

  • Michael Ansara was the first choice to play Kane, but was unavailable for filming the two-hour pilot episode “Awakening,” so Henry Silva was chosen, in part because, with “Awakening” scheduled for theatrical release prior to the series’ TV debut, Silva was considered to have more box-office clout. Ansara was brought in to play Kane once the television series was on-air. The change both in casting and from theatrical release to series television had a subtle effect on Kane’s relationship with Princess Ardala. In “Awakening” there is a flirtatious quality to some of Ardala’s banter with Kane, such as when she asks if Kane desires “Me, or my throne?” and when she pointedly tells Kane that Buck Rogers “wouldn’t have been necessary if you were more of a man.” This flirtatious banter, however, disappears with Ansara’s assumption of the role, as the relationship between the two becomes harder-edged and more businesslike, notably in the episode “Ardala Returns” where Ardala repeatedly expresses doubt about Kane’s Zygot robot duplicates of Buck Rogers and at one point she angrily tells Kane to sit down.

  • The enemy spaceship in “Flight of the War Witch” was unfinished when shooting was scheduled to begin, so it was turned upside down to add an alien look to it.

  • Two of the futuristic buildings shown actually exist. Buck’s white apartment building with the sharp corner is actually the library at San Diego State University. The five columned Earth Defense Headquarters is really the Los Angeles Trade Center.


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