Buck Rogers: Attack of the Seventies! 

This morning, after making breakfast, packing a lunch for my girlfriend, and sending her off to work, I watched a few moments of television and saw something that I had not seen in nearly twenty years. On the Sci-fi channel they were playing re-runs of Buck Rogers. Wow, what a cheesy 80's show! How many references can one show make to Disco? It is sobering, and a little scary, to realize that this thing had won some emmys. Even as a kid, I remember thinking to myself that it was a little silly, but I had no idea how silly until I saw this particular repeat, which coincidentally was an episode that I remembered as one of my favorites, Cosmic Whiz Kid.

To summarize, Gary Coleman (yes, that Gary Coleman) plays Hieronymous Fox, the president of some other planet of humans. He is a child super genius, who, like Buck, is from the twentieth century, and who is kidnapped by some intergalactic criminal. Why? For ransom of course, 2.5 pounds of pure quadrillium to be exact. So Gary's bodyguard, a woman named Dia Cyrton, kidnaps Buck Rogers in turn to rescue Gary, right while Buck is listening to Three Dog Night (yes, that Three Dog Night). Oh the humanity! As a bodyguard, I have to say that Dia seems pretty useless, so all of the standard nerd questions apply here. Questions like: how come the president of an entire planet only has one bodyguard, a slight female, who, as far as her bodyguard role is concerned, dresses in spandex, is completely unable to fight the bad guys, and shamelessly flirts with her own captive when effecting a rather leisurely rescue? The best part of her "outfit" is that she carries a metallic purse everywhere she goes, which apparently she keeps her laser blaster and nothing else. But get this, Gary escapes on his own, eliminating the need for a rescue! What was the point of this show again?

Buck and Gary

As a kid, I thought the show was pretty cool because of the laser weapons, the awesome looking spacecraft, and, looking back on it now, the easy to understand plots. The robot, Twiki, I never really liked much--bee-dee, bee-dee, beep! As an adult, I wonder how this show ever got made. It looks like it was riding the success of Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica--all of which have had their share of silliness. Of course, absolutely nothing beats Buck Rogers in that department. When I left to go to school, our hero Buck and an official delegation from another star system were watching of a special Earth performance of--ROLLER DISCO!. If aliens ever do invade to try take over the planet, and we show them stuff like that, I am sure we could easily defeat them by taking their weapons while they were doubled over on the floor laughing hysterically.

24 August 2004
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