Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - The Complete Epic Series|
Actors: Gil Gerard, Erin Gray, Pamela Hensley, Henry Silva, Tim O'Connor
Director: Daniel Haller
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
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The entire series in one box! Excellent set
S. Phillips | Las Vegas, NV United States | 11/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The shows are uncut and look better than you've ever seen them. Thank goodness, they've also included the original theatrical version of the pilot (released to theatres several months before the series aired) which has the most hilarious open credits scenes ever.
Don't worry about the "broadast" version of the pilot not being included; it is mostly just an *edited version* of what was shown in theatres anyway. A brief scene or two were added in the NBC aired version, but these were brief and didn't amount to much. Yes, they would have made a nice extra, but I for one am glad they went with the *original theatrical version* in the set, as it came first anyway.
I never much cared for the second season, but it is also included here! The entire series in one set...who can ask for more?"
Like Buck Rogers... a blast from the 20th Century past
Dave Cordes | Denver, CO | 09/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I will never forget first seeing the theatrical movie at the Mall of the Bluffs in Colorado Springs the day after a huge blizzard in 1979. I had no idea what to expect. I was already obsessed with Star Wars and my Dad took us to see a movie called Buck Rogers which he described as being similar to Star Wars so I was already expecting droids and robots and all kinds of special effects.
I had immediately recognized the similarities in production design to that of Battlestar Galactica which was also produced by Glen Larson and I had enjoyed very much. I was not at all surprised when it became a weekly series. Although it was much campier than the mythic Galactica, it was still a guilty pleasure whose tone harkened back more to Classic Trek with Buck's weekly womanizing reminiscent of Captain Kirk. It became a guessing game as to which colorful flavor of spandex Colonel Wilma Deering would be wearing each week, but who could forget most of all the lovely Pamela Hensley as the exotic Princess Ardala! My favorite episodes were "Space Vampires" featuring the uninhibited Wilma and "Flight of the War Witch" featuring Julie Newmar from Batman. The series also had its fair share of cheeze with cornball episodes like "Space Rockers" and "Space Olympics" but are amusing to watch for the sake of 70's nostalgia. Season 2 was a dreadful attempt to re-tool the series to make it more like Star Trek as the emphasis shifted away from Earth to a space quest onboard The Searcher. Gone were Wilma's luscious spandex outfits and her role was minimized to that of recurring guest-star. However, Season 2 introduced Thom Christopher as Hawk making his impressive debut with the cool talon-clawed ship.
Minus one star for Universal's bad decision to nix the commentaries by Gil Gerrard and Erin Gray and episodic promos, interviews and documentaries would have been nice. I'm just happy to see that this show has finally been re-awakened from the 20th Century and I didn't have to wait 500 years to see it again."
Good, but not the 'complete' series...
L. Chisholm | Denton, TX United States | 11/17/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, its great that the 1970's Buck Rogers is out on DVD. I'm happy after all these years to see them again. Its been a long wait. I don't want to get into the series itself because many other reviews will focus on that subject. Although I will say that I love the vampire episode that was pretty creepy-Erin Grey did a great acting job in that one ("Space Vampire"), Buck's 'resurrected' 20th Century girlfriend episode-Gil Gerard's best ("A Dream for Jennifer"), and Buck being put on trial for supposedly causing the Earth holocaust episode ("Testimony of a Traitor").
All the TV episodes are present in their uncut form-50 min. per episode with the two hour special presentations in their original uncut form (except the TV version of the pilot--read below). Five discs, double sided. It is in Dolby digital 2.0 mono, although 5.1 would have been better. The sound is excellent, and the video is clear. It looks great! Better than previous versions on VHS. Buy it.
But be aware...
1. This is not the complete epic series. There is a theatrical version and TV version of the pilot of the series--same actors and footage, but both versions are unique in their own way. They both deserve to be seen and released on DVD.
When it was decided for Buck Rogers to be a weekly series, several new scenes were shot and added for the TV presentation (especially a final coda where Buck and Dr. Huer have a conversation about his future place in the 25th Century), re-shoots, and a few cut scenes (ex. King Draco for the TV version was cut out). So, the TV pilot version shown on television after the theatrical release is basically the same as the theatrical version with added scenes to bridge the way to a regular weekly series, and to balance out the original Buck Rogers portrayal by Gil Gerard to be less like a happy-go-lucky, Burt Reynolds-type that was popular at the time, to a more concerned and serious character.
For my time and money, the TV version is much superior to watch and enjoy than the theatrical version that is in this box set. Sci-Fi Channel still shows, albeit edited down, the TV version if you wish to try to see it and judge for yourself. I would like to have had both on this DVD set since there is a significant difference between the two. Sadly, this is not the case.
I am not sure if Universal even knew there was a difference, so I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt on this issue. Perhaps if enough people make some noise about it, they would be kind enough to release a separate DVD of the TV version. It would be appreciated for us completests out there. I'll buy it!!
BTW, having two versions is not unheard of being put out on DVD. Universal has TWO versions of the Battlestar Galactica pilot out on DVD--a TV pilot version with the complete box set, and the theatrical pilot version as a separate DVD. As with the Buck Rogers pilot, several added, cut, and re-shot scenes was presented for the TV airing of the Battlestar Galactica pilot. Each version is unique.
Please Universal, do the same courtesy for Buck Rogers and release the TV pilot version.
2. There is a booklet with summaries. I got mine. Apparently, some sets do not contain this booklet. Universal needs to rectify that. Contact them if you did not get one. Oh, and the contents for what episode is on what DVD is confusing.
3. No extras. None. Nada. For the price they are asking, why no extras? That's just unforgivable considering how well they treated the Battlestar Galactica set a year ago--commentary, retrospectives, and a deleted/alternate scene section for most of the episodes. I was very delighted and impressed! From what I understand, Gil Gerard and Erin Grey were in talks to do some extras, I think a commentary for the theatrical pilot version, and Universal backed out. No reason was given that I have heard of, but I think it had to do with money. There are plenty of actors and crew members that worked on the series that I suspect would have loved to have contributed to this DVD set if given the chance.
4. The transfers are good, but not as good as it could have been. There is visible dust from the film negatives, so I can only assume they did not clean it up for the DVD presentation (or they did a really bad job, or there was little they could do due to age). In any event, the picture is an improvement over all previous incarnations, but not up to DVD quality standards customers should expect from the price Universal is asking.
6. One strange item: I own the VHS version of the theatrical pilot version and I swear that it is in stereo. Perhaps it is my imagination, or it is 'enhanced' in some way, but its something that I noticed when I saw the DVD version last night. One in stereo(?), one mono. I'm not sure which is the authentic version.
I give it two stars just for existing. I enjoyed seeing it again! I don't regret buying it. Neither should yoou!
But no more stars because the TV version of the pilot is missing--thus not the 'complete epic series' they say it is; a screw up with the booklet for some DVD sets out there will cause some headaches; and absolutely no extras.
The Buck Rogers TV series deserved better that this slap 'n sell version just in time for the holiday shopping. Booo. Hisss. Its all in the details, Universal! The more you pay attention to the details, the more fans will love you and your products. Trust that truth and people will buy! I'm thankful this DVD set is out, but it could have been better.
Again, I'd like to implore Universal to consider releasing the TV version of the pilot as a separate DVD, ask Gil Gerard and Erin Grey to do the commentary, maybe present a documentary retrospective from cast and crew about the show, deleted/alternate scenes...call it a suppliment for this set...something to make things more complete and worthy for a series I grew up watching as a kid and enjoyed. I would buy it in a heartbeat.
ALL BUYERS BEWARE!!!!
Cedd Dogg | stockton, ca. United States | 03/10/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Most of these set's are defective! I returned 3 sets they all froze on disk 2 side b. and disk 5 on my first set had a dime size piece missing from it. what happend to quality control? universal need's to recall all of the sets. When I kept returning my set's they said that they had alot of returns on this set.and I see by reading the reviews that many more people are having this problem. Universal If you read this please do somthing about it."