April 27, 2007

Gratuitous Buck Blogging

The series hit a high note with “Space Vampire” and immediately took a nose dive into two awful episodes, the first of which was:

Ep. 1.15 “Happy Birthday, Buck” (1/10/80)

Ok, here’s the deal. Buck is approaching a mid-millennium crisis. He’s about to turn 534. Actually, he’s really only hitting the big 3-0 but when you factor in all that time frozen in space…

Buck is feeling a bit lonely for the past he left behind and starts acting all mopey. Sorry, but I don’t think self-pity is very becoming for an action hero. So to cheer him up, his friends decide to through him a surprise party. To get him out his apartment so they can set everything up they send him on a mission to protect a courier named Raylyn Derren.

Raylyn is played by “Dallas” hottie Morgan Brittany. So far, so good. Right?

morgan brittany.bmp
No, not Morgan Fairchild. The other Morgan.

Wrong. While the luscious Brittany is a welcome guest star the plot is gob-smackingly awful. First, the whole courier premise. Apparently, in the 25th century the best way to send information is to implant it in a person’s brain and retrieve it with a special machine. This is what Raylyn does for a living. I guess the geniuses of the future haven’t figured out how to digitally encrypt an email and hit “send”. Unless this is a high-paying gig, I find it hard to believe that a woman who looks like Morgan Brittany can’t find something a little less dangerous to do than to have her brain monkeyed-around with on a regular basis.

Raylyn is carrying vital information about Dr. Huer’s schedule and awookie man.JPG psychopath named Cornell Traeger tries to capture Raylyn to get it. After spending fifteen years imprisoned for espionage, he’s escaped from his captors (disguised as a wookie a transport pilot) and he’s looking for a little revenge on Huer. Why? He sees the Defense Director as being responsible for his capture. How? Because it was Huer who sent him on the mission. Hookay. Whatever.

Traeger picked up a little trick during his time away. The properties of the planet gave him the power to change matter with a touch of his hands. So he plans on turning Dr. Huer into a ceramic statue or something stupid like that.

birthday buck.jpg
Traeger does a "half-assed" job killing this dude.

Honestly, the rest of the story just gets stupider and it’s not even worth detailing.

Instead, here’s a gratuitous clip of Wilma in her spandex cat suit blowing up balloons. Sweet! Go ahead and watch. I’ll wait.

Episode rating: Pass (maybe one of the worst episodes from season one. Buck should have spent his birthday at an intergalactic strip club instead).

The episode that followed, though, really cheeses me off:

Ep. 1.16 “A Blast For Buck” (1/17/80)

Ok, plain and simple this is clip show. You know, one of those shows that have almost zero production value because all they do is show you scenes from past episodes. This shows never have any value. I recall “Friends” doing this “remember the time when we…” crap at least once per season. They probably should have called it "A Break For Buck" because I'm sure he spent all of one day filming the few new scenes for the episode which all took place on the "Dr. Huer's office" set. Gil Gerard was probably out shooting a few rounds of golf the rest of the week.

The premise is that a mysterious object is beamed (yes, beamed just like in Star Trek) into Dr. Huer’s office and a riddle is downloaded to his view screen. The object could be a WMD for all they know. To try and find out the meaning of the riddle and identify its sender, Buck is subjected to…get this…a mind probe. Yeah, you heard right. This is a convenient plot device that allows the show to get away with reliving “memories” by using scenes from prior episodes.

Now, I’ll give the writers a C+ for effort in creating this idea (which will be used two more times before the end of the series). But here’s my biggest problem – when you consider that all of Buck’s “memories” are seen from the third party point of view of the camera – the idea falls apart. How many memories do you have in which you see yourself from an outside source?

Exactly. An even bigger goof is when they hook Wilma up to the mind probe and she recalls scenes in which she wasn’t even present. Dumb.

Yeah, I know I need to lighten up.

Here’s the punch line, though. In the end, the sender of the message reveals gary coleman.JPGhimself to be the Gary Coleman character from “Cosmic Whiz Kid”. It was all just a little New Year’s Eve prank, you see. He appears via a video transmission, which he probably filmed while on the set of “Diff’rent Strokes”. So this little bastard breaches Terran security and makes what is essentially a terror threat against the Defense Director and it’s all a big yuck. Ha! Nice.

Episode rating: Pass (If "Happy Birthday Buck" was one of the worst episodes of the season, this one is definitely in the running for the worst. did I mention I hate “clip shows”?)

Next up: “Ardala Returns”. She’s baaaaack!

The first post in this series can be found here.

Posted by Gary at April 27, 2007 03:00 PM | TrackBack

You know, I put up with these Buck posts of yours, and I've never commented on one... until now.

I simply must point out, however, that the entire franchise WAS THE MOST IDIOTIC MAJOR NETWORK SCI-FI SERIES OF ALL FRACKING TIME! Worse even than the original BSG, which was plenty crapified and stupidiferous.

I was in high school when Buck ran, and I absolutely, positively detested it. And, I was one of those dedicated sci-fi nerds who ran home from school my freshman and sophmore year instead of taking the bus, because? If I ran home I wouldn't miss the first five minutes of the Star Trek original series re-runs.

But please, continue to embarrass yourself. I do enjoy it.

Posted by: Hucbald at April 27, 2007 10:37 PM

You know, I was think about ending this this series at the end of the first season.

I just decided to go the whole way...Hawk and all.

Posted by: Gary at April 28, 2007 08:48 AM