July 11, 2007

Gratuitous Buck Blogging

“A Dream Of Jennifer” was probably the last really good episode of Season One of "Buck Rogers In The 25th Century". It was followed by two pretty cheesy offerings leading up to the season finale. The first was:

Ep. 1.21 “Space Rockers” (2/21/80)

Almost twenty-five years after Elvis first gyrated his pelvis and a few years before the first subliminal lyrics lawsuits started hitting the courts, the show gave us a vision of rock music warping the fragile egg-shell minds of the galaxy’s youth.

The music business apparently hasn't changed much in five hundred years. A self-important megalomaniac uses a widely-broadcast concert event to influence the young minds of the world and alter their behavior.

No, Al Gore and his "Live Earth" fiasco are long-gone by the 25th Century. This time around, Jerry Orbach (of "Law & Order" and "Dirty Dancing" fame) Orbach1.jpg plays Lars Mangros, a slimy record producer who manages the hit rock band "Andromeda". He has hatched a plot to show the concert all over the intergalactic airwaves from his Musicworld planet. The frequency of the broadcast contains hypnotic subliminal signals that cause them to riot and turn the galaxy's capitals into one big "Girls Gone Wild" episode.

Andromeda is so big, they don't even need an opening act. And they're as much a visual show as a musical one.


Yes, the plot is that lame. But then, listen to this disco/pop fusion and tell me you don't want to go out and break something afterwards:

Betcha couldn't even watch the whole thing. And what's with those light-up dance ropes? Guess you can use them to keep your partner from getting away. There is a bit of a continuity problem here though. In the first episode of the season, Buck encourages the band at Ardala's reception to play some "rock". The musicians seem to have no idea what he's talking about. At this point, however, the Andromeda craze seems to have been going on for a while.

Richard Moll.jpgThere were a couple of interesting guest spots besides Orbach. Richard Moll (Bull from "Night Court") plays his henchman. And the casting opportunities for "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island" must been drying up because we get an appearance Landers.jpg by Judy Landers (of the "Landers sisters", I always preferred Audrey myself) for the requisite cheesecake.

The band is totally unaware of Mangros' plot and they ultimately help Buck stop their manager from carrying it out. No one knows what happened to the band "Andromeda". They haven't done the VH-1 Behind the Music special for that one. But some of us parents of young chillun' will see some interesting similiarities in one of the Mouse House's latest creations:

Doodlebops, eh? Wonder what kind of subliminal messages could be coming from DeeDee, Rooney and Moe?

Episode Rating: Pass (Unless you really want to experience the off-the-scale cheese factor)

The next episode is so bad, it barely deserves a mention.

Ep. 1.22 “Buck's Duel To The Death” (3/20/80)

In a lot of ways, this episode is very much like "Planet of the Slave Girls" only without the coolness of Jack Palance. You have a tyrannical dictator called the Traybor who has special powers and plans an attack on the Defense Directorate. Only Buck can stop him because...get this...there is a prophecy that only a legendary 500 year old man called the Roshan can defeat him. Guess who they call in? Duh.

This episode is possibly one of the worst of Season One. It's so bad, this calls for a gratuitous Wilma photo:

erin_gray as wilma.jpg

There, I feel better now.

Episode Rating: Pass (No, really. Skip it. It's that bad.)

Next up: Julie Newmar inspires Buck to dress up in drag in "Flight of the War Witch" (just kidding about the cross-dressing thing).

The first post in this series can be found here.

Posted by Gary at July 11, 2007 02:30 PM | TrackBack