Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is an American science fiction adventure television series produced by Universal Studios and developed by Glen A. Larson, based upon the character Buck Rogers created in 1928 by Philip Francis Nowlan that had previously been featured in comic strips, novellas, a serial film and on television and radio.
The series aired in the USA on NBC from 20 September, 1979 to 16 April, 1981. There are 37 hour-long episodes in two seasons.
Buck Rogers originally aired in the South Africa on TV1 in the early 1980s. It was dubbed into Afrikaans as Buck Rogers in die 25ste Eeu, with English simulcast on Radio 2000.
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century premiered on TopTV's Fox Retro channel on Thursday 12 August 2010, at 21h20. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 2 premiered on Fox Retro on Wednesday 15 September 2010, at 21h20. New episodes broadcast daily, on weekdays. There are 13 episodes in the second season.
Fox Retro Repeats
Tue-Fri: 04h25, 10h55
Saturdays: 04h25, 10h55, 18h50 (double bill)
Sundays: 03h10 (double bill), 10h55 (double bill)
In the Season 2 premiere, Buck, Wilma and Twiki set off into deep space aboard the Searcher, a starship on a mission to find the lost tribes of Earth - humans who fled to the stars after a nuclear holocaust that all but destroyed the planet.
The Searcher encounters a severely-damaged spacecraft with one survivor, who tells them of a savage attack by a bird-man named Hawk.
Searcher sets course for the planet where it is believed Hawk lives, and Buck soon becomes involved in a desperate battle of wits and piloting skills with Hawk.
However, Hawk's mate, who was a passenger in Buck's ship, is wounded in the battle.
The first version of Buck Rogers to appear on television debuted on ABC on 15 April, 1950 and ran until 30 January, 1951.
In 1979, Buck Rogers was revived and updated for a prime-time television series for NBC Television. The pilot film was first shown in cinemas in 1979, and good box-office returns led NBC to commission a full series, which started in September 1979.
The series starred Gil Gerard as Captain William 'Buck' Rogers, a US Air Force pilot who commands Ranger 3, a space shuttle launched in 1987. Due to a freak combination of gases, he is frozen in space for 500 years and is revived in the 25th century.
There he learns that the Earth was united following a devastating nuclear war in the late 20th century, and is now under the protection of the Earth Defence Forces.
Co-starring were Starfighter pilot Colonel Wilma Deering and Dr Elias Huer, head of Earth Defence Forces. New characters added included a comical robot named Twiki, who becomes Buck's personal assistant, and Dr. Theopolis, a computer brain Twiki carries around.
The series ran for two seasons on NBC. Broadcast of the second season was delayed until 1981 due to an actors' strike. When the series returned, it had been revised, with Buck and Wilma being assigned to a deep-space exploration vessel, the Searcher, tasked with tracking down the lost colonies of humanity.
The retooled series was cancelled at the end of the 1980-1981 season, but remains a cult favourite 25 years later.
In the series premiere: In the year 1987, NASA launched space probe Ranger III, with astronaut William 'Buck' Rogers, on a 5-month trip around the solar system.
However, the craft runs into a meteor storm, which disrupts its life support system and sends it into a long elliptical orbit of the Earth.
In the year 2491, Ranger III again approaches the Earth, and is intercepted by the alien flagship Draconia, which is on a peace mission to Earth.
Aboard the Draconia, Buck is revived by Princess Ardala and her second-in-command, Kane, whose true plan is to attack and conquer Earth.
Buck is sent to Earth with a hidden homing device, which is soon discovered by Earth's Defense Directorate.
Buck is found guilty of treason and sentenced to death, however at the last minute a plan is devised to send Buck to infiltrate the Draconians in an effort to prove his innocence.
Note: these broadcast times are for the run of the show on Fox Retro only. Broadcast details for the original run on the SABC are not available.
Season 1 (24 episodes)
Premiere: 12 August 2010 | Finale: 14 September 2010 | Weekdays, 21h20
Season 2 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 15 September 2010 | Finale: 1 October 2010 | Weekdays, 21h20