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‘Buck Rogers' Sci-Fi Show Hits TV DVD

16 Nov, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE) last week paid homage to the Nov. 16 DVD release of the “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” TV series with an event at Hollywood, Calif.'s Egyptian Theatre.

The $89.98 five-disc boxed includes the theatrical release and all TV episodes.

The 89-minute TV pilot (1979), starring Gil Gerard as William “Buck” Rogers, Erin Gray as Col. Wilma Deering and Pamela Hensley as Princess Ardala, was released theatrically and followed by 31 TV episodes over two years.

Following a screening, a panel, including creator Glen Larson and cast members Gray, Tim O'Connor and Eric Server, reminisced about a show that was both groundbreaking in its non-CGI visual effects and yet saddled with limited budgets.

“We didn't intend this as a TV pilot,” said Larson, producer of such TV hits as “Magnum P.I.,” “The Fall Guy,” “Knight Rider” and “Battlestar Galactica.” “Our goal was to play a human drama in space. It's always a problem with sci-fi to get beyond the core audience.”

Gray was pleasantly surprised at the favorable response she got from women for her character's initial strong image and lamented her diminished “womanly power in space” as the show progressed in addition to its lack of “tongue-in-cheek” humor in the second season. “I felt a bit like Daisy Queen in space,” she said.

The 54-year-old actress, who just finished filming a thriller with Stacy Keach and Erika Eleniak, said she was disappointed at the lack of bonus material involving cast and crew — a staple on most special edition DVD releases. “There was a lack of communication,” she said.

A USHE spokesperson declined comment.

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