Sunday, 16 March 2014

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Rewatch Part 5

Return of the Fighting 69th

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
Episode 8

A freighter is stolen from the hanger of the Earth Defence Directorate and is chased down by a squadron comprised of Buck, Wilma and two younger pilots on a training mission. The stolen freighter gets away and it is revealed that it was carrying some recently discovered weaponised nerve gas agent due for destruction and we learn that two arms dealers with a grudge against Wilma and the Earth now have the capability to wipe all life from the face of the Earth. Corliss and Roxanne have their base within an asteroid field making it almost impossible to navigate with modern fighters and so in an inspired twist the idea is proposed to bring out of retirement Wilma's former instructor who along with his former squadron (Fighting 69th) using slower and older fighter/bombers to raid the base and destroy the nerve gas.
Buck and Wilma are captured during the mission and the remaining ships hide in the asteroids, within the base they team up with a deaf human slave girl (Alicia played by Katherine Wiberg) who helps them to escape just prior to the base being destroyed by the relics of the Directorate.
Never too old to fly
First off I didn't buy a freighter could outrun Starfighters even with modifications, lets not even get into how it got into another star system. Once again we meet some fighter pilots who are simply not even close to being the best of the best, they were not professional and ultimately downright stupid. Interesting to see that Earth humans are slaves in some areas of the galaxy and that yes there is another spy in the directorate, how else would they know about the nerve agent and it's transportation. A good use of the bar scene from the last episode, painted yes but the same and Wilmas nick name being Dizzy Dee, never was going to be Double D was it but she's still rocking those oh so tight pants. There was some good interaction between Wilma and her former instructor who she had to force into retirement,  Peter Graves played Major Noah Cooper and it was a good touch to have what could have been a filming model used as a prop. Corliss and Roxanne were wonderfully over the top, both scarred and damaged after their ship had burnt and crashed after Wilma brought them down a few years previously.
Corliss and Roxanne
Good to know that sign language doesn't change in 500 years even though Alicia acts rather recklessly but it's perhaps a part of the story that added some depth and gave us the extra happy ending yet for all that it's pure nonsense scifi when it comes to the attack on the base. Spaceships acting like they are craft dependent upon gravity and lift to fly but in the spirit of many a story we get the big payoff with a little twist to just delay the cheering the writers expected of us:)
A rather good episode, very good if often used central plot and cheesy enough to make you smile without the need to condemn the episode from the couch.

Return of the Fighting 69th IMDB

Unchained Woman

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
Episode 9

Buck once again goes undercover for the Earth Directorate in an attempt to remove a prisoner from a prison facility on a world with no set extradition treaty with the Earth. The woman Jen Burton played by Jamie Lee Curtis was the girlfriend of the space pirate Malary Pantera and they believe she will know the identity of his source within the directorate who is supplying the shipping information allowing him to attack the convoys. The escape goes well but the bad guys thanks to their spy know of the plan and capture Wilma while Buck and Jen have to deal with a very very driven andorid guard who just doesn't know when to quit.
Big on Red
So a prison break story, had for a second the hint of a tale of turmoil within a women's correctional facility but wasn't to be yet who are the bad guys? Wilma and company illegally seize a spaceship, stun the android guard and remove the prisoner to allow Buck to take his place, they then engineer a explosive and break out again from a legal facility. It was also a little obvious who the spy within the Directorate was, he came across all shifty right from the get go but at least we had the writing and delivery to support his existence and ultimately his reveal and capture. Credit to the android guard who really has a boner for Buck, ignores dozens of escaping prisoners to follow Buck and Jen and then take on the whole town it seemed and yes a good use of an old western set on a studio backlot. The young Jamie was full of beans, a snug outfit and buns of steel when dragged covered in sand from the clutches of the sand eel (?) and lets not forget watching get on all fours facing away from the camera, oh my:)
A nice set piece as the wall exploded and the android raided the party, lucky for Wilma and Buck but a little silly to see that just removing the prison bracelet was also that was required to fool this obviously advanced android. I did laugh myself silly as Buck threw away his blaster and proceed to fight hand to hand, granted it looked good but come on.
Unchained Woman again it had it's moments, a little slow and drawn out in places but the eye candy was rather impressive, the android guard very Terminator and we had a excellent performance by Robert Cornthwaite as the Ambassador.
Who hired the stripper then?
Unchained Woman IMDB

Just Because.

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