Sunday, 25 May 2014

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Rewatch Part 9

A Blast For Buck

S1E15

A mysterious object is beamed into Dr Huer's office followed by a cryptic riddle which seems to relate to Buck and has ominous implications and then the other 45 minutes is a clip show.
Yes a clip show in the first season, never really a good thing but I suppose it would have been a budget or time issue and to be honest I fast forwarded through most of it and the bits I watched were nothing special. That said I think Twiki was in fine form "Killed by a Yo-Yo what a way to go" and the has it really been 11 months since the Happy Birthday, Buck episode or did they just get aired in the wrong order:)

IMDB

Ardala Returns

S1E16

Well it's never dull when Ardala make an appearance on the show and no question Pamela Hensley not only looks fantastic but vamps the role up wonderfully. Anyhow in this episode a new Hatchet fighter is being tested and the Draconian pilots are unable to control it and Ardala suggests getting Buck Rogers to test fly the fighter, not as mad as suggestion as it sounds. Meanwhile Buck has been given a Ping Pool table yes you read that right and well it doesn't quite fit the bill for either game but the fun is interrupted when a vessel is detected in the solar system and a remote probe indicates it has a human on board and it was launched in the 20th century. Buck and Twiki investigate but it's a trap and he is taken to the Draconian flagship where once again Ardala fawns all over him but the reveals their cyborg/cloning technology and the plans to create duplicates of Buck who can then fly the new Hatchets and attack the cities of Earth.
Of course just like the Star Trek episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" the duplicates are not quite right and the initial attack on New Chicago targeting Huer, Wilma and Dr. Theopolis fails but it's upto Buck himself to thwart the attack on New Phoenix by the evil robots.





No apologies for so much Ardala  
Not surprisingly there wasn't a lot of difference between the old and new Hatchet fighters, budgets for models would have been tight but no question it seemed the Draconians has upped their game when faced with Starfighters flown by more competent pilots. For an empire I find it strange that the loss of seven test pilots would be an issue, perhaps it shows a softer side to Ardala which is an undertone to this episode but the idea to make use of Buck makes a lot of sense, he did make the difference during the first attack on Earth. Love the Ping Pool table, the scene was well written and played for laughs and even the new model/effects for the "earth ship" was well done, laughed out loud when the dummies head fell off:) It was awfully convenient that the first of the duplicates was wearing the same outfit as Buck, saved time and money and more importantly probably make filming the scenes so much faster and Twiki once again hitting the right notes with "Once a dummy always a dummy". 
It's interesting how they have played Ardala being so obsessed with Buck, granted he is probably totally different from all the men she has had contact with before and has proven himself both intelligent, capable, honourable and worthy of a Draconian princess but surely there must come a time when enough is enough. On the upside so many possibilities for her with so many variants of Buck running around the ship, at the very least a few happy hours spent in her chambers just having the time of her life but even this isn't good enough. Ardala herself realises how pathetic she has become by her desires for Buck and as the tears falls you've got to feel something for her. 
Ok not quite sure when armed with a small nuclear device the Buck sent to New Chicago didn't get the job done as soon as his targets where in the city or why it took so long for anyone to notice how weird he was acting. On the flipside real Buck acting like one of the duplicates worked well and in the grand tradition no copy can rival the talents of courage of the real thing as the Draconian attack is once again foiled but it seems every other episode has the Earth protected by different means and sometimes not at all.

This wasn't a bad episode at all, yes serious eye candy as Ardala goes through many a costume and some serious undertones of what is going on behind closed doors but it is let down a little by how poor the duplicates where in the field, mind you Kane did say the first was a prototype because Ardala rarely shows patience when her wishes are not fulfilled immediately.

IMDB


Dinosaur 13 Official Trailer

Now this looks like a fascinating story.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Rewatch Part 8

Space Vampire

S1E13

In Space Vampire and yes those were the days when even the titles were cheesy we have a Buck and Wilma going on a kind of vacation and dropping off Twiki at a repair station which gets hit by a rogue freighter. The crew of the ship are dead but evidence indicates they were infected with the EL7 virus which causes fever, hallucinations and mental issues and then strange things start to happen. As the station personnel start to go mad Buck finds evidence that the ship had been invaded by a mythical entity but despite all the strange goings on Buck is believed to be suffering from the virus until it's almost too late.

Yes I Know
Ok then talk about an excellent example of it's time, this was a fun episode but a bad episode it really was. Lets begin with Buck and Wilma going on a trip, about time but it seemed strange Twiki needed to go off world for some maintenance even though they were joking it was due to all his fun and games with his "friend" from last weeks episode. Wilma smoking hot as always and maybe an old flame on the station in the form of Commander Royko (Christopher Stone) but that's cut short when the freighter comes through the stargate on a direct vector towards the station, now who in their right mind places a fixed station in the flight path of a stargate exit, you are really asking for trouble. Now I wouldn't even have bothered trying to show the collision, just stick with the shaky cam and actors throwing themselves around because the slow mo model work really didn't look that good. Anyhow the freighters air becomes mixed with the station and the presence of the EL7 virus clouds the arrival of this alien life form which is capable of controlling people and he sets his sights on Wilma in the classic Dracula plot, don't blame the guy one bit.
Oh yes
I liked how they presented this "Vorvon" via the use of an energy based entity and then the physical form although the makeup was a little well never mind:) Wilma once controlled took the hotness up a notch although the reverb in her voice would be a little off putting but so much fun seeing her "vamping" towards Buck. The episode saved it's best special effects for the shuttle and it's escape pod, that looked very nice even though the whole gate to a sun seemed bloody dangerous to me but we'll let it go.


Happy Birthday, Buck

S1E14

Buck is feeling very depressed, it seems life is too easy and too uniform for him despite all his adventures and well yes all the ladies he has met this past year so Dr. Huer asks him to escort the courier Raylyn Derren (Morgan Brittany) on her assignment which gives them time to set up a surprise party for Buck. Meanwhile Cornell Traeger (Peter MacLean) after being imprisoned for 15 years by an alien species escapes and returns to earth to exact vengeance on Dr Huer armed with his new "powers" and first things first, find the courier get the security information and then strike but well he didn't plan for Buck being along.
Tamara Dobson as Dr. Delora Bayliss
Well it was good to hear of New Detroit and have the episode deal with the city even if only in a casual way, wasn't quite sure if using couriers and mind probes made sense given it seemed just as easy to get information if you have the know how as shown by the antics of Dr. Bayliss who was wonderfully played by Tamara Dobson. Traeger was a little over the top and so many things wrong with the plot elements surrounding his imprisonment and getting his special powers, maybe more daft than the space vampire:)
I liked the idea that psychiatry is still alive and well in 500 years although it seems most is done by machine and even then in an open environment, not exactly conductive to privacy but hey lots of screen time for some for the lovely lady extras. I laughed quite a bit with Huer and Wilma with the ballons and certinaly with the pointy hat and deja-vu with the Dagger of the Mind scenario using the mind probe machine.
Buck gets THE best presents
Happy Birthday, Buck had some good bits but I was tuning out for the most part, it just wasn't that exciting to watch.






The Flash - Extended Trailer

Well this has got to be better than some of the shows The CW have offered up this season just gone:)

Interstellar Trailer

I get a very definite vibe similar to some of the classic scifi Earth is doomed features from this movie with of course all the modern flare and style you would come to expect, cracking cast as well.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Rewatch Part 7

Escape from Wedded Bliss

S1E12

An alien vehicle positions itself over New Chicago and then Princess Ardala turns up with a simple ultimatum, give her Buck Rogers to be her husband and she will not destroy every city on the planet. The council are not co-operative and Buck goes on a camping trip but eventually he goes to her warship and to prove himself he has to fight Tigerman and then he will become the husband of Ardala who is due to take the crown of the Empire from her father. 

Well Ardala returns which wasn't a surprise and no doubt Pamela Hensley is very easy on the eye and does ham it up wonderfully as the princess who really has few limits but I can't help but think if she had come to Buck openly and yes pointed out the consequence then being husband to the new Empress would not only have protected Earth but been a pretty good life, she is after all totally in to him. Nice to see Kane return albeit played by another actor and of course Tigerman:)
That said I don't think we needed the roller disco show, was there really a time when that was considered a good idea and lets hope Ardala has learnt her lesson, sleeping with Buck means literally sleeping as he drugs her and has his own adventures.
Loved Twiki at the end wearing the headphones and listening to Meatloaf but overall a silly story with one or two good bits like the orbit weapons platform which reminded me of a Xindi in Enterprise a little too much:)

Cruise Ship to the Stars

S1E13

Miss Cosmos the most genetically perfect human in the galaxy is on a cruise and becomes the target of a woman who has telekinetic powers, Buck becomes her security chief and Wilma goes undercover to ferret out the thieves using valuable jewels as a lure. It turns out that the thief is able to morph into another human who then is unaware of her other halves activity, the perfect disguise but it's the innocent part of her that eventually approaches Buck and opens up the investigation revealing the truth.

Dorothy Stratten
Ok a Miss Cosmos in the 25th century sounds ridiculous but at least they have the twist that it's based on the persons genetic profile but time has moved on and needing her actual body to gain access to the code in our age of cloning and manipulation seems a little strange. It also begs the question how has any human who is the product of a nuked earthed can have anything close to a perfect genetic makeup or is Miss Cosmos not human human even though she would kinda have to be in the context of the story.
Wilma was rocking the heiress look, great legs on that woman and quite rare to see her without the skin tight outfits she normally wears and a nice touch to have the tragic Dorothy Stratten as Miss Cosmos, one of the beauties of her era who was murdered for who she was.

A couple of average scifi episodes, ok for the time they were released but fall way short of what would be required for scifi today.


Monday, 5 May 2014

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Rewatch Part 6

Planet of the Amazon Women

S1Ep10

The Earth and Ruatha are in negotiations to maintain resource rights to the planet Madrea as it's a major supplier of Barbanite which is used by Earth in it's power generators. While Buck is patrolling an assigned safe route he answers a distress call and "rescues" two women and returns their ship to the planet Zantia which has a very xenophobic attitude to outsiders particularly Earth ships. Buck is entertained but becomes suspicious and finds himself taken captive and offered up for auction to the dominant female population. Wilma investigates Buck's disappearance and infiltrates Zantia and discovers the young woman who is now his "mate" intends to kidnap the ambassador of Ruatha and use him as leverage to get the prisoners of war (mostly men) who were captured when Madrea and Zantia last went to war.
Space Tarts

Feast your eyes Ladies

Planet of the Amazon Women has issues especially when viewed from the mindset of the 21st century viewer, the whole idea of the women of Zantia not wanting anyone to know their men were missing and making them vulnerable is rather silly but it's from an era when the western powers did not exploit their female population for front line military purposes. It's also a bit strange that so many men had been captured, did they give themselves up en-masse to get away from these women because it really doesn't make sense. The Barbanite, ok resources are always at the centre of political and military conflicts but we know the Earth has fusion power planets and this episode really doesn't explain what this mineral is useful for? That said it was good to see the daughter of the Zantia prime minister leading a pseudo rebellion which at least gives us one strong woman with integrity and courage which just about saves the story when balanced against the jealous woman and the space bimbos.
I loved the dedicated "Distress" alarm in the Starfighter cockpit and Buck turning his back on a dinner date with Wilma for these two women, granted looked a sure thing but come on it's Wilma she's worth any number of space hot pants wearing damsels in distress. For the lady viewers Buck did get to display his "manly" torso and the quip that he was worth more than was being bid, mind you not sure making light of the sex slave trade is something we would these days.
I was rather to surprised to see that DC Fontana had co-wrote this episode under a pseudonym but I guess a job is a job.
IMDB  

Cosmic Wiz Kid

S1E11


Hieronymus Fox the president of the planet Genesia is kidnapped by a criminal syndicate controlled by Roderick Zale (Ray Walston) and his bodyguard Lt. Dia Cyrton goes to Earth for help since just like Buck it seems Hieronymus is from the 20th century. While Wilma undertakes an undercover mission to rescue the President Buck gets involved with Dia and together they lead the charge and the fun and games commence. 
Ray Walston aka Boothby

A very young Gary Coleman
Cosmic Wiz Kid benefited greatly from a fantastic performance by Gary Coleman long before he really become a major TV star on Different Strokes although the humour did drop into a stereotypical elements of African American culture that was common in the media back then. It was good to Ray Walston as the bad guy, he always offers a dry and controlled performance and his role choices work with that delivery as seen many years later on Star Trek. I couldn't really buy into another "frozen" dude from the 20th century although they did spice it up with a back story and a different technique to get from there to here. The K9 type robot was wonderfully sarcastic, the matte painting of the station has been used before in the show and was retasked for an episode of Star Trek TNG years later and I'm sure that electric buggy was repainted for use by the Banana splits:)
I was disappointed that the energy barrier was only about 8 or 9 feet high and surely they should have tested it before Buck boosted Dia over it, I guess this planet is lower than standard gravity and on that subject the assassin from a high grave planet, nice idea but didn't work very well at all. I did laugh out loud at the reference to a Ken doll and the assassin calling himself a Terminator.
IMDB



Overall both of these episode were weak but the guest stars for both were competent and Gary Coleman really shined but average episodes at best.




Saturday, 3 May 2014

Carry On Cleo

I picked up one of my favourite Carry On movies yesterday on Blu-ray, I say picked up but I clicked on a pre-order via Amazon UK a few months ago and the movie arrived yesterday:)
Carry On Cleo is set against the turmoil, brutality and betrayal of the clash between the Roman and Egyptian empires with little old Britain a resource for slaves and other things, especially from Bristol for some reason, oh the subtle humour of the time:)


Carry On Cleo