Stargate Archives

Monday, 5 May 2014

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Rewatch Part 6

Planet of the Amazon Women


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.

Cosmic Wiz Kid


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.

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.

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