Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Extended EditionFeatured
It includes extensive background information in the form of a feature-length 2nd audio track of conversations with Gerard, Gray, and Silla; and written interviews with creators Larson, Stevens, and director Haller.
To keep the vibe of disco-Buck going after you watch this edit, songs from the late 1970s are added separately as an homage to the movie and TV series.
Audio: dual mono (title song in stereo)
Subtitles: English subtitles
- Conversations with Gil Gerard, Erin Gray, Felix Silla as full-length 2nd audio track (from Dragon Con 2017, Pensacon 2019, Awesome Con 2016).
- Interviews with Glen Larson, Leslie Stevens, Daniel Haller (separate PDFs).
- “Songs for the Movie & TV Series, an homage to Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” (separate audio).
The theatrical version contains 5 minutes of material not used in the TV version:
+ Different Conrad opening narration.
+ The “sexy” dream-sequence opening credits.
+ Buck has a longer talk with Wilma before going to the irradiated old city.
+ Buck calls Wilma “ballsy”.
+ When Wilma comes after Buck in old Chicago, she has her soldier stun Buck. She says “Captain, you got away once, but not this time. Lieutenant?” and he shoots Buck. The words “time. Lieutenant?” and the moment the soldier points the gun and pulls the trigger, are included in this theatrical version but (erroneously) cut in the TV version.
+ Kane talks with Huer at the dance party.
+ Wilma kisses Buck [different version].
+ Twiki says that he’s "freezing his ball-bearings off".
+ Buck comments that the Draconian uniforms aren't Gucci.
+ Buck kicks Tiger-Man in the balls near the end of the film. The TV version cut the actual kick: it shows Tiger-Man facing off with Buck then suddenly howling in pain.
+ Kane’s communication with Emperor Draco. The scene was cut from the TV version, Draco was not seen at all in the series.
+ Wilma gushes to Buck after the final battle.
The TV version contains 15 minutes not used in the theatrical version:
+ The interior of Buck's apartment.
+ Buck has two talks with Theo about what happened in the past 500 years. After the second one, he goes to sleep.
+ The first part of Buck's walk into the irradiated area of old Chicago.
+ Dr Huer pleads with the computer council to stay Buck's verdict.
+ Princess Ardala and Kane are seen scheming a bit more.
+ Wilma kisses Buck [different version]. The two versions have been merged, losing minimal text.
+ After the final battle, Princess Ardala and Kane are seen bickering a bit more.
+ Buck makes his apartment "homey".
+ The films ends with Dr Huer offering Buck a job.
- First a text page, with images, about Buck Rogers from 1928 to 1979.
- We open on Buck's freezing accident in his shuttle in 1987 (heavily trimmed flashback from s2 episode "The Guardians"), as a pre-opening-credits scene.
- The opening and closing song are now in true stereo (instead of the blu-ray's dual-mono), using the Intrada CD.
- Twiki has two more lines of text. Two bidi-bidi's had silence after them while Felix Silla continued to move his head and arms as if Twiki was still speaking. Now he is. For part of season 2, Mel Blanc's voice was replaced by the very different sounding Bob Elyea. It sounds wrong! To fix Twiki's voice in those five adventures, I extracted all of Mel Blanc's Twiki from the episodes (435 lines of text). After that effort, it was easy to find two relevant lines to insert here.
- I've inserted a part of Buck's dream from s2e3 The Guardians. I always felt that Buck's grief over his parents missed an emotional set-up for the viewer. Now he dreams of his mom right before going into Anarchia where he searches for her grave. The point-counterpoint works very nicely. The trimmed dream isn't about "Buck being too proud" (the main point of the flashback in The Guardians), but focuses on "You might die on your flight" (a prescient referral to the 1986 Challenger explosion).
- I merged the scene of Wilma kissing Buck, trimming a few lines to make her stronger and less of a fawning school-girl. She's no longer "so mixed up" instead focusing on having "been trained for leadership".
- The bluray lacks subtitles, those were edited from the old DVDs.
It's part of every sci-fi or fantasy fanatic's early upbringing to be educated on not just the fiction giants like Buck Rogers, but on the Glen A. Larson library. I've seen just about all of them, and the first series of Buck Rogers was a highlight of repeat afternoons on BBC TWO in the UK during the late 90s. I wound up recording the theatrical version of the pilot around 1998, so I was quite versed in it. My memory of the TV version is a little more distant, but luckilly this edit retains the footage that might have slipped my mind.
There's also the inspired choice of using footage from season two episodes that gives us little extra 20th Century Buck before the accident overtakes him, as well as repurposing a dream sequence to tie in better with the themes of longing for home and losing someone before, and beyond, their time. I really dug this thematic choice for the narrative, and it's placement in the story timeline is well thought out.
About the only niggle I can find are the double credits, this occurs for a couple of names due to using footage from the TV version and comes directly after the credits used in the titles of the theatrical version...but I imagine things like this cannot be helped as a lot of the set-up for the rest of the episode that plays over those credits can't be cut, 'least it lead to a most confusing cut.
That issue aside, this is an action packed nostalgic flavour of 70s punch, and if, like me, you grew up on this, you'll be watching and wishing we could have a few centuries of life left to reach this one.