Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (50's)
Synopsis of Saturday Morning Show
Futuristic hero Buck Rogers was first introduced as Anthony Rogers in an issue of the comic book Amazing Stories. Shortly thereafter, he appeared in his own comic strip with the nickname “Buck” in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, the very first science fiction comic strip.
The story revolved around a US Air Force pilot who was knocked unconscious in a cave and awoke 500 years later. Named captain of Earth’s military forces, Buck led the fight against the Mongols, an alien race bent on world domination.
A Buck Rogers radio serial appeared in 1932 and kept true to the characters and premise of the comic strip. Around the time the radio show ended (1939), a movie serial of the heroic man of the future was made with Buster Crabbe (formerly the star of a movie serial featuring comic strip rival Flash Gordon).
Buck Rogers made his way to television in 1950 in an attempt to ride the coattails of Ding Dong School and His Video Rangers. The new Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was set in the year 2430. Niagara Falls was now the capital of the world and the headquarters of a secret science lab from which Buck battled futuristic villains.
The confines of a television studio and a live broadcast proved to be too much for even this spacefaring hero to overcome. In the one year that the show was on the air, two different actors played Buck.
Buck once again returned to television in 1979 with Gil Gerard in the title role. This time Buck was a NASA space shuttle pilot whose life support systems went screwy. He again awoke in the future to find Wilma Deering and Dr. Huer, as well as a cute and comical robot named Twiki (voiced by Mel Blanc).
Release History4/15/50 - 1/30/51 ABC
TV Sub Categorieslive-action
TV StudioUPA, Columbia
Television CastBuck Rogers(1950) Kem Dibbs
Buck Rogers(1950-1951) Robert Pastene
Lieutenant Wilma Deering Lou Prentis
Dr. Huer Harry Sothern
Killer Kane Sanford Bickard
Black Barney Harry Kensington