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[[caption-width-right:300:[[Franchise/StarWars Does this remind you of anything?]]]]

->''"In the year 1987, NASA launched the last of America's deep space probes. Aboard this compact starship, a lone astronaut, Captain William "Buck" Rogers, was to experience cosmic forces beyond all comprehension. In a freak mishap, his life support systems were frozen by temperatures beyond imagination. ''Ranger 3'' was blown out of its planned trajectory into an orbit one thousand times more vast, an orbit which was to return Buck Rogers to Earth, 500 years later."''
-->-- '''second season opening narrative'''

'''''Buck Rogers in the 25th Century''''' is an American science-fiction series that ran from 1979 to 1981. The feature-length {{pilot movie}} was released theatrically several months before the series itself aired, inspired by the success of ''Franchise/StarWars'' two years earlier. The film and series were based upon the ComicStrip/BuckRogers character created by Philip Francis Nowlan that had been featured in comic strips and novellas since the 1920s, and on the CBS and Mutual radio networks, airing several times each week from 1932 to 1947.

The series starred Gil Gerard as Captain William "Buck" Rogers, a US Air Force pilot who commands ''Ranger 3'', a spaceship resembling the Shuttle that is launched in 1987. Because of a freak combination of gases, he is frozen in space for 504 years and is revived in the 25th century. There, he learns that the Earth was united following a devastating nuclear war in 1988, and is now under the protection of the Earth Defense Forces, headquartered in New Chicago. The latest threat to Earth comes from the spaceborne armies of the planet Draconia, who are planning an invasion. Aiding him are Col. Wilma Deering (Erin Gray), a Starfighter pilot, and Dr. Elias Huer, head of Earth Defense Forces, and a former star pilot himself.

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!!''Buck Rogers in the 25th Century'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* ActionGirl: Wilma Deering
* AfterTheEnd: The series proper takes place after a nuclear war in 1988.
* AlternateUniverse: The two-part episode "Flight of the War Witch".
* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: Subverted in "Hand of the Goral" where the Evil Alien puts Buck through a SadisticChoice, having to choose between saving Wilma Deering and Hawk (an alien from a ProudWarriorRace of birdmen). He chose Hawk because he guessed that the [[DistressedDamsel cowering Wilma]] was really a double put in by the Evil Alien, reasoning that the real Wilma Deering [[ActionGirl wouldn't have been such a wuss]]. When Buck makes his decision, [[spoiler:"Wilma" melts right down in front of him, into a puddle of smoking burnt stuff.]]
* AncientAstronauts: Part of Hawk's backstory; his race lived on Earth in the distant past until humans drove them into space.
* ArtificialIntelligence:
** The Computer Council, although the only member we got to see regularly was Dr. Theopolis.
** Also Twiki and Crichton.
* AscendedFanboy: Tim O'Connor as Dr. Huer.
* BadassGrandpa: All members of the title squadron in "Return of the Fighting 69th". Including one ''Badass Grandma''.
* BananaInTheTailpipe: Buck's master plan to foil Ardala's surprise attack on Earth in the pilot movie -- load missiles into the exhaust pipes of the Draconian fighter ships. A few seconds after takeoff... '''BOOM'''!
* BewareTheSuperman: A regular plot in the first season.
* BilingualDialogue: Twiki communicates in beedees as well as in English. Buck can eventually understand them, although initially he needs Dr. Theopolis to translate.
* BoxedCrook: After capturing Hawk in the second season premiere, he's effectively left in the custody of Buck and the crew of the ''Searcher''. Hawk agrees to cooperate in the hope that they might find other {{Lost Colon|y}}ies of his people.
* ByTheEyesOfTheBlind: The Vorvon in the episode "Space Vampire" could only be seen or heard by its intended victim.
* CanonDiscontinuity: A viewer who missed the opening episode could easily go the whole series without realizing there was a radioactive wasteland full of savages waiting just outside New Chicago. And that's just as well, perhaps.
* CaptainErsatz: Dr. Theopolis & Twiki for [[Franchise/StarWars C-3PO and R2-D2]].
* {{Chickification}}: Wilma lost a lot of her martial airs in the second season ReTool.
* ClipShow: The episode "A Blast for Buck".
* ClothingDamage / CarpetOfVirility: Gil Gerard's hirsute chest is displayed on more than one occasion.
* ColdSleepColdFuture
* ComicBookAdaptation: GoldKeyComics published an adaptation of the movie, followed by about 10 issues of original stories. It stands as the last TV series to be adapted by Gold Key, which used to get the rights to virtually every action-adventure TV series and sitcom on the air back in the 1960s.
* ComicBookMoviesDontUseCodenames: Killer Kane he's not. He's just plain Kane.
* CoolGate: The stargates [[Franchise/StargateVerse (no relation)]].
* CoolStarship:
** Hawk's bird-shaped spaceship.
** The ''Searcher'' from the second season.
* CoyGirlishFlirtPose: Wilma, on occasion.
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: The city of Oasis. New Chicago looks pretty sharp as well.
* DaddysLittleVillain: Princess Ardala of Draconia is at least as evil as her father Emperor Drako.
* DeathByOriginStory: Hawk's girlfriend Kourie. She shows up again in a hallucination in a later episode. Or possibly ''not'' a hallucination. The plot of that episode is that reality is coming apart at the seams. Or possibly the artifact they are transporting is only making them ''hallucinate'' that reality is coming apart at the seams. (No, it isn't better in context. It was the last episode of a series cancelled mid-season.)
* DefrostingIceQueen: Wilma Deering
* DomedHometown: New Chicago
* TheDragon: Tiger Man. (His name is a ShoutOut to the Martian Tiger Men of the original comic.) Later replaced by Panther Man.
* TheEmpire: The Draconian Empire.
* EnemyMine: Buck and Hawk, at the beginning of the second season. Hawk then joins the heroes.
* EvilDiva: In "Space Rockers", the music of the band Andromeda is used by their producer to drive the youth of the galaxy to riot in a bid for power.
* ExplosiveLeash
* ExtyYearsFromNow: Averted. Buck stays frozen for a non-round 504 years.
* EyeBeams: ODX from "Journey to Oasis" -- his are telekinetic and resemble lightning.
* FakeoutEscape: In "Flight of the War Witch", Buck, Princess Ardala and a Pendaran captive use this to get out of their cell. Buck and the captive use a CeilingCling to hide, while Princess Ardala simply hides under the bed.
* FanDisservice: In the "Space Rockers" episode: [[Series/LawAndOrder Lennie Briscoe]] and [[Series/NightCourt Bull]] in spandex. Good luck sleeping tonight.
* {{Fanservice}}:
** Erin Gray in spandex jumpsuits and miniskirts.
** Pamela Hensley in [[{{Stripperiffic}} even less]].
** And the opening credits to the theatrical version of the pilot episode.
* FemmeFatale: Princess Ardala
* FighterLaunchingSequence
* FireForgedFriends: Hawk and Buck.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater
* {{Flanderization}}: Buck's actor Gil Gerard complained that Buck was cracking too many jokes and that the FishOutOfTemporalWater aspect of Buck's character had gotten stale. This may be why Buck gets a lot more serious in Season 2. In addition, his relationship with Wilma becomes more serious instead of a different GirlOfTheWeek.
* FlyingWeapon: A subversion in "Journey to Oasis"; Ezerhauden is really an invisible swordsman, vulnerable only to a thrown spear type of attack, but until he is killed, he resembles a flying self-wielding sword.
* FoodPills: In "Planet of the Slave Girls" they become an important plot point.
* ForgottenThemeTuneLyrics: The theme tune had lyrics that were sung by Kip Lennon during the opening credits of the original PilotMovie.
* TheFuture
* FutureImperfect:
** There were few records of the 20th century, so 25th century historians confuse a hairdryer with an "early model hand laser."
** In "Return of the Fighting 69th", a 20th-century belt-fed machine gun is mistaken by the bad guys for an "ancient communications device". They are quite surprised when a captured Buck demonstrates its proper use during his escape.
--->[[MoreDakka DAKKADAKKADAKKA]]\\
'''Buck:''' Get the message?
* FutureMusic: Complete with an entire episode devoted to the idea.
* FutureSpandex: In the first season, Colonel Deering and Buck sometimes wore spandex jumpsuits.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: After Buck saves a rookie pilot from being jumped by pirates, the pilot's instructor chimes in:
-->'''Major Danton:''' Recon One, I appreciate your concern, but I'd appreciate it all the more if next time you'd refrain from interfering in a Directorate training mission!\\
'''Buck:''' What? If you call that "interfering", there's something wrong with your ''Funk & Wagnalls''! [[note]]This is actually a ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'' reference; they would regularly direct the viewer to "look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls", a famous brand of dictionary.[[/note]]
* GirlOfTheWeek: To the point where they did a LampshadeHanging of it ''halfway through first season.''
* HammerAndSickleRemovedForYourProtection: In "Testimony of a Traitor" it was revealed that just before Buck left Earth, there was a conspiracy of high-ranking American officers to launch a first strike against "The Other Side".
* HarmlessFreezing: For 500 years...
* HeavyWorlder:
** A one-shot character by the name of Toman, who used his heightened strength to become a hitman.
** Another heavy-worlder in an earlier episode had [[MindOverMatter telekinetic powers]].
* HeelFaceTurn: The super-powered minion in "Plot to Kill a City" refuses to allow the plan to go through because it would doom the survivors to the same torment as the people of his own world.
* HeelRealization: In "Flight of the War Witch", Ardala confronts a far crueler villain than herself, who then proceeds to destroy all Ardala's personal JerkJustifications and makes her realize what a spoiled, pathetic wretch of a person she is. She later comes to Buck in tears, and he's basically sympathetic; he's always viewed her more as spoiled and na´ve than really evil.
-->'''Zarina:''' (''to Ardala'') On the contrary, we couldn't be more different. I have '''earned''' my position. You've been ''given'' yours.
* HumanPopsicle: Buck himself.
* InsufferableGenius: Crichton, who substituted for Dr. Theopolis as Robotic SmartGuy in the second season. However, at least he was willing to admit to a serious mistake in his findings about the terrible fate of the humanoid beings of a planet degenerating into mindless monsters; he found that he got the process completely backwards and the beings were actually metamorphosing into sapient beings.
* IronicEchoCut: When Buck is on trial and Dr. Theopolis is defending him.
-->'''Dr. Theopolis:''' We haven't a thing to worry about.\\
(''cut'')\\
'''Judge:''' Captain Rogers, the council finds you guilty.
* KillSat: The Draconian weapon in "Escape from Wedded Bliss".
* LadyLand: The planet Xantia, as seen in "Planet of the Amazon Women".
* TheLancer: Hawk from the second season.
* LastOfHisKind: Hawk, the last survivor of a LostColony of hawk-people.
* ALittleSomethingWeCallRockAndRoll: Both in the original pilot movie and in a later episode about space rockers.
* MechanicalLifeForms: Earth's Computer Council (Dr. Theopolis and his colleagues) are descendants of A.I. that reached the point of building and programming themselves; they're treated as citizens, and viewed as the saviors of humanity after the nuclear apocalypse.
* MemoryGambit: In one episode Buck finds himself on trial for causing World War III. In fact, he had allowed himself to be brainwashed in order to infiltrate a conspiracy in an unsuccessful attempt to ''prevent'' World War III.
* MilitaryScienceFiction / ScienceFantasy: In effect it was two shows, with the first season being ''Film/JamesBond'' RecycledInSpace, and the second being a full-out ScienceFantasy.
* NewNeoCity: New Chicago, New Detroit, New Manhattan, New Phoenix, New Tulsa, Boston Complex, New London, and "City-on-the-Sea" (formerly New Orleans).
* NewOldFlame: Mark Lenard's character to Wilma in "Journey to Oasis".
* NiceHat: Princess Ardala's horned headress in the pilot is only the first of a long line of fancy crowns and headresses -- which [[MaleGaze no straight male viewer ever notices]].
* NoNewFashionsInTheFuture: Buck's civilian clothes wouldn't look out of place in the late 1970s. The other characters wear clothing that at least looks futuristic (albeit {{Zeerust}}ed).
* NotQuiteDead: At the end of "Plot to Kill a City", Kellogg (played by Frank Gorshin) was apparently blown away in a climactic space battle. In "A Blast for Buck", however, although Buck felt that Kellogg wasn't the one who sent the weird yo-yo doomsday message device, he knew that Kellogg was still out there and really pissed at Buck.
* OlderThanTheyLook: In "Return of the Fighting 69th", Buck notes that the members of the squadron don't look any older than 60 when Wilma informs him that they've all reached the mandatory retirement age... of 85.
-->'''Buck:''' ''Eighty-five''?!
* OldSchoolDogfight: Pretty much used in every episode. With the same stock footage almost every time.
* OpeningNarration:
** First season, delivered by William Conrad:
--->''"The year is 1987, and NASA launches the last of America's deep space probes. In a freak mishap, ''Ranger 3'' and its pilot, Captain William "Buck" Rogers, are blown out of their trajectory into an orbit which freezes his life support systems, and returns Buck Rogers to Earth... 500 years later."''
** It was changed for the second season, as shown with the article quote, this time delivered by Hank Sims. Both versions were abbreviated and altered from the narrative of the original pilot movie, which was longer.
* [[OurVampiresAreDifferent/LiveActionTV Our Vampires Are Different]]: The episode "Space Vampire" has a creature called a Vorvon. It has the abilities of HypnoticEyes, ShapeShifting (to a floating red ball of light), VampiricDraining (of LifeEnergy), {{Invisibility}} to electronic viewing and turning the humans it killed into zombies. It can be fended off by a "power lock" instead of a crucifix and is WeakenedByTheLight of the sun.
* PettingZooPeople: Hawk; Kourie
* PilotMovie
* PleasurePlanet: The episode "Vegas in Space".
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Hawk in the second season.
* TheReptilians: The Saurians.
* ReTool:
** The second season, which tried to [[FollowTheLeader Follow the Lead]] of ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Classic}}'' and ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
** To a lesser extent, the first season is retooled from the pilot movie, where Earth was a scaredy-cat backwater burg compared to the rest of the galaxy with roaming gangs of mutants in the barren regions between cities, and where New Chicago is the only point of civilization. The TV series retooled this to feature numerous cities on Earth, and with the planet being part of an interstellar community.\\\
Although some things said in "Flight of the War Witch" imply that Earth has only recently joined the interstellar community, following their development of the now-ubiquitous Stargates, with the first person to ever use one still being alive. The first season has multiple, independent human factions, some of which (like the Draconians) being hostile to Earth. The second season shows humans as highly fragmented, and the whole point of the ''Searcher'' is to try locating and establishing contact with all the lost colonies.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Buck Rogers was born in the 1960s, and is doing his thing in the 2400s.
* RecycledInSpace: Space mummies and space vampires, among others.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: The space vampire.
* RobotBuddy: Twiki, one of the {{Trope Codifier}}s. He may look rather innocuous, but he can pilot a fighter and dogfight with the best.
* RobotMe: "Ardala Returns"
* RunningGag:
** Buck's cooking and use of 20th century slang.
** Also the rubber plant.
* ShoutOut:
** In "Plot to Kill a City" part two the intercom pages ComicBook/AdamStrange and those departing for [[ComicBook/{{Hawkman}} Thanagar]].
** In the episode "A Dream of Jennifer", the intercom can be heard paging [[ComicBook/SilverSurfer Norrin Radd]] as Buck is arriving, and [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Captain Christopher Pike]] a short time later.
** The second season has the character Admiral ''[[Creator/IsaacAsimov Asimov]]'', as well as the assertion that Twiki and Crichton are equipped with positronic brains. Lampshaded by Crichton -- see ThreeLawsCompliant below.
** Lampshaded in "A Blast for Buck". The doomsday device came with a riddle. Kellogg from "Plot to Kill a City" is one of the suspects. Buck decides, however, that Kellogg "... wouldn't be bothered with riddles, it's not his style. When he decides to come for me, he'll want me to know it's him, how he's gonna do it and how much it will hurt." Not what we were expecting as Kellogg was played by Frank Gorshin who is definitely known for his [[Series/{{Batman}} riddling tendencies elsewhere]].
** Gary Coleman's recurring guest character, Hieronymous Fox, is named after the creator of ''The Garden of Earthly Delights'', Hieronymous Bosch.
** Buck being revived in the year 2491 is an obvious reference to the title of the original Buck Rogers story, Armageddon 2419.
* SleptThroughTheApocalypse
* SmokeOut: In the episode "Vegas in Space", Buck has devices which cause a complete blackout in the immediate area. He uses one to escape from enemies.
* SpaceFighter: The starfighters are some of the most gorgeous ships of this type ever designed. They were rejected models from ''Battlestar Galactica''.
* SpaceOpera
* SpacePirates
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Ardala's [[TheBrute bodyguard]], Tiger Man, was killed in the pilot movie; the TV series version of the story let him live to reappear in future episodes.
* StockFootage: In addition to the previously-mentioned stock footage of space combat (of rejected fighter designs from ''Battlestar Galactica''), the first season also has about three stockestablishing shots, two of which were also recycled from ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Classic}}''.
* {{Stripperific}}: Pamela Hensley as Princess Ardala wore very, ''very'' little.
* ThreeLawsCompliant: Twiki and other Earth-made robots are explicitly Three Laws Compliant -- Twiki even quotes the First Law in the second season episode "Shgoratchx" and a few moments later [[spoiler:states all three of them after having his brain inserted in Crichton's body]]. Crichton even complains about this in one episode, mentioning that the creator of the Laws [[ShoutOut had the same surname as the ship's commander.]]
* TrappedInAnotherWorld: In the two-part episode "Flight of the War Witch", the Pendarans send a distress call through a vortex to summon Buck, Dr. Huer, Wilma and Princess Ardala's entire flagship into their universe to help them defeat her.
* UltraTerrestrials: Hawk's race evolved from birds and left Earth eons ago.
* TheUnfrozenCavemanLawyer: The UrExample in all incarnations. Even though his education and skills are 500+ years out of date, Buck has absolutely no problem adapting to 25th-century life and exploiting technology to his advantage, and Dr. Huer has no problem sending him on sensitive missions as a result. Buck using 20th century knowledge to solve 25th century problems is the theme of almost every episode. Among the highlights:
** 20th-century weaponry (including the nerve gas the bad guys have stolen).
** Sign language (almost unknown in the 25th century) to communicate with a mute servant girl who proves critical to the plot.
** Electricity (an obsolete technology in the 25th century). It being obsolete is used inconsistently, as another episode has Buck being zapped by Tweeki to [[ItMakesSenseInContext thwart the villain's plan]].
** Gambling ability in a computer-driven casino. He wasn't even counting cards -- he was just the only one able to ''add''.
** Adapting American football plays for use by the Earth Defense Directorate's pilots in squadron maneuvers.
** Buck is also apparently the only pilot employed by Earth who is not completely dependent upon his ship's targeting computer because of his 20th-century dogfighting skills.
* UniquePilotTitleSequence:
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaPkROwOzgA end credits]] to the pilot feature the theme song's lyrics.
** And the theatrical version of the pilot features Fanservice images of a swimsuit-clad Pamela Hensley, Erin Gray and an uncredited model. The TV version just uses a standard starfield.
** The theatrical opening credits also feature the vocal version of the theme song (which is titled "Suspension").
* UnPerson: In the TV series, part of Dr. Huer's argument in favor of Buck becoming a special agent is that, at least at the beginning of the series, he had no legal identity.
* TheVamp: Princess Ardala
* VerbalTic: Twiki adds "Beedee beedee beedee" to the beginning or end of most sentences, except for the episodes in the second season where Mel Blanc is not doing his voice.
* VillainessesWantHeroes: Princess Ardala to Buck Rogers, sometimes. Although the only time she makes a really HARD play for him is when she needs a ''suitable'' mate to keep her throne. She doesn't get Buck, of course, and it's unclear if she keeps her throne or not.
* WagonTrainToTheStars
* WeirdScience
* WeveGotCompany: "Stop breathing, we've got company!"
* {{Zeerust}}

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