Posted January 09 2013 - 03:22 AM
Agreed, this is great to finally have again. The TV version is very interesting in its own right. The print, I can confirm, is pretty stark. Like they had a 16mm transfer and slapped it on there. Or some old VHS copy. Oddly enough, this didn't really bother me. You can tell the difference between the movie and the TV epilogue, though. Two totally different styles and everyone seems more relaxed. I was never a fan of the premiere episode of Buck anyway - it was too silly and stiff at the same time. When Bruce Lansbury came in, things improved dramatically and Huer and Wilma lightened up considerably. Buck actually got darker to offset his sense of humor. The epilogue even mentions that (which I had forgotten); that Buck uses his goofy sense of humor to hide from the pain of his loss. As for the second season itself, I always enjoyed it. Time of the Hawk is probably the most well written and performed episode of the series, Dr. Goodfellow and Twiki's new voice notwithstanding (thanksfully they'd rehire Mel Blanc soon enough but he was very much toned down). I liked Admiral Asimov although I missed Tim O'Connor; he should have at least been given one lousy scene to say goodbye to Buck and Wilma. While the little sailor suits looked ridiculous, it gave us tons of views of Erin Gray's amazing legs. So no hate here for that. Gil put on weight and his tight costumes did nothing for him. Aside from that Hawk is amazing (such a shame he was never used to this advantage again). Like Maya in the second year of Space:1999, Hawk is a primary reason why these episodes are as enjoyable as they were. Thom Christopher was outstanding. The episode itself was just great all the way through, with a very 1981 impressive aerial battle and a deadly serious showdown between Hawk and Buck at the end. Then Buck gives his speech and for once, Gil Gerard steps up and really runs with it. It's beautifully written and acted. Gil's best work. The end, when Hawk agrees to join them, with that great Bruce Broughton score, puts a lump in my throat every time. Then Hawk goes "on patrol" every other week. . . Still, there are some fine episodes to follow: The Guardians is fantastic. As are Journey to Oasis (great music by John Cavacas), Testimony of a traitor (another missed opportunity for a Huer guest shot), The Satyr, and Hand of the Goral. The format change was unfortunate, aping BSG and Star Trek far too closely ("lost tribes of Earth" was VERY Galactica). Losing William Conrad's opening narration sucked too, but at least the new narration made sense. The orbit no longer freezes Bucks life support systems, which was ludicrous. The narration adheres more closely to the original movie. The change trend is kind of annoying. Much like Space:1999, SeaQuest, Human Target, and War of the Worlds, Buck Rogers had a major retooling for its second year. Characters were dropped and the primary thrust of the series was changed. Unlike most fans, I actually enjoyed 1999 and Buck's new adventures (and SeaQuest's changes were okay at the start). But Buck was marginally popular in its first season. The changes were unnecessary, but to be honest, I liked the removal of Disco from the series. Neither season was perfect, but all in all, it was a hell of a fun show. I would have liked to see it continue. The discs are the same as before. The single sided goodness this time is much appreciated.
"Ah, Admiral. I like the cut of your jib."