Transported 500 years into the future due to a freak mishap aboard the Ranger 3, the last of NASA's deep space probes, things could have been a lot worse for Buck Rogers. He could have been enslaved by the Trogg People of Xarton IV, or cooked and eaten by a malevolent Flaiger Beast on the volcanic moons of Platsus VII. Instead, he gets saved by the Directorate and made a fighter pilot, and on top of that, he's fawned over by his superior officer Wilma Deering, and his arch-nemesis Princess Ardala, in some weird, kinky, outer space love triangle.

Buck Rogers was the like the Austin Powers of the 25th Century - women wanted him, and men wanted to be like him. But Buck Rogers, in reality, was a sadistic human being who took pleasure in ridiculing others.

The main goal of the Directorate was to protect the planet Earth, right? But in their down time, when they weren't being attacked by every man-in-a-cheap-alien-suit or scantilly-clad-warrior-tribeswoman, they attempted to piece together the history of our planet - what happened before all of the great world wars. And as luck would have it, they've got a genuine 20th century Earth man to help! But the truth is, when Buck wasn't busy insulting his diminutive robot sidekick Twiki, he was supplying a steady stream of misinformation to Ms. Deering and the good doctor. Blenders, cookware, cordless drills - nothing was safe from the inventive and deviously deceptive mind of the 20th century Earth man.

So you've got Wilma, dressed in that somehow strangely erotic blue jumpsuit, running down a long hallway in the Archives looking for Buck, with this child-like look of sheer excitement in her wild blue eyes, and a small object in her left hand. She hands the object to Buck for examination, and it becomes obvious to you and I (and Buck) that it is a normal, everyday hair dryer, retail value approximately $18.99. "Must have been some sort of primitive energy weapon, huh Buck?" says our excited Captain Deering, looking eagerly for approval. And with a glance back at the camera and a twinkle in his eye, Buck replies, "Oh, yes. Very dangerous. Be careful with that."

What the hell is that matter with Buck? He's ruining these future people's historical representation of us, and laughing all the while! "Ha ha!" says Buck, "I can't ever get back to the 20th century, so I will ruin it for everyone else!" Good one, Buck. But you have to hand it to the man - he's pretty slick, pretending he's the good guy and all. By maintaining the good-guy façade, Buck could easily fool those amateur archaeologists into believing that a table saw was in fact a primitive torture tool. Buck won't be laughing so hard when he discovers a time machine that could send him back home, and Doctor Theopolis tells him it's for making cappucino. Will you, Buck? Huh? It's not so funny now, is it, Buck?

Aiiiiigh! Nononononono. :-)

Buck Rogers was the main character of a daily comic strip run in American newspapers starting in the 1920s or 1930s (I'm sure there are others who can tell you precisely when; or I'll add more info when I'm near my hardbound archive of the strips).

The comic strip was based on (or vice versa, I'm not sure which) a novel by Philip Francis Nowlan.

As in that novel, Buck arrives in the future after being trapped in a mine cave-in which places him in hibernation. After emerging, he find himself in the middle of a skirmish between a pair of half-breed bandits and the lovely and talented Wilma Deering, whom he saves from doom.

The comic strip was a staple of the American cultural fantastic for many, many years. It has spawned numerous spinoffs, including the unfortunate Glen Larson TV show mentioned above as well as a whole slew of newer books. Some were based in the TV show's universe.One of the most recent is a rewrite of the original comic strip, which is itself a modified version of the original novel. So we have a novelization of a comic strip based on a novel. This generational game of literary telephone has produced a novel by Martin Caidin named Buck Rogers: A Life in the Future.

The latter book tries to tell an abridged version of the stories from the comic strip, with some changes. For example, Killer Kane is no longer an outlaw but in fact an Admiral in the American forces; America is now Amerigo, etc. etc. However, some of the main storylines are present and some of the background information (future history) agrees much more closely with the comic strip than with the original novel. Ardala Valmar is a rival of Wilma Deering, yes, but she is an American (Amerigan?) military officer and colleague of Wilma and Buck, not an alien princess as in the shudder Larson show. And no, there are no beedeebedeebeep annoying-ass robots or frisbee computers as main characters in the comic strip or the novels, and Buck tries to educate folks on his (past) world with much more accuracy. :-)

Buck Rogers is itself derivative, in a way; the story closely resembles that of the book When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells, which is also about a man who sleeps in the early twentieth century and wakes to become an important figure in a strange future. I'm not positive that the Wells book came first, but I'm fairly sure of it. Spiregrain reminds me that, of course, the whole 'snoozing in the hills' sounds like Rip van Winkle.

Buck Rogers first appeared as Anthony Rogers in a novella, "Armageddon-2419 A.D." by Philip Francis Nowlan, published in the August 1928 issue of Amazing Stories, with illustrations, which may have sparked interest in creating a comic strip (1929).

With its popularity in the newspapers, it wasn't long before Buck Rogers appeared on the radio. In 1932, CBS ran 15 minute episodes four nights a week from New York. Scripts were written by some of the strip's original creators, including Philip Nowlan and Richard Calkins. Buck himself was voiced by several actors (including Matt Crowley, Curtis Arnall, Carl Frank and John Larkin ) during the show's original seven year run, though Adele Ronson was Lt. Deering the whole time. The show offered promotional items like a map of the planets or a cardboard space helmet, provided of course you sent in a proof of purchase from the sponsor's product (Kellogg's was the sponsor in 1932, then Cocomalt took over until '35, when Cream of Wheat brought you Buck each night. Later, Popsicle would be a sponsor in bringing the show back to the airwaves in the 1940s).

Meanwhile, by 1939, Larry "Buster" Crabbe had finished two Flash Gordon serials as was looking for new material. The scenic artists probably were looking to recycle the costumes and rocket ship on strings as well. Crabbe took on the role of Rogers, with Constance Moore as Deering. New writers were brought in, making the film version a bit different from the comic strip (and ensuring the use of all those costumes and sets on hand). The twelve episode Buck Rogers serial was later edited and released as Buck Rogers: Planetary Outlaws and Buck Rogers: Destination Saturn. Crabbe would later make an appearance on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, but as as Brigadier "Flash" Gordon. (Original air date 9/27/79)

Buck Rogers
Feeder
He's got a brand new car
Looks like a Jaguar
It's got leather seats
It's got a CD player, player, player, player...

But I don't wanna talk about it anymore

I think we're gonna make it
I think we're gonna save it yeah
So don't you try and fake it
Anymore, anymore

We'll start over again
Grow ourselves new skin
Get a house in Devon
Drink cider from a lemon, lemon, lemon, lemon...
But I don't wanna talk about it anymore

I think we're gonna make it
I think we're gonna save it yeah
So don't you try and fake it
Anymore, anymore

I think we're gonna make it
I think we're gonna save it yeah
So don't you try and fake it
Anymore, anymore

He's got a brand new car
He's got a brand new car

I think we're gonna make it
I think we're gonna save it yeah
So don't you try and fake it
Anymore, anymore

I think we're gonna make it
I think we're gonna save it yeah
So don't you try and fake it
Anymore, anymore

Buck Rogers is probably Feeder’s single best known song, and it’s one of my favourites. It was released on single in January 2001, and was also included on superb album Echo Park, released in April 2001. It was used in the film Behind Enemy Lines, and if you’re a fan of Channel 4 programme Teachers, you will have heard it there. Along with every other track Feeder have ever done.

For people who’ve never heard the song, at the point in the lines where the lyrics “CD player, player, player” and “lemon, lemon, lemon...” kick in, the words player and lemon are repeated not just three times, but indefinitely, at a loud volume. I tried to count the number of times that they’re sung – for completeness’ sake – but I kept losing count around the twenty mark...

After an appeal for information about the title of this song, Mike1024 came to the rescue... the story behind the song is basically that the eponymous Mr Buck Rogers has caused the singer’s relationship with his girl to end. It’s this Buck Rogers who had the flashy car. But the singer wants to put this usurper behind them, and he doesn't “wanna talk about it anymore”. Instead, he hopes to start afresh, and “get a house in Devon”.

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