Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was the hugely popular US TV series which was initially broadcast in the UK on the ITV network in the early eighties.
Created by the prolific Glen A. Larson (who was also the driving force behind such other memorable shows like Quincy, Battlestar Galactica, Magnum PI, Knight Rider and The Fall Guy), the TV version of Buck Rogers was to be a modern-day reworking of the famous American newspaper strip which was first seen in 1929.
Originally the brain-child of short-story writer Philip Nowlan and artist Richard Calkins, Buck Rogers was created for America's National Newspaper Syndicate who were responsible for many of the comic strips running in the 'Sunday Funnies' section of US journals. Within a few short years, the strip was featured in over 400 American newspapers and hundreds more abroad while also being translated into eighteen different languages. The character was also to be spun-off into other media, first in the form of a popular radio show of the times and then in the late thirties, into a twelve-chapter movie serial produced by Iniversal Pictures with Olympic medallist Laryy 'Buster' Crabbe in the title role.
Abandoning Buck's origin, that of the Air Force pilot sent to survey an abandoned mineshaft outside Pittsburgh in the USA, who was then overcome by a strange, noxious gas only to spend five hundred years in suspended animation, the modern-day re-working of Buck Rogers had to be much more sophisticated and stylish for the audience of the time. Gone were the 'flying belts' so common of the comic strips and Buck was now an astronaut frozen and suspended for only a few months in NASA's final deep space probe after the craft had sailed into a meteorite storm and hit by one such fragment. It was the trajectory Buck's craft was thrown into which would return our hero to earth five hundred years later and into a few very memorable adventures to be seen in any science fiction TV show over the two seasons of its US network life.
Like many of Look-In's picture strip TV show counterparts, the picture strip itself could so easily have been able to venture away from the budegtary constraints of episodic television but for some reason only once was it to really use the illustrated medium to any great advantage in the seventh adventure to feature in the magazine. For whatever reason, the remaining adventures were to only provide stories which could be classed as entertaining picture strips not likely to break any creative bounds.
With the TV show's second season came a change in format and the introduction of new characters and situations along with the off-screen exit of other now not-needed characters from the previous episodes. But the Buck Rogers Look-In adventures were never to mirror these changes as the strip drew to a close in the very earliest issue of 1982.
While not the most successful in terms of reader appreciation maybe, nontheless, Buck Rogers proved to be a memorable picture strip in its own right which was drawn by three of Look-In's most talented artistic contributors and ably written by stalwart writer Angus P. Allan.
Many thanks to member beowulf for so kindly collecting these strips, re-mastering the pages and providing them for inclusion in the Look-In Archive for all our members and visitors to read once again.