Buck Rogers – 70th Anniversary Edition (1939/VCI DVD Set)
Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: B
Rogers has long been one of the
progenitors of the science-fiction genre.
This nicely restored two-disc set celebrates the 70th anniversary of the
1939 classic serial episodes featuring the inimitable Buster Crabbe in the role
of Buck. Trapped by a freak accident
that froze both him and young companion Buddy (Jackie Moran) in a state of
suspended animation, ace pilot Buck Rogers awakens in the 25th century to a
world threatened by the despotic Killer Kane (Anthony Ward).
Filled with air and space battles, close escapes, and wondrous technology like
space cruisers, ray guns, and video phones, this WWII-era look into what the
future might hold never fails to entertain.
Although it cannot avoid being quaint and campy at times, and it does
indulge in some racial stereotyping, Buck Rogers will provide plenty
of thrills for the entire family. The
quality of the restoration on this disc warrants its solid B rating for
picture, and the obvious care that went into the job means that it far exceeds
past VCI releases of the same material.
Although it doesn't match the picture, the sound's quality is solid as
well, though still at times haunted by some clicking and popping.
Extras abound on the second disc and include a history of the character, audio
of a pair of Buck Rogers radio dramas, and an older short Buck Rogers feature
from the 1930's starring a different cast.
Audio of a speech Crabbe gave about his character is also
Buck Rogers fans will find much to enjoy in this anniversary package, and it
will hopefully spur renewed interest in the entire retro sci-fi genre. A release of this quality can only increase
the visibility and interest in this wonderful character!
on the serial from the older VCI DVD set, try this link:
- Scott Pyle