Thursday, May 4, 2017

Second Season Shake-Up

What happens when your TV show has enough ratings to get a second season, but not enough to be a convincing hit? You go through what I call the "Second Season Shake-Up", where things are changed to, hopefully, get more people watching. This has been going on for pretty much as long as TV has been around, and can be small changes (Checkov coming onto the Enterprise) or large (like with Space 1999).

One of the biggest changes was seen with Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. In the first season, the stories were kind of a balance between fighter dog-fights, police work, and diplomacy. Everything started and ended on Earth, and Wilma Deering was a high ranking officer (a Colonel) in the Earth Defense Force.

Then we come to the second season, where the base of operations is the spaceship Searcher, whose mission is to find the "lost colonies of man" (a little too Battlestar Galactica there, Mr. Larson). Buck, who was working with the EDF in an unofficial capacity, is now on the Searcher with even less of a role. He's more of a passenger that sometimes does missions, if the Admiral begs him enough. The less said about changing Wilma into a "space car hop", the better.

Personally, I tend to like the more minor changes (a la Star Trek), but I'm also not a network executive.

If you want to hear more of my thoughts on the Buck Rogers TV show, check out this episode of the podcast.

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  1. Always wanted to check out more of Buck. I've only ever seen the pilot episode where Buck is begging Wilma to actually fly their fighters because the auto pilot was getting everyone killed. suddenly realize that if all the ships were on auto pilot, then what was the whole point of pilots? They were just UAV drones! But that's about all I remember from the show. Oh and Bidi bidi bidi. So here's a question...We know Star Wars was inspired by Buck Rogers serials as George Lucas has gone on record about and this particular incarnation of the hero seems to have quite a few Star Wars motifs...Like I could make a better case for this ripping off Star Wars than the original BSG...but again that's just based on my spotty memory and only a single episode. I'm pretty sad that we had a strong female leading character reduced to background because that ugly "girls don't fly in space! Now make me a sandwich" mentality reared its head again. Hope to hear more about this show Gene.

    1. Considering that I got the Buck Rogers TV Companion this past December, you just might hear more about it. ;)