· .: .

A nati ve of lillie Rock, Gil Ge rard was driving a cab in
New York when he was singled out fo r a role in LOile Story.
During the next few yea rs. he did most of hi s acting in tele-
vision comme rcials- some four hundred of them. Then came a
leading role in the daytime TV se ries, The Doctors. Meanwhil e,
Gerard formed his own production company in partnership
with a wri ter.produce r. co-aut hored a scree npl ay call ed /-Iooch
and filliled il. He co-s ta rred wit h Yve tt e Mi Jllieux in TIl e Ran-
som of Alice and played Lee Gra nt 's lover in Airport '77. A
guest shot in Little ' ·Iouse 0 11 the Prairie impressed producer·
star Mi chael Landon who cast him in the leading role in a
TV movie. Killillg Stoll e.
One of those rare sc reen stars who grew up in the heart
of Los Angeles. Pamela Ilensicy attended the Argyle Academy
and then won an aud iti on with the world famou s Royal Aca-
demy of Dramatic -Art s in London. After three yea rs of in ten-
sive theatrical training. shc felt she was at last ready to chal-
lenge he r home town. Hensley soon appeared in such dramatic
TV serics as Columbo , Macmillan and Wife, McCloud and The
Rockford Files. She starred as James Caan's Ii ve·in love r in the
fUlUr isti c fan tasy Rollerball. produced by onnan Jewison.
Before Buck Rogers came Doc SOilage, in which she was an
exotic Indian maiden who saved the hero's life.
Born and rai sed in Honolulu , Erin Gray moved with her
famil y to Cal iforni a when she was eight ycars old . She was fif.
(een when a chance meet ing with Nina Blanchard. head of aile
of Holl ywood's (OP model :Igent.:ics. convinced her of wha l she
walll ed to do in life, Moving to . ew York she became one of
(he town's most sought aft er model s. TV viewers encount ered
her cOlllmercial s for Brec k. Max Factor . Clairol. Ca may Soap
and RC Cola and a classic spot for English Leather cologne.
Bctwccn modcli ng assignmcllt s. shc studicd aCli ng. She ap·
peured on such scries as Police Story and Gibbsl1ille and co·
starrcd as a tough.mindcd rcporter in Ir win Shaw's Hvcning in
Byzantium.
Ilorn to Basque· lta lian pa ren ts in Brooklyn, New York.
Henry Sil va quit public school to attend drama cl asses at the
age of 13. Wh en the Actors Studio stoged A liai/ul 0/ Raill. it
camc to Broadway with Henry Silva in a key role. In Holl y·
wood. he playcd a sll ccession of heavies in fillil s includi ng The
Bravados. Green Mansions. Oceans Eleven. The Manchurian
Candidate and Johnny Cool. An Itali an producer made Henry
an offer and he moved hi s famil y overseas. A spaghctli wcstern.
71, e Hills Run Red, made Silva popul ar in Spain, ltal Y, Germany
and France. Re turning to th e Unit ed States. he co·starred wit h
Frank Si natra in Contract 0 11 Cherry Street, then signed on as
Buck Roge rs' evil adversary.
Best known to television viewers as Elliott Carson in the
TV se ries Peyton Place, Tim O'Connor began hi s acting career
with the Goodman Memori al Theatre in Chi cago just after
World War II. He appemed frequently on television in the f1f-
ti es on the U1Iited States Steel !-Iollr and became a main stay of
the Family Classics series. starring in such procltu . .: tions as The
Three Musketeers and A Tale of Two Cities. O'Connor has set-
tled in Santa Monica and established himself as one of fillll -
dom's most versati le performers. Recent film credit s have in-
cluded Illheels, The Man with the Power, Tailgwl1l er Joe and
Murder in Peyton Place. a TV special wh ich reunit ed him with
lIlany of his in the original show.
From Montreal. Canada. Joseph Wiseman came to
Broadway in the 1930's. where he was criti call y hailed for per-
fo rmances in Shakespeare' s King Lear, Clifford Odet s' Go/den
Boy and Chekhov's Uncle Va1lya. Among hi s most moving
charac ter portraits was the father in the award·winning New
York stage ve rsion of The Diary of Alllle Frank. Wi sema n has
been see n in numerous films. including Detective Slory star-
ri ng Kirk Douglas. Vi va Zapata with 1arlon Brando, The Gar-
mem Jungle. The Night They Raided Minsky's, The Valac"i
Papers and The Apprelllices"ip of Duddy Kravitz, whi ch
brought him back 10 hi s na tive Ca nada for a co-starring role
with Richa rd Dreyfuss.
Rai sed in a small villagc out side Romc. Felix Sill a trained
a circus pcrformcr and toured with thc Ringli ng Br others
and Barnum & Bailey Show. His t<J lcllt s :l S OJ bareback rider.
trapeze 'Irlisl tlnd tumbler brought him to Holl ywood where
he becamc a Stu ll tman, start ing with the fi lm A Ticklish Allair.
His best known rolcs arc t.he mi nia ture Hit ler who menaced
George Segal in The Black Bird and Cousin It t 011 the TV series.
The Addams Family. He has doubled - often for chi ldren - in
The Towering Inferno, The lIindenberg and Bafl/eslar Galae-
tica. He frequentl y appear s with his own musical combo. The
Ori ginal Harmonica Band.
Historivol notes
-,..;.
The production of Buck Rogers recalls the birth of science fi ct ion's most celebrated he ,o almoS! fifty years ago.
Buck Rogers was inspired by J ohn P. Dill e, head of the Nat ional Newspaper Syndicate which published some of
Ameri ca's most popular comic sTrjps during the 1920' s. Convinced that t e Sunday funnies-we re fall ing behind the
times. he hired short story writer Philip Nowlan and 3(tisfRi chard Calkins to crea te a new, futuri stic strip.
Nowlan adapted his ownSantasy Armageddon 2419 to the PLoject, but Calkins at nrst held out \or an idea he
liked better, an adventure serial set in prehi stori c times. Calki ns fina1ly re ented and Buck Rogers made hi s ini tial
appearance on January 7 , In9. On March 3Q,.J930, anotll!- rSunday ver,sio ofJJ.upk Rogers began. The strip fea tured
Buddy Deering, Wilma' s brolller, and Alura, a princes while signed by artist
Calkins, was actually drawn by hi s assi stantsJ{usseli Keato'n. an aer J93'3
y
witti. RiehaI! :-.ney Yager, Within a few
years, the exploit s of the time-traveli,ng hero were featured ill 400 Americln' n wspapers and undreds more ab road,
through t ranslation into 18 forei gn languages. 1:::::::::- ,
The first Blick Rogers radio show aired on November 7, J932 and Dnlversal produced the first widely seen Buck
Rogers movie as a twelve chapter serial starrin,g ex-Ol ympic medalist Larry "Buster" Crabbe in 1939, In the se rial Buck
awakens in the Arctic after five hundred years of sleep, He teams up wit h Wilma Deering and Dr. Huer to conquer Ki ller
Kane, Actuall y, Buck Rogers first appeared on film in a movie short for department slores under the direction
of Dr. Har lan Tarbell. The ftlm premiered at tne Chicago World's Fair in J 934. In the flIJll\ Buck and his companion
Buddy are sent int o suspended animation due to a dose of Nirvana gas from a disabled'balloo
It is estima ted that Buck R ogers has fascinated 1110re than fourbiUion enthusiasts around lhe wor ld since Calkins
and owl an collaborated on the first str ip, One more item for trivia buffs is the hero's (cal name, Phil Nowlan ur iginall y
dubbed him An thony ,Rogers, but re-christened him " Buck" before the strip was launched when publi sher Dill e asked
for a more viril e image.
The Ill ost famous of the technical marvel s in the Buck Rogers stories, other than rocket ships, were the fl ying belt s
and di sintegrat ors, Since the creation of the comic strip, both have approached scientifit reality, The rocket flying belt
underwent it s first satisfactory test in 1961 at Niagara Falls Airport. The toy di sin tegra, ors, whi ch appear today in the
Buck Rogers exhibit in the National Air and Space Museum. seem close to actuality considering the recent develop-
ment s in lase r technology,
BUCK ROGERS the firs/days 1929
Cllara0te.r notes
Buck Rogers
A cl ean -cut , daring hero, Buck Rogers is all alert, self-reliant youth originally from the twentieth cent ury. Whil e
surveyi ng an abandoned mine wh ich caved in 0 11 him, Buck succumbs to the vapors of a radioactive gas. l1e is th rown
mt o a stat e of suspended anll1131100 and awakens fi ve hundred years later mto a new, unfamiliar world. Whli e not a
super- hero like Batman or STerman. Buck IS extremely Ull elligent lind charismatk. He is loved by many women In the
course of th e strip, mcJudin ilma Deenn g, Flame D' Amour, Thavia of Venus, Tiki of Eldonia and Doctor Merberec
of Venus. .
Deering
I
, '.
A combat ant yet f,minine ci tizen of the centu ry, Wi lma Deering is a beautiful, slender, blue·eyed
li eutenant in the Earth's ipace-age army, Wilma is the supreme example of the strong yet vulnerable woman. l-fer home
town is Mountain City. She is suspicious of Buck at ii rst but eventually grows to Jove him. In the comic strip, she is
loved by many men is occasionally kidnal?ped or rans'llgured in to a s afue. She was kissed by Buck less
than ten times in the of the strip.
Kill er Kane
The Ill ost vill ain in t he galaxy , Killer Kane combines a credible mi x-ture of trai torous qualit ies. Some
time in the past , was a respected member of the army and Wilma's SUitor, besides. After defecting fr om the
army, Kane grows hate Wilma when she and Buck involved. Kane js killed three times in the course of the
strip. He always several epi sodes lat er. As evil as he is, Kane fosters a love for Princess Ardala.
Princess Ardala
An unpred' temptress, Princess is a shapely brunette who is treache rous and evi l. Conspi ring with
Killer Kane, the !l- ; n r p « is totally untrustwor t hy and will oft en deceive her aJli es. She tries to dominate Kill er Kane but
"HEN I EMEQGED
FQ()M THE MINE
\,oIHEQE , 11"'0 LAIN
IN A STAT{
suSPENDED ANI-
MATION IT WAS TO
FINO /l
v-oRLO.
I StOOD IN A
VAST F()QEST ANO
A GIRL SOt.OU:R.
SAILING THROUGH
THE AI Q,JCRASHED
AT MY ... EfT UN-
CONSCIOUS
her way. She longs for Buck though she only infr equently acknowledges those fee lings. Known as
original stri p, she appears in unusuaJ places in fantastic gu ises: as Queen of ES lar ia on Ve nus or
Monkey Men on Pl anet X.
Doctor Huer
" "nstelp of the twenty-fifth century. Doctor Huer is a scient ist with almost super-hu man int elli ge nce. He is
President and actively see ks t he company of Buck and Wilma as well. Huer's powe rs are desired by
he is often prey to abduction effort s by remote controlled robot s. In one epi sode of the strip, Doctor
of th e Nine Moons of Saturn. Hi s chief accompli shment s, however, are his invent ions, wh ich in-
met al that will not dent ; in lertron, matter tha t fall s upward ; the electro-hypno ti c test chair ; ultra-
the nucleonic oscillator.
Film not0s
"The most beautIful sound ill my life
was . .. a folded newspaper kiting {"rough the
summer air alld landing 0 11 my [roll I porch.
'" lepr OUI, eyes blazing, mouth gasping
for breath. hands seizing 01 the paper . .. so
that the hUllgry soul of Olle of Waukegan, IIli·
nois' /inest small ;lIlel/eels could feed upon
Buck Rogers."
That' s science fi ction writer Ray Bradbury's fo nd
recoll ecti on of Buck Rogers, the daily comic strip which
fa sci nated hundreds of millions of readers, in fift y countries
and 18 languages, during a forty year span. Buck made hi s first
appearance in 1929, a lime wh.en commercial air traffi c was
limited to a few thousand well -heeled travelers and when the
thought of sending a rocket through space or a moving picture
through th e air was pure fantasy. But as Ameri ca's first pop-
ular space hero, he set the tone for a new kind of adventure to
come and predicted many of the scientific marvels we take for
grant ed today, from hi gh speed computers to nuclea r weapons.
In th e original Buck Rogers. the hero was an ex ·Air
Force pilot who was sent to survey an abandoned mine shaft
out side Pitt sburgh. Overcome by a stra nge, noxious gas, he
spent fi ve hl!.ndred yea rs in a state of suspended animation.
" That was "a'" fanciful idea, without any real validity," says
Leslie Stevens, a filmmaker with a lifel ong int erest in science .
" We took an approach which is just as imaginative, maybe
more so, but sci entifi cally feasible."
In thi s adve nture , Buck is an American ast ronaut , circa
1987, pil oting NASA' s final deep space probe. When he sails
through a shower of meteori tes, both he and hi s life support
systems are frozen solid while hi s craft is th rown off it s
trajectory at incredible speed.
" According to Einstein, nothing can exceed the speed
of light because at that poi nt , matt er becomes ene rgy," ex-
plains St evens. " But as you approach light speed, time moves
faster for you th an it does fo r your environment.
" That' s why only a few months go by for Buck whi le
some five hundred yea rs elapse on Earth. Scienti sts have
observed the same phenomenon in the study of sub-atomic
particles, which move so fast th at they exist in a different
time frame and their mass changes. When they hit the speed
of light , they expl ode infinitely, which is the basi s for the
atomic bomb."
Once having found a logi cal way for Buck to leapfrog
five ceIlturies. an even more fasci nati ng problem confront ed
th e produce rs. Wh at would society be like in the distan t
futu re? Their answers were execut ed by a slllall army of spe ·
ciali sts including visual effec ts creators Dave Garber and
Waync Smi th , set decorat or Rich Reams, art director Paul
Peters and costume designer Jean- Pierre Dorl eac.
The cit y of the future is governed by computcrs and pro·
leeted by an invi sible for ce fie ld which keeps ou t sueh enemies
as the barbaric Dr<lco nians. When Buck returns to Ea rt h, t he
Draconians have sued fo r peace and an historic summit meet -
ing is about to take place.
I ·
II
• ,
-
• T
- -
The chronology enab led the filmmakers to give Buck Rogers two contra sting appearances. The city of the future
is a gleaming realm of glass and polished metal , where electronic gadgets do mu ch of t he work and even make the laws .
.. It 's an Oz- like city where pure science is king," says Garber. One sequence was filmed in the lobby of the Bonaventure
Hotel in Los Angeles. a sleek selling where pa rts o f Fanrastic } ourll ey were milled.
Art director Paul Peters based his costume designs for 25th century Eart h on those of Edwardian England.
Produce r Stevens had wanted to indicat e a culture that was morall y rigid. The dresses and uni forms have hi gh collars
and long sleeves to suggest a repr essed mentality. Ant ique furniture is scattered throughout the sleek, futur istic se t to
suggest an ea rli er era before the nuclear holocaust.
The Draconian empire, in cont rast , is se nsuous and primitive. Stevens and Pet ers compared Princess Ardala and
her kingdom to the Mongols that conquered Europe centuries ago. The make-up reflects thi s war-like mood. Draconians
have tattooed faces, occasional metal eyes, necklaces of teeth and claws and also helmet s simil ar t o those of samurai
warriors.
There were a few problems unique to the producti on of Buck Rogers. Wilma Deering is a blonde and Erin Gray,
who portrays Wilma, is a brunette. Her hair was dyed ove r and over again to achi eve the right look. The midgets, inside
heavy robot costumes. would occasionall y have to stop and take off t he ir costumes to avoid fainting from the hea t.
It took a wealt h of space-age technology to film Buck Rogers. Most chall engi ng we re the aerial dogfight s which
special effects men Dave Garber and Wayne Smitl"Lchoreographed with the aid of a Hewlett ·Packard "45" comput er.
Individual movement s of dozens of miniature spacecrart we re first tracked on comput er tape. The computer then
controlled the cameras which made the ships seem to loop, pitch, dive, yaw and colli de at incredible speed and fi re lase r
blasts with unerr ing accuracy.
Among the ot her demands of the aerial sequences was the construct ion of scores or fl ying spaceships. including
Buck's Ranger III space shuttle, the Draconian mother ship. the pirate marauders and the starfi ghters under Wilma's
command. " Al most eve ry ship was constructed twice:' says Dave Garber. " One version was a scale model whi ch could
be made to move like a real ship ror the dogfi ght scenes. The other was a rull-size mock·up with electroni c working
pa rt s which was built at the studio. "
Prindples
Guidelines 1929-79
The foll owing Buck Rogers credo was establi shed at the
strip's in ception and faithfu ll y adhe red to for the 38 years
of its existence as a powerful force in Ameri can life.
l. Buck Rogers realism was to be based on the scientificall y
possibl e and probabl e. Scientific develo pment s depi cted were
tu give the impression thai hypotheses being theorized in the
20th century were coming to fr uition in the 25th century.
2. Buck Rogers was to portray science and educat ion in a
positive manner. The st rip's secondary lead characte r, Doc-
tor Huef, was to be a friendly, helpful sCienti st/ educator.
Youngsters didn' t need bulging muscl es to succeed. Wh at
they needed was a bone·deep respect for learning and mat -
ters of the mind.
3. Buck Rogers was to cany no heavy.handed social mes-
sage. The strip was to be non-political and non-di scri mina .
tory. Women were to be presented as the respected equals
of men. Earth men we re to be pictured as eage r to cooper-
ate with the Mart ians, Venusians or the inhabi tant s of any
ot her planet.
4. The importance of the female sex was to be under-
scored . Wilma Dee ring, a lieutenant , appea red in the fir st
day's release on Janua ry 7. 1929, and shared 1110S1 of
Buck's advelllures on an equal footing. Other women, such
as Elthana of Venus and Amara of Deos, had sta rring parIs.
5. Buck Rogers was to be basicall y adventure and ent er-
tainment. All der ring-do was to represent the age·old can.
nict between good and evil ; between avaricious self.seeke rs
and peacemakers. There was to be enough sof:-pedalcd roo
mance to hook tee n-agers and adult s. but no prolonged kisses.
Did ad herence to th is credo payoff? Emphat ically. The ad-
ven tu res of Buck Rogers as depicted in a long runn ing com·
ic strip, books. radio serial s and olllhc movie sc reen. inspired
a generati on of Americans 10 se riously consider the possi-
bi lit ies of space travel and atomic ene rgy. We already have,
here in the latter quarter of the 20t h century, atomi c
energy, tel evision, lase r beams and more than a hund red
other development s emphasized or prophesied in the fea ture.
Glen A. Larson
Executive Producer and Co-Writer
One of loday's mosl prolifi c screenwrit ers. Gl en A.
Larson began hi s career in a musical group, The Four Preps.
Among the tunes he composed for the quart et were three Gold
Record win ne rs. 26 Miles (Soma Catalillaj. Big Mall and
Dowli by fil e Station Ti red of cons tant traveling. he
tri ed television wri ting. One of his first sc ript s became <Ill epi .
sude uf TlVel ve 0 'Clock High. He sold a screellpby to the
seri es If Takes a Thief and SOOI1 became its produce r. Afte r a
long assol.:i ati on with II Takes a Thief, he left 10 produce seg-
lII ents of Men from Shiloh and then developed Alias Smith
and Jones , McCloud. The Six Million-Dollar )\-/011, Swirch,
Quincy, The lIardy Boys alld Nancy Drew My steries and
Sword of Jll stice. Larson recentl y shared credit ror bOlh th c
s(.; rccnpl:J y and producti on or Evening in ByzallfiulIl and
l1aff/esfar Galaefiea.
Daniel Haller
Director
Born in Glendal e. Ca lirorn ia. Daniel I-taller rece ived hi s
art t raining al the renowned Chouinard Institut e. By chance.
he met di rector Roger Corman in the mid-1950's when Cor-
man was still an unknown . independent producer. direc tor.
Corman pe rsuaded I-Jail er to become an art director. a relation·
ship whi ch conti nued through some thirt y Corman films.
Hall er lat er became a direc tor unde r Corma n's banner, turni ng
out such films as Paddy , Checkered Flag and DeI/iI's Angels,
with John Cassavetes. In 1971 he moved to television, direct-
ing episodes or Kajak, Owell Marshall and The Blue Knight, as
wel l as such movi es ror televi sion as Black Beauty and Little Mo.
Hall er lives in th e western San Fernando Vall ey Ull a r:lIIdl
with hi s ralllil y. where he rai ses horses.
Leslie Stevens
Supervising Producer and Co-Writer
For Broadway, Leslie Stevens wrote the hit comedy
Marriage-Co-Round, whi ch he later adapted to the screen and
produced as a starring velticle for Susan Hayward. He wrote
the screenplay The Left-Handed GUll directed by Arthur Pen n
and sta rring Paul Newman, Other films which Stevens pro-
duced, directed and wrote include lIeroes Island. sta rring
James Mason, and Private Property, starring Warren Oates. In
television he crea ted the Outer Limits series, which he also
wrote, direc ted and supervised as executive producer. He was
writer, director and executive producer of the pil ot fil m and
major episodes of It Takes A Thief and McCloud and wrot e
and produced installments for the series The Invisible Mall
and Gemini Mall. Te levision features which he has written and
produced included Fer' de Lance and Stonestreet.
Ri chard Caffey
Producer
A nati ve of San Francisco, Ri chard Caffey graduated
UCLA wit h a degree in business administration but headed
st raigh t for the set of the science fict ion classic, George Pal's
The ~ t l a r of the Worlds, where he was assistant direclOr. He
subsequently served as product ion manager on scores of major
movies incl uding A Place ill the Sun and Ce cil B. De Mi lle's
epic, The Tell Commandments. As a television producer, he
helmed such popular se rics as Combat. Jigsaw l a/III and Medi-
cal Cel/ter. Namcd to head MGM's video arm, he was inst ru-
mental in devcJoping a succession of hit shows, incl uding
CHiPs, Logan's RUIl and HolV the West Was WOIl . Caffey had
wa nted to do Buck Rogers for years and promptly quit his
execut ive post at MGM to produce the new venture.
Cost"
Buck Rogers. .GIL GERARD
Credits
Pri ncess Ard ala .
Wilma Deering
Kane ...
Doctor Huer.
Draco
Ti gcrman .
Twiki.
Young Woman
Supervisor
Pil ol ..
ComlclOfficer
Tech nicia n .
Guard # 1.
Guard # 2 . .
Offi cer
Ti gCTll1<1 1l # 2
Wrather .
Pil ot #2.
Pil ot #3.
Wingman.
Stuntmcn.
PHIL
Voices.
Producer ...
Directed by
Wri tten by .
Executive Producer .
Supervising Producer .
Director of l'IH)lOg"ph)l .
An Dirc(; l or .
Edited by .....
Music Composed and
Associa te Producers ...
Sci Decora tions.
Assist alll Art Director
Sound . . .... Andy l"lm,l'''.
Sound Herecording .
Music Editor. ..... . . . .... .
Uialoguc Editor. . i I .
Sml!HJ Hfg<; !i, I , , , , , , , I , • • , , , •
Unit Produc liull
RivCll i. Chris Nibley
' ....... ; , , ... Syd DuHon
.
OpliC"al Supervi sor ,
Todd. h ck Slone. ......
Costume Supervisors ,
Scrip, Supervi sors.
Casti ng by ,
Choleogra phcr
Stullt Courdi nators
Special Effccts
Propert y
Key Grip ,
Gaffer . '
· .... Yam Wi se. Gene Ostler
· . Di:ma Loomis. Joyce li ef tel
. .. , .... . Bob Edmi slon
...... Miriam Nelson
· .Tony Brubaker . Fred Waugh
. .... Bud Ewi ng. Jack Faggard
J oe Kuri. Jay r-,'lill cr
. , .. , Steve Clark
.. . , ... , .J:l ck Toud
Edilori:ll Assist:lIl ts
Product iun Ass',s,.
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Edi tcd by Anne LlIl lpCrl DeSigned by Don Lc Jesse
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unl"",'11 Ti lle
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David Stypfs
. . Pal rkk Murphy
James Kibbee
Leonie An!!<l .
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