Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979) – Vegas in Space, and The Plot to Kill a City: Part 1

Buck (Gil Gerard) gets pulled into another Earth Defense Directorate plan when they need his help gambling.

Vegas in Space was penned by Anne Collins and was first broadcast on 4 October, 1979. Amos Armat (Cesar Romero!) comes to ask Huer (Tim O’Connor) for help. He’s a ‘legitimate’ business man, who is desperate to get back one of his employees, a young woman named, Felina (Ana Alicia). It seems Felina has seen a side of Armat’s business she wasn’t supposed to, and now a competing ‘businessman,’ Velosi (Richard Lynch) has kidnapped her and plans to work her over for the information, even if he has to employ the dangerous drugs of Morphus (Joseph Wiseman!)

Wilma (Erin Gray) is sidelined for the mission, with Major Marla Landers (Juanin Clay) taking point. The mission will proceed with the understanding that Armat will turn over all the books on his ‘business’ as well as supply Earth with information on how to properly combat the Draconian fighters that have begun to harass them again.

And so the camp begins, because Velosi’s base is a huge space station built for one purpose, gambling. There are lovely ladies, including Tangie (Pamela Susan Shoop) who gets mixed up in the affair, and menacing thugs, all while Buck relaxes into his wide lapels and hopes luck will be a lady, and he can win himself some credits with his surefire method – using his brain.

It’s light, silly, but I do like that the series still continues to put women in leadership positions. There are some deeper things going on here, but it is mainly meant as entertainment, and we get to see how clever we of the 20th century really are.

The Plot to Kill a City: Part 1 sees Buck infiltrating a unique crime group, the Legion of Death, to foil a plan to destroy New Chicago on Earth in an act of revenge for the death of one of the compatriots. Written by Alan Brennert, this episode first debuted on 11 October, 1979.

The Legion is formed by a group of people all with unique abilities, there’s the telepath Quince (John Quade), the disfigured, semi-transparent Varek (Anthony James), the empath Sherese (Nancy DeCarl), and the leader, none other than Frank Gorshin (the second Batman guest in as many episodes) as Kellogg.

Buck ambushes a potential member of the Legion so he can take his place, but before he can arrive on site, he gets captured by some police forces who throw him in to a jail cell with Barney (James Sloyan) a space pirate. The two aren’t confined long before they break out, and go their separate ways, allowing Buck to reach the meeting site.

Sherese is suspicious of the newcomer, and hunts down an old friend who knows the man Buck is impersonating, Joella (Markie Post). Will she blow his cover?

Meanwhile Wilma attempts to work over Quince for information by using her lovely female wiles, and then follows the group to their meeting, and learns their plans, but ends up putting Buck in a precarious position.

But none more so than the position Buck is in when Barney arrives and points out that Buck isn’t who he says he is!

Uh oh.

We’ll have to wait to see how things play out for Buck and Wilma next week, but this one ended up being a lot of fun, and it’s easy to see how my crush on Erin Gray grew week to week! Gorshin doesn’t chew as much scenery as he did in Batman, but he is definitely in charge!

More next time as Buck Rogers continues his time in the 25th century!!!

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