Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1981) – The Guardians, and Mark of the Saurian

Buck (Gil Gerard) and the crew of the Search have an interesting encounter this week when they become The Guardians. Written by Paul and Margaret Schneider this episode was first broadcast on 29 January, 1981.

After a strange encounter with a dying man, who claims to have been waiting for Buck, Hawk (Thom Christopher) and Rogers find themselves in charge of a strange, jade box that needs to be transported across the stars.

Unfortunately, it’s not going to be that easy. It seems anyone who has an encounter with the box has a vision. Buck has one of his mother before he left on his mission, Hawk sees his beloved, Wilma (Erin Gray) sees herself losing her sight, while Asimov (Jay Garner) struggles with the fact that his crew might not survive the journey.

Somehow the box can take control of the Searcher even as the visions plague the crew. It directs the ship across unknown space intent on reaching a destination that the crew has no control over. All they can hope is for answers and perhaps a way to deliver the box for which they find themselves the Guardians.

The box has several familiar symbols on it, suggesting that it ties in with countless faiths and beliefs, and I find it somewhat akin to Pandora’s Box. For all the terrible things that the box lets out, there is still hope.

Buck and the rest face trials to prove themselves and their worth but what does the box really constitute? Buck and the rest will find out by the episode’s end.

Mark of the Saurian is fun and features some very familiar science fiction tropes. Written by Francis Moss this episode first debuted on 5 February, 1981.

Buck is sick. He has some strange virus, Cignus Fever, and isn’t feeling so great. That won’t stop him from being the hero though even if no one believes what he is seeing.

It seems the Saurians, a lizard-like race, are supposedly in peace negotiations with humanity. In fact, they are working at infiltrating the Delta Defense Grid to take it over and use it themselves. But they are able to use technology to mask their appearance so that no one will suspect them.

Buck, thanks to his illness, sees the Saurians surrounded by an aura, and eventually, as they really are and learns about the threat they pose. When he makes claims about the invaders everyone believes he is delusional because of his sickness.

The Saurians recognize him as a threat and work to rid themselves of the problem. But even when he’s sick, Buck Rogers is a force to be reckoned with and perhaps, eventually, the rest of the Searcher crew will see what he sees and believe him.

Fairly familiar material, but fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s