Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1981) – The Golden Man, and The Crystals

Buck (Gil Gerard) finds him stuck in a run-of-the-mill adventure that feels a little bit like a fairy tale, perhaps because of the planetary setting and a little silly because of the reveal at the tale’s end.

Written by Calvin Clements Jr. and Stephen McPherson, The Golden Man first aired on 19 February, 1981.

The Searcher pulls in a life pod only to discover a little golden boy, Velis (David Hollander), inside. The tinted child is seeking help and Buck is just the man to do it. It seems Velis is searching for his friend, Relcos (Russell Wiggins), a golden man.

Relcos has come down on a penal colony that looks like a village in a Frankenstein film (it was) and the inhabitants soon learn of his unusual powers. Both Velis and Relcos can change atomic structures which allows them to manipulate matter, transmuting it.

Buck and Velis need to find Relcos now because the Searcher has run aground on an asteroid. While Wilma (Erin Gray), Asimov (Jay Garner), and Hawk (Thom Christopher) work to keep the ship safe Buck and Velis investigate the penal planet.

That is going to lead to a whole bunch of trouble. It also leads to a confrontation between Buck and Graf (Anthony James is back!), the leader of the colony.

The story plays out simply with no surprises even though the revelation at the end was supposed to be an ‘oh wow’ moment.

The series isn’t quite talking down to its audience yet but it definitely isn’t asking them to think up either.

The Crystals has one good thing. Two if you include guest star, Amanda Wyss. Mel Blanc is back as the voice of the droid Twiki (Felix Silla).

Written by Bob and Esther Mitchell, this episode was first broadcast on 5 March, 1981. So that is just over two months since the revamped second season launched. I only bring it up because somehow the Searcher is low on supplies already. Sure there was that weird time thing a couple of weeks ago with that jade box but are you telling me we have no fuel left? Maybe Asimov shouldn’t be in charge of the ship.

Conveniently enough there’s a nearby planet that has the very crystals the Searcher needs for its troubles. Buck, Wilma, and Hawk set out to begin a mining and refining operation.

Buck comes across a young woman (Wyss) who takes the name Laura and seems to crush on Buck. Things are complicated not just for the crystal collection but for those doing it with the discovery of a mummy-type creature that revives and begins wreaking havoc on the planet.

Is there a connection between Laura and the creature? The robot Crichton (voiced by Jeff David) digs into the ship archives and discovers one but proves he’s not infallible in the process. It’s a silly mistake and really doesn’t serve the story.

And two months out from Earth and they have found one of the lost human colonies? Nice job!

More adventures with Buck and company next time!

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