Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1981) – The Satyr, and Shgoratchx!

Buck (Gil Gerard) and Twiki (Felix Silla, voice by Mel Blanc) find themselves in a bit of a fantasy story with The Satyr. Written by Paul Schneider this episode first debuted on 12 March, 1981.

The Searcher arrives at a planet and Buck draws the assignment to go and catalog it. Upon arrival he and Twiki learn the inhabitants, a boy and his mother, are being terrorized by a satyr-like creature. Our hero gets into trouble when he ends up getting bitten by one of the planet’s creatures (and then the satyr himself), and slowly becomes a satyr himself, which leads to the revelation that the satyr is a male member of the colony transformed by something on the planet.

So there’s a riff on the werewolf story as well as mythology by combing the satyr story with that of Buch getting bitten and beginning his transformation. That doesn’t mean the episode does anything exceptional at this point the series must have known the end was imminent because the stories seem to be trending towards the worse.

There’s a bit of a coming-of-age story with the young boy, Delph (Robert Lane) and views familiar with this series and the original Galactica will recognize some of the story trappings as used in The Lost Warrior.

The rest of the cast is sidelined for the entire episode, appearing briefly throughout. In fact, despite the fact that Twiki goes with Buck, he’s not seen a lot in this story either, as Buck needs to repair the little droid.

At this point, it feels like the potential that was lurking under the surface of the first season has been completely squandered. It’s almost a trial to get through these episodes.

Shgoratchx! Sigh.

And before I start in on this one, here’s a question: why is Buck using his shuttle again instead of a starfighter? Did they retrofit it? And speaking from a production point of view, wouldn’t it just be easier to recycle all the starfighter material already shot as opposed to using this ridiculous shuttle? I mean it’s exterior doesn’t even match the proportions of the interior.

Anyway.

This episode was penned by William Keys and was first broadcast on 19 March, 1981. Buck, who looks a little worse for wear investigates a broken down ship with Hawk (Thom Chrisopher) and the robot Crichton.

There they discover a group of little people most of whom are dressed like Napoleon. There are seven of them in total, and when Buck guides them back to the Searcher, they are shocked to discover Wilma (Erin Gray), who is forced to wander around in her short skirt uniform and be ogled by the visitors as they have never seen a woman.

It seems the group has been adrift for a couple hundred years but are still intent on completing their mission, disposing of a number of bombs in a sun.

Things go awry, and it’s supposedly in an attempt to be cute, but I find that the episode, once again, just doesn’t work.

Gerard, or Buck, with his unkempt appearance looks like he’s just calling in at this point. And honestly, I can relate. There’s three episode to go, and they really feel like they’re going to be a trial.

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