Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Buck Rogers Web Series Debuting in 2010

The Dille Trust and Cawley Entertainment will be streaming a new Buck Rogers web series in 2010 and have posted a teaser trailer. When they wrote it was a teaser trailer, they meant it was a teaser trailer. One cannot discern much about what the series will be based in the short trailer available, but a couple of things are pretty clear.

First, there WILL be rocket ships. This is a good thing. One of the major flaws of the Syfy Flash Gordon series was its awkward attempt to write around rocket ships as transportation.

Second, Gil Gerard will be involved in some way. Given that the Gil Gerard series had a good cameo by Buster Crabbe, it's nice to see the Dille trust continuing the tradition of "handing off the baton."

Third, this is Buck Rogers. That in and of itself is enough to spark my interest.




Here is a description of what they intend to bring to the monitor next year:

Executive Producer James Cawley will be bringing Buck back to his beginnings telling the story from the perspective of a 22 year old Buck Rogers who leaves World War One and is propelled into the 25th Century. “We will be using the technology we have today, to present The Original version of The First Sci-Fi Hero ever! Previous filmed incarnations never really captured the original Buck from the comic strips, which is what we aim to do” Franchise owner, writer and game designer, Flint Dille will be an Executive Producer and Consultant, and will be instrumental in keeping true to the Buck Rogers mythos. Charles Root & Gary Evans who have been instrumental in the success of “New Voyages” will also be serving as Co-Executive Producers for Retro Film studios.


If it is true that they will be aiming to bring the "Original" version of the character to the monitor, some audience members may be turned off by the Yellow Peril nature of the narrative. The early comic strip stories were heavy with Yellow Peril imagery.

While I love rocketships and the classic time period for Buck, the best Buck adaptations -- the Gerard series, the Crabbe serial, the XXIV roleplaying game -- all contained some elements that updated the narrative for "contemporary" audiences. For example, the Gerard series played off of Cold War nuclear holocaust fears and the XXIV game (written by the talented Mike Pondsmith creator of the Cyberpunk rpg for R. Talsorian) incorporated cyberpunk and steampunk narrative elements. I hope this new version does something similar.

Speaking of Mike Pondsmith...one of these days I am going to have to do a post on just how influential this man has been in geek culture and how ahead of his time his concepts have been. Cyberpunk, Steampunk, Mecha, and Dragonball Z...he was there early and deep.
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