Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Buck Rogers 1.19: “Olympiad”

Airdate: 2/7/80

It’s time for the 2492 Olympiacs, and Buck, knowing a bit about the event, is invited to attend as a special guest. A troubled beauty named Lara asks him to go star cruising with her, but it turns out she needs his help to save her athlete boyfriend, Jorax, from the oppressive clutches of Allerick, a tyrant using Jorax as a political figurehead. Not necessarily the easiest thing in the world, especially when you consider that Allerick has implanted a molecular bomb inside Jorax’s head, and can detonate it if he senses any escape attempt. Oh – and the bomb – it can kill anyone next to the vertical vaulter as well. Buck, Wilma and Twikki know this, so they fly Jorax through the stargate, where any hope of remote detonation is – remote. Naw, make that impossible!

Political exploitation of the Olympics was sure a hot-button topic in the winter of 1980 (the U.S. had just announced a boycott of the Moscow Summer Olympics in protest over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan). Buck Rogers, never missing the chance for socio-political editorializing, explored this brazen Carterian move with this story of a would-be defector, desperate for the chance to escape his shackles and come to earth – and by earth we mean America (New Chicago, to be specific). But seriously, not a bad outing with Buck and the gang – definitely highlighted by the charming, ever-appealing soap and TV veteran Judith Chapman as Lara. In addition to being a fantastic fox, she’s a wonderfully nuanced actress, as evidenced by her ride with Buck when she appeals to him for help. Also, don’t miss the beginning scene of the futuristic Olympic events, particularly the telekinetic boxing. Perhaps farfetched back then, it doesn’t look so nowadays, what with virtual gaming and the like.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...