Friday, January 31, 2014

Buck Rogers 1.21: “Space Rockers”

Airdate: 2/21/80

The kids are diggin’ a new rock group, Andromeda, but Dr. Huer is disturbed by reports that some of the young un’s are acting a bit rowdy at their concerts, even by adolescent standards. When Buck goes undercover to the band’s headquarters, he discovers that their new manager, Mangros, has altered the altered the transmission of their music so that its listeners go completely beserk. It’s a race against time for Buck to stop this fiendish plot before Andomeda’s big concert – fortunately he has the help of some of the bands more sensible members – and when Mangros’s signal is destroyed, he becomes a laughing stock.

Hands down the most god-blessedly dated episode of the series thus far. The “Space Rockers” resemble a cross between Daft Punk and Devo, while the funk they’re playing could’ve been the B-side of a Meco single. Not enough? A young Jerry Orbach as the heavy and Night Court’s Richard Moll (with hair) as his head henchman. And the usual babe quota includes hot Judy Landers in a completely superfluous role as one of the groupies. Clearly a metaphoric episode given the “threat” of late-70s punk and metal on the nation’s youth (The Incredible Hulk and Quincy had similar episodes during this same TV season), which had culminated in the deadly Who concert stampede just the previous year. 

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