I remember seeing this newspaper ad "slick" in the pages of Starlog
(Issue #10 or #11, I think), and it was my very first glimpse of the original Buck Rogers serial. Riding both
the Star Wars
sci-fi juggernaut and the general wave of pop culture nostalgia prevalent in the 70s, opportunistic independent film distributor Crystal Pictures licensed the 1939 Universal Buck Rogers
chapterplay starring Buster Crabbe
and made it available to revival theaters and college campuses.
I have no idea how successful this theatrical campaign was, but within a year, Universal had begun work on their own Buck Rogers
revival, which eventually led to the 1979 TV pilot/theatrical film and subsequent television series.
The BBC, forever aware of a good deal, snapped up many of these old b&w serials after the success of STAR WARS and - as a junior Star Warrior - I was treated to the likes of BUCK ROGERS, FLASH GORDON, KING OF THE ROCKET MEN, UNDERSEA KINGDOM etc. They were clunky. They were unlikely. They weren't Star Wars... but my imagination filled in the gaps and I found them as much fun as their more glossy - and modern - rivals. Yay for the BBC.ReplyDelete
PBS (Atlanta, GA) ran the serials for a long while after Star Wars came out. I would have been ten or eleven, but I remember being fascinated with them. Good old public broadcasting system.ReplyDelete
yes Slow, fond memories of watching those on bbc2.ReplyDelete
One of the local New York City stations (don't recall now if it was WPIX or WOR) used to show the Buck Rogers serial from time to time during the late sixties and early seventies. This led to Buster Crabbe doing regional ads on NY stations.ReplyDelete
Universal later claimed "Star Wars" plagiarized their "Buck Rogers" serials (and "Silent Running") when they countersued 20th Century-Fox, which had sued them first over "Battlestar Galactica."ReplyDelete