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Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - Complete list of specs for The Complete Epic Series

Posted by David Lambert
Universal Studios Home Video seems bent on releasing Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - The Complete Epic Series DVD info just a piece at a time. First they talked about the release date(11/16), and then about the price ($89.98 SRP). Then word leaked out that stars Gil Gerard and Erin Gray were not participating in extras for the set, confirming earlier reports.

We're still waiting for word about what extras WILL be on the set, if any, and we're waiting for the cover art to make an appearance as well. But now we have another piece of the puzzle: complete specs for the box set, including the Universal version of the episode count. Let's look at that one first.

We've referred to this release as containing "all 36 episodes of the series, including the 2 part pilot (which we assume will be 1 episode as originally aired)." Some readers wrote in to point out that and other online episode lists count "37" episodes. Well, we sort-of agree with that, since we usually count double-length episodes (like the Buck Rogers pilot, "Awakening") as "two episodes" in our own counts here.

On this particular news item we decided to call it "36" episodes, mainly because the pilot was also shown theatrically in the U.S. six months prior to the series launch, in a bid by Universal to generate extra enthusiasm for the show (and to generate some extra profit as well). The film was a slightly racier cut of the pilot, which you can read about at the Internet Movie DataBase (IMDB).

"Awakening" wasn't the only double-length episode, though. There was also "Planet of the Slave Girls" (second episode), "Flight of the War Witch" (concluding the first season), "Time of the Hawk" (opener of the second-season, which only ran 11 weeks), and "Journey to Oasis" (second season, second week). And those are just the ones which aired all together on a single night! In addition, there was the first-season episode "Plot to Kill a City," whose two parts aired in consecutive weeks.

Universal is keeping that in mind, and excluding "Plot," as they market The Complete Epic Series as featuring "all 32 episodes including 5 double-length episodes." With the five extra "halves" of the double-lengthers added in, that comes to the same count of "37" that came up with.

Universal also says that the set "includes the original pilot movie." While it's not spelled out, we can only assume that this refers to the theatrical cut of "Awakening," complete with the opening sequence and other footage and dialogue that the IMDB says was changed for broadcast. If that's the case, Universal might consider this a sort of "extra"...but at this time, they do not list it as such. So it's still vague as to what this refers to.

Other specs that are now spelled out are these:
  • PICTURE: Full Frame (1.33:1)
  • AUDIO: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • SUBTITLES: French, Spanish
  • CAPTIONS: English
  • DVDS:
    • Disc 1: 6 Hours 23 Minutes, Double-Sided, Double-Layer (DVD-18)
    • Disc 2: 6 Hours 31 Minutes, Double-Sided, Double-Layer (DVD-18)
    • Disc 3: 6 Hours 31 Minutes, Double-Sided, Double-Layer (DVD-18)
    • Disc 4: 6 Hours 30 Minutes, Double-Sided, Double-Layer (DVD-18)
    • Disc 5: 4 Hours 4 Minutes, Double-Sided, Mixed-Layer (DVD-14)

That's all Universal is talking about so far. We're keeping a "Hawk" eye out for more info, and we'll bring it to you before Ardala shows up with the Draconian fleet! Stay tuned.

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Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

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