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Buck Rogers in the 25th Century as TV movies

lapis molari

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I'm happy to announce that as an addition to this set of 6 Buck Rogers adventures, I will make a sort of Bonus Features Disc. It will include:

- English subtitles for Buck Rogers episodes outside of my set (loose .srt files). Correctly synced to the blu-rays that disappointingly did not include them.

- Several Buck episodes that get only a few improvements. E.g. Space Vampire has a spaceship continuity error 2 1/2 minutes in, the wrong "Sled" gets replaced with a correct "Launch". In Duel to the Death, Huer's observation that they don't use electricity gets cut.

- The remaining s2 episodes where Twiki's wrong voice is replaced with Mel Blanc's Twiki. They're not my favorite episodes, but it seems sacrilege to create this big a love-letter project to Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and then not fix all of Twiki's voice.

- Poster art for all remaining episodes.


I need to vent:

Removing Wilma as dairy queen from the bulk of Time of the Hawk is far more laborious than I had expected. She's on screen during a lot of important plot development, I can't just cut all of that. My solution so far is:
- Replace shots of (listening) Wilma at her console with later-episode shots of Lt. Devlin at the same console (with continuity checks for crew in the background).
- Cut Buck and Wilma boarding the derelict. Instead, the (heavily trimmed) speech from the derelict's dying captain is now seen as a video communication to Dr. Huer.

In the first half of Hawk, Wilma will have her own adventure: the (repurposed) spaceberg from Twiki is Missing. Removing Buck from that is a pain. It's not easy to replace him with shots of one or two other Federation pilots (from other episodes).
 

keithbk

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Did the Blu-Ray sets have any deleted scenes?

I know my DVD set did not. It was pretty bare-bones.
 

lapis molari

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No deleted scenes, no subtitles, no commentaries on the blu-ray set. The extras are:
- the Theatrical releases of Awakening and Flight of the War Witch, and
- clean opening and closing shots for all episodes (i.e. without credits overlay).
- 2nd audio track on all episodes without dialog (i.e. only music + sound effects).

That's not as much as I'd hoped, but these are very useful. I'm using all of them in my Buck set.
 

lapis molari

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Flight of the War Witch is almost complete. :D

Color correction of one scene remains (from the non-remastered theatrical edition).

The hardest scene to get to work was putting words in Theo's mouth. I think I finally got it. This adds continuity by mentioning the trouble with Draconians (Huer refers to this a few scenes later). And adds continuity across the series by mentioning Anarchia, which appeared significant in the first adventure but was never mentioned again. Until now, that is!

Theo was voiced Eric Server, except in the pilot / first movie where he was voiced by Howard Flynn. Eric Server never said "Anarchia" (of course not, it was never mentioned by anyone outside the first story), so I had to use that line from Howard Flynn. I boosted the treble and applied Audacity's "telephone" filter to get his voice close to Server's.

What do you think? Pw: fanedit.org
 

Malthus

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lapis molari said:
Theo was voiced Eric Server, except in the pilot / first movie where he was voiced by Howard Flynn. Eric Server never said "Anarchia" (of course not, it was never mentioned by anyone outside the first story), so I had to use that line from Howard Flynn. I boosted the treble and applied Audacity's "telephone" filter to get his voice close to Server's.

What do you think?

I watched the video before reading what it was aiming to demonstrate and on that first watch I did notice a slight difference in sound on the word but I just assumed it was a feature of Theo's robotic voice. Almost as though the place name was being looked up from a directory of names. On a second watch I knew what to look for. My only comment is it sounds more robotic than Theo as it is so monotone. You could try pitching it up or down on one of the syllables to give it a more natural cadence but honestly it's a pretty effective edit.
 

lapis molari

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Here's the teaser for Flight of the War Witch. No editing needed in this scene, the original is perfect is it is. :D
pw: fanedit.org

 

dkerin

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Looking forward to this edit!  Love the little things you mixed into your previous edit.   

And the source quality is amazing!   Though like with other shows it reveals some things that old tv quality helped mask.  Like the wires when Buck is levitated in Plot to Kill a City.   Similar to the bluray Space: 1999 which also reveals more of the wires.   But in a way, I enjoy seeing that as I love tv/movie production, and the techniques used at the time.

That of course is nothing reflecting on your edit!  :)  But for us 70s scifi fans, gives a whole new look at shows that have already been watched numerous times.    Keep up the Buck-ing fantasic fun!
 

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I'd like to have a hand at editing the audio clip you created for Doctor Theopolis.

I think I can tweak it a bit and make it sound a hair better, if you want me to fiddle with it.
 

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Just watched the open of Flight of the War Witch to see the added sequences.   I really like the approach of just doing these movie versions, as it lets you pick and choose parts from other episodes that can enhance the story.   And the scenes you chose for this help add a bit more seriousness to Buck's character, and more of the man out of time feeling.  It's like you're looking for these small little puzzle pieces in the whole series and giving more attention where needed.

Will get time to sit and watch the whole way through then do a review.
 

lapis molari

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dkerin said:
Just watched the open of Flight of the War Witch to see the added sequences.

You made my day! You're spot on with your description of what I'm trying to add in these Buck edits. And you made me :blush: for your eager anticipation to check out my expanded opening sequence.

The Season 1 double-length stories lent themselves nicely to this format. The two-parters from Season 2 (Hawk and Oasis) are proving harder to structure this way. Hawk and ambassador Duvoe require screen time early on to flesh them out as major characters, so any new opening sequence can't just replace the original opening. And it looks ugly to just stick them one after the other and put the opening credits at 6 minutes into the story.

My latest draft of Time of the Hawk solves this by having the added story spread across the first hour of the movie. For Journey to Oasis, the only rewarding addition I've figured out so far is a short scene of Doctor Huer briefing Buck and Wilma via the Searcher's view screen (doing a reverse from the Testimony of a Traitor footage: there I zoomed-in to crop out the TV frame, here I'm zooming out to add a frame).
 

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Just curious, and I don't know if it is even plausible, but have you thought about completely cutting ALL references to The Searcher and just keep it all taking place from Earth and space stations? Making Season 2 feel like Season 1.
 

lapis molari

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keithbk said:
Just curious, and I don't know if it is even plausible, but have you thought about completely cutting ALL references to The Searcher and just keep it all taking place from Earth and space stations? Making Season 2 feel like Season 1.

Interesting idea, though I don't see how we can. Asimov and his bridge are the voice and visual of much exposition in the stories. Plus, Buck looks and behaves different in season 2: less carefree and fewer smiles.

It may work for Testimony of a Traitor: they use Earth, and the season 2 regulars don't drive the plot.
 

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Perhaps a transition scene where Buck is at Earth Directorate with Wilma, then Stargates away to meet up with the Searcher. Just a thought.
 

lapis molari

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keithbk said:
Perhaps a transition scene where Buck is at Earth Directorate with Wilma, then Stargates away to meet up with the Searcher. Just a thought.

Ha, ha. I like how you think! That's pretty close to the beginning of my Time of the Hawk edit:

- I have Buck with Huer at Earth Directorate and Wilma on a mission in a Starfighter. They receive report of the freighter captain who warns of "Hawk".
- Then Buck leaves for the Searcher while Wilma continues her mission.
- Once she's done, she realizes that Buck hasn't been heard from (during his overnight hike with Hawk and wounded Koori), and flies out to the Searcher to help (find) him (an hour into the story).

The build-up of Hawk's story is retained; interspersed and lightly trimmed for pacing.
 

lapis molari

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Ha ha ha! My 6-year-old is sharp! I played this outrageous disco version of Blake's 7:


and she promptly started to disco around the room and proclaimed it was Buck Rogers' theme. I told her it's Blake's 7, a different sci-fi series. To which she asked if I was sure because it really sounds like Buck Rogers, with the disco and all. :D
 

Malthus

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lapis molari said:
Ha ha ha! My 6-year-old is sharp! I played this outrageous disco version of Blake's 7 and she promptly started to disco around the room and proclaimed it was Buck Rogers' theme. I told her it's Blake's 7, a different sci-fi series. To which she asked if I was sure because it really sounds like Buck Rogers, with the disco and all. :D

Ha that's Billiant! I've never heard that version before. My favourite sci fi groove was always this:
 

lapis molari

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I couldn't help myself. This was too enjoyable to pass up. :D

The audio opens a bit clunky because I couldn't separate Buck's music from the narrator's first words, so we retain a PA-PAM from that. I added a Twiki shot and a group shot of Buck, Wilma and Hawk, and I replaced Wilma's shot (to look less dairy queen).

If I can clean up that bit of audio, I'm tempted to use this as the opening of the episode Shgoratchx! I had planned to simply skip that episode, but if I add this and some other over-the-top elements, we might get a fun self-parody. :dodgy:
Or perhaps simply a fun clip for the blooper reel?

As usual, password: fanedit.org
 

lapis molari

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We're getting closer! Only 3 edits to go before the set is complete!

Buck%20set.jpg
 

bionicbob

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lapis molari said:
As usual, password: fanedit.org

I am going to have that tune stuck in my head all day now....  :p lol
 

lapis molari

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Buck starts on Earth in my Time of the Hawk edit, with Huer and Theo. But that only works if the transition to the Searcher makes sense. That transition is finally shaping up. :)

We still open on Hawk finding his people killed (lightly trimmed for pacing). Then we cut to Earth where Huer gets a video message from admiral Asimov. It may be unusual for an admiral to contact Huer directly, but Huer addresses that in-story.
Buck overhears and decides that Asimov needs his help. Doing what, you wonder? Lucky for the story logic, Huer actually calls him out on that (that doesn't stop our impulsive hero from going of course!).

I cut Buck and Wilma on the damaged freighter (for multiple reasons), but the exposition by its captain is necessary for the story build-up. Solution: he's the reason Asimov calls Huer, to relay the distress call from the dying captain. We no longer visit the inside of the freighter, instead we see its captain on Huer's monitor:

freighter%20captain%20warns%20of%20Hawk.jpg
 
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