On Saturday at 11:30AM, the Hyatt International North was the landing site of Gil Gerard, best known for his lead role as Buck Rogers in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Although the show lasted a short two seasons, it had an impact on the Sci-Fi world. It’s become an icon. A hero from the 20th century awakens in the 25th century and keeps the universe safe from villains. Gerard shared a lot of his insights to the series and how his input affected the show.
According to Gerard, one of the biggest reasons the show was cancelled was the network kept changing the time slot. “If people lost track of the show, they couldn’t watch it.” It wasn’t the writing, per se. There were a lot of scripts that Gerard loved. However, he did state that he “blocked out a lot of the show, especially Season Two” because he wasn’t happy with the direction the network tried to take the show. The show “ripped off Battlestar Galactica. They got cancelled. Right after, we got cancelled. You can’t follow the format of a failing show.”
Gerard did say he stood up for the role of women in society. He insisted that if there were male officers in a scene, there were women officers, too. If there were men welders, he wanted women, too. “If there were no women, I refused to shoot the scene.” He wanted to send out a message, even if it was a subtle one, to all young women: you can be anything you want to be. No job was a “male-only” job. “This was 1979. Sending out this kind of message wasn’t something that was done.” Even in 1979, Gill Gerard was a proponent of women’s rights.
Although Gerard hated Season Two, his favorite episode was “The Satyr.” He loved the storyline. It was character-driven. It had love and intrigue. There was depth to the story.
He wished he had more influence as to the story arc in general. To Gerard, it didn’t make any sense that Buck wouldn’t be on Earth, checking out all the changes that happened after being in a coma for 500 years. For him to be sent out was the wrong direction for the show. “Maybe the show would have been more successful if Buck would have had more adventures on Earth.” He pitched this idea to the network. Their response was if they got picked up for a Season Three, they would do it. Of course, the series was, unfortunately, cancelled. A second movie was suggested, but the people who owned the rights did not want a second movie. “They were so stupid not to do a second movie. The first one was so successful. It would have made sense.”
Gerard is still a crowd pleaser. He will always be welcomed here at Dragon Con.