Those '70s Shows


I'm a sucker for TV shows on DVD. And even more so when said TV shows are super cheap. Despite having too much going on in my life right now, I picked up hours upon hours of nerdy television goodness recently due to the low, low prices.

Gil Gerard headlines Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. This show was heavily inspired by the success of Star Wars and borrows heavily from the James Bond franchise as well. Over-ambitious in its goals, Buck Rogers fails to deliver on what could have been a serious social commentary on where our world is heading. I picked up the entire series (two seasons) for $10. As Twiki would say, "Bidi-bidi-bidi, that's a hard price to turn down!"

Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno star as David Banner and the Hulk respectively in The Incredible Hulk. Bixby is the ever-reliable, solid, stalwart scientist who has been cursed with this beast that lives within him. He is a trouble magnet and inevitably tries to do the right thing at the risk of becoming the Hulk, usually twice per episode. Very much inspired by The Fugitve, he wanders from town to town hoping to find a cure but usually getting wrapped up in some sort of protection scheme or drug deal situation gone wrong. The show lasted for five seasons and I managed to snag the complete set for less than $40.

The Incredible Hulk debuted when I was probably still in diapers. And Buck Rogers not too long after that. I have fond memories of both of these shows from my days as a wee lad. And I had great fun watching them later in reruns. I recall one summer spent watching The Incredible Hulk everyday on WGN. In spite of the fact that Buck was cheesy and schlocky and the Hulk was overly formulaic and predictable, these two shows certainly make up part of my "nerd DNA." I look forward to revisiting them in the coming weeks/months ahead.


Do you have any fond memories of these shows? What old shows, good or bad, make up your "nerd DNA"?

9 comments:

Phillyradiogeek said...

No one is a bigger fan of the Hulk TV series than me! I got season 1 for Christmas a few years ago, and my wife just picked up seasons 2 and 3 for $10 each this weekend. It certainly wasn't high art, and it sure as hell doens't represent the comic book at all, but man what a fun show that brings great memories!

Brian (Cool and Collected) said...

That Buck Rogers DVD set is worth picking up for the intro song alone. They tried so hard to be as cool as James Bond with the sultry sounds and girls, but missed it ever so slightly. Here's a link to the lovely tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM0p9VHeoyA

The Tyler Gang said...

Hey, CT! Jack here. I was in my 20's, and should have HUGE memories, right? It was a struggle to come up with anything. I was fresh from the military, and attempting to treat my social ineptitude with various forms of cannibis, but I remember both Buck and the Hulk. Buck I wandered away from because it developed "waitaminuteitis," and the Hulk I wandered away from because it didn't. Remembering that I spent the last half of the 60's in parts of the world where TV was a myth, and indoor plumbing was viewed as pure magic, the show that most effected me in the 70's was original Star Trek, which was new to me at the time. That was where I learned that WE could be the aliens in the space ships, and it set off my third (unsuccessful) period of trying to write my own novel.

Other shows I remember were Happy Days, that show about my childhood (nostalgia for a 20-year old; how pathetic is that!). The Dukes of Hazzard (the boys' smokin' car, Catherine Bach's smokin' legs, and that smokin' bluegrass soundtrack; what's not to like?). Sanford and Son (Oh my God! Ghetto people on TV! They were racists! They ran schemes on each other! They called each other the "N" word! They were hilarious! The fact that this show could be done and accepted pretty much shows that that was when race relations peaked in this country). The sci-fi was less than stellar. Battlestar Galactica showed what happened when you brought over contract writers from a sitcom; really, a remake of Shane as the third episode? Great western; didn't translate to sci-fi so well. The Six Million Dollar Man was at the other end of the spectrum. Lee Majors: Nice, pleasant person; as an actor, he'd make a good helicopter mechanic. Watch him for 60 minutes, you think you really are watching a robot...

Bet you expected more from your "Elder Statesman," but like they say, If you can remember the 70's, you weren't really there!

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Absolutely loved the Buck Rogers and Hulk series! I specifically remember one episode of Buck Rogers featuring a Space Vampire. As a seven year old kid, I saw that episode when it first aired. It scared the living crap out of me! In hindsight it was super cheesy, but to my seven year old brain it was as scare as Salem's Lot!

Other Geek DNA shows for me include: Battlestar Galactica (original series), Galactica 1980, Doctor Who (original series), and V (the mini-series and weekly series).

Great memories!

The Irredeemable Shag
http://onceuponageek.com
http://firestormfan.com

DirtyDave said...

I too enjoyed the Hulk and I recall being impressed by Battlestar Galactica. All of these memories are from the early 80's and I was quite young so I have made a point to avoid watching these shows again so I don't ruin the childhood recollection.

I have fond memories of watching Dr. Who with my dad but I most remember looking forward to each new episode of Scooby Doo. I was born in 1977 so Scooby Doo may not have been on until the 80's but that show was my first real taste of adventure and always included something supernatural or other worldly. So thanks to Scooby and Co. for making me the nerd I am.

Paxton said...

Dude, I want the Six Million Dollar Man DVD set so bad it hurts.

CT said...

Thanks for all the comments, everyone. Lots of great shows mentioned. Dukes of Hazzard was a big part of my early childhood and also another show I caught during the summers in syndication. I hope to get those DVDs some day.

I also remember watching the original Battlestar when it was on and having some of the action figures. That's another one I'd like to track down and watch all of someday. It's only 17 episodes so it would be a breeze to get through.

Dave mentioned that he hadn't watched some of these shows so as not to "ruin the childhood recollection." That's always a risk going back to these old shows. Although, I've been impressed at how well some of these shows hold up. The Hulk does hold up rather nicely. A lot of the early Dukes episodes do as well. I've mentioned my love of The A-Team before. What makes these shows fun are the characters more than anything. Even if the writing doesn't hold up, the characters and premise usually do.

The Tyler Gang said...

Hi, Dave! Pleased to meet you. I'm Jack, the long-winded leader of the Tyler Gang (unless you ask one of the other members!). Regarding your fear of "ruining" your childhood experiences, I would like to suggest to you that that ain't gonna happen! When I was about six, my absolute, hands-down, number one hero was a cheesy, campy, culty, low-budget Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon substitute known as Commando Cody, Sky Marshall of the Universe. Google him; he's a hoot! Judd Holdren played the guy. William Schallert was the original sidekick, until he decided to salvage his acting career and ran for the hills! About six months ago, I ran across a DVD that had one of the several six-episode story arcs on it. Snapped it up. Waited a month or so to watch it for largely the same reason you cite; "How bad is this gonna suck?" Believe me, it doesn't! All you see is the good stuff. This horse's-patoot TV serial invented nearly all the things that Paramount will try to sue you for if you use them in your own work of fiction. This is the first place I've ever seen a spaceship crew doing external repairs on their ship; they wore insignia badges that concealed radios, and these were a story point; they used a tractor beam for the first time I'm aware of. They didn't call it that (it was an "inverse repulsor ray" if I remember right), but that's what it was. The only thing they missed was the transporter. They had a supervillian who attacked the earth by changing the sun's energy output, or intensifying the bad weather. Yes, it's corny; yes, it's cheesy, but that's not what I saw.

You have to realize that I'm 62 years old. It's been 55 years since I've seen this, and there's been 55 years of development in sci-fi, but it held up FOR ME. You probably wouldn't dig ol' Commando, but I'm betting your childhood loves would hold up for you, too. They're like your first crush; the joy never wears off. Get them! Watch them! Laugh, cry, and be six again! You can thank me later...

Jeeg said...

The Dukes was probably the only show which started in the 70s that I watched during its original run. That was MY show as a toddler and elementary school kid.

Reruns of classic Trek, Battlestar, Buck Rogers, Incredible Hulk, and others were definitely formative for me, but not until later in the 80s when I was 10-12 years old.

Am I the only one who loves the overly dramatic music in the Hulk? The end theme and the crescendo whenever Hulk appears get me every time.

Copyright © Nerd Lunch