Best of / Worst of Character Moments
Buck Rogers' "Return of the Fighting 69th"
Hey there, all. Time again for a mini-posting, where we praise our characters for their power moments of awesome, before then
immediately insulting them for being stupid... y'know, like the news does.
So, let us direct our attention to the wonder that is Gil Gerard and Erin Gray in tight spandex running around holding blasters just
like we did when we were kids ... well, we were the Star Wars Generation, after all.
This Is Why We Love You:
Buck Rogers: Okay, in this particular episode "love" might be a bit too strong. Alas for Buck, the script doesn't really treat him all that
well, even though I don't think the writers had a clue about it.
But, this is about a good moment for Rogers, and in that regard, his piloting skills shine through during the beginning battle scene.
Wilma Deering: Oh boy. You thought the script was rough on Buck's character? Poor Wilma gets shafted by a broken aesop lesson.
But, nevermind that for now.
I really enjoyed Wilma's standing her ground in the face of Huer's and Buck's disapproval about her decision to disallow the
unqualified pilots from carrying out a critical mission. She was logical, she was determined and... adding to my contention the script
writers had no clue... SHE WAS RIGHT.
Doctor Huer: Hmmm. I like Doctor Huer, really, but I just don't see anything to give him even a small kudo for.
Doctor Theopolous: Our computer-council member doesn't get much to do this episode and so he gets no kudo.
Twiki: Our komedy-relief is kept out of the way for the most part (yay). Because of this, he doesn't get any strong moments, and
ergo no kudo.
I'm Trying to Love You, But....:
Buck - This script really turns Rogers into a jerk. I don't like nearly all of his conversations with Wilma. He's arrogant, judgemental,
stubborn and HE'S WRONG.
For his worst moment though, I'm going to go with his utter and complete refusal to recognize that Wilma was right to ground the old
pilots, and to apologize to her for butting his opinion in on a command decision she'd made before he was ever even there to know
the full story.
This is even after THE OLD PILOTS FAILED TO HIT ONE TARGET IN COMBAT FLIGHT PRACTICE FOR A CRITICAL MISSION.
Even though Buck was part of the 100% fail-rate during the combat test, he still insists Wilma is being all judgemental against the
Wilma - Wilma's huge problem is that she loses her backbone in the face of unrelenting criticism from Buck, Noah and Huer over her
JUSTIFIED decision to keep Noah's team grounded. But, her absolute nadir is near the end of the episode when we find out that
she has now adjusted flight tests to allow pilots to continue serving, even if they have no peripheral vision!
And this is treated as her learning a valuable lesson about ageism and seeing the light! At least until the next squad gets wiped out
because some half-blind pilot turns his ship into his formation and blows them all up.
Uggh... I'm disgusted. Let's move on.
Huer - The doctor really pisses me off by not having Wilma's back much more strongly when Buck starts way-over-identifying with
the 'old timers'. All of them failed their flight exam physicals, and this is why they'd been grounded. When Buck started his BS, Huer
should have reminded him of this fact and asked him if he'd love to fly tight formation with pilots whose reflexes and vision had been
compromised. But, he doesn't. He tacitly takes Buck's side in believing that Wilma was too harsh in grounding the 69th.
Theopolous: Well, technically Theo should also be questioning Huer's decision to impress on Wilma that she should allow pilots
clearly not qualified to go ahead on a critical mission to save Earth, anyway, just because.
But, I'm gonna allow him to slide by simply because he didn't have the screen time to be aggregious in his failure to be logical about
the whole thing.
Twiki: As mentioned, Twiki's role was extremely limited to a few lines so he doesn't get a mark against him this time out.