I grew up watching “Buck Rogers In the 25th Century” in the early 1980s. Although Star Wars was more popular, “Buck Rogers In the 25th Century” was the closest thing to Star Wars on television and the star fighters were really cool. For its time, the show was very entertaining and groundbreaking in television visual effects. Over the years, the show fell into obscurity.
In 2007, I heard a passing mention that three of the major cast members from the show would be at the Dragon Con convention held annually in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. I bought a pass to Dragon Con for the first time just so I could meet Buck Rogers himself, Gil Gerard, his companion Wilma Deering, played by Erin Gray and Felix Silla, who played the robot Twiki. They were the kindest celebrities I had ever met. I acquired their autographs, of which one particular print now hangs in my office at work. I also attended their panel discussion and enthusiasm for “Buck Rogers In the 25th Century” was rekindled.
I went home and using my film training, cut a new trailer for the original “Buck Rogers” film. To date, it has garnered almost 50,000 hits on YouTube.com. In 2008, I heard Erin Gray would be returning to Dragon Con. I went back and met her again. This time, I took a photo with her, which was a real treat. I also presented her with a DVD copy of the trailer I had made. Later, she approached me in the lobby and talked to me for about ten minutes about a book she wanted to recommend to me! She was a class act!
I knew that 2009 would be the 30th Anniversary of “Buck Rogers In the 25th Century.” I also had the sinking feeling that neither Dragon Con or Universal Studios would do anything to recognize it. I decided something had to be done, especially when I learned that both Gil Gerard and Erin Gray would be attending the convention. I contacted Paul Shipper, my friend and accomplished artist. I knew I wanted to present them with new artwork in a commemorative poster style. He took it from there and in record time created a fun and retro-modern poster for the 30th Anniversary of “Buck Rogers In the 25th Century,” capturing the likenesses of Gil Gerard and Erin Gray perfectly.
I created an anniversary logo, had the drawing professionally printed on art paper and put in a temporary frame. On Saturday, September 5, 2009, just a few days shy of the 30th Anniversary of the original air date of the first episode, I walked into the Dragon Con Walk of Fame and presented the print to Gil Gerard and Erin Gray in person. They seemed very pleased with the gesture and gave me their business cards so I could mail prints to them. I can now rest easy knowing that the stars of “Buck Rogers In the 25th Century” were recognized properly for their contribution to science fiction television.