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Season 1, Episode 1
Awakening title card
Air date September 20, 1979
Written by Glen A. Larson
Leslie Stevens
Directed by Daniel Haller
Episode guide
Planet of the Slave Girls
"For 500 years, Captain William 'Buck' Rogers has been miraculously preserved, frozen by temperatures beyond imagination. Now, in Earth year 2491, he is rudely awakened by the sinister forces of the Draconian realm."

"Awakening" is the first episode of the 1st season of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.


  • Coming Soon


In the year 1987, the United States launched the last of National Aeronautics and Space Administration's deep space probes. On board Ranger 3 is a lone astronaut, Captain William "Buck" Rogers. However, the spaceship has moved from its planned orbit, and instead of being gone a few months, it returns to Earth 504 years later. Captain Rogers is placed in a deep hibernation by forces beyond his control, and remains frozen at the controls until the year 2491. The ancient lost ship is found perfectly preserved by fighter craft of the Draconian Empire, who fire on Ranger 3, then tow it to their alien flagship, The Draconia.

After being revived, Buck meets Princess Ardala and her ship's commander, Kane. Although Ardala is supposed to be on her way to Earth on a peace mission, in reality she is preparing to invade the planet, one that has long been the enemy of her race. They use Buck, who still thinks that his entire alien encounter is nothing but a dream, by sending him ahead to Earth to discover the location of a safe corridor through Earth's defenses. The ploy works because of a transmitter aboard Buck's ship that sends back messages with the corridor's location.

Buck finally realizes that he actually has traveled into the future after meeting Col. Wilma Deering and Dr. Elias Huer, but the Earth Defense Directorate considers him to be a traitor when the transmitter is found on board Ranger 3. In an attempt to clear himself of a death sentence and execution, Buck returns to the Draconia and pretends to join Ardala and her army, in the process learning of the plans to invade Earth. Buck decides that he must stop the attack, no matter what the odds. As the man from the 20th century prepares to make his move, he is held at gunpoint by Twiki and Dr. Theopolis. Buck must prove his innocence to the two mechanoids before the attack can be launched.


  • The opening two-hour episode is basically the feature film Buck Rogers in the 25th Century re-edited, with new footage to lead into the TV series. (Joseph Wiseman's brief appearance as King Draco was completely edited out of the broadcast.)
  • The broadcast version of "Awakening" was released on DVD in 2013 as an extra on the Season 2 re-release. However, it is not quite complete. The scene is missing in which Dr. Theopolis shows Buck footage of World War III in which civilization was destroyed, explains the causes of its destruction, and refers to "Anarchia" (the 25th-century name for the ruins of Chicago). This scene takes place during the 16 hours Buck spends in the room with Dr. Theopolis.
  • Originally aired as a 120-minute episode, but has been formatted as two 60-minute episodes in most subsequent re-airings for scheduling reasons. While many guides list it as a two-parter, its initial airing and release on DVD as one double-length episode should make this the official recognition.
  • Not to be confused with the Star Trek: Enterprise episode of the same title.



External linksEdit

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - Season 1
Awakening I Planet of the Slave Girls I Vegas in Space I The Plot to Kill a City, Part I I The Plot to Kill a City, Part II I Return of the Fighting 69th I Unchained Woman I Planet of the Amazon Women I Cosmic Wiz Kid I Escape from Wedded Bliss I Cruise Ship to the Stars I Space Vampire I Happy Birthday, Buck I A Blast for Buck I Ardala Returns I Twiki is Missing I Olympiad I A Dream of Jennifer I Space Rockers I Buck's Duel to the Death I Flight of the War Witch
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