NBC's BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY was originally produced and broadcast in the immediate wake of the late '70s sci-fi craze, led by STAR WARS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. ROGERS brought viewers the first television incarnation of Philip Francis Nowlan's titular pulp space traveler since Kem Dibbs had played him in 1950 and 1951. This time around, Captain Buck Rogers (Gil Gerard) was an astronaut from the late 1980s who took off in a deep-space probe and became frozen in suspended animation for 500 years, until an alien species known as the Draconians discovered his body and resuscitated him circa 2491. Leading that race was the cruel and sadistic Princess Ardala (Pamela Hensley), who, working in tandem with her evil cohort Kane (Henry Silva), misinterpreted Buck Rogers as a spy and plotted to take over the Earth. Episodes involved Buck's attempts to defend Earth, first from the Draconian takeover, and then from other interstellar threats. Season One featured 21 episodes and ran from August 16, 1979 through March 27, 1980.