BUCK ROGERS #2 THAT MAN ON BETA BY ADDISON E. STEELE

Standard

Copyright 1979.

Buck Rogers has settled in to the future but still something is missing. He wants to know if any descendants of his are still alive. Against orders he secretly goes out into Anarchia to search for any records that show any of his family survived the holocaust. He finds a lead from the leader of a group of gypsies of an old wise hermit who lives in a cave by Mount Rushmore. Trading Dr. Theopolis to the gypsy leader he finds out about a repository located in the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City. But when he arrives at the temple he is captured and taken to Beta Vilnius. For you see the gypsies and other people he got clues from were Draconian agents. Oh and they also manage to kidnap Wilma Deering so they now have Dr. Theopolis, Colonel Deering and Buck.

Kane and a professor Von Norbert want Buck because of a unique antibody that existed in twentieth century humans that no longer exists. They want Buck to impregnate thousands of women so he can pass on this unique antibody. Then the children will be growth accelerated into full grown soldiers. Thus they can have soldiers to win their war with the Gregorians whose system has a disease that is killing off their soldiers. But of course Princess Ardala want Buck all to himself. Then there is Wilma who is madly in love with him. This guy has is tough in the future. He still manages to escape, rescue his friends and defeat the evil Draconian plot.

So they decided to put out a second book based on the TV series. This one was an unused script written by Bob Shane and put out before the series hit the airwaves. Boy is it pure seventies with its CB slang talking gypsies. I suppose they decided to drop this script because of all the blatant sexual overtones in a prime time TV series of the seventies. Actually it could be too that it is bad. I mean really bad. The weird convoluted plot for Buck to be obsessed with finding his relatives. Didn’t know the Mormon church was keeping genetic records on everyone. Then of course there are the young women that the Draconians want Buck to impregnate. They are five year olds that have been accelerated to adulthood. That is just creepy.

The book was written before the series came out so it doesn’t feel like the show. He describes Dr. Huer as a bald headed man with glasses which they cast someone like that. I did find the parts happening in the post-wastelands of Anarchia interesting. That was something I found interesting in the pilot that they never bothered to explore further in the series. So from a historical standpoint it is interesting to see what kind of scripts they rejected. Otherwise not much to recommend this book.

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