A few weeks ago we reported
that Universal's upcoming individual release of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - Season 2
had been delayed from mid-November, to a January 8th
street date. We've learned today that one of the reasons for this change is because the studio has reworked the set to free up room to include an alternate version of the original pilot film, "Awakening," on it.
For those of you who don't recall, the Gil Gerard-starring production was originally made available to theaters in March 1979, and then over the summer was re-worked to make it a pilot for an ongoing television series. Scenes with adult language were removed, and other scenes were added...including one at the end where Buck declined to officially join Wilma and Dr. Huer at the Directorate. The on-DVD version of "Awakening" has all along been the original cinematic version, but now Universal is going to include the changed-for-TV version of it, which was made into "Part 1" and "Part 2" for re-run purposes (note that previous releases, such as the 2004 DVD set of The Complete Epic Series
, called it "Awakening, Parts 1 & 2" on the menus, despite it being the un-split theatrical edit).
So now fans who would like the alternate changed-for-TV edition of "Awakening" will be able to own it on DVD. But, if you already own the old Complete Epic Series
set (as I do), and you want the alternate TV version of the "Awakening" story, then you might be wondering how to get it without rebuying the second season episodes. The short answer, as far as we know, is "you can't." The studio has announced no plans, at this time in any case, to make it available to Buck Rogers fan in any other way except by purchasing this January release. If something changes about that, however, we'll certainly let you know.