6 user 3 critic
Posing as a prisoner named Valzhan, Buck Rogers has been taken to a penal colony on Zeta Minor where he springs a female inmate named Jen Burton. The young woman had taken the blame for ... See full summary »


Dick Lowry


Bill Taylor, Robert C. Dille (characters)

On Disc

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Episode complete credited cast:
Gil Gerard ... Capt. William 'Buck' Rogers
Erin Gray ... Colonel Wilma Deering
Tim O'Connor ... Dr. Elias Huer
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Jen Burton
Michael DeLano ... Malary Pantera (as Michael Delano)
Bert Rosario ... Sergio Sanwiler
Tara Buckman ... Majel
Felix Silla ... Twiki
Mel Blanc ... Twiki (voice)
Walter Hunter Walter Hunter ... Hugo
Robert Cornthwaite ... Ted Warwick
Daniel Ades Daniel Ades ... Gymon (as Danny Ades)
Jim B. Smith ... Shuttle Captain
Charles Walker ... Lieutenant Zimmerman


Posing as a prisoner named Valzhan, Buck Rogers has been taken to a penal colony on Zeta Minor where he springs a female inmate named Jen Burton. The young woman had taken the blame for crimes committed by her boyfriend, Malary Pantera, and the Earth's Directorate wants her to testify against him. However, she still loves Pantera and refuses to cooperate, and Pantera happens to have a business associate back on Earth, a Zetan diplomat whose involvement could be exposed once she testifies. Furthermore, they have to cross a desert on foot to succeed to the nearest spaceport and are being followed by an android prison guard, damaged during the prison break. Written by Woodyanders

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

1 November 1979 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color | Color (technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The sled used to transport buck to the prison in the desert is the same vehicle used in battle star galactica episode "greetings from earth". See more »


The prison robot throws a box, showing this to be a cardboard box painted silver, with an unpainted bottom. See more »


Buck Rogers: Well I'm tired, and I'm gonna take a rest. Pull up a rock.
See more »


Edited into Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: A Blast for Buck (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

5 years before the Terminator, there was... HUGO
10 May 2015 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

Ask any hopelessly dorky Buck Rogers fan, and you'll get the same: "Unchained Woman" is simply one of the best of the series. Its main draw is, of course, a mighty fine looking Jamie Lee Curtis in a tight red prison uniform, and of course there's the always mighty fine Erin Gray in her shimmering spandex. Both women are tough as nails while being deliciously feminine, and I think that's what put shows like this above the standard 70s damsel in distress cheese. On several occasions they save Buck's beefcakey butt.

But the icing on the cake is a very cool pre-Terminator story about a murderous android who will stop at nothing, travel the sands of time, and perhaps rip apart an awesomely cheesy giant squid to get to Buck and make him "report to the dayroom, escape is not possible". The butchering bucket of bolts is played by towering actor Walter Hunter who, bizarrely, never acted again according to IMDb. No matter, how could he ever top Hugo?

Although this predates Schwarzenegger's Terminator by 5 years, "Unchained Woman" is, itself, an unapologetic rip-off of the astounding "Westworld" (1973) starring Yul Brynner as the gunslinging gearbox who goes amuck and starts hunting the hero. If you haven't seen that movie, see it immediately after watching this.

In addition to the cornucopia of corny coolness I've already described, you can expect a dramatic & sobering subplot with the great Tim O'Connor ("Dr. Huer") who comes to a tense conflict of friendship and duty with his old friend. Subplots like this, along with the aforementioned badass chick themes, are what raised Buck Rogers a notch above the scifi fantasy cheese of prior generations.

If you're new to Buck Rogers, I think this is a great way to get your feet wet. And for you longtime fans of BR, who's with me on starting a kickstarter campaign to round up all the original actors to do a remake of this episode? Erin Gray, for one, is still quite the looker!

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