|The Q &
A consisted of Felix Silla, Gil Gerard, Erin Gray and Thom
Christopher. The first thing they were asked was about memorable
moments. Thom got it started by remembering a scene in one of the
later episodes (after the characters had developed a bond of trust and
friendship), where Buck is incapacitated and he, as Hawk, is cradling his
unconscious friend. As he was doing the scene, Thom said that a
feather lightly floated down in front of his face. He didn't hear
anyone say 'cut' so he continued his lines. Finally, there was some
reaction from the crew and Gil opened his eyes, asking, "Are you
laughing at me?" Whereupon, Thom answered, camera still
rolling, "No, I'm molting."
Felix recalled the cemetery scene from the movie. He said it was a night shot, Gil adding that it was "all night." Felix continued by saying that because he had trouble seeing out of the Twiki costume, even in the daylight, he walked the entire area of the scene, getting rid of anything, rocks and the like, that would give him problems. Erin then added that the suit was such that Felix couldn't get it on or off without help. Nodding, Felix continued saying that they were filming, Gil ahead of him about twenty or more paces and he was following at as fast a run as he could manage when he fell flat on his face. Someone on the crew finally came to his rescue, pulling him up under his armpits and holding him in the air. This shoved the outfit up, nearly choking him. While Felix is trying to breathe, this guy continues to hold him up and says, "What do you want me to do with him?'
I was laughing too hard to remember everything Gil said. Erin reiterated that those spandex outfits were like body girdles.
that the lines themselves sometimes lent themselves to levity. He
mentioned the filming of "Cruise Ship to the Stars." The
plot was about Buck and Wilma protecting "the galaxy's most perfect
woman" played by the late Dorothy Stratton. Buck and the
captain of the vessel are talking about her and the captain is supposed to
say "I think they're after her genes." Gil said that if he
kept a straight face, the actor playing the captain would break up.
"Twenty-two takes and we're still trying," Gil said with a
grin. Upon watching this scene later, I saw that it was an over the
shoulder shot, the camera on Gil. It appeared suspiciously like the
line had been looped in the studio later.
Erin recalled the time Gil talked her into playing a joke on his accountant. She was supposed to meet the accountant at the airport like she was his long lost lover. Problem was, his wife was with him. So Erin says she comes up to this guy, throws her arms around him and says, "Oh, Joe, I've missed you so much," and all kinds of mushy stuff like that. The wife, behind in the crowd keeps coming closer and closer and the accountant is getting more and more nervous, sweating like crazy. Erin said it had to be her best acting job up to that point. And she said Gil was behind a pillar laughing his head off.
She also mentioned how she was the new "kid" on the block, playing everything straight, studying all aspects of filming, acting, all the nuances of ding the movie and the episodes, including watching the dailies (each day's film). She was straight man to Gil's cutting up. But one days she coerced the cameraman into continuing to film after the director said cut. They were filming a scene from "Planet of the Slave Girls" where she and the servant girl have been captured by Kaleel's men and were locked in a steamy, hot room with pipes everywhere. Hot, sweaty, in those skimpy outfits, (whereupon Gil made some innuendo that had Erin laughing), the girl playing Ryma saying something to the effect of how sorry that Buck wouldn't be able to rescue them, whereupon the director yelled, "cut." Erin looked straight into the camera and said, "You know an egg gets laid only once...." Then she said something else as the punch line, but the crowd was howling with laughter so much that I didn't hear what she had said. Sigh. Anyway, Erin said that after that, it became a contest to see who could come up with the most outrageous joke each episode.
asked the group what they think Buck Rogers would be like if filmed now
and Gil promptly quipped, "I wouldn't be in it." Thom
mentioned a little fantasy scene that he had thought up wherein Hawk would
be living alone in a cave, since his friends were no longer around and
Koori, being dead, he'd be among birds and his memories. Buck's son, all
grown, would be facing off with a terrible galactic threat and call for
help. Hawk would go out and help. I think someone else
mentioned how it could be about the characters' children.
Asked what their favorite and/or worst episode was, Gil said that the movie was his favorite, while "Satyr" came in second, being his favorite of the second season. Erin mentioned "Space Vampire" as her favorite. Someone in the audience said something about her playing a bad girl and everyone clapped. Felix said that "Twiki is Missing" was his favorite. Erin said that "Dorian Secret" was her least favorite. "Are you warm enough?" "Here is a blanket." All episode she said she was doing that. You could almost see her shudder. She mentioned, in disgust, those "Dairy Queen" outfits of the second season; and the fact that one of the things she liked about the first season was that Wilma was a take-charge woman, one raised to be in command. Erin also mentioned that the original concept was for Wilma Deering to have been raised by computers to fill the position she ultimately filled. The second season changed that. At one point, Gil said that Wilma's role should have remained stronger in the second season.
A question was asked about the use of someone else for the voice of Twiki in the second season. I swear Felix just sighed and it was Gil, I believe, that said, that while he wasn't sure, he thought it was another cost cutting measure that Universal took. Finally, though, there was enough protest that Mel Blanc was hired back to do the voice.
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