Buck Rogers faced the same problem that vexed Gilligan, the Professor, and the Skipper. Except instead of "Mary Ann or Ginger?" it was "Wilma or Ardala?" You have to admit, that's a pretty tough choice. Especially since both women are tough, calculating, skilled, and in powerful positions. We all know Buck preferred Colonel Wilma Deering (who outranked him), but there were plenty of scenes where he looked ready to "biddi biddi biddi" with Princess Ardala. Which do you think he should have dated? Examine the evidence and sound off in today's thawed-out triviagasm.
- Wilma Deering first appeared in the August 1928 "Armageddon 2419 A.D." story that ran in Amazing Stories magazine, and she is depicted as heroic and beautiful. In the story, she encounters Anthony Rogers (not yet "Buck" Rogers) in the during a war in the far future. Anthony joins her team of fighters, and at end of the story, they get married. *sniffle*
- in the late 20s to the mid 60s, Wilma also appeared in the Buck Rogers comic strip, although she was much more of a stock female character instead of the spunky adventurer from the pulps.
- In the Buck Rogers serial that ran in 1939, Lieutenant Wilma Deering encountered a thawed-out Buck Rogers and Buddy Wade, and together they fought the oppressive regime of Killer Kane.
- In the 1979 television show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Wilma was played by Erin Gray, and had made it all the way to Colonel. However, she was now a near-emotionless soldier with little interest in Buck. Although as time went by she opened up and tossed her shiny hair more, while continuing to dazzle as a pilot and a fighter.
- In the Buck Rogers XXV Roleplaying Game, Wilma is described as a strawberry blonde with a fiery temper, and as an "8th level Terran warrior and a freedom fighter." But, she still serves as a love interest for Buck.
- Princess Ardala was one of Buck's enemies in the comic strip, along with her sidekick Kane. However, she didn't appear in the 1939 serial at all.
- Ardala became the vampiest scifi television show vixen on the airwaves when she appeared in the first season of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, although they didn't bring her back for season two.
- She was portrayed by actress Pamela Hensley, and she frequently wore very little clothing. In most of her episodes, she puts Carrie Fisher's Slave Girl Leia bikini to shame. Fairly racy stuff on television for 1979.
- Buck finds himself in the episode "Awakening" from the 1979 television series, and is first discovered by a Draconian fighter. He's brought aboard the flagship Draconia, where he meets the Draconian emperor Draco extremely briefly, and is then left with the Draconian Princess, Ardala. These people really need to buy a book of baby names or something.
- Surprisingly, Ardala only made four actual appearances on the show, but it's impossible to think of it without remembering her slinky cattiness.
- In one episode of the show, Ardala holds her own "shotgun wedding" where she points a massive orbital weapon at New Chicago, and threatens to blow it off the map if Buck doesn't consent to being her consort. He thwarts her, and she lets him go... looks like she's a fan of captive men.
So, who do you think Buck should choose?