Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (radio series)

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Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
GenreScience fiction radio serial, Aviation radio series.
Running time15 minutes
Country of originUnited States
Home stationMutual Broadcasting System
StarringMatt Crowley
Curtis Arnall
Carl Frank
John Larkin
Adele Ronson
Edgar Stehli
AnnouncerPaul Douglas, Fred Uttal,[1] Kenny Williams
Written byDick Calkins, Joe Cross, Jack Johnstone, Albert Miller, Dee Falkinburg [1]
Directed byCarlo De Angelo, Jack Johnstone
Original releaseNovember 7, 1932 (1932-11-07)[2] –
March 28, 1947 (1947-03-28)[2]
No. of episodes860 (estimated)[1]
Sponsored byKellogg's, Cocomalt, Cream of Wheat, Popsicles, Fudgsicles, Creamsicles[2]

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was a radio drama series based on the popular novel and comics series Buck Rogers. It aired from 1932-1936, 1939, 1940 and 1946-1947, and it was notable for being the first science fiction radio show.[3]

Broadcasting history[edit]

Buck Rogers was initially broadcast as a 15-minute show on CBS Radio, from Monday through Thursday. It first ran from November 7, 1932, until May 22, 1936 .[1][4] In 1936, it moved to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule and went off the air the same year (720 episodes, 180 hours). Mutual Broadcasting System brought the show back and broadcast it three days a week from April 5 to July 31, 1939 (51 episodes, 12.75 hours), and from May 18 to July 27, 1940,[1] a 30-minute version was broadcast on Saturdays (11 episodes, 5.5 hours). From September 30, 1946, to March 28, 1947, Mutual aired a 15-minute version on weekdays[5] (78 episodes 19.5 hours).

The show was directed by Carlo De Angelo and Jack Johnstone. De Angelo also produced it. Sound effects were provided by Ora Daigle Nichols.[1] In 1988, Johnstone recalled how he worked with the sound effects of Ora Nichols to produce the sound of the rockets by using an air-conditioning vent. Dick Calkins, who also made the comic strip, wrote the scripts.

Actors Matt Crowley, Curtis Arnall, Carl Frank and John Larkin all voiced Buck Rogers at various times. Wilma Deering was portrayed by Adele Ronson, and the brilliant scientist-inventor Dr. Huer was played by Edgar Stehli.[1][4]


  • Buck Rogers: Matt Crowley, Curtis Arnall, Carl Frank, John Larkin.
  • Wilma Deering: Adele Ronson
  • Dr. Huer: Edgar Stehli
  • Black Barney: Jack Roseleigh, Joe Granby
  • Buddy: Ronald Liss
  • Ardala Valmar: Elaine Melchior
  • Killer Kane: William "Bill" Shelley, Dan Ocko, Arthur Vinton.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Kenney, Patrick (April 4, 2014). "Buck Rogers Radio Program, 1932–1947". Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Guide. Retrieved October 27, 2015.[self-published source]
  2. ^ a b c Alfred, Randy (November 7, 2008). "Nov. 7, 1932: Radio Enters the 25th Century". Wired. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  3. ^ Alvarez, Justin (November 7, 2013). "Hear Vintage Episodes of Buck Rogers, the Sci-Fi Radio Show That First Aired on This Day in 1932". Open Culture. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  4. ^ a b DeForest, Tim (2008). Radio by the Book: Adaptations of Literature and Fiction on the Airwaves. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 9780786439720. OCLC 226166662 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 122–123. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved 2019-10-10.