Father of Raditz and Kakarot (Goku), Bardock was an average-level Saiyan warrior whose job was clearing planets of life in order to make them ready for sale on the galactic market. He never saw himself as anything special, and thought even less of his youngest son Kakarot. In fact, he cared so little for his son that it didn't matter to him where his superiors sent the toddler.
Bardock and his friends Torah, Seripa, Totepos, and Panboukin were sent by Frieza to the planet Kanassa to purge it of life (Frieza had a special interest in the planet, as its inhabitants were rumored to possess psychic power). After wrecking the planet's surface in their Oozaru forms, Bardock and his friends had just settled down to take a break when a lone survivor of the destruction, Tooru, emerged from the rubble and attacked Bardock. Bardock, taken by surprise, received a harsh blow to the back of the neck. Tooru was then fatally injured by Torah, but he told Bardock that he would suffer for what he and his friends had done to Kanassa: "See the horror of your end, just like we had to!" Bardock angrily finished Tooru off with a huge ki blast, then collapsed onto the ground as he finally felt the force of Tooru's blow upon his neck.
His friends quickly took him back to Planet Vegeta, where the injured Saiyan was placed inside of a rejuvenation tank to heal. While recovering, Bardock began to suffer nightmares that depicted his friends injured and dying, Kakarot growing up and living a very un-Saiyan lifestyle, and most importantly, Planet Vegeta exploding. Once he was fully healed, Bardock initially wrote this off as merely a bad dream. Told by a doctor that his friends had gone to Planet Meat, Bardock jumped into his space pod and flew there to join them. But by the time he arrived, he found all of them dead except for Torah, who was in a bad way. Before dying Torah told him that they had been attacked by Dodoria under orders from Frieza, who had decided the Saiyans were becoming too powerful.
Bardock was then attacked by four of Frieza's henchmen who had been with Dodoria. Wearing the deceased Torah's blood-soaked armband as a headband, he engaged the thugs in a vicious and lengthy battle, eventually killing all four of them (although not without a sound beating from the strongest two). It was then that Dodoria himself appeared and fire a ki blast from his mouth that destroyed the landscape for miles around. Thinking Bardock dead, Dodoria left and returned to Frieza (who was at that moment en route to Planet Vegeta). Bardock survived, however: He was saved from the searing heat of Dodoria's blast by the corpses of his friends which had piled on top of him in the explosion. Realizing now that his visions were coming true and that he had to get to Planet Vegeta to warn everyone, Bardock jumped into his space pod and flew home, passing along the way Frieza's ship and the space pod of Kakarot, which was on its way to Earth.
Weakened by blood-loss, Bardock stumbled into the first Saiyan gathering place he came upon as soon as he touched down on Vegeta, which turned out to be a bar. None of the patrons took his claims seriously, citing that the great and noble Lord Frieza would never do anything to harm them. Laughed out of the bar, Bardock ran outside and spied Frieza's ship approaching the planet. Another vision, this time of Kakarot as a grown man on Planet Namek, stirred Bardock to the point that he decided he would stop Frieza or die trying. Flying up to the ship in space, he was met by an army of Frieza's warriors, who did their best to prevent him from reaching Frieza.
Eventually Frieza himself emerged from the ship. Staring him down, Bardock delivered a lengthy and passionate monologue about how he was determined to change his fate, the fate of Planet Vegeta, the fate of his son, and most importantly, the fate of Frieza. Forming a sizable ki blast in his hand, he hurled it at the unconcerned Frieza. To Bardock's horror, Frieza laughed and created a Death Ball bigger than his own ship and roughly as big as Planet Vegeta itself, which absorbed the Saiyan's pathetic attack. He flung it at the planet, and Bardock was caught in its path and burned up (as were all of Frieza's unlucky henchmen behind him!). As he died however, he had one final vision: Kakarot on Namek once more, defeating Frieza. He died with a smile on his face.
- Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku: