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Ark II

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: TV.

US juvenile tv series (1976). Filmation Associates for CBS-TV. Created by Martin Roth. Executive producers Norm Prescott, Lou Sheimer. Produced by Richard M Rosenbloom. Directors included Harry Lange Jr, Hollingsworth Morse, Ted Post. Writers included Len Janson, Peter L Dixon, David and Susan Dworski, Mark Jones, Michael Prescott. Cast includes Adam the Chimp (voiced by Lou Scheimer, uncredited), José Flores, Jean Marie Hon and Terry Lester. Narrator: Lester. Fifteen 25-minute episodes. Colour.

Set in the twenty-fifth century, long after Ecological Disaster and a nuclear World War Three have devastated the Earth, a group of young Scientists set out aboard an advanced remote-vehicular vehicle equipped with laboratories and other scientific equipment, with a mission to re-civilize what is left of humanity on this Ruined Earth. The leader is Jonah (Lester); other team members are Ruth (Hon), Samuel (Flores) and Adam, a scientifically-evolved or Uplifted chimpanzee capable of speech. The team, whose enclave of origin is never named or shown, encounters scattered pockets of mostly primitive humans. These survivors include Children with Psi Powers, and one small group which has apparently attained Immortality. The team also revives a man from the twentieth century who has been frozen in Suspended Animation. Other than the Ark itself, their equipment included the Ark Roamer, a type of land-rover for use on short journeys, and a jet-pack occasionally used by Jonah. What sort of Power Source drove the Ark II was never explained. [GSt]

A companion series to Filmation's other live-action Saturday morning series of the time, Isis (1975-1976; vt The Secrets of Isis) and Shazam (1974-1976), Ark II proved less popular than either. It was repeated in syndication throughout the 1970s, though, like most Filmation series. As was common in juvenile and Young Adult sf Television of this period, each episode usually included some attempt to impart a life lesson. [GSt]


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