Saturday, September 24, 2011

Geek TV #4: Ark II!

arkii1Concept: (from the opening narration) For millions of years, Earth was fertile and rich. Then pollution and waste began to take their toll. Civilization fell into ruin. This is the world of the 25th Century. Only a handful of scientists remain, men who have vowed to rebuild what has been destroyed. This is their achievement: Ark II, a mobile storehouse of scientific knowledge, manned by a highly trained crew of young people. Their mission: to bring the hope of a new future to mankind.
Total Episodes: 15
Original Air Dates: 1976
Original Network: CBS
Geek Factor: 7
Characters:
Jonah (Terry Lester): Commander of Ark II, and pilot of the short-range jetpack.
Ruth (Jean Marie Hon): Second in command of the Ark.
Samuel (Jose Flores): Youthful scientist.
Adam (Moochie – or maybe it's Moocho – the chimpanzee, voiced by Lou Scheimer): An intelligent talking chimpanzee.
arkii2
The Ark
Geek Guest-Stars: Jonathan Harris (Lost in Space), Malachi Throne (who appeared in The Man From UNCLE, Mission Impossible, Time Tunnel, Star Trek, Batman, Outer Limits, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Babylon 5), Jim Backus (voice of Mister Magoo, and of course Thurston Howell III on Gilligan's Island), Robby the Robot (yes, really!).
arkii3
The vehicle from "Damnation Alley" -- clearly not the ark!
Geek Pedigree: The front part of the Ark was later reused for the nose portion of the Seeker Spacecraft in Space Academy and Jason of Star Command. Some sources say that the Ark was later used in the film “Damnation Alley,” others deny this. Looking at photos of the two vehicles, I'd say it's unlikely it was reused for that film. Terry Lester later made an appearance in Star Trek: Voyager and KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park. Jean Marie Hon appeared in nine episodes of Man From Atlantis as Jane.

DVD Release: Box Set (out of print) of the complete series, plus a more recent combined set with Space Academy and Jason of Star Command.
Website: http://www.angelfire.com/tv2/ark2/home.html is one of the few Ark II websites out there.
Notes: It was a lot of fun transcribing interviews for the special features on the original DVD release. Apparently they had a lot of problems with the chimp playing Adam, as he would tend to bite his fellow actors!

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