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Ark II Comp Series


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Product Details

  • Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Bci / Eclipse
  • Release Date: Jan. 2 2007
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000IU37UC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,962 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Karsten on Feb. 18 2013
Ark II is a live-action science fiction series created by Filmation via CBS; it was produced in 1976 on location at Paramount Ranch near Malibu, California, for airing on Saturday mornings, thus aimed at children and teenagers. Only 15 episodes were ever made as the first season, but through re-runs over the years after production ceased it became a cult classic TV series.

- The Series -

Ark II had a racially mixed cast, starring Terry Lester as Captain Jonah (he also had the title of Commander in some episodes), Jean Marie Hon as Ruth, José Flores as Samuel, and a chimpanzee playing Adam. The show's premise was inspired by the story of Noah's Ark, and the characters were given names taken from the Bible.

The show's setting was in the post-apocalyptic 25th Century, after Earth's civilizations were decimated by the effects of waste, pollution, and warfare, falling back to a level comparable to the Dark Ages. Surviving scientists pooled their knowledge and resources, training three young people (and the chimp, who was capable of speech was voiced by Lou Scheimer) to search for remnants of humanity, reintroducing lost ideas as they travelled the barren landscape in the high-tech Ark II.

The series was unique in that it had a futuristic large white vehicle known as the `Ark II' (where the series got its name), which was a mobile laboratory for the crew to help explore the country, and for shorter journey's there was an all-terrain vehicle known as the Roamer, and Jonah had for his exploration a jetpack known as the `Jet Jumper'.

This was a great short-lived series, with only 15 episodes, I would have liked it to have gone for a second and third season, as there was enough imagination and scope for the series to develop.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 36 reviews
107 of 113 people found the following review helpful
Finally out on DVD. Sept. 29 2006
By SRFireside - Published on Amazon.com
For those of you who weren't kids during the late 70's Ark II was a live action Saturday Morning show that showed the lighter side of the post-apocalypse. Essentially the show is about a team of scientists who rove around in a high tech RV trying to help rebuild society by offering their assistance wherever needed. All things considered this was a pretty good show. It was one of those "message" shows that had a moral to every story, but unlike other shows of this type like Fat Albert and later on shows like He-Man and GI Joe (because knowing is half the battle) they didn't try to hammer the message home so blatantly. As a kid I could appreciate that, and as an adult I can look back fondly.

The show had a fair amount of cool gadgets for a low budget television program including that awesome RV I mentioned. Other cool tech include a working jet pack, a "futuristic" dune buggy, and a talking chimp among other things. Might not be groundbreaking as Star Trek was, but it's enough to keep a kid's sci-fi imagination moving. You even get some nifty guest stars like Jim Bakus (Gilligan's Island), Helen Hunt, Malachi Throne, and Jonathan Harris from Lost in Space even guest stars as a recurring character. Here's a quick rundown of the 15 episodes on this set:

1. The Flies - The crew find a group of kids lead by an elderly leader (Harris) in danger of cannisters containing a deadly gas.

2. The Rule - The crew find a community that forsakes their sick and elderly members, considering them useless to society.

3. The Tank - The crew have to help stop an old army tank that is causing trouble in the area.

4. The Robot - One of the crew builds a robot (the classic Robby the Robot if I remember correctly) to help the crew, but instead the robot has a mind of its own.

5. The Slaves - Jonah, leader of the crew, gets captured by a community that owns slaves as a way of life.

6. The Baloon - An isolated community is stricken with a mysterious disease and the crew tries to save them.

7. The Mind Group - Crew of the Ark versus a group of kids with mental powers.

8. The Lottery - Crew find a wealthy society that wastes their resources to the point of famine.

9. The Drought - The kids (and Harris) from The Flies return to steal the Ark in order to find a 20th century time capsule that can help make it rain.

10. The Wild Boy - The crew learn about area tribes hunting down a (you guessed it) wild boy like he was an animal.

11. Omega - A crewmember is overpowered by a computer that can control minds.

12. Robin Hood - The crew meet a young boy who runs off with a modern day (or rather post-war day) Robin Hood to settle a score.

13. The Cryogenic Man - a 10th century time capsule opens up to reveal a man out of touch with the current era.

14. Don Quixote - A Don Quixote-type character sees the Ark as a white dragon and sets out to slay it.

15. Orkus - The crew find a veritable paradise in a self contained community, only not everything is as it seems.

To be honest the show hasn't aged all that well. I don't know how well someone new to the show would take to a low budget 70's SciFi-ish kids program, especially in this day and age of high fidelity. Visually the DVDs are about as good as you can expect from a long neglected television series. While it is indeed cleaned up and remastered the source material didn't give them much to work with. The audio is in thin, gorious mono. That's just the way of things for shows back then. This DVD set is definitely for the fans of the show or die-hard sci-fi fans who are cool about the previously mentioned limitations.

You also get a host of extras that were a suprise for me when I found about them. Mainly because most television shows that get the DVD treatment tend to only give you the shows and nothing else. This DVD set gives you a wealth of extras compared:

The Launch of Ark II - a 30 minute documentary that talks about the how the show came from concept to reality and includes details on production and the actors. You mainly hear from the show's producers about not only the joys of making the show but also the headaches (the Ark vehicle had its quirks production-wise).

You also get commentary tracks on two episode featuring the producrs, director, writer and actress Jean Marie Hon (Ruth from the show). The DVD also includes photo galleries including conceptual art for a proposed animated Ark II series and a DVD-ROM section that has the episode scripts and the series bible (sweet). Another little extra that you hardly see on any DVD, movie or television show, is an actual box insert that isn't just advertisement for other products. This insert is practically a mini-book and gives you a quick synopsis of every episode as well as a few bits of trivia to top it off.

While this show is obviously a product of the 70's it's still a quality product. If any of you remember this show or the others that came from this studio (Jason of Star Command, Space Academy, Isis) then you should be dancing for joy on the treatment this DVD is getting, and be even happier to know those other shows are getting the same attention done on their releases. It looks like the entire Filmmation catalog is on DVD.
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Raiders of Jonah's Lost Ark Nov. 12 2006
By Dave Cordes - Published on Amazon.com
Discovering this DVD is like finding the lost Ark of the Covenant with my priceless childhood still perfectly preserved inside. The Saturday mornings of yesteryear never looked so good... and so dated. It's amazing how the passage of time has really dated this show, an inevitable by-product of the 1970's but I remember vividly when it was fresh and new and watching it through the innocent eyes of your 5-year-old former self will help you relive those fond Saturday morning memories once again. I always thought Jonah's jet pack was the coolest part of the show. Those gaudy polyester costumes looked like they had been "borrowed" from another of my favorite 70's sci-fi shows, Space:1999. The Ark II is a mobile storehouse of scientific knowledge patrolling the post-apocalyptic wastelands of 25th century Earth ravaged by ecological disasters, with scientists Jonah, Ruth, Samuel and the intelligent talking chimp Adam offering their generous assistance to help the surivors rebuild their communities and civilization in socially progressive ways. What is not explained, however, is how Jonah and his crew came into the possession of such technologically advanced vehicles and gadgets and became the dutiful inheiritors of humanity's legacy while the rest of humankind suffers from the adversities of being thrust back to a pre-industrial state and has to make-do with whatever remnants of former civilization has remained like the scavengers of a Mad Max apocalypse. Just what organization or governing entity do they represent and what kind of assumingly environmentally-safe fuels propel the Ark on its never-ending trek across the planet? Nevermind. It's best not to think about any kind of sensible plot logic and just go along for the ride.

This four disc DVD set is nicely packaged in retro seventies-style artwork and includes a complete episode guide booklet. The half-hour documentary "The Launch of Ark II" is a fascinating retrospective of the show but gets a little redundant as the interviews reiterate a lot of the same information but you can tell that everyone who worked on this show still cherish it as a highlight of their careers. There are commenatries with Filmation producer Lou Scheimer and several writers and directors of the series as well as extensive art galleries featuring promotional photos and concept art for the proposed animated series as well as DVD-ROM content including scripts of every episode and the series Bible. Ark II was the first live-action Saturday morning show that paved the way for subsequent Filmation live-action shows Isis, Space Academy and Jason of Star Command which are also being released on DVD from BCI Eclipse.

"Ark II log entry #1: I, Jonah, Ruth, Samuel and Adam are fully aware of the dangers we face as we venture into unknown, maybe even hostile areas, but we're determined to bring the promise of a new civilization to our people and our planet."
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Eu-Eco-tastrophe: Or The Superfund on Wheels Feb. 17 2007
By Kendal B. Hunter - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Although I just have vague 30-year-old memories of "Robin Hood"'s nail-biting near-miss, I was surprised how well this series stood up. The episodes were small morality plays geared toward teen and pre-teens. However, as a five year old, I just remember the excitement.

Of course the production values are dated--antique special effects, reel magnetic tapes, red LEDs--but the nostalgic charm is there, as it is for Classic Star Trek. For a kid's show, the writing was superb. It is as good as anything on TV right now, and a bit more intelligent. But what made this series stand out from the hazy crowd was the setting.

Indeed, "Ark II" is a wonderful blending of setting and theme, specifically "scientific redemption." It is set in an post-ecotastophe world, with the science of Ark II renewing the 25th century. For TCM aficionados, it reminds of the organization Wings Over the World in movie "Things to Come." Both rely upon "the freemasonry of efficiency-the brotherhood of science." Actually, it is not just science, but scientism: all problems solved by reason. The keystone is "Scientific optimism."

The series' one quirk was the Aesopian moralizing. I was not bothered by this, since a story without a moral component is not worth seeing. And Filmation never afraid to sermonize, as with other series: "Shazam!," "He-Man," and "Ghostbusters." Unlike the "GI Joe" cartoon where the moral was random sage advice, Filmation's morals flowed from the plot. This forced them to write better, which makes us better too.

I noted two flaws. First, there is the false assumption that science breeds peace. Pre-war Germany was one of the most scientifically advanced civilization, but also one of the most brutal.. Science not only gives us Newtons but also Dr. Germs and Chemical Aliis.

The second flaw (which "Star Trek: Enterprise" also made) is the motto: "Use your wits; not your six-shooter." The series started without weapons, just flash-mirrors. Later, the lasers were added, which added credibility to the series. You cannot hug a charging rhinoceros to submission.

Additionally, I would have liked to see more background, the subtle things that add to a series setting. For example, in Star Trek, we see other ships, star bases, and Kirk is frequently checking in with Star Fleet Command. Ark II is adrift in shallow waters; we never see her in contact with the scientocracy--although "The Robot" implies that there is only one Ark.. This breeches MST3K's admonition to not worry about these thing, but it would have rounded things out and added fodder for new episodes.

Overall, the best episode is "The Tank." Thematically, it is man against society, man against machine, war against peace, and the under-girding forbidden love story. Having a teenager as the center makes it more poignant.

I disagree with the shows politics, which means I disagree with their metaphysics. However, you cannot question the courage of Jonah and his crew. Compared to some of the missing links I have had to work with, they are people I would love to work with, support, and even die for.

*

Since the episodes are compact, I recommend watching one full disc in a sitting. Recommended episodes:

"The Slaves" Jonah becomes a slave, and therefore becomes a Christic figure. "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant." (Philippians 2:5 - 9). It also focuses on the tension between science and superstition, with science winning.

"Omega" has a image that has stayed with me for three decades--the man playing chess with the black monolith that keeps zapping him. In one sense, the story is a rewrite of Star Trek:TOS's "And the Children Shall Lead," with the Angel being replaced by the computer from "Return of the Archons," and being given the attitude of Nomad. It also has a touch of "Logan's Run," to boot. However the end-credit sermonizing did not mesh with the story.

(PS-look for a 13 year old Helen Hunt in this episode!)

"Robin Hood" is not only a good example of a general Ark II episode, it is also an example of quintessential Filmation writing. Slapstick humor mixes with the moral choices of the lead and supporting charters, and the ensuing chaos of evil slowly going out of control.

In fact, it is the varied ethical choices define this episode. On one hand Lord Leslie uses stolen grain as fuel. Then you have Robin, who steals the grain back, because the townsfolk eat it. But is Robin Hood justified in stealing back? And is Alan moral when he leaves Jonah to join Robin? Sadly, this subtle ethical choice gets overshadowed by the next few minutes of drama.. This has another memory that has haunted me these three decades--the Ark II being driven by Adam, and it stopping inches from Jonah's face.

"Orkus" (Not Orko). This was almost a ST:TOS episode because Jonah develops a Kirk-like swagger, and the conflict revolves around Malevolent power that promises a boon in exchange for slavery. A great way to end the series.

Mixed-feeling episodes:

"The Lottery," harkens back to the eerie play of the same name. When Ruth entered the Forbidden Zone, I genuinely felt both concern for her, and that I was watching New Testament Descensus literature. The condensed sermonizing was more shouting than solid logos (rational thought and discussion), akin to teenage girl putting everyone in their place.

"The Robot." I liked the crew getting R&R, but this episode has the most plot holes: Where did Robby come from? Where did Samuel's skills come from? Are there more robots? The religious townsfolk are cut out of the same flat cardboard used in "Bloom County" and "Inherit the Wind." Scientism again!

"The Cryogenic Man." A retelling of "Connecticut Yankee." However, the businessmen are burlesques of Burns and Smithers. The ending worked, but I would have preferred Jim Backus saving Jonah, thereby returning the life-debt.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Ark II - Log Entry: 2013 Feb. 18 2013
By Peter Karsten - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Ark II is a live-action science fiction series created by Filmation via CBS; it was produced in 1976 on location at Paramount Ranch near Malibu, California, for airing on Saturday mornings, thus aimed at children and teenagers. Only 15 episodes were ever made as the first season, but through re-runs over the years after production ceased it became a cult classic TV series.

- The Series -

Ark II had a racially mixed cast, starring Terry Lester as Captain Jonah (he also had the title of Commander in some episodes), Jean Marie Hon as Ruth, José Flores as Samuel, and a chimpanzee playing Adam. The show's premise was inspired by the story of Noah's Ark, and the characters were given names taken from the Bible.

The show's setting was in the post-apocalyptic 25th Century, after Earth's civilizations were decimated by the effects of waste, pollution, and warfare, falling back to a level comparable to the Dark Ages. Surviving scientists pooled their knowledge and resources, training three young people (and the chimp, who was capable of speech was voiced by Lou Scheimer) to search for remnants of humanity, reintroducing lost ideas as they travelled the barren landscape in the high-tech Ark II.

The series was unique in that it had a futuristic large white vehicle known as the `Ark II' (where the series got its name), which was a mobile laboratory for the crew to help explore the country, and for shorter journey's there was an all-terrain vehicle known as the Roamer, and Jonah had for his exploration a jetpack known as the `Jet Jumper'.

This was a great short-lived series, with only 15 episodes, I would have liked it to have gone for a second and third season, as there was enough imagination and scope for the series to develop. Perhaps budget restraints do not permit any further production; in any case Ark II was a unique show by any standards for the mid-70's.

- The Episodes -

Although this DVD Set has put these episodes in `Production Order' (nicely done), I have decided to place them in Ark II Log order as stated within the episodes by Jonah. In this way the Log entries are in numerical order, and thus more logical, (but there will be some problems with this as you will see) thus putting the Ark II episodes in a different viewing order.

The Mind Group
Production Number: 84010
Ark II Log: 36 & 37
Sector: 83 - Area: 16

The Ark II returns to War Lord Brack's territory in search of three abducted children. The youths possess paranormal powers of telepathy and telekinesis and distrust all "speakers" alike, including the crew of the Ark.

Personal Comment:
1] Notable Guest Star Malachi Throne who returns as Warlord Brack for his second and final appearance.
2] By putting the episodes into Ark II Log order we get our first continuity mix up, as this episode was shown after `The Flies', (starring Jonathan Harris and Malachi Throne); thus that is why Jonah and Brack recognise each other again. It would have been better to have the Ark II Log for `The Flies' as 36 & 37, while `The Mind Group', Ark II Log as 76 & 77, while `The Drought', (starring Jonathan Harris), Ark II Log would be 1444 & 1445, this would have made more sense. Naturally of course we could just ignore the Ark II log entries all together, as all three episodes are shown in production order.

Don Quixote
Production Number: 84020
Ark II Log: 38 & 39
Sector: N/A - Area: N/A

The crew of the Ark II whose efforts to disarm ancient explosives are complicated by a latter-day Don Quixote who is convinced the Ark is a giant white dragon and Jonah his nemesis the Black Knight.

Personal Comment:
1] Notable Guest Star Vito Scotti as Sancho Panza.
2] Out of all the episodes of this series there are two, I consider the most comical (with occasional stupidity thrown in), it is this episode and Robin Hood, (enough said).

Orkus
Production Number: 84021
Ark II Log: 41 & 42
Sector: 8 - Area: 13 & 14

Ruth and Adam suffer rapid advanced aging after exposure to gas from a lake polluted by Orkus, despot of a domed community of immortal elites who is also scheming to steal the Ark II to generate power for his dying city.

Personal Comment:
1] Notable Guest Star Geoffrey Lewis as Orkus.
2] One must always be careful what you desire, and immortality is one longing that man seems to crave; but as with anything there is a price to pay.
3] Orkus' enclosed village is the white amphitheatre use in the Planet of the Apes TV Series episode `The Gladiators'.
4] With this episode we come to the end of the series, and we end on a high note with a strong finish; all in all the series was a mixed bag of episodes on various levels.

The Balloon
Production Number: 84008
Ark II Log: 51 & 52
Sector: 14 - Area: 12

Red balloons bring word of an epidemic sweeping an isolated community, but its xenophobic leader is resistant to allowing the Ark II to enter with a vaccine.

Personal Comment:
1] Notable Guest Star is actor Guy Stockwell as The Leader.
2] In the world of tomorrow, there may well be isolated communities, who want to remain cut off from the rest of the world and or their surroundings. Because they want to be left alone to develop their own sense of security. But more often than not, depending on the situation, the isolated community will need outside help, as with the case in this episode when an epidemic is killing off its citizens.
3] Watch out for actor Del Monroe as the Masked Man, you may remember him from the TV Series `Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea as Kowalski.

The Cryogenic Man
Production Number: 84018
Ark II Log: 76? (67) & 68
Sector: 25 - Area: N/A

The Ark II crew unwittingly opens a Pandora's Box of pollution when they revive a 20th Century business tycoon determined to kick-start production of his trademark toxic chemical fertilizer.

Personal Comment:
1] Notable Guest Stars are Jim Backus (Gilligan's Island) as Arnie Pool & John Fiedler as Norman Funk.
2] As you may have noticed the first log entry does not coincide to the second log entry, (but the script does state that it is Log entry 67).
3] It's a pleasure to see Jim Backus in this light-hearted episode, doing what he does best, being Jim Backus.
4] On a serious side of things, we see in this episode what happens to people when they are awaken from cryo-sleep in the future (on their cryo-tubes both men were put to sleep in the year 1986). A culture shock awaits in many forms and trying to adapt to a different environment, from what people are use too. What will the world really be like in 500 years time-I shudder to think.
5] What a delight it is to awake in a world where money is worthless.

The Tank
Production Number: 84003
Ark II Log: 74 & 75
Sector: 18 - Area: 93

The Ark II comes upon a village that forbids machinery. Will they reconsider when a functional 20th-century battle tank could aid in the rescue of their leader's daughter, who was abducted by marauding scavengers?

Personal Comment:
1] Notable Guest Star is actor Marshall Thompson as Baxter.
2] In this episode we learn about the so-called evil of the machine, and through Baxter how it was the machine that made the world the way it is, thus banning the use of any machine to bring back some kind of purity towards survival with nature. In the end it was man...not machine that is/was evil in his use that brought man's demise from civilization.

The Drought
Production Number: 84013
Ark II Log: 76 & 77
Sector: 9 - Area: 42

During a devastating drought Fagan and his Flies return and hijack the Ark II in an attempt to secure a time capsule containing a cloud-seeding device. A primitive tribe that worships the time capsule has captured Ruth, Samuel and Adam.

Personal Comment:
1] Notable Guest Star Jonathan Harris who returns as Fagan for his second and final appearance.
2] By putting the episodes into Ark II Log order we get our second continuity mix up, as this episode was shown after `The Flies', (starring Jonathan Harris and Malachi Throne) and `The Mind Group', (starring Malachi Throne). It would have been better to have the Ark II Log for `The Flies' as 36 & 37, while `The Mind Group', Ark II Log as 76 & 77, while `The Drought', Ark II Log would be 1444 & 1445.
3] In this episode we get another glimpse at how human society has reverted back to pagan ways by worshiping artificial gods to appease their hardships.

Omega
Production Number: 84016
Ark II Log: 78 & 79
Sector: 49 - Area: 16

The Ark II encounters a community enslaved by a sentient super-computer housed in a black monolith. Samuel succumbs to the computer's control, jeopardizing Jonah's plan to deactivate it.

Personal Comment:
1] Notable Guest Stars are Harry Townes as Marcus & Helen Hunt as Diana, Marcus' grand-daughter.
2] This is another favourite episode of mine as a Super-Computer built in the 21st Century, known as `The Checkmate', takes over a small village upon its activation by the villagers.
3] With shades of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, having The Monolith and The Hal 9000 combined we get this new computer villain, but in the end it takes a chimpanzee to turn the Super-Computer off; and thus begin again anew-but this time for the good of humanity instead of against it.

The Robot
Production Number: 84015
Ark II Log: 93 & 94
Sector: 9 - Area: 14 & 15

After months of hard work Samuel creates a robot that could prove useful when exploring a sector permeated by a strange gas, but Jonah is unwilling to allow Alpha-One to assist and orders him deactivated, but Alphie has other ideas.

Personal Comment:
1] We come to one of my favourite episodes of this series, as Robby the Robot makes an appearance as Alpha One; it's great to see one of my favourite robots again, as Robby was introduced in the 1956's `Forbidden Planet'. Looking back on this series, I believe if Ark II had a second season, perhaps Robby would have made a great additional crew-member and thus more interesting stories could have been created because of it. This episode also has a fatal ending as Robby sacrifices himself to seal deadly gas in a fissure.
2] If you are quick to notice, there is a flying scene with the `Jet Jumper' and in the background you get a glimpse of the white amphitheatre use in the Planet of the Apes TV Series episode `The Gladiators'.
3] Also we can now understand how the scientists at their HQ can communicate with Ark II, as there is a scene to demonstrate this, thus this is how Ark II can travel to different locations to investigate any assignments it is given.

Robin Hood
Production Number: 84017
Ark II Log: 142 & 143
Sector: 25 - Area: N/A

When a tyrant hoards grain to create fuel while his people starve, a post-apocalyptic Robin Hood arises to right the wrong. The Ark II arrives hoping to mitigate the mayhem and mediate a peaceful solution.

Personal Comment:
1] Out of all the episodes of this series there are two, I consider the most comical (with occasional stupidity thrown in), it is this episode and Don Quixote; with that in mind just look at Lord Leslie's outfit, something out of D&D, (pretty bad).

The Wild Boy
Production Number: 84014
Ark II Log: 207 & 208
Sector: 14 - Area: 31

The crew of the Ark II steps in to protect a feral boy from angry villagers. Strange pulsating crystals unearthed by Jonah have a troubling side effect.

Personal Comment:
1] If there's one thing I'd like to try is the `Jet Jumper' Rocket Jet Pack, that is used throughout the series, boy it would be fun-and very expensive!
2] Having said the above, I'll take the Ark II as well; I'll have to build a bigger driveway now.

The Slaves
Production Number: 84005
Ark II Log: 405 & 406
Sector: 6 - Area: 64

Jonah is captured by Baron Vargas, a tyrant who uses magic to enslave his superstitious subjects. Ruth, Samuel and Adam must conjure up some scientific magic of their own to free their friend and break the Baron's spell.

Personal Comment:
1] In the opening prologue Jonah mentions Sector 6, but this may have been a partial number as he was cut off when captured.
2] In this episode, the world of the future, man has returned to slavery, to help him survive; or in this case-a single man by the name of Baron Vargas played by Michael Kermoyan. And to make sure he gets what he wants, he uses magic as an element of fear to keep his slaves in line. In the end Jonah uses his own particular magic via the Ark II, to librate the slaves so they can live free.

The Rule
Production Number: 84002
Ark II Log: 1441 & 1442
Sector: 16 - Area: 32

The Ark II comes upon a community in bondage to `The Rule', a merciless civil code that commands the elderly, disabled and sick be exiled from the village.

Personal Comment:
When civilized societies (define civilized societies) break down, new ones appear in the new world order of things; and interestingly people accept the new rules in order to survive and be fed. And those who do not conform or are no longer of use are cast out. But as we see in this episode, rules and feelings can change to better current circumstances and more importantly...ourselves.

The Flies
Production Number: 84001
Ark II Log: 1444 & 1445
Sector: 83 - Area: 12

A band of orphans led by Fagan, have found canisters of poison gas that they plan to use against the bullying War Lords. The Ark II crew must intervene to prevent mass murder.

Personal Comment:
1] Notable Guest Stars are Jonathan Harris (Lost in Space) as Fagan & Malachi Throne as Warlord Brack, in their first respective roles in this series.
2] By putting the episodes into Ark II Log order we get our third continuity mix up, as this episode was shown first before `The Mind Group', (starring Malachi Throne), and `The Drought', (starring Jonathan Harris). It would have been better to have the Ark II Log for `The Flies' as 36 & 37, while `The Mind Group', Ark II Log as 76 & 77, while `The Drought', Ark II Log would be 1444 & 1445.
3] Look closely at Brack's village and you will see in the background a familiar building; this building is from the `Planet of the Apes' TV series, thus this episode was filmed on the POTA Set which ended in production about 1 ½ - 2 years ago when this episode was made.

The Lottery
Production Number: 84012
Ark II Log: 1481 & 1462? (1482)
Sector: N/A - Area: N/A

A tyrant employs a rigged lottery as a means of exiling those who threaten his power to an alternate dimension called the Forbidden Zone.

Personal Comment:
1] As you may have noticed the second log entry does not coincide to the first log entry, (and it is even in the script); thus it logically should have been 1482.
2] In this episode we learn the value of sharing, and man's thirst for water in his quest to find it; as again we see, if a person has control over a valuable resource, he or she is in control over others. It seems man's obsession for power is never ending, even in the 25th century.
3] Also of note is there is no Sector or Area location numbers for this episode.

- Series Recap -

So let's run through the above viewing order via the Ark II Logs', with some adjustments for good measure, plus I have added the some dates as well.

The Flies
Ark II Log: 36 & 37*
Sector: 83 - Area: 12
(18th January 2476)

Don Quixote
Ark II Log: 38 & 39
Sector: N/A - Area: N/A
(19th January 2476)

Orkus
Ark II Log: 41 & 42
Sector: 8 - Area: 13 & 14
(21st January 2476)

The Balloon
Ark II Log: 51 & 52
Sector: 14 - Area: 12
(26th January 2476)

The Cryogenic Man
Ark II Log: 67** & 68
Sector: 25 - Area: N/A
(3rd February 2476)

The Tank
Ark II Log: 74 & 75
Sector: 18 - Area: 93
(6th February 2476)

The Mind Group
Ark II Log: 76 & 77*
Sector: 83 - Area: 16
(7th February 2476)

Omega
Ark II Log: 78 & 79
Sector: 49 - Area: 16
(8th February 2476)

The Robot
Ark II Log: 93 & 94
Sector: 9 - Area: 14 & 15
(16th February 2476)

Robin Hood
Ark II Log: 142 & 143
Sector: 25 - Area: N/A
(11th March 2476)

The Wild Boy
Ark II Log: 207 & 208
Sector: 14 - Area: 31
(13th April 2476)

The Slaves
Ark II Log: 405 & 406
Sector: 6 - Area: 64
(20th - 21st July 2476)

The Rule
Ark II Log: 1441 & 1442
Sector: 16 - Area: 32
(21st December 2277)

The Drought
Ark II Log: 1444 & 1445*
Sector: 9 - Area: 42
(23rd December 2477)

The Lottery
Ark II Log: 1481 & 1482**
Sector: N/A - Area: N/A
(10th January 2278)

* Rearranged Ark II Log entries.
** The Corrected Ark II Log entry.

I have calculated the dates as it is assumed via the series that Jonah makes an average of two log entries a day; having said that, judging by The Lottery's Ark II Log, the Ark II has been travelling around the country for 741 days, i.e. 2 years and 10 days.

Now in calculating the dates I found that in order to fit the dates correctly, (well what I feel are correct), Jonah had to make 1 and or 3 Log entries per day in some cases. (The Slaves is a good example as this episode spanned 2 days and Jonah made 1 Log entry per day.

Although never mentioned within the series, The Ark II was set in the year 2476. This being the case, then the final date by the series end would be the 10th January 2478, if we started at the beginning of 2476; remembering that 2476 is a leap year, [366 (2476) + 365 (2477) + 10 (2478) = 741].

- The DVD Extras -

The DVD Set comes with 4 discs:

Disc 1: 4 Episodes (1-4) & Commentary Tracks on the episodes of `The Flies' and `The Slaves'.
Disc 2: 4 Episodes (5-8).
Disc 3: 4 Episodes (9-12).
Disc 4: 3 Episodes (13-15) & Ark II - 30 minute Documentary, Photo & Art Galleries, plus PDF versions of all 15 Ark II scripts via computer access.

- Pamphlet Episode Guide -

The DVD also comes with a fold-out pamphlet style `Episode Guide' for the series, this is good as it contains various information about the episodes and trivia with little single screen shots for each episode. Personally I would have preferred an 8 page booklet with the same layout and also having the type-face in larger print.

- Final Word -

I remember well back in the 70's watching this show plus other Filmation productions, it was great, it really takes me back. I highly recommend this series, plus another favourite of mine `The Secrets of Isis', that is also brilliant. The only thing I would have liked of course was more episodes, as the show was gradually getting better as the stories kept on improving, so there was still a lot the show had to offer and could have explored. It's sad now that we don't have Saturday morning shows like it was in the past, (if we do, it certainly is totally different) they were a lot of fun and even the cartoons were great as well.

Ark II was a great show, get it and experience your childhood memories or just for your collection, it was a show that had a lot of potential, that wasn't given a chance to expand the horizons of tomorrow.

Ark II - Log Entry: 2013 - Signing Off.

Thanks to the Ark II DVD Set and the pamphlet, Wikipedia and other Internet sources (basic story line episodes) for additional information.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
How did this pass me by first time around? Jan. 12 2009
By BENJAMIN MILER - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Ark II premiered in September 1976, when I was four years old (I was born in 1972), so I might have been a little young to pick up on the show, but it continued to air on CBS until 1979, and in syndication into the 1980s, so I should have picked up on it somewhere, but apparently didn't. When it first came out, me and my family had no television, and by that time, had moved out in the country. It also had to do with having no CBS affiliate where I lived (this time, back in the city) once my family had a television in 1978.

Strangely I didn't discover Ark II until 2004, when I was wanting to learn more on what Filmation had done besides the Star Trek animated series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Ghostbusters (the '80s animated that forced the the cartoon adaptation of the movie franchise to be entitled "The Real Ghostbusters"), and Fat Albert. Ark II popped up and I liked the description, and the scenes included. I then discovered this series would be available on DVD, so a few years later I picked it up and was amazed! I was expecting to be embarrassed and feeling it would appeal only to '70s kids, but that wasn't the case at all. This is by Filmation, and I always dug that rotating "Lou Scheimer" and "Norm Prescott" banner that you see on all the Filmation productions from 1969 to the 1981-82 season (until the 1973-74 season, you'd see this on the closing credits, after you see it at the beginning credits, like you do Ark II). That was done so they received equal billing for production.

I can't help but think of Ark II as Damnation Alley for kids, although the movie adaptation of 1967 Roger Zelazny short story-turned-1969 full-blown novel did not hit the theaters until the following year, 1977, but there are similarities: a post apocalyptic theme, similar looking land vehicle (contrary to popular belief, the Ark II was not reused for the Damnation Alley film, they are different, despite their similarities), and the fact these land vehicles were used to help save civilization. Also the vehicle for Ark II was simply reused the following year for the spacecraft on Space Academy.

Ark II consists of Terry Lester as Jonah (he was 26), Jean Marie Hon as Ruth (she was 21), Jose Flores as Samuel (he was still a minor then, I doubt he was over 15), and a chimpanzee (that talks, with voice courtesy of Lou Scheimer himself) as Adam. As you guess, all the characters are Biblical, but the show itself isn't overly religious so anyone, regardless of religion or not should enjoy this. This is the world some 500 years later, pollution and wars taking its toll on the environment, causing civilization to revert back to the Stone Age. So it takes some highly trained young scientists to undo the wrong. You see civilizations with societies that justify slavery, who are unjust, who treat the poor and handicapped as outcasts, those who refuse to open up to the outside world regardless how much they outside help they need, and so on.

Guests include Jonathan Harris, who many of you know as Dr. Zachary Smith on Lost in Space, and a then-13 year old Helen Hunt. Even Robby the Robot makes an apperance he (first appeared on Forbidden Planet, and even appeared on an episode of Lost in Space). The two episodes with Jonathan Harris, I keep thinking that he'll state that his "delicate back is a disaster area", or "the pain, the pain", or calling the Robot names. That never happens, after all, this is not Lost in Space. Harris also appeared on another Filmation creation: Space Academy.

I have noticed recycled sound effects that I've heard on Star Trek (but then I also watched movies predating Star Trek using those same sounds, so obviously they came from a sound library), not to mention, some of the episodes using the same incidental music you hear on the Star Trek animated series (another Filmation creation).

I like the fact there's only 15 episodes, sometimes better one season, than a bunch. This DVD set also includes an episode listing, plus tons of bonus features, including the "Launch of Ark II", which is about the making of the Ark II with Jean Marie Hon, Lou Scheimer, and Richard A. Rosenbloom (Terry Lester was obviously not present due to his passing). Plus you get treated with opening themes to many other Filmation productions, such as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, The Ghost Busters (the original 1975 live action, and the 1980s animated that forced the other Ghostbusters to be called "The Real Ghostbusters"), Space Academy, Flash Gordon, and more (no Fat Albert, no Archies, no Star Trek animated, probably because BCI/Entertainment Rights don't have legal propert of those shows).

Because Ark II was on a limited budget, don't expect much change in the scenery from one episode to the next, but it's still lovely scenery (it's semi-desert, it's all filmed in Southern California). The picture quality isn't digital DVD perfect, but you don't expect it to be for something dating back to 1976. But that's what I like about watching TV shows or movies from the 1970s: the technical limitations of the era (that's why I have a problem with the CGI updates on the original Star Trek series that I've been seeing on television of late, OK, so that's from the 1960s, but still). Ark II is quite dated, but in this case, "dated in a good way", meaning, "couldn't have came out from any era other than the 1970s", where they show the futuristic clothing and hairstyles that obviously look dated, but not in such a ridiculous way that I've often seen movies, TV programs and commercials from the 1980s (not to mention hairstyles and clothing from that era, that I, growing up in the 1980s, was embarrassed of even then).

I can't say I had fond childhood memories of Ark II as I don't recall seeing it the first time around (or in syndication in the 1980s), but I'm glad I discovered this TV series. But isn't it nice to watch something from that era that you don't recall seeing the first time around taking you back to that time? That's what Ark II does for me. It comes to show you great programming was had even on the short budget those folks at Filmation had.

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