I can see myself being blitzed with a ton of hateful comments over this post (Of course, I don't have to publish them - Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!), but I think this needs to be said. The 70s Saturday morning sci-fi adventure show Ark II has to be one of the most intelligent and well-written kids shows ever. Maybe one of the best TV shows ever, especially when you look at some of the current TV show. Sadly, clips of the show on You Tube usually get trashed by miscreants (Probably fans of Glenn Beck), but Ark II is kind of like an onion with many layers, which explains why it deserves a special place in a Hall of Fame or a need to be studied by future generation.
To get the full effect of where the concept for this TV program came from, you need to look at these photos on The Atlantic website. President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency after pollution starting becoming a problem. These photos were taken as a project to show the effects of pollution on America. As you can tell from the photos, pollution was a concern to everyone, not just one side of the political spectrum.
Movies like Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, No Blade of Grass, The Bed Sitting Room, A Boy and His Dog and Zardoz with post-apocalyptic themes were popular in theaters. These films frequently shown a future with cities decimated and in ruin. Ark II came along during this time. Executive producer Lou Scheimer once referred to the show as "Star Trek on the ground."
The show first appeared in the fall of 1976, which is probably the reason the main characters wear bicentennial looking red, white and blue uniforms. There was only one season of the show produced, but CBS ran the show until 1978.
According to the opening narration, pollution has destroyed many of the natural resources. A group of "remaining" scientist had created a mobile repository called Ark II. The crew of the Ark II were a group of young scientist made up of the hippie-ish guy named Jonah, a beautiful Asian woman named Ruth, a Hispanic genius teenager named Samuel and a talking chimpanzee named Adam. They travel around helping the people trying to exist in wastelands and encourage them to rebuild society by working together. They had to deal with the scavengers, who bullied the residents of the villages the Ark II encountered.
Notice anything about the character names? They are all Biblical names. That doesn't stop with the main characters as several episodes feature other Biblical names and references. Think about it...the show itself is named Ark II.
Contrary to what the idiots posting comments on You Tube say, the show was not "tree-hugging, socialist, leftist propaganda." The ecology and environment was only a theme, where as the lesson or message of the shows were basic morals about cooperation, prejudice, good citizenship and greed. Of course, these people commenting on You Tube probably rooted for the scavengers.
I recently acquired a DVD set (out-of-print sadly) of the complete series. I have enjoyed seeing this piece of my childhood that I had almost forgotten. I would love to see Ark II made into a movie.