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Ark II: The Complete Series

4.4 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Nov 07, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

The 1970s children's show ARK II reflected that decade's ecological concerns with the sci-fi adventures of three human scientists--leader Jonah (Terry Lester) medic Ruth (Jean Marie Hon) and tech genius Samuel (Jose Flores)--who along with their talking chimpanzee Adam travelled in their high-tech vehicle to right the wrongs of the environmentally ravaged 25th century. This collection presents the fun conscientious and charmingly dated series in its entirety for a total of 15 episodes.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: TELEVISION/SERIES & SEQUELS Rating: NR UPC: 787364725090

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Terry Lester, Jose Flores
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Bci / Eclipse
  • DVD Release Date: November 7, 2006
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000IU37UC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,537 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.

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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.Read more ›
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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.
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