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. The Ark II DVD Set presents the fun, conscientious, and charmingly dated series in its entirety for a total of 15 episodes.
The show had a racially mixed cast, starring Terry Lester as Ark II's commander Jonah, 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 Hebrew Bible.
The show's setting was in the post-apocalyptic 25th Century (specifically, 2476, the show having debuted in 1976), 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) to search for remnants of humanity, reintroducing lost ideas as they traveled the barren landscape in the high-tech Ark II.
The series is best-remembered for its titular vehicle: a futuristic-looking six-wheeled combination RV and mobile laboratory. The vehicle was built from a fiberglass body on a garbage/dump truck chassis by the Brubaker Group.
In addition, the series also featured futuristic inventions such as a jetpack called the Jet Jumper, and the Ark Roamer, a smaller, 4-wheeled all-terrain vehicle built by Brubaker from a modified Brubaker Box, a kit car using a Volkswagen Beetle chassis.
The series featured memorable guest stars, including Jonathan Harris, Malachi Throne, Jim Backus, Helen Hunt, and Robby the Robot as the title character built by Samuel in the episode "The Robot." Also, a young Helen Hunt appears in the episode, "Omega." Actor Daniel Selby auditioned for the role of Samuel, but Jose Flores ended up winning the role.