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.
All the instalments began and ended with numbered entries in the Ark II’s log, which Lester, in character as Jonah, narrated in voiceover:
(Voice of Jonah): Ark II log, Entry Number 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.
Ark II was an American live-action science fiction series, aimed at children, it ran for 15 episodes in 1976. It stares Terry Lester as Ark II’s commander, Jonah, Jean Marie Hon as Ruth, José Flores as Samuel, and a chimpanzee (owned and trained by Darrell Keener) responding to the name of 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 a post-apocalyptic 25th Century (specifically, 2476, the show having debuted in 1976), after Earth’s civilizations had been decimated by the effects of waste, pollution, and warfare, falling back to a level comparable to the Dark Ages.
The surviving scientists pooled their knowledge and resources, training three young people (and the chimp, who was capable of speech, telekinesis and telepathy) to search for remnants of humanity, reintroducing lost ideas as they travelled the barren landscape in the high-tech Ark II.
The show mentions a “headquarters” and that the crew are scientists. The titles “Commander” and “Captain” are both used to refer to Jonah.