I remember watching both of these shows, though not with any real recollection. Certainly, Planet of the Apes was repeated at some point, and I can remember eating the orange-chocolate ice creams that came with the Planet of the Apes stickers (See Childhood Science Fiction: Ice Cream). Ark II was just some sort of filler in the afternoon viewing schedule. So, just some basic information for this post.
Ark II (1976)
A post-apocalyptic series aimed at children, and featuring a bunch of biblical names and imagery (Adam is the chimpanzee):
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.
(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.
The Ark II vehicle is pretty much the only thing I remember, along with the environmental concerns. I didn’t remember that the saviour-scientists behind the scenes were all men.
And it appears that they recycled robots from other shows/films.
Can’t remember any toys, but there was a model kit of the Ark II.
Planet of the Apes (1974)
A spinoff of the Planet of the Apes films, the show tracks the adventures of two human astronauts, Alan Virdon and Peter Burke, as they return to an Earth in 2500AD. Humanity has ceased to be the dominant higher intelligence on the plane, replaced instead by apes who have their own interpretation of history, and who have subjugated humanity. The human protagonists are joined by Galen, a chimpanzee who is faviourably disposed to humans, and have various encounters across America during the 14 episodes.
I seem to remember I really enjoyed the show, though I do remember thinking that 500 years was too short a time for the whole scenario to have developed. Having watched the recently rebooted films, I’m less concerned about that timeframe now.
There were a lot of toys and other merchandise for a show that only ran for 14 episodes
There was also an animated Planet of the Apes TV show (in a similar way there was an animated Star Trek show).
Here’s the opening credits. I had no recollection it started with crucified figures setting the scene.