The Second Hundred Years (TV series)

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The Second Hundred Years
The Second Hundred Years (TV series).jpg
Arthur O'Connell and Monte Markham
GenreSitcom
Created byRoswell Rogers
Ed Simmons
Written byStan Cutler
Peggy Chantler Dick
Robert Lees
Ed Simmons
Gene Thompson
Skip Webster
Directed byJohn Erman
Paul Junger Witt
Richard Kinon
StarringMonte Markham
Arthur O'Connell
Frank Maxwell
Theme music composerGeorge Duning
Composer(s)George Duning
Van Alexander
Country of originUSA
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26
Production
Executive producer(s)Harry Ackerman
Producer(s)Richard M. Bluel
Bob Claver
Running time30 mins.
Production company(s)Screen Gems
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Release
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 6, 1967 –
March 28, 1968

The Second Hundred Years is an American sitcom by Screen Gems starring Monte Markham, Arthur O'Connell, and Frank Maxwell, which aired on the ABC television network for one season from September 6, 1967 to March 28, 1968 (repeats were shown through September 1968).

Synopsis[edit]

The Second Hundred Years was what was called a "high-concept" show—one which was based on circumstances which were extremely unlikely to occur in real life. The concept here was that one Lucius "Luke" Carpenter had left for Alaska in 1900 as part of a gold rush, but soon after his arrival was buried in a glacial avalanche. His burial was evidently so complete and so rapid that he survived in a state of suspended animation for 67 years. He was then thawed out and soon brought to the home of his now-elderly son, Edwin (portrayed by Arthur O'Connell), a land developer in Woodland Oaks, California. In the pilot episode, a heavily bandaged Luke awakens in Edwin's house and thinks Edwin is a gold robber. After removing his bandages, a bearded Luke dons his prospector's outfit and grabs his rifle in an attempt to find the sheriff to report the robber, but accidentally turns on a TV, which is playing a western. Luke comments "There's a midget in a box challenging me to a duel" and attacks the TV set. Outdoors, Luke, thinking he is in Fairbanks, Alaska, is confused and scared by automobiles, as well as people's strange fashions. Accidentally pointing a rifle at a woman gets the attention of the police, who return him to Edwin. Starting to grasp what has happened, Luke decides to assimilate to 1967 California by shaving off his beard and wearing more modern clothes, which makes him look very much like his grandson Ken. After some confusion, Luke decides it is best not to burden his family and strikes out on his own by taking a train to San Francisco, but is stopped by Edwin, who convinces his father to live with him and they will take a flight to San Francisco in order to help show that Luke has been given a unique gift, a chance to see the fruits of his generation's sacrifices through the advances of the latter 20th Century. The Army officer who oversaw Luke's unfreezing holds Luke, Edwin and Ken to a state secrecy act, as the Army does not wish for this to be public until the medical corps can fully comprehend why Luke survived. When told the order came from the top, Luke responds "if President McKinley says so it is good enough for me!"

The humor centered around how Luke was younger, both in appearance and attitude, than both his son, who was 67 (referenced in the pilot), but also his grandson Ken, who at 33 was the exact age at which Luke had disappeared and been preserved, and who was a near double for his grandfather (not surprising, as both characters were portrayed by Markham). Difficulty adjusting to all of the technology of the modern era aside, Luke, who was an affable, light-hearted sort, was in some ways more at home in his new world than Edwin. Other times it would play on how both men had buttoned-down ways, but how Luke is treated differently than Edwin for it, such as when Luke considers remarrying and courts a young woman by taking her out on a date in a horse and buggy, to which he is treated as an old-fashioned romantic.

Reception[edit]

The series drew overwhelmingly negative reviews, but premiered with strong ratings. By October, however, the series dropped to the bottom 25. In March 1968, the series was moved to Thursday nights (replacing Batman) but was canceled by ABC a little more than a week later.[1]

Episode list[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Father, Dear Father, Come Home with Me Now"Jud TaylorEd SimmonsSeptember 6, 1967 (1967-09-06)
Luke Carpenter is found after being buried in ice for 67 years, having not aged after being thawed out. The news is a shock to his son, who had long thought him dead, as well as to Luke himself, who awakens to find a bizarre new world.
2"Oh Dad, Oh Dad, They Thawed Out Grandpa and I'm Feeling So Sad"Richard KinonEd SimmonsSeptember 13, 1967 (1967-09-13)
Luke, a dead-ringer for his grandson Ken, poses as him during a date, antagonizes Ken's boss and also ends up in jail.
3"Little Lady X"Richard KinonPeggy Chantler Dick & Douglas DickSeptember 20, 1967 (1967-09-20)
Luke runs into trouble with both the Internal Revenue Service and the local zoning laws when he brings home a pair of goats, and then attempts to build a pen to hold them.
4"Pay Dirt"Richard KinonJames HendersonSeptember 27, 1967 (1967-09-27)
At the funeral of one of his former prospecting buddies, Luke meets his old girlfriend Annie. The two soon discover an old deed for a valuable San Francisco hotel property, which could make her rich.
5"A Simple Son of the Soil"Richard KinonMartin RagawayOctober 4, 1967 (1967-10-04)
Luke takes an aptitude test in an attempt to become a businessman, but after it is determined that he would do best as a stagecoach driver or buffalo scout, his son develops a plan to improve his job prospects.
6"Ungathered Moss"Gene ReynoldsStan Cutler & Martin DonovanOctober 11, 1967 (1967-10-11)
Luke takes the place of Ken in his job at the bank. Unfortunately, Luke is unfamiliar with some of the tools of the trade and inadvertently locks a bank official in the vault.
7"On Bended Knee"Bob ClaverStan Cutler & Martin DonovanOctober 18, 1967 (1967-10-18)
Luke falls in love with a female flower child, who happens to be Col. Garroway's daughter and is attracted to his old-fashioned way of doing things, a relationship that almost leads to marriage.
8"Just Pay the Two Dollars"John ErmanRon FriedmanNovember 1, 1967 (1967-11-01)
Luke is mistaken for a burglar while helping an elderly woman find her poodle. After he is given a suspended sentence, he insists on clearing his name by finding the real burglar.
9"Remember the Maine"Richard KinonStan Cutler & Martin DonovanNovember 8, 1967 (1967-11-08)
After a series of failed jobs, Luke decides to join the Navy. Colonel Garroway sees this as a chance for increased medical studies and is determined to get Luke into the Army, offering four candidates in exchange for him.
10"A Couple of Sad Dads"Richard KinonLila Garrett & Bernie KahnNovember 15, 1967 (1967-11-15)
Luke and Edwin are both under the mistaken impression that each of them has only a short time to live, which results in both trying to keep that information away from the other.
11"No Experience Necessary"Claudio GuzmánStan Cutler & Martin DonovanNovember 22, 1967 (1967-11-22)
Luke begins to sell aluminum siding, not knowing the deceptive practices of this particular business. After he makes a $400 sale, the buyer's daughter demands a refund when no delivery date is indicated.
12"San Juan Hill"John ErmanSkip WebsterNovember 29, 1967 (1967-11-29)
Luke insists on testifying as an eyewitness at a hearing on the events at San Juan Hill in order to set the record straight on the heroics of Annie Longstreet's grandfather, his old friend.
13"Luke Alikes"Richard KinonLila Garrett & Bernie KahnDecember 6, 1967 (1967-12-06)
A historian from the Smithsonian Institution arrives to speak with Luke, but he is out boating with Marcia, so Ken undergoes the physical preceding the interview, and then concludes Luke's date with Marcia.
14"Let My People Go-Go"Bob ClaverGene ThompsonDecember 13, 1967 (1967-12-13)
After Luke sees a go-go dancer in a cage, he thinks she is a hostage, so he frees her and takes her home. She calls her boss, but he suggests staying there in order to garner publicity.
15"Luke's First Christmas"Paul Junger WittTeleplay by: Peggy Chantler Dick
Story by: Peggy Chantler Dick & Douglas Dick
December 20, 1967 (1967-12-20)
Luke takes a job as a department store salesman to earn money for Christmas, but after his honesty proves to be a failure, he becomes the store's Santa Claus.
16"The Abnormal Iceman"Richard KinonJ. E. Selby & Stanley H. SilvermanDecember 27, 1967 (1967-12-27)
A group of gangsters kidnap Ken, thinking that he is Luke, so that he can show them the "process" of freezing a fellow gangster who looks to go into hiding for 20 years. The search for Ken leads to the Happy Hills Sanitarium.
17"Tree-In"John ErmanLila Garrett & Bernie KahnJanuary 3, 1968 (1968-01-03)
Luke attempts to help a young boy save his favorite tree, which includes the boy's treehouse, after it is scheduled to be chopped down by the Department of Sanitation.
18"Right of Way"Richard KinonJohn O'Dea & Jay SimmsJanuary 10, 1968 (1968-01-10)
Luke ignores a "no fishing" sign at his favorite boyhood fishing spot, leading to a battle with tycoon Langston Barnes over who actually owns the property involved.
19"For Whom the Drums Beat"Bob RosenbaumSkip WebsterJanuary 17, 1968 (1968-01-17)
To show solidarity with his Native American friends, Luke takes part in a picket march to protest against an Army general.
20"The House That Needed a Carpenter"John ErmanTeleplay by: Peggy Chantler Dick
Story by: Peggy Chantler Dick & Douglas Dick
January 24, 1968 (1968-01-24)
An armed Luke barricades himself with an elderly couple on their property in order to save it from being torn down to build a golf course.
21"Shine On, Harvest Moonshine"Paul Junger WittGene ThompsonJanuary 31, 1968 (1968-01-31)
Luke and old-timer Henry Sykes decide to build a still and enter the business of bootlegging, unaware that it is illegal.
22"Love on the Double"Richard KinonJ. E. Selby & Stanley H. SilvermanFebruary 7, 1968 (1968-02-07)
Luke pretends to be Ken during a date, but the situation gets more complicated when it turns out that the woman is pretending to be her cousin.
23"Dude Hand Luke"Richard KinonStan Cutler & Martin DonovanFebruary 21, 1968 (1968-02-21)
When Luke goes to work on a ranch, he and the foreman vie for the affections of their lovely boss.
24"Lucky Luke"Russell B. MayberryStan Cutler & Martin DonovanJanuary 31, 1968 (1968-01-31)
While attempting to help a woman get her poker losses back, Luke himself gets outsmarted.
25"A Different Kind of Bug"Richard KinonStan Cutler & Martin DonovanMarch 21, 1968 (1968-03-21)
Luke becomes involved in a war of electronic bugging devices after being victimized in a back injury scam.
26"Luke and Comrade Tanya"Richard KinonTeleplay by: Peggy Chantler Dick
Story by: Peggy Chantler Dick & Douglas Dick
March 28, 1968 (1968-03-28)
Luke alarms Col. Garroway when he befriends an attractive Russian woman and her alleged uncle.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Television Obscurities - 10 Of The Most Outlandish TV Concepts Ever". tvobscurities.com. 2004-01-01. Retrieved 2008-11-03.

External links[edit]