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Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010
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From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"He may well die... in which case, it was pointless leaving..."
―Zentos
The Ark
Series: Doctor Who - TV Stories
Season Number: Season 3
Story Number: 23
Doctor: First Doctor
Companions: Steven Taylor
Dodo Chaplet
Enemy: Monoids
Setting: 57th Segment of Time
Writer: Paul Erickson &
Lesley Scott
Director: Michael Imison
Broadcast: 5th March - 26th March 1966
Format: 4 25-minute episodes
Previous Story: The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve
Following Story: The Celestial Toymaker
For the similarly titled Fourth Doctor story, see The Ark in Space.

The Ark was the sixth story of Season 3 of Doctor Who, and was first to take place in humanity's far future.

Contents

Synopsis

The Doctor and his companions Steven Taylor and Dodo Chaplet arrive some ten million years into the future, on board a generation starship which is carrying the last of humanity away from an Earth that is about to fall into the Sun. However, the cold that Dodo has could prove devastating to these future humans and their servants, the Monoids.

Plot

The inhabitants of the Ark discover that they have uninvited guests.

Over ten millions years in the future, the TARDIS materialises on a vast spacecraft including its own miniature zoo and arboretum. The Doctor and Steven are still explaining the basics of their time travel ability to new companion Dodo Chaplet when she starts to show signs of a cold. It is only a matter of time before they are found and taken to the control chamber of the vessel. Their captors are the mute Monoids, seemingly identical alien beings with a single eye. The Monoids live in peace alongside the humans who command the spaceship, their own planet having been destroyed, but often do much of the menial work. The humans in charge of the ship explain that the Earth is about to be destroyed because of the expansion of the Sun and that this ship is an Ark sent into space with the last remnants of humanity, civilization and various forms of flora and fauna. The human Guardians in charge of the craft run a tight ship: failure to conform to rules means either death or miniaturization until they reach their destination, an Earth-like planet called Refusis II, which takes nearly 700 years to get to. As an amusement during the journey a vast statue is being carved by hand, depicting a human being.

Dodo's cold has now spread amongst the Monoid and human populations, but regrettably, they have little natural immunity. When the Commander of the Ark collapses with the malady, the whole ship is placed on alert as Zentos, the Deputy Commander, is suspicious of the travelers and believes they have deliberately infected the ship. When the first Monoid dies, there is little the Doctor can say to pacify the angry Guardians. Zentos places the Doctor, Steven and Dodo on trial for their crimes, with a young Guardian called Manyak and the Commander's daughter Mellium as defense. Steven acts as the first defence witness, attacking the closed nature of the minds of the Guardians, but exhausts himself in the process and collapses with the fever. His words have no impact on Zentos, who orders their execution, but the ailing Commander intervenes to protect the three travelers and permit them access to medical equipment to devise a cure to the cold. The Doctor is thus able to recreate the cold vaccine from the membranes of animals on the craft, and this is administered throughout the crew. The Commander, Steven and the others infected are soon on the road to recovery. Their work done, the trio have only time to observe the end of Earth on the long-range scanner before the Doctor leads them back to the TARDIS.

Curiously, when the TARDIS rematerializes, they are still on the Ark. However, seven hundred years have passed and there has been a major change: the Monoids are in control. They have completed the statue in the image of themselves, having staged a coup during the long journey. This was made possible by a genetic weakness introduced into the humans, but not the Monoids, by a second wave of the cold virus 700 years earlier. The Monoids also now have voice communicators and use numerical emblems to distinguish each other. The humans are now little more than slaves, with the odd exception like the collaborator subject Guardian Maharis, and have little hope of change. The Doctor and his friends encounter the Monoid leadership, installed in a throne room on the Ark, after which they are sent to the security kitchen to help prepare meals for the Monoids. Two humans, Venussa and Dassuk, believe the moment of their liberation is at hand. Steven tries to help them in a revolt which is unsuccessful.

The arrival on Refusis is close at hand and a landing pod is prepared. Monoid 1 wants to make sure that the new world is inhabited only by Monoids, despite promises that the human population will be allowed to live there too. A landing party is assembled – the Doctor, Dodo, Monoid 2 and a subject Guardian named Yendom and they soon reach Refusis II and start to investigate. A stately castle which seems to be unoccupied is in fact the home to the invisible Refusians, giant beings rendered invisible by solar flares. They welcome their guests and have been expecting them but only want to share the planet with other peaceful beings. Monoid 2 and Yendom flee the castle, and en route Yendom realizes the humans will not be allowed to reach Refusis with the Monoids. Monoid 2 kills him and is shortly afterward killed himself when the landing pod explodes.

The tension of the situation ferments dissent in the Monoid ranks, with Monoid 4 openly opposing Monoid 1's plans to abandon the humans and colonize Refusis without more checks on the planet. Two launchers are sent to the planet, Monoids 1 and 4 commanding one each, and when the crews emerge Monoid 4 interprets the destroyed landing pod as evidence of the danger that Monoid 1 has led them to. A civil war erupts between the two Monoid factions. The Doctor, Dodo and a Refusian use the confusion to steal one of the launchers and pilot back to the Ark.

The Monoids have placed a bomb on board the ship and plan to evacuate soon to the planet surface, leaving the humans to die on the spaceship. Word of this threat spreads and spurs a human rebellion. The arrival of the Doctor and the Refusian spur things along, and they soon realize the bomb has been placed in the head of the statue. Thankfully the Refusian is able to help dispose of the statue into space before the bomb explodes. The humans now begin to land on Refusis themselves, having been offered support on peaceful terms by the Refusians. Many of the Monoids have been killed in their civil war and those that remain are offered peaceful settlement alongside the other two species.

Once more the TARDIS departs, and this time the curiosity is that the Doctor simply vanishes from the TARDIS control room…

Cast

Crew

References

  • The statue is made of gregarian rock, and was supposed to last forever.
  • The peaceful Refusians (natives of Refusis II), thanks to solar flares, now have no physical existence.
  • The Doctor speculates that they are some 10 million years in the future.
  • Nero, the Trojan War and the Daleks are mentioned by the Doctor

Story Notes

  • Although Lesley Scott is credited as a co-writer, she did very little actual work on the scripts. She was attempting to break into screenwriting, and Erickson gave her a credit to fill out her resume.
  • The Monoids were played by actors, each holding a ping-pong ball in his mouth to represent the alien's single eye. The upper portion of the actor's face was hidden by a 'Beatle' wig.
  • This was the first story in which Michael Sheard, a frequent and favorite guest star on Doctor Who, appeared.
  • There are occasional lapses by Jackie Lane into the Cockney accent in which she rehearsed the story, before the production team were instructed by their superiors that it was unacceptable for a regular character in Doctor Who to speak in anything other than 'BBC English'.

Ratings

  • The Steel Sky - 5.5 million viewers
  • The Plague - 6.9 million viewers
  • The Return - 6.2 million viewers
  • The Bomb - 7.3 million viewers

Myths

to be added

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • It's rather remarkable that the TARDIS manages to land in the same spot twice (albeit a few years apart) when the Doctor can't control its journey. The Doctor forgot to enter new spacial coordinates, or there was a breakdown in the mechanism, and only the time circuits were activated for this journey. This being the case, the TARDIS followed its default/emergency procedure (See DW: Terminus) of remaining locked-on to the Ark as a 'fixed point', even though it would have moved billions of miles through space in the intervening centuries it took to reach Refusis.

Continuity

  • In The Ark in Space, the Earth was also evacuated because of solar flare activity that rendered the biosphere uninhabitable for five thousand years. There, however, the survivors of mankind slept in suspended animation and returned to repopulate the planet after that period had passed.
  • The Earth is seen trailing smoke as it heads towards the Sun at the close of episode two. However the National Trust, over the billions of years that followed, preserved it and restored it into a 'classic Earth' before it was finally destroyed by the expanding sun in the episode The End of the World.
  • The Monoids also feature in the Bernice Summerfield audio drama BFBS: The Kingdom of the Blind

Timeline

DVD, Video and Other Releases

  • This story was released on VHS in 1998.

Novelisation

Main article: The Ark (novelisation)

See also

DW: The End of the World

External links

  • Official BBC Episode Guide for The Ark
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide: Detailed Synopsis - The Ark
  • A Brief History of Time (Travel) entry for The Ark
Season 3
Galaxy 4  • Mission to the Unknown  • The Myth Makers  • The Daleks' Master Plan  • The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve  • The Ark  • The Celestial Toymaker  • The Gunfighters  • The Savages  • The War Machines
Wikipedia
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at The_Ark_(Doctor_Who). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the TARDIS Index File, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

This article uses material from the "The Ark" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Halo

Up to date as of February 07, 2010
(Redirected to Installation 00 article)

From Halopedia, the Halo Wiki

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Installation 00 "The Ark"
Background Information
Location

262,144 light years from galactic center

Monitor

Unknown, possibly Mendicant Bias

Status

Destroyed due to Installation 04 (II)'s premature activation

Date of Construction

Forerunner-Flood War

Date of Destruction

2552

Firing Record

52

Diameter

127,530km[1](79,243.648miles)

  [Source]

Installation 00, also known as The Ark, is an enigmatic Forerunner installation from which all the Halo Installations across the galaxy can be activated[2] simultaneously. In addition, it functions as a safe haven from the Halo network's strategic pulse, and as a facility to construct replacement Halos. It was first mentioned by 343 Guilty Spark at the conclusion of Halo 2, where he explains the fail-safe protocol of Installation 05 and the standby modes of the seven rings after its unexpected shutdown. The Ark is about 218 (exactly 262,144) light years from the galactic center. In comparison, Earth is 25,000 light years from the galactic center, which also happens to be the approximate range of one Halo Installation.[3]

Contents

History

The Ark and the Halo Array during the Forerunner-Flood War

Installation 00 is a part of the Forerunner construct designed to wipe the Flood from the Galaxy. Located about 262,144 light-years outside the Milky Way galaxy center, Installation 00 is safe from the Halo effect (as it is referred to by the Forerunners in the terminal transcripts) that kills all sentient lifeforms; the main Forerunner behind its use was Didact. The purpose of the installation is to remotely activate every Halo ring, from outside the blast radius. This is a fail-safe system that is only activated by an aborted firing such as the one that occurred at the end of Halo 2. In addition, Installation 00 can also function as an automated factory to construct replacement Halo installations, thereby insuring that the Halo array is always ready to fire.

"Every vessel we can fill, we send to the Ark. I dare not cease the mission. Not now, not until I've done all I can. Each one of these souls is finite and precious."
—--Transcript of a message from the Librarian to Didact, interpreted post-cataclysm and retrieved from the first Terminal on the level "The Ark"

Apparently, while the rest of the Forerunners attempted to defeat the Flood through any military way possible, a plan B was also approved to be put into the works, which included the construction of the Halos, Shield Worlds like Onyx, and The Ark.

In this final resort plan, the Librarian was to index every sentient species in the Galaxy, and bring some to the Ark, and then presumably some Forerunners, and these last sentient species would hide in the Ark's secret location, until the Flood starved and they could go back to the Milky Way.

However, things did not go as planned, as the Forerunner military AI Mendicant Bias turned on the Forerunners, and began assisting the Flood. Mendicant Bias knew of the Ark, and how to access it through the Key Ships, but did not know of its exact location. The Forerunners then constructed another military AI, Offensive Bias, in order to devise the best possible defense against Mendicant Bias and his fleet. The Librarian detonated all of the Key Ships in her command, and spent her last days upon a mountain near the site of the Artifact leading to the Ark. What happened to Mendicant Bias is unknown except for that he was defeated by Offensive Bias.

Layout and Function

A Holographic representation of the Ark.
The Ark compared to the planet Earth and Halo. (Courtesy of Stephen Loftus)

Installation 00 resembles a massive wheel with a series of eight curved arms, similar to an octopus or squid. The Ark Core is the stripped remnant of a material-rich planetoid, asteroid, or other celestial body used for the construction of the Halos, which the Ark constructs. The entire upper surface is terraformed, with oceans, forests and even a large desert, where the Master Chief first makes landfall. At the time of construction, the Ark lacked its core and a livable surface with no land or water. The structure is the largest Forerunner construct seen in the series, possibly a hyper-structure knowing that fortress worlds are 10,000 kilometers in diameter approximately. A simple inspection of the holographic representation reveals it to be anywhere from 90,000 to 100,000 kilometers (55,890 to 62,100 miles) in diameter.[4]

The three shown primary functions of Installation 00 are as a remote for activating the entire Halo network while safely out of the Halos' range, as an automated construction facility for the creation of replacement Halo installations (ensuring that the network continues to operate even if any rings are destroyed), and it has also been confirmed that the Ark was meant to be used to reseed the galaxy in the event of the Halo arrays being fired. Held deep within its mysteries was a collection of every species the Forerunners had studied and governed over. How this plan was to be initiated is still unknown.

Most interestingly, the Ark is not actually in the Milky Way as noted by a stunned ODST soldier at the start of the level The Ark. As such, it's outside the believed range of any Halo installation. The Ark also has an artificial sun floating above it. An observer can see this more clearly on the level Halo when looking up at the sky.

The Foundry

Main article: Strip Mining Moon

The Strip Mining Moon is the open area at the heart of Installation 00, which is surrounded by a void, and is the automated factory for replacement Halo installations. This void conceals the Halo Foundry, which constructs the Halo Rings and sends them to their orbital destinations. Raw materials for the process are supplied by a planetoid roughly 1/3 the size of Earth. The moon is large enough to make several replacement installations, as seen in Halo 3 when it produced a replacement for Installation 04.

Cooling Systems

A view of a cooling system.

The intense heat generated by the Ark's Foundry, where the Halo rings are constructed, heats the Ark up so much that multiple cooling stations are needed. At least two systems span a snowy gorge at one point. The systems are long, and they curve up like bridges. Above the systems are small bridges, as well as two stations on each side. An example of a cooling system are the two on the Halo 3 multiplayer map Narrows.[5]

Environment

A view of the Ark's arms from the surface. The Arks artificial Sun can be seen in this picture.

Along with most Forerunner constructs, the Ark consists of an atmosphere similar to Earth, comprised of mostly oxygen and nitrogen. This makes all Human-Covenant War species able to live on this planet (excluding Grunts who depend on methane tanks to sustain life) and the Flood as well. Also, like Earth and the other Installations, weather radically changes on the Ark.

The Ark has a habitable surface on each of its spokes, and on the majority of the inner circle just outside of the Foundry. The landscapes and biomes are as diverse as those of Earth and even of the Halos; consisting of deserts, taiga and forest as seen on The Covenant, and deciduous forests as seen in Isolation. Several bodies of water are dotted around the area as well. As such, the Ark can sustain its own ecosystem, providing a variety of habitation for many kinds of life. If the Halos were fired, all forms of life could thrive and reproduce in the Ark's highly varied ecosystem, eventually being able to return to the Milky Way to recreate a full food chain on that planet. The diverse locations may also assist in the studies of the Flood in a natural, but isolated, environment.

As the Ark is outside of the galaxy, isolated in a black void of space, there are no nearby natural sources of light to power the Installation and facilitate the survival of biological organisms on its surface. To counter this problem, the Ark is equipped with an artificial structure consisting of a bright, sun-like light, with several metal arms jutting from its center.[6] From aerial pictures of the Installation, it seems the light source "scans" over certain areas to generate day/night cycles, further contributing to the growth of vegetation and controlling weather patterns.

Artifact

Main article: Artifact

An important component of the Ark which serves as a medium of transportation, the Artifact is a Forerunner creation which is designed to open a Slipspace portal to enable access to Installation 00.

As first seen in the Halo 3 Announcement Trailer and numerous other promotional materials, this construct was originally thought to be the Ark itself; however, this was disproved with the release of Halo 3. The Artifact was partially uncovered when Regret's carrier destroyed New Mombasa in Halo 2, and completely excavated by Covenant Loyalist forces later on. In Halo 2, the Prophet of Regret moved his carrier above New Mombasa and deployed a large ground army. UNSC Marines were subsequently able to beat the Covenant to a retreating standstill, apparently causing the Prophet to attempt a dangerous atmospheric Slipspace transition.

By the time of Halo 3, Covenant Loyalists began excavating the Artifact from the crater and were able to completely uncover it. The Prophet of Truth activated it at the conclusion of the level The Storm. It formed a massive portal, in which the Forerunner ship immediately entered (presumably carrying Truth), followed immediately by the Covenant Loyalist ships. At the end of the level Floodgate human and Covenant Separatists forces resolved to follow Truth's ships through the portal, and ended up at Installation 00. At the end of the game, the damage caused to the Installation caused the portal to collapse, severing the Dawn in half as it passed back through. The forward section, in which Thel 'Vadam (The Arbiter) had been inside of, made it back to Earth, plunging into an unspecified body of water. Humans soon rescued Thel. The aft section of the Forward Unto Dawn, containing Master Chief and Cortana did not make it through the portal, and were stranded in an unknown location of deep space.

Guilty Spark meets Mendicant Bias

This transcript is taken from the third Terminal which is found in the game. It basically tells that 343 Guilty Spark is being warned for accessing Installation 00's systems and is warned that even though he is the Monitor of Installation 04, he has no right to be accessing systems on the Ark. He also learns that Installation 00 has the capability of constructing another Halo Installation and manages to stop the AI from sending Sentinels after him.

Warning: Your intrusion has been logged.

04-343 (errant): Excuse me?

Your intrusion has been logged. And now it has been halted.

04-343 (errant): On whose authority?

Advice: Any further attempt to access [insects under stone] will result in your immediate addition to local Sentinels' targeting ledger.

04-343 (errant): Vexation! I am the Monitor of --

Judgment: Your authority means nothing here.

04-343 (errant): Impatience!

04-343 (errant): I have told you who I am. Who are you?

All our makers once held dear. [Alexandria before the Fire]

04-343 (errant): Sincere apology. But how --

Explanation: This facility is host to the [Librarians'] final --

04-343 (errant): The archive is intact?! Then our makers' plan --

But also maintains [bellows, crucible, castings]

04-343 (errant): A what?

[bellows, crucible] --

04-343 (errant): A Foundry?

04-343 (errant): For what purpose?!

Warning: Your intrusion has been logged.

Advice: Any further attempt to access will result --

04-343 (errant): Indignant!

-- immediate addition to local sentinels' targeting ledger.

{Terminal gets overridden by Mendicant Bias}

I. SEE. YOU. RECLAIMER.

Trivia

  • Within the Halo Graphic Novel, in the short comic Second Sunrise Over New Mombasa, a transmission is intercepted between the Covenant assault forces stating that once the humans were dealt with in the Battle of Earth, they would start uncovering the Ark. There is also, of course, the strongly supported theory that human life originated in East Africa, usually associated with the Great Rift Valley.
  • In the fifth server of the Iris VMC it was stated that the Ark was built to protect humanity from the Flood and the activation of the Halos.
  • In the real world, Ark of the Covenant which according to the old Testament contains the stone tablets of the ten commandments, is the holiest object of the Jewish faith. The Ark of the Covenant is popularly believed to lie somewhere in East Africa, albeit in Ethiopia rather than Kenya.
  • The "Ark" seen in the announcement trailer is structurally identical to the Forerunner sanctuary described in the final chapters of Ghosts of Onyx (albeit on a much grander scale), complete with fourteen metal fins and a brilliant, blue-white portal in the ground. However, it is shown without the thirteen concentric rings rising around the portal, which means that it was either built without them or they will rise as the structure opens.
  • During the level The Ark, 343 Guilty Spark mentions that the Ark is 218 (262,144) light years away from the center of the Milky Way. As the Milky Way is around 100,000-120,000 light years in diameter, the installation is beyond the reaches of galactic space, thereby keeping anyone who is on it safe from the firing of the Halos. This is reinforced in the Halo 3 level The Covenant, by 343 Guilty Spark after the arrival of the Flood on the Ark. He says "The Ark is out of range of all the active installations. Priority: We must contain this outbreak."
  • A member of HBO estimated the size of the Ark by comparing its size to a Halo installation and Earth and estimated its size to be approximately 90,000 to 100,000 kilometers in diameter.[7]
  • In the Art of Halo 3, it showed a picture of a giant firestorm sweeping across the entire Ark as the replacement Halo fired, thus doing "a number on the Ark". Though this outcome is unconfirmed as the Ark's final fate was not seen in Halo 3.
  • The entirety of the Ark is never seen in game; only petals or the center of the Installation are seen. This contrasts the Halo Installations, which were usually given full-bodied debuts for their entrances.
  • The Ark may be a Biblical reference as "The Ark" saves the Forerunners and creatures from around the galaxy from "The Flood", similar to how Noah's Ark saved the world's animals from the great flood.
  • The Ark has some similarity to the concept of an Alderson Disk. However, an Alderson disk is much larger and has a star in the center.
  • Five of the Multiplayer maps that come with the game are based on locations of the Ark. They are Construct, Isolation, Narrows, Valhalla, and Epitaph, and possibly Sandtrap. Also, there is one DLC map based on the Ark, Citadel.

Images

Sources

  1. Stephen Loftus image comparison scale of Soell System, Sol System and Installation 00
  2. Halo 2, The Great Journey Final cinematic.
  3. Halo 3, The Ark
  4. http://carnage.bungie.org/haloforum/halo.forum.pl?read=871617
  5. Halo 3's Multiplayer Level Narrows</nowiki>'s description. "Without cooling systems such as these, excess heat from the Ark's forges would render the construct uninhabitable."
  6. http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=32604077&postRepeater1-p=1
  7. http://carnage.bungie.org/haloforum/halo.forum.pl?read=871617

External Links


This article uses material from the "Installation 00" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Transformers

Up to date as of February 05, 2010
(Redirected to Ark (G1) article)

From Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki

The name or term Ark refers to more than one character or idea. For a list of other meanings, see Ark (disambiguation).
Hurry up and get on, will ya? The flood's starting.

The Ark is the name given to the Autobot spaceship that, in many universes, originally carried the Autobot and Decepticon armies to Earth.

The Ark is a Vanguard-class Deep Space Interceptor. It has 5 Decks and houses a full crew complement of 300 Transformers (although it can be flown by only a handful if necessary). Its environment is fully automated and self-sufficient. For engines, it features 4 Hyperfuel Intake Accelerators.

It is armed with 16 particle-combustion cannons (port), 16 laser emitters (starboard), a primary starfield missile launcher, and an Overshock sonic battery.

Contents

Fiction

Marvel Generation One comics continuity

Marvel Generation One comics

To boldly go where no bot has gone before...
Note: The comic version of the ship tends to have a more squared-off look to it and is frequently (though not always) shown as being a metallic silver. It has a main computer designated Auntie and a number of ancillary shuttlecraft.

In the comic, the Ark was referred to as "the last of the Great Arks," suggesting that, as in the cartoon, there had been previous Vanguard-class ships. It is also referred to as the most powerful starship in Cybertron's history, and control of it was considered a huge tactical advantage.

It was launched to clear a path for the wandering planet Cybertron through an asteroid field. When this was done and her reserves depleted, the Decepticons attacked and boarded her. Hoping to end the threat of Megatron forever, Optimus Prime purposely crashed the ship into the passing planet Earth. The Ark crashed into Mount St. Hilary, a volcano located a small distance outside of what would one day become Portland, Oregon.

After the crash, some of the Ark's systems still functioned, and when they detected the Decepticon Cybertron making planetfall, the ship revived five of her Autobot crew and rebuilt them into the Dinobots. Upon the disappearance of these warriors in their attempt to destroy Shockwave, the Ark shut itself down.

...and as it came to be fairly consistently portrayed as the comics progressed.

Four million years later, Mount St. Hilary erupted, jarring the ship back to life. It revived and, unable to distinguish Autobot from Decepticon or to detect organic life (clearly it had suffered additional malfunctions since creating the Dinobots), it revived both sides to transform into the machines it perceived as the planet's dominant lifeforms.

Note: At no point in the comics does it explain why it rebuilt the Dinobots based on the dominant organic life, and yet it could only assimilate mechanical life in 1984.

The Ark became the Autobots' main base of operations on Earth until, during Grimlock's first term as Autobot leader, he had the ship repaired and returned to space. The Ark hung around near Earth for a time, until it was abandoned in orbit when Primus teleported all nearby Transformers back to Cybertron to face Unicron. It was recovered by the Dinobots and flown to Cybertron to engage Unicron. Grimlock, being the master of tactics that he is, physically rammed Unicron with the powerfully armed starship, which was then abandoned and crashed on Cybertron. It was recovered this time by Shockwave and Starscream, who repaired it and took it to Earth to conquer that planet with it. This plan was foiled by Galvatron, Megatron and Ratchet crashing the party. Their battle caused the ship to crash to Earth again, this time into the Canadian wilderness.

The Ark's original crew in the comics included all of the 1984 Autobots, the Dinobots, Red Alert (in the UK), the recorded mental engrams of most of the other 1985 Autobot cars, and Toaster.

Crew of the Ark

The crew of the Ark consisted of:

Marvel Generation 2 comics

The Ark was recovered and repaired by Megatron, who attempted to take it back to Cybertron and conquer that planet with it. This was foiled by Fortress Maximus and Spike Witwicky, who sacrificed their lives to cause an anti-matter explosion that finally destroyed the great ship.

Classics comics

Since it crashed 15 years ago, it's rounded itself off and grown another rocket port.
Note: The Classics comics pick up after the Marvel comics series but ignore the events of the UK books and Generation 2.

Megatron takes command of the Ark, but apparently keeps it (with Ratchet on ice) as his new headquarters on Earth.

The Transformers cartoon

Note: The Autobot ship in the The Transformers cartoon is never actually named. Fans have generally called it the Ark, however, borrowing the name from its comics counterpart. In appearance, the ship tends to have a more rounded, ovoid look to it and is a golden yellow color. It has a main computer designated Teletraan I.
The Ark's launch. An unseen bumper sticker reads: "Primus is my copilot".

Other Vanguard-class ships, pretty much identical to the Ark, are seen taking refugees from Cybertron on a history tape. Desertion of the Dinobots, Part 2 It is suspected that the settlers of known Autobot colonies such as Junkion were among these.

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice...

The Ark was launched under the command of Optimus Prime to search for fuel, but ran afoul of two colliding asteroids. Then the Decepticon ship attacked, and the Decepticons under Megatron boarded it. Out of control, the Ark crashed to Earth, smashing into a volcano in what would eventually become a desert. The exact location is unknown, but closely resembled the American southwest. There it rested until a volcanic eruption four million years later reactivated it and its inhabitants. More Than Meets the Eye, Part 1

The Ark's crew consisted of all the 1984 Autobots. A vehicle resembling Grapple's alt-mode and called Hauler is also seen shortly after the Autobots revived on Earth and may represent another crew member. The 1985 Autobots may also have been crewmembers.

Note: In the second issue of the Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformer manga, the Autobot Headquarters is said to be located in Arizona. The manga acted as a supplement to the television series. Whether this pertains to the English version of the show is debatable.
Crew of the Ark

The original 18-strong crew of the ark consisted of:

Autobot Headquarters

They're working hard to remove all the rocks that aren't part of the background matte.

After coming back online, the Decepticons immediately departed. However, the Autobots remained in their crashed ship, which served as their base of operations: Autobot Headquarters.

The ship was severely damaged by the crash and its subsequent entombment; massive rocks were visible inside the ship (whether they penetrated the hull on impact or were formed there later is unclear), and broken and damaged consoles are frequently seen in the background. The ship never flew again. The Autobots seemed to be preparing to re-launch it after the crash of the Decepticon space cruiser, but months later, both the Autobots and the ship remained on Earth.

Over time, the Autobots modified and expanded their base. An elevator provided passage to upper levels within the volcano, and a retractable door sealed off the volcano's crater. Early on, a small module serving as Ratchet's medical center sat near the main entrance, but was later removed. Explorations by Sideswipe and Brawn revealed a system of caves beyond the ship's walls. The caves revealed a treasure trove of dinosaur bones, which became the inspiration for the Dinobots. The base's nerve center was the supercomputer Teletraan I.

The base's geographic location proved a liability on at least two occasions, when Decepticon-induced calamities caused the volcano to become active again. During the first of these eruptions, several Autobots were blasted out of the cone and into the troposphere, requiring Skyfire to come to their rescue. Ironhide managed to bring the eruption to a halt by shooting down some rocks. No, really. The system of caves beneath the base also allowed the Constructicons to enter the base from below, in an attempt to destroy Teletraan I. Laserbeak was known to use the volcano's crater as an entry/exit point when on spying missions.

Autobot Headquarters remained in use in 2005, though it appears to have been supplanted by Autobot City as the Autobots' primary operations center. By 2006, the base had been equipped with a large number of retractable cannons built into the mountainside. They were not enough to save it from destruction at the hands of the giant Decepticon Trypticon, however. A squad of Autobots led by Warpath made a stand against the oncoming city-bot, but were brushed aside. Warpath ordered Teletraan I to activate the automated defenses, but the barrage of cannonfire gave Trypticon only momentary pause. He smashed the guns, then blasted the entire mountain to rubble. Five Faces of Darkness, Part 5

Note: The distinction between the ship and the headquarters is unclear. The presence of damaged equipment in the base (presumably, damaged when the ship crashed) implies that the Ark and Autobot Headquarters are one and the same. However, the Autobots are consistently shown driving more-or-less directly out of their headquarters through a ground-level passage below the ship. Further, the Ark rests at a high angle from the horizontal, while the inside of Autobot Headquarters is shown with everything upright and normal. While artificial gravity (which the Transformers definitely have) could explain the latter, another explanation might be that Autobot Headquarters is actually a series of remodeled caves within the volcano, adjacent to the ship.

Beast Wars continuity

Beast Wars cartoon

Note: The Ark as it appeared in Beast Wars was based upon the general appearance of the Ark from the Generation One cartoon, but with some design influences from the U.S.S. Defiant from science fiction series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Wait a minute...that's not engine exhaust! The Ark is on fire!

According to Optimus Primal, the Ark was built using "die-cast" construction, a lost art by the Beast Wars era.

According to Blackarachnia, the Ark was launched under the command of Optimus Prime, carrying a group of the Autobots' "finest heroes". One of the two copies of the Covenant of Primus was carried aboard. During the voyage, the Ark came under attack by the Nemesis, the flagship of the Decepticon fleet. Decepticon Leader Megatron led a boarding party which attacked the Ark crew. However, both ships were damaged and fell into the gravity well of the nearby planet Earth. The Ark crashed into a semi-active volcano, and the Transformers aboard were sent into emergency stasis lock.

Though Megatron had ostensibly come to prehistoric Earth to look for a massive cache of energon to fuel his war against the Maximal Imperium, he was in reality following instructions recorded by the original Megatron on the Golden Disk from the Voyager space probe. Once on Earth, he apparently found the crash site of the Ark, but buried the entrance to the interior of the volcano. At that point, he had deemed the plan to destroy the deactivated Autobots aboard her and change the outcome of the Great War as a last-chance gamble should he ever be backed into a corner with little hope of escape. Such a situation came to pass while he was a prisoner aboard Ravage's Transwarp Cruiser, and he convinced the former Decepticon to free him by revealing his plan. The Agenda (Part 2)

"She may have flaws, but she has teeth."

After failing to destroy the Maximal base, he traveled to the crash site, where he forced Blackarachnia to deactivate the security systems of Teletraan I and allow him access to the Ark's bridge. Observing that he was walking in the hallowed halls of the past as somebody who was soon to change the very course of history, he flew to the prone form of Optimus Prime and unleashed a torrent of pent-up rage over what he felt was Maximal injustice toward the conquered Predacons. He then fired at Optimus Prime's head, which created a time storm. The Agenda (Part III) Fortunately, the Maximals fixed everything. Optimal Situation

Megatron would later reenter the Ark with a new mission: take the spark of Megatron and merge it with his own. However, Tarantulas betrayed him and set the Ark to self-destruct. Fortunately, Blackarachnia was able to deactivate the overload. Master Blaster

After securing the Nemesis, Megatron attempted to destroy the Ark (along with all the Decepticons inside, which might have destroyed him as well). The Maximals tried to bring the Ark online and use it to fight against the Nemesis, but the engines had been idle for too long. However, using a shuttle housed in the Ark, Rhinox was able to damage the Nemesis and capture Megatron. After sufficient modifications, the shuttle was later used to transport the Maximals home, while the Ark and its sleeping passengers remained in the volcano to begin the Great War eventually. Nemesis Part 2

IDW Beast Wars comics

"Tough little ship." "Little?"

Razorbeast and his small, temporally displaced group traveled to the Maximal encampment in the volcano in order to obtain tools to repair the transwarp signal booster which they hoped to find in the wreckage of Ravage's transwarp cruiser. Not willing to risk taking something that might be noticed missing from the Axalon's shell, they instead took what they need from the Ark. The Gathering #3


Dreamwave Generation One comics

There is some question as to the Ark's appearance in the Dreamwave continuity, as it is never shown in totality in an actual comic story. Pictures are seen in the final issue of their More Than Meets The Eye guide, and there it is drawn to look mostly like the cartoon model (though oddly missing the rear "spoiler"). However, the DK Transformers Ultimate Guide, whose main focus was Dreamwave continuity, gives a cutaway diagram of the Ark drawn in the Marvel Comics style instead, only colored yellow-gold as in the cartoon.

The Ark was destroyed in 2004 while Ratchet and Brawn countered a Decepticon attack headed by Starscream and Bruticus.

IDW Generation One comics

Continuing the tradition of horrible things happening to every ship named Ark

6.2 million meta-cycles ago, the first legendary vessel to be designated as the Ark was launched from Cybertron under the command of Nova Prime. Its stated mission was to plot a safe passage from the Cybertronian Quadrant of the galaxy through the Benzuli Expanse, though its true mission was Expansion. Twenty-thousand astro-cycles out, it disappeared with all hands lost. Over the eras following its loss, rumor, myth and legend sprang up around the ship, obscuring the few existing facts surrounding its fate. Spotlight: Optimus Prime Spotlight: Galvatron

Note: This Ark appears in the flashbacks to look a bit like a merging of the older cartoon and Marvel Comics designs.

Known passengers on this first Ark include:

On his reappearance, Galvatron reveals that the ship disappeared after he intentionally piloted it directly into the anomaly within the Benzuli Expanse, which turned out to be a gateway to a region known as the Dead Universe. Spotlight: Galvatron

In the present day, the fate of the first Ark was one of the "big three" mysteries that Nightbeat liked to dig into in his free time. He eventually got a lead on possible remains of the ship, but it turned out to be a trap specifically set to draw him in. On Gorlam Prime he found wreckage of the correct type and age to come from the ship, and far beneath the surface, he discovered a vast inter-dimensional portal. Before he could dig into the mystery even more, he was overtaken by a strange group of Transformers who captured him and messed with his head, eventually erasing his memory of being there at all. Spotlight: Nightbeat

In the modern era, the Autobots utilized numerous ships designated "Ark", each distinguished by a number following the title. Among them were the Ark-12, Ark-17, Ark-19, Ark-27, and Ark-32.

Toys

Titanium Series

  • Autobot Shuttle Ark (3-inch Robot Masters)
Look closely. R2-D2 apparently got lost before he auditioned for the voice of Roller.
The first ever tangible representation of the Ark was a die-cast Titanium figurine at the 3-inch scale. The very forward section was based on the Ark's appearance in the original cartoon, but attached to it is an approximation of the back 2/3s of another space ship, the "Electronic Star Bird" created and sold by Milton Bradley in 1978. [1] Odder yet, the technical information on the back refers to the Marvel Comics Ark's destruction at the hands of Fortress Maximus, and that Ark, as seen above, does not resemble either the cartoon Ark or this toy at all.
Tiny, isn't she?

The very forward portion of the Titanium is removable, allowing for a more accurate toy. (The most iconic portion of the Ark, the rear engines which were often seen protruding from its rocky resting point on Earth, are not present due to placement of the attachment point.)


Trivia

  • An Autobot shuttle featured in Marvel UK's "Space Pirates!" story used the cartoon series' design for the Ark.
  • Let's face it, the Ark crashes alot.

External links

  • The Ark on TFU.info

This article uses material from the "Ark (G1)" article on the Transformers wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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