50th Anniversary of The Second Hundred Years

Today marks the 50th anniversary of ABC sitcom The Second Hundred Years. The series debuted on Wednesday, September 6th, 1967 and ran for 26 episodes. Monte Markham played two different, yet identical characters. Prospector Luke Carpenter froze in a glacier in 1900. He thawed out in 1967 and discovered he had a grandson named Ken. Luke and Ken looked exactly alike. Arthur O’Connell co-starred as Luke’s son–and Ken’s father–Edwin.

Still from the opening credits to The Second Hundred Years
Still from the opening credits to The Second Hundred Years.

I published a Spotlight about The Second Hundred Years last November. While researching it, I viewed four episodes. It’s not amazing television but it’s not a terrible show, either. Critics hated it, based on the reviews I’ve come across. Following a highly-rated debut, viewers soon tuned out. Perhaps watching Luke being mistaken for or impersonating Ken week after week quickly grew boring.

Two decades after it went off the air, USA Network began running repeats of the series in 1986 and continued to do so until 1988.

Do you remember watching the premiere of The Second Hundred Years on ABC fifty years ago? Would you buy the series on DVD, given the opportunity?

13 Replies to “50th Anniversary of The Second Hundred Years”

  1. I don’t specifically remember watching the premiere, but I know I watched the show. Like you said, it wasn’t great nor awful. I believe I had a slight “thing” for Monte….hence my interest.

    1. I did watch the show..being just 13 it was a good show to me..I’m pretty sure there was a child crush on “luke”..for me!

  2. I remember watching the premiere. It was okay, but nothing special, and certainly didn’t inspire me to continue watching. I think one of the problems with the show was that the premise was unnecessarily complicated. I think it would have been better if they would just have had the thawed-out father and his “older”son… having Monte Markham play his own grandson as well was taking it a step too far.

  3. I saw the premier first-run. The main thing I remember about it was Luke deciding to leave near the end and everyone frantically searching for him. Edwin was the only one to think to check the train station. He talked Luke into coming back, and as they walked away had fun telling him about busses and airliners. (I have likely severely distorted this. :-)

    I did see at least a few of the regular episodes but recall very little about them.

  4. I recall the promo where the :grandfather” sees a western on tv and says “By golly, there’s a midget in that box!”

  5. Monte was on STU’S SHOW this past year and discussed this series extensively! He and Arthur O’Connell remained great friends afterwards.

  6. I watched it religiously, although I don’t remember the premiere episode. I was (and still am) a big fan of the split screen photography they used…as did The Patty Duke Show, and Batman (Liberace as TWINS!! a good one and a bad one). I looked forward to every episode of these shows…scrutinising each scene that used the split looking for that telltale line. They did a great job 95% of the time. Oh, and Star Trek had a couple also (Mud’s Women among other episodes).
    I nearly passed out when ANOTHER identical cousin showed up on the Patty Duke Show and they broke their budget (I’m guessing) by letting two of them circle around each other while the third stayed in the center and watched (travelling matte shot)!

  7. I thought the show was great and would buy the dvds. Modern technology , for the time, and trying to adapt to his fathers younger age , made it funny to me. I was a preteen at the time but really liked it
    Pastor Marco

  8. One of the shows I remember fondly. I thought Monte was great. Few of my peers seem to recall this show but I would buy it if it was made available on DVDs. Wish someone would get these out on DVD or one of the networks (MeTV) would run the episodes again!

  9. I loved watching The Second Hundred Years first run in 1967. I was 12 years old and loved it. I also remember watching the reruns in 1986 and I still loved the sitcom. And yes, I would buy this entire series on DVD if it were available.

  10. I loved this show, watched every episode during the original run. You have to put it in perspective though to understand the critics’ reaction and that of other people who found it lacking. There were a LOT of really great shows on during the sixties that it had to be compared with. By that standard it does fall short, but it wasn’t as ridiculous as campy Batman nor as blatantly stupid as Lost in Space, neither was it as funny as Hogan’s Heroes. Compared to the 70s Grizzly Adams and Dukes of Hazzard, it was genius. I would definitely by there series in DVD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.