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?


5 Comments

  • normadesmond says:

    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.

  • James Shell says:

    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.

  • Stickmaker says:

    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.

  • tardisrepairman says:

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

  • Steven Thompson says:

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

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