Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Ark II: "The Mind Group" (November 27, 1976)
Captain Jonah (Terry Lester) and the team from the Ark II set out on a vital mission to find three children who have disappeared from their village, and return them home.
The unusual thing about these kids, however, is that they come from a place where everyone communicates telepathically.
The telepaths there view normal humans -- “Speakers” -- suspiciously, and shun them. Jonah, Ruth and Samuel see this rescue mission as a way to change that perception.
“The Mind Group” is the first Ark II episode I’ve reviewed thus far that finds the series protagonists interacting with characters who are not scavengers or, poor, fearful rural villagers.
The telepathic children of “the Mind Group” hail from a nearby community of Espers, and perhaps it would have been more interesting, narrative-wise if the Ark II went to that locale to attempt to make contact with the group and open peaceful relations.
Instead, the Ark II crew sticks to its sense of morality and decides that when the telepaths choose to emerge from their shroud of xenophobia -- for good or evil -- the Ark II will deal with them then. This is a nice re-assertion of values, but a recent episode “The Balloon,” just preached against the evils of xenophobia, so it’s contradictory and a little hypocritical that the telepaths here get a pass…without even a lecture about opening up their society.