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This above average 1974 TV spin off from the enormously popular Planet of the Apes Films only ran for 14 episodes.

But as a "Simian Saga" fan I'm very glad it's finally got released.

Three Astronauts travel through a time warp in their ship,and end up going from 1981 to crashland on 3085 Earth. One Astronaut dies during the landing, these episodes concern the adventures of the two survivors,
as they try to understand what's happened to them, and get back to their own time.

You'll have to buy it to find out if they do as I don't do spoilers.

Some of the actors are the same as in the Films,but one crucial difference from the Films are the Humans on this Earth can talk.

It was good to see Roddy McDowall reprise his role.(This time called Galen)

Mark Lenard (Spocks Dad Sarek from Star Trek)plays the military commander Urko.

~~~~

List of episodes:~

Escape from Tomorrow.

The Gladiators.

The Trap.

The Good Seeds.

The Legacy.

Tomorrows Tide.

The Surgeon.

The Deception.

The Horse Race.

The Interrogation.

The Tyrant.

The Cure.

The Liberator.(This episode never aired during original run.)

Up above the World so High.

~~~~

The show was eventually cancelled because it didn't score enough ratings in the US.

But it was very popular with viewers and TV critics in the UK.

A shame.
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on 25 May 2008
I absolutely loved this series as a child! I was about twelve years old and had a huge crush on James Naughton who plays Pete Burke, one of the astronauts! So when I discovered this boxed set, I just had to have it!

Now sometimes things we loved as a child simply do not have the same appeal when we are older. I remember enjoying Buck Rogers in the 25th Century as a child, yet thinking it a load of codwallop as an adult! So it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I sat down to view the first episode of Planet of the Apes. Would it stand the test of time? Were all my childhood memories about to be broken?

I needn't have worried! Planet of the Apes is every bit as good as I remembered it to be! Okay, so maybe some of the episodes are a bit repetitive and the acting wooden, but the series still manages to entertain. I think Planet of the Apes' saving grace is the fact that, set in the future and with the humans all wearing what appears to be old woolly cast offs, the fashions of the day do not date the series like, for instance, The Incredible Hulk TV series. Dig those flares!

The actors all take their parts seriously, with Roddy McDowell stealing the show with a creditable stand out performance as Galen. Mark Lenard, as Urko, is suitably militaristic and James Naughton and Ron Harper as the two astronauts - the wise-cracking Pete Burke and the homesick Alan Virdon - tie everything together nicely. And yes, I still have a thing for James Naughton!

The series is based on the Planet of the Apes movie starring Charlton Heston, but differs in one major aspect - the humans can talk. Mute and almost savage humans worked extremely well for the movie, but would have proved boring and repetitive for the series. So the humans are intelligent, own farms and act as servants to the apes, thereby allowing the astronauts to interact with and be aided - or foiled! - by them! The episodes themselves follow a predictable formula, with our heroes confronted with some sort of problem caused by either their own actions or by someone that they happen to have met up with that week. By the end of the episode, the problem has been sorted and our heroes jog off into the sunset, ready for the next adventure! This formula was very popular at the time and followed the pattern used by many other TV shows. It didn't allow for character development or for an effective plot, which some would find off-putting today. However, sometimes I am quite happy to sit back and watch something less demanding so Planet of the Apes is the perfect choice on these occasions!

In conclusion, if you remember Planet of the Apes fondly, as I do, then don't hesitate to buy this boxed set. You won't be disappointed. Especially if you're a fan of James Naughton!!
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on 28 October 2008
The sries is kind of like Starsky and Hutch meets Planet of the Apes. Two astroonauts end up on earth in the future (I hope this does not count as a spoiler) and befriend a chimpanzee. One of the astronauts isthe young wise cracking guy, the other one the more serious and considerate older guy. This means of course that the overall feeling of doom which the films had is not really present here. The sets are quite decent as is the make up which is of course becuase they used sets and props from the films. Overall, it's actually fairly entertaining and well made, certainly much better than the last two installments of the film franchise. However, there is a limit as to how far you can stretch the underlying storyline and therefore it tends to be a bit repetetive. There is only so much you can do with one idea. But by and large it's well made entertainment, worth watching.
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VINE VOICEon 18 July 2007
Being born in the mid 1960's the following decade's TV output is the golden period of the small screen's offerings for me. I look upon most of the 1970's shows with fondness and nostalgia and the Planet of the Apes television series is no exception.

This series was my first introduction to Planet of the Apes as at that point I had not yet seen the brilliant Charlton Heston first film and was unaware of all the back story that had built up with the films, as such the series was new, fresh, full of excitement and funny. Even now after all these years of analysing various things that were not apparent to me on transmission, such as the fact that it is very formulaic in the classic capture-escape scenario, I still find my mind wandering back to those childhood days of mine when stuff like this was one super experience after another.

This series sort of disregards the continuity of the films in a way and goes it alone and it's all the better for it, by having the series do it's own thing but anchored into what has gone before without overly refering to the films it provides enough new material to appeal to non fans of the movies, while at the same time there is enough to keep the fans of the big screen versions happy, it's the best of both worlds.

I'm not going to go into the plots as that has been done, but the major selling point of this boxset is the inclusion of an episode that was never transmittered on both sides of the Atlantic. The episode is called The Liberator and the reason for it's non show it's unknown, I have attempted to uncover this but have had no luck, I can only speculate that it is probably because it is the only episode that shows a group of humans that are actually worse than the Apes in their treatment of other humans. This could have been considered a bit strong for the audiences of that time. The reason of the non transmission in Britain could stem from the fact that the copy was just not sent over by the Americans, I would love to know and if anyone does have an answer please do a review and fill me in.

The Planet of the Apes series just sort of fizzled out after 14 episodes, well 13 actually without The Liberator and was due to run for 26 weeks from what I understand, Keith Snowdon's very good review has implied that it was low ratings that caused it's cancellation, well that's not the whole story. The American ratings were quite acceptable and no problems at all, the real reason was that a new executive producer or whatever took over the studio and cancelled it with immediate effect because he hated it, this small-minded person spoiled the viewing pleasure of millions and should be punished.

All in all Planet of the Apes is a wonderful delve into childhood nostalgia and brings back happy memories of those Saturday mornings and school summer holidays and for the inclusion of The Liberator is an essential purchase, if it wasn't already that is. The only downside is the complete lack of bonus material which is a pity, saying that of course I suppose The Liberator itself could be classed as bonus material. A top-notch release.
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on 21 August 2011
Science Fiction Television does not get any better than this. (Arguably)

I remember very well back in 1974 a unique TV series aired entitled `Planet of the Apes', previously I enjoyed the movie `Escape from the Planet of the Apes', back in 1971, (I didn't see the other films-for whatever reason), so I was somewhat surprised that a TV series was to follow, after the last apes' film `Battle for the Planet of the Apes'.

Due to `Escape', Roddy McDowall (sadly no longer with us), became one of my favourite actors and still is; thus when he was in the `Planet of the Apes' TV series, I had to watch...boy was I in for a surprise, I enjoyed every episode of the series, I didn't know the other two actors at the time-Ron Harper (appearing later in the TV series Land of the Lost) and James Naughton (appearing later in the TV series Trauma Center), but that was okay, they were great too-real likable fellows.

I was really sad that the show ended after 13 episodes, later...very much later I found out there was a 14th episode that was never aired called `The Liberator', and a few years ago I got the video release of the series that contained that missing un-aired episode, finding it was like gold to me and I watched it thinking this is great-it was 1974 all over again, why it was never aired originally is beyond me.

---The Series---

Set in 3085, the series starred Roddy McDowall as Galen, Ron Harper as Alan Virdon, James Naughton as Pete Burke, Mark Lenard as General Urko and Booth Colman as Councilor Zaius (not Dr. Zaius as many would believe). It was based on the 1968 Planet of the Apes film and its sequels in which McDowall also starred in except `Beneath'.

The series ran from the 13th of September to the 6th of December, 1974.

Although fourteen episodes were produced, only 13 were originally networked; the 14th episode, `The Liberator', was never shown, but was included in a 2 Box Set Video release in Australia and now also in DVD form.

The show was cancelled after half a season because of low ratings, (It seems Americans cannot appreciate great shows) due to direct competition by other shows being aired at the time. It was reported that the show was going to continue in the new year under new directions-I really don't know if this was true, but as history tells this never happened. However, it was very successful in Britain for ITV; (I believe Ron Harper once said that the show should have been produced and made in Britain).

The series was also unique in that it did not have a `Pilot' episode, this was because 20th Century Fox felt the show didn't need one due to the strength of the `Ape' movies, so it was assumed that the fans would welcome and understand the show without such a `Pilot'. In all honesty I believe a `Pilot' was necessary to help establish the characters and the show as a whole.

---The Episodes---

Escape from Tomorrow
Original Airdate: 13 Sep 1974
Director: Don Weis

Passing through a time warp, astronauts Virdon and Burke crash land back on earth in an unimaginable future. A human named Farrow takes the unconscious astronauts to safety only to be captured by gorillas, they find an ally in the chimp named Galen, who is fascinated by their origin. He helps them escape back to their spaceship where Virdon retrieves a magnetic flight disc that might help them return to the past, and the three become fugitives.

Featuring:
Zaius - Booth Coleman
General Urko - Mark Lenard

Guest Starring:
Farrow - Royal Dano
Arno - Bobby Porter
Veska - Woodrow Parfrey
Ullman - Biff Elliot
Proto - Jerome Thor
Grundig - William Beckley

Personal Comment:
1] This is the first and only time that we see Virdon and Burke in their ANSA uniforms.
2] Royal Dano's character is short-lived in this episode, thus very under used, if the series went a full 24 episodes I would have liked Farrow to last say the first 4 of them. This would have given strength to the series and Royal's character in general and to establish a better view of the world through his eyes.
3] I also feel that the characters of Galen,(who would not meet the astronauts until episode 5), Zaius and Urko, would be strengthened, plus a more understanding of ape society, through their eyes in the first four episodes.

The Gladiators
Original Airdate: 20 Sept 1974
Director: Don McDougall

The loss of the precious magnetic flight disc causes Burke and Virdon to become involved with gladiators, the burly Tolar and his son Dalton. The astronauts are captured in a village of humans ruled by Barlow. Believing that men are violent natured, Varlow encourages them to participate in gruesome sport similar to those in Ancient Rome times.

Featuring:
General Urko - Mark Lenard

Guest Starring:
Barlow - John Hoyt
Dalton - Marc Singer
Tolar - William Smith
Jason - Pat Renella
Gorilla Sergeant - Eddie Fontaine
1st Gorilla - Ron Stein
2nd Gorilla - Jim Stader

Personal Comment:
1] I liked the character Jason in this episode, it's a pity that this character had to die, as I think Pat's performance was great and the Jason character could have been used more in later episodes.

The Trap
Original Airdate: 27 Sept 1974
Director: Arnold Laven

Burke General Urko, must work together to survive when an earthquake traps them in the ancient ruins of a subway station in Old San Francisco. Virdon and Galen get the ape soldiers to cooperate in a rescue. Meanwhile as the rescue is being formed top-side and while Burke is trying to do the same below, Urko searching for materials is horror-struck when he sees an old zoo poster showing caged ape being fed a banana by a human.

Featuring:
General Urko - Mark Lenard

Guest Starring:
Zako - Norman Alden
Miller - John Milford
Olam - Eldon Burke
Mema - Ron Stein
Lisa Miller - Cindy Eilbacher
Mary Miller - Wallace Earl
Jick Miller - Mickey LeClair
Old Woman - Gail Bonney

Personal Comment:
1] This is one of the best episodes of the series the dramatic interplay between Burke and Urko is top notch.
2] Is this episode we get a glimpse of earth's past, and what was achieved-technology wise (posters on the wall).

The Good Seeds
Original Airdate:4 Oct 1974
Director: Don Weiss

When Galen is wounded, he and the astronauts seek shelter at the farm of Polar whose son believes that the humans have put a curse on their one precious possession--a cow, which goes into a difficult labour to give birth to eventually give birth to twin calves . While looking after the cow trying to save it's life, Virdon and Burke win their hosts over by teaching them valuable lessons about farming.

Featuring:
General Urko - Mark Lenard

Guest Starring:
Anto - Geoffrey Deuel
Polar - Lonny Chapman
Remus - Bobby Porter
Zantes - Jacqueline Scott
Jillia - Eileen Ditz Elber
Gorilla Officer - Dennis Cross
Police Gorilla - John Garwood
Police Gorilla - Fred Lerner
Patrol Rider - Michael Carr

Personal Comment:
1] This again is a great episode, but this time we see that not all apes hate and mistrust humans; again great dramatic interplay between the apes `masters' and the human `slaves' comparison.

The Legacy
Original Airdate: 11 Oct 1974
Director: Bernard McEveety

In a ruined city, the astronauts find a computer with a filmed message from a scientist of their own era. If they can elude gorilla pursuers long enough to repair the ancient computer, the film will tell them where to find a secret storage room filled with other computers and knowledge to help revitalize human civilization. Virdon is captured and reveals the hidden computer, its a race against time as he is aided in part by a young woman named Arn, and a street urchin named Kraik, whom was captured also.

Featuring:
Zaius - Booth Coleman
General Urko - Mark Lenard

Guest Starring:
Arn - Zina Bethune
Kraik - Jackie Earle Haley
Gorilla Captain - Robert Phillips
Gorilla Sergeant - Wayne Foster
Scientist - Jon Lormer

Personal Comment:
1] What a great episode, I feel this episode should have been a 2-parter, thus in both parts we explore not only the finding of the computer and it's implications, but also the capture of Virdon and his predicament. Again great character drama from all sides; especially with the character of Kraik the boy trying to find himself, should he side with the apes to get more food or help Virdon and Arn escape?
2] Again we get a glimpse of the past earth events/happenings though the scientist, with hints of nuclear war-but not actually mentioning it.

Tomorrow's Tide
Original Airdate: 18 Oct 1974
Director: Don McDougall

When the astronauts are forced to work for Hurton in charge of a fishing village employing human slave labour, they must prove their worth as fishermen or be sacrificed to the gods of the sea.

Guest Starring:
Hurton - Roscoe Lee Browne
Bandor - Jay Robinson
Soma - Kathleen Bracken
Romar - Jim Storm
Gahto - John McLaim
Drayman #2 - Larry Ellis

The Surgeon
Original Airdate: 25 Oct 1974
Director: Arnold Laven

After Virdon is shot and seriously injured in an escape from gorilla soldiers hunting for them, Galen enlists the reluctant aid of a chimpanzee surgeon Kira, who was once his fiancé.

Featuring:
Zaius - Booth Coleman
General Urko - Mark Lenard

Guest Starring:
Kira - Jacqueline Scott
Leander - Martin Brooks
Haman - Ron Stein
Jordo - Phil Montgomery
Girl - Jamie Smith Jackson
Travin - Michael Strong
Bridid - Diana Hale
Dr. Stole - David Naughton

Personal Comment:
1] In this episode we have a glance into Galen's past, why he and Kira never married is a mystery within the series.
2] James Naughton's brother David as Dr. Stole appears in this episode.
3] These episodes just keep getting better, not only great dramatics between the ape characters, but also between Burke and Travin-who just doesn't trust him or just can't understand why Burke has certain liberties of duty.

The Deception
Original Airdate: 1 Nov 1974
Director: Don McDougall

While hunting a band of murderous ape dragoons responsible for Fauna's father's death, Burke becomes the object of the affections of a blind female ape named Fauna, who is unaware that he is human.

Guest Starring:
Fauna - Jane Actman
Sestus - John Milford
Perdix - Baynes Barron
Zon - Pat Renella
Chilot - Eldon Burke
Jasko - Hal Baylor

Personal Comment:
1] This is another favourite of mine, I really sympathize with Jane's character Fauna, and her quest to find some kind of happiness in her life.
2] Again in this episode we have a mixture of apes-hateful, honourable, kind-hearted and deceitful, a real mixed bag, and into this we have Burke playing an ape to a blind chimpanzee, this is a real dramatic smorgasbord all round.

The Horse Race
Original Airdate: 8 Nov 1974
Director: Jack Starrett

Virdon participates in a horse race, to save Gregor's life; all the while under Urko's eyes.

Featuring:
General Urko - Mark Lenard

Guest Starring:
Barlow - John Hoyt
Prefect - Henry Levin
Kagan - Wesley Fuller
Zandar - Richard Devon
Gregor - Meegan King
Martin - Morgan Woodward
Zilo - Joseph Tornatore
Damon - Russ Mavin

Personal Comment:
1] With this episode we see the return of our favourite ape Barlow; I think if the show went a full season, I'm sure he would have been in another episode.

The Interrogation
Original Airdate: 15 Nov 1974
Director: Alf Kjellin

Captured by simian pursuers, Burke faces two equally menacing possibilities: The gorilla Urko wants to kill him, and the orangutan ruler Zaius wants to use him in a brain washing experiment. Galen and Virdon work out a rescue plan with the help of Galen's parents, Ann and Yalu.

Featuring:
Zaius - Booth Coleman
General Urko - Mark Lenard

Guest Starring:
Ann - Anne Seymour
Wanda - Beverly Garland
Yalu - Normann Burton
Dr. Malthus - Harry Townes
Peasant - Eldon Burke
Susan - Lynn Benesch
Gorilla Leader - Ron Stein
Officer Gorilla - Lee Delano
Lt. Gorilla - Wayne Foster

Personal Comment:
1] In this episode we see Burke being captured this time, and through the interrogation techniques, we get to see him with his past love Susan.
2] This again is one of the best episodes of the series, with insights to Galen's parents and Burke's past.
3] Beverly Garland is excellent as Wanda a strong character for a female chimpanzee.

The Tyrant
Original Airdate: 22 Nov 1974
Director: Ralph Senensky

The fugitives are trying to foil the plans of a tyrannical gorilla named Aboro, who is using bribery to gain total control over a district of human farmers. The trio help remove Aboro from office, even though they have to risk an encounter with Urko to do it.

Featuring:
General Urko - Mark Lenard

Guest Starring:
Aboro - Percy Rodrigues
Daku - Joseph Ruskin
Janor - Michael Conrad
Augustus - Tom Troupe
Mikal - James Daughton
Sam - Klair Bybee
Gola - Arlen Stuart

Personal Comment:
1] With this episode we see the other side of the coin in ape society through Aboro, a ruthless ape with ambitions of power. Percy Rodrigues is great in this role and he shows us the devil in us all (apes and humans it seems are not too dissimilar after all).
2] In a rare insight we also get to see Urko's character fighting his conscious in trying to trust Virdon-a human against his long time friend Aboro-an ape, who does he believe?, In the end, his duty to the state compels him to do the right thing-he doesn't like it...but the truth was evident. Thus in some way the astronauts can rely on Urko's honour when it counts.
3] We also get to see through Janor and Mikal the passive and aggressive human qualities; Janor is submissive in ape society, while Mikal wants to rebel against it.

The Cure
Original Airdate: 29 Nov 1974
Director: Bernard McEveety

The astronauts come to aide a village which they stayed in being devastated by malaria and manage to help the local medical officer, Zoran, to discover a cure.

Featuring:
Zaius - Booth Coleman
General Urko - Mark Lenard

Guest Staring:
Zoran - David Sheiner
Amy - Sondra Locke
Inta - Eldon Burke
Kava - Ron Soble
Talbert - George Wallace
Mason - Albert Cole
Nessa - Ron Stein
Orangutan - Biff Elliot

Personal Comment:
1] What we have here is co-operation between ape and human, and the development of trust and faith. There is conflict on all sides, Urko wanting to burn the village, Zoran trying to convince Zaius not to, Virdon trying to help Zoran and the village while trying to amend his relationship with Amy, and Burke and Galen stuck in the middle keeping it all together. What an organized mess-I love it.
2] David Sheiner's character Zoran is a likable ape and worthy of future inroads to the series if it continued. Zoran's conflict with Virdon is especially noticeable.

The Liberator
Original Airdate: n/a
Director by Arnold Laven

Galen and the astronauts get captured by a tribe of humans who turn over fellow humans to the gorillas as slaves for the salt mines.

Guest Staring:
Brun - John Ireland
Miro - Ben Andrews
Clim - Peter G. Skinner
Talia - Jennifer Ashley
1# Gorilla Guard - Ron Stein
Villager - Mark Bailey
2nd Gorilla - Tom McDonough

Personal Comment:
1] As I understand it, this episode never aired as it was considered too controversial; apparently it discusses the creation of poison gas as a weapon of mass destruction,(in the movie `Beneath', the Alpha-Omega bomb is also a weapon of mass destruction), the temple reminding everyone of the `gas chambers' used by the Nazi's in WW2. Plus in 1974 we had the Watergate Scandal, the Ant-War Movement, Vietnam War; all in all it was decided to not air this episode because of such similarities of story to the real world.
All I can say is `Wake-up' world and get real, if we as a society are ashamed and embarrassed about make-believe realities within a movie and or series, perhaps we should look to ourselves and realize, we as humans should improve our way of life instead of hiding our heads in the sand, and saying this does not exist.
Well it does, and it just proves that we as humans just can't face the real, realities of life, and worst of all we even fail to fix them to improve human society/civilization as a whole.
We need to face up to ourselves, and say we did this, and try not to do it again, we must learn and gain wisdom from our past and present mistakes. If we are to survive as a species.

Up Above the World So High
Original Airdate: 6 Dec 1974
Director: John Lucas

The Astronauts help a human, Leuric, to make a working hang glider so he can fly, arousing the unwelcome interest of a lady chimp scientist named Carsia.

Featuring:
Zaius - Booth Coleman
General Urko - Mark Lenard

Guest Staring:
Carsia - Joanna Barnes
Leuric - Frank Aletter
Konag - Martin Brooks
Gorilla Guard - Ron Stein
2nd Trooper - Eldon Burke
Human Driver - Glenn Wilder
Council Orang - William Beckley

Personal Comment:
1] If Wanda and Aboro were not bad enough, along comes the meanest of them all-Carsia, she not only hates humans but Orangutans and Gorillas too, as she tries to use Leuric's glider to bomb the High Council Chambers. Joanna Barnes is brilliant as the `mad' chimp Carsia bent on death and destruction, believing that chimpanzees are superior to the other ape species.
2] This is the last episode of the live action series of the Planet of the Apes; in 1975 there was a follow-up animated series called `Return to the Planet of the Apes', get this on DVD if you can, it is excellent.
3] This is also the last we see of Zaius and Urko as well, all in all Mark Lenard (appearing in 11 episodes) and Booth Coleman (appearing in 6 episodes) are superb in their roles. I would have liked 1 episode each at least devoted to their characters, if only to strengthen the series-perhaps maybe this was on the cards (wishful thinking), if the series lasted longer.
4] Planet of the Apes is by all accounts is a unique series, then and even now; if it were produced today, I dare say we would enjoy 7 seasons, but alas even this seems impossible.

---The Extras---

Sadly this DVD set's Special Features are next to nothing, so don't hold your breath for anything special...there are no interviews with the surviving cast and crew or any previous guest cast, no behind the scenes of the TV series, not even any bloopers, or alternate scenes deleted or otherwise and no Photo Gallery...all you get is a Planet of the Apes Cross Trailer and a Theatrical Trailer of the Planet of the Apes 2001 movie version and that's it. (how disgusting!) Plus on top of that no decent booklet to guide you through the series. So really you just get the bare bones of the series and nothing else. (I am so very disappointed).

---The Music---

If you can, get the `Original Music From Planet of the Apes the TV Series', CD from Intrada (visit their website [...]) on it you will find music of the `Main Title', `The Gladiators', `The Legacy', The Good Seeds' and `End Credits', plus a hidden track. This CD is a limited edition run of 3000, (you might be lucky), The CD will definitely compliment your Planet of the Apes collection.

For those who are interested, below is a short Planet of the Apes Timeline

---The Timeline---

1942----------

January 12: Alan J. Virdon is born in Jackson County, Texas. His parents own a farm and he grows up there.

1951----------

December 06: Peter J. Burke is born.

1969----------

August 20: ANSA (American National Space Administration) is born.

Due to the success of the first moon landing in July, ANSA is commissioned by the President as a parallel division of NASA to develop a new prototype spacecraft to help explore interstellar space. This ambitious project to go beyond our solar system is named: The Icarus Program. (The aim of ANSA is to develop protocols, procedures and technologies to advance interstellar spaceflight to go beyond the solar system. ANSA's first target is Alpha Centauri.)

1980----------

August: After a pre-flight indoctrination, Virdon and Burke enjoy a relaxing couple of days at Hanson Point, on the shore of California. Virdon's wife Sally is there, along with Burke's date, a redhead named Jam Adams. Smitten with her, Burke carves her initials in a cave on the beach. Though Burke is a ladies' man, Jan is the only woman whose initials he ever carves anywhere. (This information comes from the novelization of "The Deception" from Planet of the Apes #2: Escape to Tomorrow. The script places this incident at Pebble Beach.)

August 19: Astronauts Colonel Alan Virdon, Major Peter Burke and Major Stephen Jones are launched by the ANSA's fifth and final interstellar space flight the Hyperion to Alpha Centauri. (The date above is from the Hyperion's chronometer from the opening credits.)

As the ship approaches Alpha Centauri, it travels through "radioactive turbulence" and goes out of control. Is this a Hasslein Curve? Virdon directs Jones to activate the automatic homing device. (The Icarus Program is officially terminated shortly after the Hyperion leaves Earth, making it the last attempt to reach for Alpha Centauri. Unofficially the Icarus Program still exists under a different program and is kept under tight security.)

2785----------

The early part of the Ornan Period, a fever which struck only the human population killed several hundred people in a section of the rural zone. The entire sector became barren for years afterward. (This was described in "The Cure." It is impossible to accurately pinpoint the exact date of "The Ornan Period." The implication is that it occurred hundreds of years in the past and was not common knowledge to the ape population at large. So I think it would be safe to say that this incident happened about 300 years ago.)

3034----------

March 08: Zaius is born.

3035----------

October 15: Urko is born.

3061----------

September 17: Galen is born in Central City to Ann and Yalu.

3070----------

Zaius joins the High Council. (This occurs prior to the beginning of the series.)

General Urko is appointed Chief of Security. (This occurs prior to the beginning of the series.)

3073----------

A Space craft of similar type to the one flown by Virdon & Burke crash-lands on Earth. Two Astronauts survive. Zaius, a member of the Ape High Council, wants to question these two astronauts, but General Urko, The Chief of security, has them killed. (Zaius says that Human astronauts from the past crashed "more than ten years ago". Twelve years sounds like a fair estimate for this length of time.)

3081---------

Galen and Kira become engaged. For undisclosed reasons, they do not get married. (From the Planet of the Apes episode of "The Surgeon".)-(Galen and Kira infer that they broke off the engagement in recent years.)

3083----------

July: Farrow from the settlement of Chalo, discovers an old bomb shelter "about two years ago". He tells Burke and Virdon this in June of 3085.and makes it his "secret cave". Inside are a number of ancient artefacts, including books from many centuries earlier. Unable to read them, he uses most of them to start fires. One he keeps, however, as he enjoys looking at the pictures. (From the Planet of the Apes episode of "Escape From Tomorrow".)

3085----------

June 14:

Escape From Tomorrow. The Hyperion reentries and crash-lands on Earth outside the Human settlement of Chailo, in the region of the United States that was once south-western California. Astronauts Colonel Alan Virdon and Major Peter Burke survive, but Major Stephen Jones dies in the crash. At this time the ape government, which rules over most of the area, is an orang-utan faction headed by Councilor Zaius. General Urko, a gorilla, works cooperatively with him; with continual "reminding" that Zaius is in charge. Urko chafes at the situation. To Zaius and Urko, the constant threat of the renegade astronauts starting a human rebellion.

The date above is from the opening credits of the TV Series, but Hyperion's chronometer when it crash-landed back to Earth states it is 21st of March 3085.

June 16:

Burke and Virdon are captured by Urko and Galen.

June 17:

Burke and Virdon are set up to be "shot while trying to escape". Galen accidentally kills Urko's Lieutenant in a struggle.

June 24:

Virdon, Burke and Galen begin their adventures together.

The astronauts gain the chimpanzee Galen as a friend and traveling companion. Between them they leave a few traces of twentieth century human culture, like certain agricultural and farming techniques, that don't do much good for the humans but eventually serve to advance ape civilization. (Virdon remarks that it has been a week since they escaped.

July:

The Gladiators. Burke estimates they are North of San Francisco. A Human kills Urko's Lieutenant, Jason. Urko holds Barlow responsible for Jason's death and transfers him to the remote outpost of Venton.

The Trap. Burke, Virdon and Galen are near the village of Numai. This is near ancient ruins of San Francisco.

The Good Seeds. Burke, Virdon and Galen go to Polar's farm. The farm is "four day's hard ride from Central City. The travelers spend two weeks here so that Galen's leg can mend.

August:

The Legacy. Burke, Virdon and Galen enter the ruins of Ancient Oakland.

Tomorrow's Tide. Burke, Virdon and Galen approach the Pacific Ocean. Burke speculates that it could be Malibu, Pismo Beach or Paradise Cove.

The Surgeon. Virdon is shot by a Gorilla patrol. Galen and Burke take him to a medical center outside Central City.

The Deception. The trio befriend a blind female chimp named Fauna whose father has been killed, supposedly by humans. Fauna develops a crush on Burke while the trio deal with vigilante apes known as `Dragoons'.

September:

The Horse Race. Burke, Virdon and Galen enter the village of Venton. After winning the wager with Urko, Barlow, along with Martin and Gregor, return to Kaymak.

The Interrogation. Burke is captured and taken to Central City. Urko goes on an inspection tour of the outer provinces. (Yalu, Galen's father is recently elected to the High Council. Galen learns of this within this episode)- (Wanda states that she discovers an ancient book on brainwashing techniques in a time capsule from the late 20th century.)

The Tyrant. Virdon, Burke and Galen enter the village of Hathor.

The Cure. Virdon, Burke and Galen enter the village of Trion. Virdon meets Amy. One week later the group leaves the village.

October:

The Liberator. It is Autumn. Virdon, Burke and Galen approach the village of Borak.

Originally it is suppose to be Summer, but I changed it to Autumn, to fit this timeline. But if the 21st of March 3085 date is used from the Hyperion's chronometer when it crash-landed back to Earth, then the Summer reference would be correct, as the story would have happened in July.

Up Above the World so High. Virdon, Burke and Galen are near the sea and come across Leuric, a human from Chatka, trying to fly his glider; which he has been working on and designing for months, hoping to successfully be the first human to fly.

The Hostage.* The United Freedom Force, a radical group of humans and apes, kidnap a daughter of a prominent Ape family. Virdon offers to negotiate for the daughter's release.

A Fallen God.* Virdon, Burke and Galen come to a town. To avoid suspicion from the local preacher, Syrinx; Alan and Peter go to work on a farm owned by Telemon, a local farmer. Once there Virdon spies Telemon's family praying to their altar which contains a radio transmitter.

* These stories come from scripts that were developed for the Live Action TV Series, which can be found on Hunter Goatley's website.

November:

The Trek.** An ethnic minority tribe has been on the run and hiding for years. It has been guilty of resisting the Apes and was ordered exterminated. Virdon, Burke and Galen become involved with this tribe; which has two choices: fight the Apes and go down fighting or seek a better life beyond the Forbidden Zone.

Freedom Road.** Odin, a human saves one of the astronauts and thus could be identified to the local Gorilla Prefect for helping the fugitives. The Perfect offers amnesty for information about the fugitives, so Galen visits him to see if it is legitimate. But he tells Galen that various humans have been disappearing; so after the Prefect himself goes missing, Virdon, Burke and Galen investigate.

The Mine.** Our trio comes upon advanced technology in the form of a water-driven mill. The architect is an old man who once visited a super-civilization; this information could lead the astronauts a way home, but the old man is being forced to work in a salt mine. The astronauts are captured while trying to rescue the old man, so Galen in the guise of a government inspector attempts to free them.

The Trial.** In a highly productive village, a nasty Gorilla hazes a human in the fields. Virdon attempts to help the human, but gets into a struggle with the Gorilla, who is accidentally shot. Burke and Galen raise doubts about Alan's guilt, which are supported by the villagers threatening to stop work if Virdon is unfairly punished. So the Commanding Gorilla agrees to a trial. Can Burke and Galen find the real killer?

** These are story synopses that could have been developed into scripts for the Live Action TV Series. They can be found in the UK fanzine Simian Scrolls #12.

---Final Word---

If you have ever wondered what science fiction can achieve in all its glory, you can't go past the Planet of the Apes...the movies or the TV series (and don't forget the animated series as well). Science fiction has produced various gems over many decades; and Planet of the Apes is a stand alone work of art that defies the human psyche, in determining it's place and relevance within our society, plus trying to understand and uncover the hidden meaning of purpose, which in some ways is very transparent if you know where to look.

Science fiction is a genre that can explore even the most sacred and profound taboos in our society, no matter how small or significant the subject matter (that said other genres do the same in their own way), but the science fiction genre seems to be at the forefront of scrutiny and analysis when controversial ideas and idioms and the investigation of subject is at hand to shock the human society into thinking...why?

And the answer is simple...we need to confront ourselves and our way of life, to improve our society for the better...if we are to develop a civilization worthy for our children.

Planet of the Apes the series in its purest form is to be enjoyed by the science fiction fan who enjoys science fiction without the need to explain...why?

Get this series and add it to your collection, you won't be disappointed.

Thanks to the Internet, Wikipedia, The Planet of the Apes CD & DVD of the series for additional information.
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on 7 September 2003
This series fascinated me when I was eight years old, and it still bears viewing today, especially if you enjoyed it then. It's not up to the standard of the best of the films, of course, but it does try hard - the two human leads, Virdon and Burke, (dead ringers for Starsky and Hutch) are rather bland, and completely overshadowed, as so often happens in science fiction, by the nonhuman characters. Roddy McDowall's chirpy and resourceful Galen is one of the great TV characters of the 70s and makes even the weakest episodes eminently watchable,as does Mark Lenard's blinkered, bullying General Urko, who sadly does not appear in every episode. As in the films, the apes' sense of self-righteousness and self-importance is a scathing caricature of the same quality in humans, and this is one of the qualities that raises this series above simple adventure.
A few episodes are outstanding but sadly the writers had trouble keeping the series from lapsing into formula, so several of the episodes go something like this:
Galen, Virdon and Burke take refuge with some docile good-natured human farmers, inevitably getting them into trouble with the apes, who proceed to capture/injure/kill one of them and promise to do more of the same later. Burke and Galen think they should move on while Virdon insists that it is their responsibility to set things right. Galen, under protest, ingratiates himself with the local ape authorities by pretending to be someone important, while Virdon and Burke ambush a gorilla on a cart, then hide when Urko shows up with some rifles and semi-automatic pistols (the only post-medieaval technology the apes possess), insisting that the best solution is to kill all the humans. Virdon and Burke finally rectify the situation using some esoteric 20th Century knowledge of chemistry or aerodynamics, the farmers thank them and realise that humans can after all, fight apes or work together with them, and our heroes run off into the distance, and presumably into the next valley, where another unit is filming MASH.
All in all, this represents good value and fun, undemanding viewing, and complements the movie box set very nicely. If you're new to the apes thing, though, watch the original movie first.
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on 27 April 2010
If you're a fan of the "Planet of the Apes" films then this short lived series won't disappoint!

I remember it when it was first on T.V., and also available as two novels. I was a fan of the series back then and I'm still a fan of the series now. Shame the network pulled the plug as it would have been nice if there could of been some sort of closure on the fates of the two astronauts and their chimp friend.

This series is either set a few hundred years before the films, or perhaps some parallel reality where the Humans are more like slaves, rather than the two legged dumb beasts which mankind had devolved into, in the films.
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on 9 June 2014
It was my focus on time itself that brought me to purchase this. I wanted to travel, not forward, as Virdon & Burke do, but backwards in time, into those dreamy days as a child. Back then in ninteen seventy something, this series was on the TV every Saturday morning, & it was something that, as a child, I made the effort to get up, out of bed & watch... I even had the little dolls!
Having bought this DVD, it's great, getting up on a Saturday morning & watching this with my two kids now. The great thing is that they find it as fascinating as I did back then, & for me the fascination goes beyond the episodes themselves & into the realms of nostalgia.
I still admire the make up & outfits, the storylines carry timeless messages & with Lalo Schiffrin on music duty, the experience is complete!
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on 21 February 2008
I recently had the opportunity to see the pilot episode, round at a friend's place, after absolutely donkeys years. (Hadn't seen it since the original UK airing, i think.) And it was every bit as good as i remembered it to be. I was looking forward to watching the following episodes as quickly as posssible. Not so the friend, who was in no such hurry. He simply could not understand what this series could possibly mean to me.

However, Dennis is quite right with his assessment. The plotlines did become extremely formulaic, which lessens my appreciation. But do you really think they would have bumped into the "M*A*S*H" crew, the other side of those hills? I'd have thought that Kwai Chang Caine would have been a more likely possibility!

PS. Interesting stuff, following another rerun. Rather seventies US televisual in style, inevitably, and we don't get the menace of the first film. Overall, it remains a creditable adaptation of the "POTA" franchise. Decent music, thanks to good old Lalo Schifrin. (In part.) However, some of the humans look as if they've just been surfing at Malibu. How did Virdon and Burke manage to remain so well-shaven, from week to week? And note the "Ape" flag of an ape's head on an all-red background. Was the tyrannical ape society supposed to be some sort of quasi-communist society?
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on 20 February 2015
Like some other reviewers I watched this series as a lad, and immediately loved Urko and his gorilla army.
Looking back at it now, it falls into the same trap as Logan's Run - two out-of-their-depth runaways (astronauts), an outsider from the world (in this case Roddy McDowell's Galen) always being chased by the authorities (gorillas). In Logan's run it was Logan and Jessica on the run from the Sandmen, accompanied by the android REM.
That aside the POTA TV series allowed us a view of an almost alien world every week where our heroes would hunt down the humans and... oops, I mean our heroes would be on the run and stumble into a situation which involved either their capture or one of them was ill. There were some stand-out episodes though, such as The Trap, where General Urko finds himself trapped in an old subway station with Pete Burke (the Starsky of this series, with Alan Virdon as the series' Hutch), and having to work together to get out. Along the way Urko discovers something about the past which upsets him a bit...

Others have mentioned how the series drifted away from the movies in terms of continuity, but it could have been set during the period after the final film, where humans were still talking... except for the fact that Dr Zaius is in the film, and Ape City has moved from near New York to the west coast of America. Oops.
It's best to view the series as a stand alone reboot rather than inhabiting the same continuity.

As a fan of the classic Apes films it's great to own the TV set and to rekindle my childhood whenever I want to. Go APE!
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