A group of astronauts who travel in time and become marooned on a planet. Unknowable to them, they are actually on future Earth. The astronauts encounter an advanced civilization run by apes, but supported by enslaved human workers.
Season 1 Ep.01: Escape from tomorrow
Astronauts Alan Virdon and Peter Burke crash land on a strange planet. After being rescued by a friendly human, Virdon and Burke discover this planet is ruled by intelligent apes. To their horror, they discover that they are back on Earth in the year 3085. Meanwhile ape leader Dr. Zaius learns of the presence of the spacemen and wants them captured and questioned, much to the chagrin of General Urko, who wishes them dead. To protect his interests, Zaius sends his young assistant Galen with Urko to retrieve the humans. The apes capture the humans and they are taken before the council. Zaius orders them confined for questioning, but Urko conspires to free the humans, and then kill them as escaping prisoners. However, Galen learns of this and foils Urko’s plan, allowing the humans to escape. Galen is arrested and accused of murdering one of the guards. The humans must rescue Galen before retrieving a magnetic disc, which could hold the key to returning to their time, from their ship before the apes destroy it.
Astronauts Alan Virdon and Pete Burke are thrown 1100 years forward in time to 3085 AD to find evolved apes have become the dominant species and humans their apathetic slaves. Feared by the ape authorities, their plight turns the head of a promising young chimpanzee named Galen, who adopts the heretical idea that maybe humans aren’t a lower species and can co-exist with apes as equals. As the three struggle to survive life on the run, a bond of friendship grows between them like an intricate tapestry woven right before our eyes, a multi-threaded miracle born of compassion, respect, and the desire to replace fear with understanding.
The series is loosely tied to the original movie series, reusing some footage and the ape makeup (albeit on a lower budget). Although it only lasted 14 episodes and spawned four paperback adaptations and 5 stitched-together TV movies, it retains a strong fan following and the occasional resurgence of interest with the 2001 remake of the original movie and the occasional SciFi Channel marathon or late-night cable showing of the TV movies.
Cast and Crew:
Roddy McDowall, Ron Harper and James Naughton
Writer: Jim Byrnes
Production Company: 20th Century Fox
Audio/Visual: mono, colour
Date Release: 1974
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Filed Under: Planet of the Apes