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Episode GuideEscape From Tomorrow
Synopsis - Concept StorylinesFirst Draft Screenplay
Synopsis - Press KitOn Screen Cast and Credits
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ReviewFrom Script to Screen
Escape From Tomorrow - Storyline - Press Kit
VIRDON and BURKE land on Earth in an unimaginable future - apes rule the world and try to imprison and kill them.
An old man, FARROW, is being harried by a young CHIMP and his dog when an enormous crash staggers them all, causing the last two to run away. Farrow investigates the crash and finds a spaceship, inside three astronauts, one dead, and two, VIRDON and BURKE, unconscious. Aware the young Chimp will be alerting the nearby town, Farrow drags the two men to his hideout, an ancient bomb shelter, barely escaping the first Gorillas who come to investigate.
Virdon and Burke awake to the discovery that Farrow speaks English. They must be on Earth, though their last recollection is of running into turbulence near Alpha Centauri. They’ve gone through a time warp, they conclude as it’s gradually unfolded to them they are in some incredible future in which apes rule the world and man is considered little more than an animal. No one, Farrow warns, is going to believe man capable of creating such a thing as their spaceship.
Meanwhile, the countryside is aroused. Gorillas search for the two missing men. Head Councillor, ZAIUS, an Orangutan, talks with his young aide, GALEN, a Chimp, about the difficulty of believing men could build such a ship. But he knows they can - astronauts have landed before, but URKO, Chief of Security, had them killed before they could be studied. This time, he orders rebellious Urko to capture the men but not to harm them. Urko privately disagrees. Such men could be dangerous to their whole culture…
Virdon and Burke have, meanwhile, gone back to the ship to find it’s been vandalized, but their chronometer shows they are at least a thousand years in the future. Virdon is just rescuing a picture of his family when there’s a scuffle outside and Farrow, on guard, is killed and the astronauts captured. Galen, along to see they come to no harm, picks up a book Farrow found in his bomb shelter and had shown the pair. It pictures a world familiar to them - New York, Paris, London - but never seen by Galen, whose interest in the astronauts now quickens…
With the two later before the Council, Urko makes a strong appeal, exploding a small grenade taken from the former astronauts to demonstrate the destructive power of man. He wants to kill them right now. Zaius and the others vote to keep them alive and study them.
In a prison cell later, they are visited by Galen who seems friendly enough for Virdon to ask him to help them escape. Virdon has a theory that the humans who made the grenades they saw when Urko exploded one must still be somewhere on Earth. They, if they can be found, may have the knowledge to make computers, too, and in the spaceship is the trip record on a magentic disc. If a computer could be found to put it into, they could reverse the process that put them here in this place and in this time and get back to their own period. Virdon has a family - he wants to get back to it.
Galen is horrified at the idea of betraying his own culture by helping them. But shortly after he becomes their ally when he, still on the prison grounds, detects that Urko has arranged to tempt the pair into an escape attempt so his guard will have an excuse for shooting them. Galen throws himself on the guard. Virdon and Burke get away and Galen is imprisoned for his seeming complicity in the escape.
Virdon, driven by his need to find a computer, then gets Burke to help him break into Zaius’s house and confronts him with a demand to know where there are people who could have made the grenades. Zaius will not talk, and, seizing a grenade, Virdon forces him to help them get Galen out of prison. With the jail break accomplished by exploding the grenade, Galen has no choice but to flee with the pair.
They regain the spaceship and Virdon recovers the magnetic disc that he hopes will return Burke and him to their own time. With Urko’s forces galloping in pursuit of them, Galen now has little alternative to becoming their accomplice, and the three hide successfully as the guards halt their search long enough to blow up the remains of the spaceship before continuing the chase.
Gorilla Guard
Gorilla Lt.
Roddy McDowall
Ron Harper
James Naughton
Mark Lenard
Booth Colman
Royal Dano
Ron Stein
Woodrow Parfrey
Biff Elliot
Jerome Thor
William Beckley
Eldon Burke
Alvin Hammer
Bobby Porter
Shelley Snell
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