Astronauts Alan Virdon and Stan Kovak are midway through a long range reconnaissance space shot circumnavigating the Belt of Orion and its satellites when they
encounter violent turbulence which puts severe stress on their space craft and brings about heavy damage. Such a storm in space is a phenomenon unknown and unexplainable to them. All instruments and computers within the Craft become inoperable and they are unable to communicate with Earth. Soon they are hopelessly lost, hurtling at tremendous speed deeper and deeper into the infinite depths of the Universe. Their one hope is the Emergency Homing Device which is designed to return them to Earth. They decide there is no choice but to abort their mission. They activate the Homing Device.
The Series begins with the return of Kovak and Virdon to Earth only to discover they have passed through a time warp and the earth is no longer as they knew it....It has become the PLANET OF THE APES
ALAN VIRDON is the more sensitive,
more responsible astronaut, with a wife, a child, Chris, and a home in
Houston, Texas. He will meet other women....but standing in the way of a
truly romantic relationship is the memory of his wife and child back home.
STAN KOVAK, on the other hand, is much more a man of the moment, no strings
on him. He realizes they must make new lives in this new
Dr. Hasslein's theory of time change in space while
traveling beyond the speed of light has long been accepted. Virdon and Kovak
are prepared to accept the fact that Earth has aged two thousand years
during their absence. A new society has emerged in which Apes dominate and
Humans are subservient and hopelessly outnumbered.
GALEN is a
courageous chimpanzee who possesses some of the taboos and peculiar concepts
of his civilization and heritage, but he is open-minded, and willing to
learn from the astronauts. In the first episode Galen and the astronauts
become cautious friends, fellow fugitives, and begin to feel an almost
brotherly allegiance. Galen is our third lead.
Stranded in an era in which they are strangers, the
astronauts think about the possibility of returning to their own time
period. Before the total destruction of their own space ship, Virdon managed
to rescue a magnetic disk containing all information fed by the circuitry of
the ship's computors from the moment of take off to the instant of forced
Rumours of an advanced pocket of civilization give
Virdon the hope that he might find a group with the scientific capability of
building a space ship and by feeding the disk into a computer, find the
means of returning them to their own time period.
It is this
hope that causes Virdon to cling desperately to the magnetic disk and
continue his journey from one place to another on the PLANET OF THE
Kovak is ambivalent about this search. He feels there is
basically no chance to return, that Virdon's hope is a useless one, and
their wisest decision would be to find a place here where they can be happy
enough to live out the rest of their days. And yet, he too would be
delighted if Virdon's dream were true.
approaches to this search provide a constant source of conflict between
Virdon and Kovak...conflict that will be heightened during those moments
when the temporary loss of the disk will impel Virdon to face danger for its
recovery...a goal that Kovak feels not really worth the
The third member of our triumvirate, GALEN, the
chimpanzee, views the conflict between Virdon and Kovak almost with a
scientific detachment. An ape of intense scientific curiosity, tied to the
two humans by a common bond of friendship and their equally common position
as fugitives from the established order, he has always been fascinated by
the stories of the scientific advances of the era from which Virdon and Kovak
have come, and would very much like to experience them at first
But his drive, out of curiosity, cannot equal that of
Virdon, which is the intense pull of a man towards his
ORANGUTANS have emerged as the ruling class.
Generally, they shape and control all branches of Government, serving as
Judges, Ministers and Administrators.
GORILLAS are the
enforcers; Policemen, Soldiers and Hunters. Whenever severe measures have to
be taken against enemies of the State, gorillas carry out the desired
CHIMPANZEES are the intellectuals of the society.
Usually they are Doctors, Teachers or Writers. Some are viewed with
suspicion since they seek answers buried in the past, questioning the very
doctrines and tenets upon which Ape law exists.
A Council of
Elders rules the society. ZAIUS, an orangutan, is the presiding officer. The
Council includes representative chimpanzees and gorillas, but the
orangutans generally dominate. All edicts concerning Ape philosophy,
religion, morals or laws are laid down by the Council of
URSUS, a gorilla, who heads all military and police
forces is not only menacing but the most intelligent of all gorillas.
Dedicated to hunting down the astronauts, he believes them to be a menace to
his society because of their superior intelligence which could bring them
followers amongst rebellious humans.
ZAIUS seeks the astronauts
to extract whatever knowledge they possess and therefore wants them brought
in alive. Whether Ursus will obey such an order is a
These inhabitants are best understood in relation to the
territorial zones they inhabit.
The inner zone (the center of
the ape world) is sprinkled with humans who occupy menial roles. Their jobs
are those of minor clerks, servants, laborers and slaves, with an occasional
human who has been elevated to the rank of overseer. They are subject to the
ape civilization and exist at its whim.
The second zone is
inhabited by peasantlike humans who live an agrarian life and live with the
threat that they may be pressed into whatever service their ape master might
In the forbidden zone, we will find pockets of
renegades who have either fled from a totalitarian government or have
developed a civilization of their own.
Unlike the humans in the
original PLANET OF THE APES picture, all of our people have the power of
speech and an intellectual capacity equal to that of the apes. The apes rule
because of their numerical superiority, control of weapons, superior
knowledge and the dictatorship they have created.
description of the Human Inhabitants of this upside down society provides a
wide spectrum of dramatic roles which will enable us to utilize Guest
basically three territorial zones on the Planet. The two innermost are under
the domain of the apes. The first or inner zone is the nucleus of ape
civilisation embracing all of its institutional and cultural aspects. All
strata of ape society mingle here attended by humans in various capacities.
The second zone is a rural area inhabited by peasantlike humans and lower
apes who have managed to establish a shaky coexistance. The third or
forbidden zone is a large, unexplored, uncharted region completely off
limits to ape society. We shall discover the forbidden zone contains the
secrets that explain the reversal of evolution on this
Transportation is by horse. Weapons are primitive, and
there is a strange mixture of old-fashioned machines and utensils with an
occasional one that is even unknown in the world the astronauts left. For
although the old civilization has been destroyed and most of its tools and
artifacts lost...occasionally something is found which by trial and error or
by use of intelligence, the apes and/or humans put to use. There are many
taboos in this new civilization, created out of ignorance, fear and a belief
that humans caused the tragedy which had befallen their ancestors'
The stories will be strong personal, emotional ones. And they will be enhanced by the almost limitless wealth of elements which are unique to the Planet of the Apes: the fascination of seeing apes who are like humans; of a world that is an amalgam of medieval times and the near future; of relics from past civilizations and manifestations of future ones; of strange elements and natural forces. All this, plus physical excitement, danger and tension will be present, but the stories will always be about people. They will be about the two astronauts, Galen, and other living, thinking and feeling animalshuman and ape. The thrust will be personal. There are also the overtones, the implicit and explicit comments on what the world was and what it has becomethe philosophies of Galen and other intellectuals which will add yet another special and challenging element. We do not wish to pit man against apethe enemy is those apes, who perverted by fear and prejudiced hatred have assumed dictatorial power. There will be ape heroes as well as ape villains, and human villains as well as human heroes. By reflection, important humanistic attitudesthose most admired by Americans todaywill be present as an unstated overlay, an enrichment to the drama, suspense, comedy and tragedy which will be part and parcel of this most unique of all environments for meaningful entertainment......the PLANET OF THE APES.