Presented below are thirty-one photographs issued to the press by CBS-TV in 1974, as part of their campaign to promote the screenings of the Planet of the Apes Television series.
There were undoubtedly many more.
For twenty-nine of the stills, I have been able to add transcripts of the press releases that accompanied them.
I considered a number of different ways of arranging the images, before eventually choosing to display them in the order in which they were issued. This proved to be unexpectedly revealing
In the last week of August, 1974, images from The Legacy were circulated, announcing that this story was to be screened on September 27th, meaning that it would have been the third episode of the series to be shown.
In the first week of September, however, with only a week to go before the series debut, scenes from The Good Seeds were distributed, stating that this would now be the third episode shown, with The Trap following it on October 4th.
Ultimately, howeveras Im sure youll be awarethe order of these two episodes was transposed. The Trap aired on September 27th as the third story, with The Good Seeds and The Legacy following it as the fourth and fifth entries, respectively.
Its impossible to know what the reason was for this last-minute rescheduling, but we can make a few educated guesses.
In the 1960s and 70s, TV Producers would always try and schedule episodes strategically. Weak episodes would be screened at times when it was expected that people were unlikely to be watching TV anywaywhile it was generally accepted that the first three weeks of a new TV season were critical, and had to showcase the best segments available.
Does the shuffling of the opening stories in the series reflect a reassessment of the strengths of the completed episodes, or a shift in what the Network wanted from the series, and how they wanted the audience to perceive it? Was the transposition of The Trap with The Good Seeds a consequence of the poor ratings of the series premiere? Were the gentler, more thoughtful events of the latter (and The Legacy) judged to be potentially less engaging than the more visceral entanglements of the former?
It is noticable that during the fugitives trip to the ruins of San Francisco, they did a lot more running aroundand became engaged in more intense physical encountersthan they did during their stay on the farm of Polar and his family.
Whatever the reasons for the constant changes to the scheduling, the process of substituting one episode for another at short noticeand then switching them around for a second and third timewhile trying to keep the press informed about the changes in order to ensure the correct episode was listed in the various TV guidesmust have played havoc with the Networks publicity campaign. As proof of this, one of the press releases accompanying one of the Good Seeds stills has had the scheduled airdate struck through with a broad-nibbed fibre-tipped pen
|Mark. July 1st. 2010.|