|Mark Lenard as Urko, law enforcer.|
|THE SUCCESS of five films about the Planet of the Apes led to the exciting, specially made-for-television series that is now taking the country by storm. Planet of the Apes is being shown by all TV regions except Scottish and Harlech at 7.55 on Sunday evenings. If you havent seen it already, make sure you tune in this weekend if you canits too good to miss!|
Whats happening on your screens, however, is not happening now, for two astronauts Virdon and Burke, have found themselves transported through time over one thousand years into the future. We have, in fact, arrived on the Planet of the Apes. The planet is Earth, but Man is now considered little more than an animal, a servant, in the eyes of Gorilla Government.
Ron Harper as Virdon and James Naughton as Burke are the time-travellers who find themselves taken into the distant future because of a time-warp. Due to an incredible reversal in evolution, apes now rule the world, and treat Man as a slave. They know that the two space-travellers from the nineteen-seventies have the knowledge to inform the presently inferior humans that they themselves once ruled the earth. With this information, the humans might again rise to powertherefore, at all costs, the astronauts must be captured.
|(Left to right) Virdon (Ron Harper), Galen|
(Roddy McDowall) and Burke (James Naughton).
Inset: Two more ape friends for the astronauts: Lonny Chapman as Polar and Jacqueline Scott as his wife in one of the episodes.
Not all the apes are involved in ape-like aggro against Virdon and Burke. One, Galen, played by the star of the series, Roddy McDowall, befriends them and helps them along the rocky road to escape
and the world that they once knew. But its not an easy task. First, a computer must be found to reverse the process which brought them to this strange Earth of the future. And apart from Galen, how many apes are going to help them in their efforts to find their way back again
Caught up in the excitement of the events taking place on the Planet of the Apes, you may not realise the hardship and endeavour that goes into converting human beings to apes. Roddy McDowall, star of four of the hugely successful Ape movies upon which the TV series was based, says that being an ape is both physically and mentally tiring. The monkey-suits got to me because I suffer slightly from claustrophobia, the fear of being shut in a small space, and when youre in one of those things you become completely encased. Its hot and uncomfortable and youre in it all day. If you itch, you cant scratch. You cant eat. You can only take liquid refreshment through straws.
|Dan Striepeke, one of the creators of the Apes hairy make-up, has a crew of a dozen make-up artists working under him. Their work is also very tiring because it takes three full hours to make-up one ape. This means that if Roddy McDowall is to be on the set at 8.30 a.m., he must get up at 4.00 a.m. and report to the make-up department by 5 in the morning. How does Roddy overcome these hurdles? He spends the three hours listening to classical music! So, becoming an ape isnt quite as hair-raising as it may seem
|Booth Colman as Zaius, head of the orangutan ruling class.|
|BELOW: The feature as it originally appeared.|