Escape From Tomorrow

Planet Of The ApesA human spacecraft launched in 1980 is captured in a time warp and thrown into the far future. It comes in for a landing on Earth again, over a millennium later in the year 3085; humanity has been reduced to frightened scavengers, with highly evolved apes as their overlords. Of the three crewmen aboard the vehicle, only astronauts Alan Virdon and Pete Burke survive, and they are moved to a place of safety by an old man named Farrow shortly before their ship is found by apes.

Virdon and Burke are captured and brought to trial before the apes’ high council, and while the apes’ leader, Dr. Zaius, believes they must be kept alive to learn the secrets of their technology. Urko, however, feels that the humans are a threat to the ape way of life and wants them executed now – and he demonstrates the use of a human-made grenade to make his point. But the humans’ scientific knowledge intrigues Zauis’ curious assistant, Galen. When he dares to speak on the humans’ behalf, Zaius silences him. Galen then learns that Urko is plotting to kill the humans regardless of Zaius’ wishes; when Galen goes to warn the humans, he winds up in a life-or-death struggle with one of Urko’s guards, and accidentally kills him. Galen is imprisoned, and is stunned when Virdon and Burke arrive to mount a jailbreak.

No longer welcome among his own kind, Galen tags along with the two humans as they try to get their ship ready for a relaunch. The arrival of Urko’s soldiers cuts the repairs short, and when Urko destroys the spaceship, Virdon and Burke are trapped in this time – with only Galen as their guide.

Season 1 Regular Cast: Roddy McDowall (Galen), Ron Harper (Alan Virdon), James Naughton (Pete Burke)

Order the DVDswritten by Art Wallace
directed by Don Weis
music by Lalo Schifrin

Guest Cast: Royal Dano (Farrow), Woodrow Parfrey (Veska), Mark Lenard (Urko), Booth Colman (Zaius), Biff Elliot (Ullman), Bobby Porter (Arno), Jerome Thor (Proto), William Beckley (Grundig), Alvin Hammer (Man)

Notes: Where the TV series fits into the continuity of the films is uncertain; Zaius mentions a previous visit from human astronauts “10 years ago,” an adventure in which the astronauts were killed, almost certainly referring to the original film. However, since Beneath The Planet Of The Apes takes place immediately after that film, and ends with the destruction of all life on Earth, there are two possibilities: the nuclear holocaust from which Cornelius and Zira escapes in Escape From The Planet Of The Apes may have been overstated, or, as strongly hinted in Battle For The Planet Of The Apes, history has been changed as a result of Cornelius and Zira going into the past. This latter theory is strongly reinforced by the fact that humans have the power of speech and the English language has survived. While that is likely dictated by production realities – the series would’ve been boring at best if Virdon and Burke were the only humans capable of speaking – it would seem to indicate that, while the incident with Taylor did happen, it took place in a parallel timeline in which humans had retained their intelligence; as Zaius later says that the last human visitors didn’t live long enough for him to learn their names, it would seem that Taylor’s visit unfolded even more violently than chronicled in the first movie, again suggesting an alternate timeline.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Gladiators

Planet Of The ApesAs Virdon, Burke and Galen explore their world, stopping to sample the local fruit until the hear the sounds of fighting nearby. The two astronauts intervene when they find two men apparently intent on beating each other to a pulp. Burke intervenes, but instead of finding a victim grateful that his attacker has been beaten off, he finds himself targeted by both combatants. Virdon joins in until the sound of approaching ape soldiers drives the astronauts into hiding. Virdon realizes that his most prized possession – a disc from the spaceship’s flight recorder that might prove useful in reconstructing the events leading up to the time warp – was dropped during the fight, and is now in the hands of the local ape prefect. Virdon, Burke and Galen go to retrieve the disc, and Galen offers to take the point, as he’ll have less trouble blending into an ape community. Virdon and Burke, on the other hand, are arrested for trying to steal horses. Burke is singled out to participate in gladiatorial games against another human – Tolar, the older of the two men they spotted fighting before. Burke beats Tolar in hand-to-hand combat, but refuses to kill him when a sword is thrown into the arena. Rather than inspiring humans and apes alike with this act of mercy, Burke has merely made a new human enemy by violating a primitive code of honor – and they’re no closer to retrieving the disc.

Order the DVDswritten by Art Wallace
directed by Don McDougall
music by Lalo Schifrin

Guest Cast: William Smith (Tolar), John Hoyt (Barlow), Marc Singer (Dalton), Mark Lenard (General Urko), Pat Renell (Jason), Andy Albin (Man), Eddie Fontaine (Gorilla Sergeant), Nick Dimitri (A Gorilla), Ron Stein (1st Gorilla), Jim Stader (2nd Gorilla)

Notes: A number of past and future SF TV veterans appear here, most notably Mark Lenard – best known for playing the part of Spock’s father Sarek in the original Star Trek – shows up again as the astronauts’ recurring arch-rival General Urko. John Hoyt also puts in an appearance; he had played the part of the Enterprise’s original chief medical officer, Dr. Boyce, in the Star Trek pilot The Cage. And future V veteran Marc Singer can be seen here as well, putting in an early-career guest appearance.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Trap

Planet Of The ApesGeneral Urko intensifies his search for Virdon, Burke and Galen – he’s taken it on as his personal mission. He pursues them into a territory stricken by frequent earthquakes…and a village known for sheltering humans on the run from their ape masters. Virdon is less interested in the earthquakes than he is in artifacts which are unknown to the humans of this era…but he recognizes them as pieces of a computer. Over Burke’s protests, Virdon and company set out to the ruins of a city where the pieces were found – a place which also happens to be the epicenter of the earthquakes. Urko and his troops follow, and just as Urko captures Burke, a violent quake sends both of them tumbling into an underground chamber which is then sealed off by debris. When Burke comes to, he recognizes it as a subway station. Burke does his best to convince Urko to let him stay alive: the ape doesn’t know enough about the “ancient” subway to find his way back to freedom, so he needs Burke’s help. But with the already-stale air running out underground, Urko’s patience is also running out…and with it, Burke’s time.

Order the DVDswritten by Edward J. Lasko
directed by Arnold Laven
music by Richard LaSalle

Guest Cast: Mark Lenard (Urko), Norm Alden (Zako), John Milford (Miller), Cindy Eilbacher (Lisa Miller), Mickey LeClair (Jick Miller), Wallace Earl (Mary Miller), Gail Bonney (Old Woman)

Notes: The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) subway station pinpoints The Trap’s location as the ruins of San Francisco, but Burke is obviously from a more advanced future San Francisco: his talks about nuclear-powered subway trains, meals in a pill and replacement organs as commonplace items.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Good Seeds

Planet Of The ApesUrko’s troops pursue the fugitives to the point of exhaustion – and that leads to clumsy missteps. Virdon and Burke have to carry Galen on a stretcher to the nearest settlement, where they’re met with the usual stares of distrust. There is one bit of good luck: they’ve stumbled into an ape farming settlement, and one that needs extra laborers, in exchange for which the apes – though still suspicious – are willing to hide them from Urko’s patrols. Virdon’s own experiences growing up on a farm lead him to start giving advice on how to make the farm run much more smoothly, from the use of simple machines to better methods of planting crops. But are Virdon’s improvements – completely unorthodox in this primitive era – going to buy Galen time to heal…or will they draw too much attention from the patrols?

Order the DVDswritten by Robert W. Lenski
directed by Don Weis
music by Lalo Schifrin

Guest Cast: Geoffrey Deuel (Anto), Lonny Chapman (Polar), Jacqueline Scott (Zantes), Mark Lenard (Urko), Bobby Porter (Remus), Eileen Dietz Elber (Jillia), John Garwood (Police Gorilla), Dennis Cross (Gorilla Officer), Michael Carr (Patrol Rider), Fred Lerner (Police Gorilla)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Legacy

Planet Of The ApesVirdon, Burke and Galen find the ruins of a city – once known to them as Oakland – and find it inhabited by humans, though the approach of an ape patrol on horseback is enough to scatter anyone who might welcome the travelers. They take refuge in a building that was once the Oakland Science Institute – a place that Virdon remembers as a government think tank – where they discover a piece of equipment locked away for centuries, intact and functional: a hologram promising the sum total of human knowledge at the time of the then-approaching apocalypse. It needs a new battery before it will divulge any of that knowledge, however, and Virdon becomes nearly obsessed with constructing a new battery; even just before his capture, he tells Burke that extracting the information is more important than the lives of any one of the group. Virdon is captured by Urko’s troops, but while Urko is eager to torture his prisoner, Dr. Zaius arrives to conduct the interrogation by far subtler means. Virdon may not even realize that he is betraying his fellow fugitives…or that he’s handing over the sum of human knowledge to the apes.

Order the DVDswritten by Robert Hamner
directed by Bernard McEveety
music by Earle Hagen

Guest Cast: Zina Bethune (Arn), Jackie Earle Haley (Kraik), Robert Phillips (Gorilla Captain), Mark Lenard (Urko), Booth Colman (Zaius), Jon Lormer (Scientist), Wayne Foster (Gorilla Sergeant), Victor Kilian (Human)

Notes: Director Bernard McEveety (1924-2004) was the brother of Star Trek director Victor McEveety, whose six turns in the director’s chair on that series included some of its more memorable episodes; both brothers also directed episodes of Buck Rogers. Bernard McEveety’s other genre credits include episodes of Airwolf, Blue Thunder, Voyagers!, The Incredible Hulk, and Knight Rider, but he may be best remembered as the director of the miniseries How The West Was Won. The city ruins seen in The Legacy look remarkably like those seen in The Trap, aired mere weeks earlier.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Tomorrow’s Tide

Planet Of The ApesVirdon, Burke and Galen are making good time along a shoreline, with the humans actually traveling on foot in the water as much as possible so the tide will cover their tracks; Galen is having none of it, preferring to stay well away from the water. They spot what appears to be a damaged raft adrift, and Burke and Virdon swim out to retrieve it, finding a man lashed helplessly to it: someone tied him to it and left him for dead at sea. The exhausted man wears a metal band indicating that he was a slave from a forced labor camp. Virdon and Burke scout out the nearby labor camp, where humans are forced to spear-fish at gunpoint by their ape masters, but they are captured by the guards and brought before Hurton, the camp’s commandant. They prove their ability to fish under fire – literally – but in order to prevent them from becoming trapped at Hurton’s camp, Galen appears, claiming that Virdon and Burke are his wayward slaves. But instead of releasing them, Hurton decides they should answer for their crimes to the “gods of the sea” – the plentiful sharks that have claimed many a fisherman in these waters. But even after thwarting this attempt to kill them, the two astronauts face a new threat: the man they rescued has been discovered…and Hurton’s over-eager security chief is more than happy to blame the newcomers for this, and punish them accordingly.

Order the DVDswritten by Robert W. Lenski
directed by Don McDougall
music by Earle Hagen

Guest Cast: Roscoe Lee Browne (Hurton), Jay Robinson (Bandor), John McLiam (Gahto), Jim Storm (Romar), Kathleen Bracken (Soma), Larry Ellis (Drayman #2)

Notes: Actor Roscoe Lee Browne is well-known in genre circles for two other genre appearances in the 1970s: he appeared as the gleaming robot Box in Logan’s Run (1976), and later narrated the best-selling storybook record The Story Of Star Wars in the wake of that film’s success. While the episode boasts some beautiful location filming and impressive underwater scenes for a TV budget, the “shark” props used (usually before a glimpse of stock footage of real sharks) are, perhaps, a little bit less than convincing.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Surgeon

Planet Of The ApesAn ape ambush catches the fugitives off-guard; Virdon takes a bullet. They go into hiding before they can be found, and Galen decides to return to the ape hospital in the outskirts of the central city. His ex-fiancee, an ape surgeon named Kira, should be able to help, and Galen believes he can come up with a cover story to get Virdon into the hospital without immediately being arrested by Urko’s security forces. But even once Virdon is in the hospital, Dr. Kira can’t help him: she knows nothing about human medicine. Galen knows where to find a text on that subject…but it means venturing into the heart of the city and breaking into Dr. Zaius’ secret stash of human artifacts – right under the nose of General Urko.

Order the DVDswritten by Barry Oringer
directed by Arnold Laven
music not credited

Guest Cast: Jacqueline Scott (Kira), Michael Strong (Travin), Martin Brooks (Leander), Mark Lenard (Urko), Booth Colman (Zaius), Jamie Smith Jackson (Girl), David Naughton (Dr. Stole), Raymond Mayo (Human), Diana Hale (Brigid), Phil Montgomery (Jordo)

Notes: There is no incidental music score credit for this episode, only a theme music credit for composer Lalo Schifrin. Library music pieces may have been used.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Deception

Planet Of The ApesAfter narrowly escaping an unusually savage attack on the home of a fellow human who is helping them hide, Virdon and Burke follow Galen along a stretch of shoreline until their meet another ape, Fauna, who is blind. But even here, they must be careful: Fauna’s father was recently killed, and her uncle, Sestus, insists that humans were the killers. Virdon and Burke carefully conceal their identities, but just from talking to him, Fauna finds herself falling in love with Burke. In the meantime, Galen goes undercover to infiltrate a group called the Dragoons, who devote themselves to ridding their area of humans – by any and all means. Sestus is one of them, and Galen learns that even the local branch of General Urko’s forces do not approve of the Dragoons’ extreme methods. Worse yet, as part of his initiation, Galen is expected kill humans himself.

Order the DVDsteleplay by Anthony Lawrence and Ken Spears & Joe Ruby
story by Anthony Lawrence
directed by Don McDougall
music by Earle Hagen

Guest Cast: Jane Actman (Fauna), Pat Renella (Zon), John Milford (Sestus), Hal Baylor (Jasko), Baynes Barron (Perdix)

Notes: The writing/producing team of Joe Ruby and Ken Spears – also story consultant for the Planet Of The Apes TV series as a whole – is the same Ruby & Spears team behind countless children’s series and specials. For Sid & Marty Krofft, the Ruby/Spears team wrote many episodes of Wonderbug and Electra Woman & Dyna Girl, and later they wrote and produced animated series such as Thundarr the Barbarian, Mr. T, Alvin & The Chipmunks, and even animated shows based on video games such as Dragon’s Lair and Donkey Kong. Joe Ruby had been a music editor on such genre series as Time Tunnel and Lost In Space. The Deception is actually a very-thinly-veiled allegorical condemnation of the methodology and philosophy of the Ku Klux Klan.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Horse Race

Planet Of The ApesDuring a visit with the ape prefect of an outlying town, General Urko is irked when his rider loses in a seemingly friendly horse race – one which Urko was clearly expecting his rider to win (so he could win the bet). But Urko doesn’t know that the local prefect has two new humans working in his stables: Virdon and Burke. When Galen is stung by a particularly venomous scorpion, the son of the blacksmith with whom the refugees are staying offers to ride into town to the clinic for an antidote. But the prefect has made it a crime for humans to ride horses, and the boy is spotted by an ape patrol and followed back to the stables, where he surrenders to save Virdon’s life. Galen knows the prefect of the town from where the boy was pursued, and goes to barter with him: Virdon, an expert horseman, will saddle-break and ride a particularly troublesome but promising horse in the next race. The prize for crossing the finish line is freedom – but when Urko takes that bet, the race is sure to be anything but fair.

Order the DVDswritten by David P. Lewis and Booker Bradshaw
directed by Jack Starrett
music by Lalo Schifrin

Guest Cast: Morgan Woodward (Martin), John Hoyt (Barlow), Richard Devon (Zandar), Henry Levin (Prefect), Russ Marin (Damon), Meegan King (Gregor)

Notes: More well-known Star Trek guest stars show up here; John Hoyt was the original Enterprise doctor in the first Star Trek pilot, The Cage, and he appears here under ape makeup, reprising the role of Barlow from the second Planet Of The Apes TV episode, The Gladiators. Morgan Woodward was a staple of ’60s and ’70s TV guest spots, including multiple episodes of the original Star Trek and the TV spinoff of Logan’s Run. Just before the final race begins, Virdon winds up covered with mud – which conveniently hides that fact that the stunt rider in the race scenes clearly isn’t Ron Harper.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Interrogation

Planet Of The ApesThe travelers’ luck runs out as an ape patrol catches up with them; Burke is captured while Virdon and Galen are able to go into hiding. Dr. Zaius sees Burke’s capture as an opportunity to test a brainwashing technique devised by Wanda, one of his science ministers; General Urko is upset, since any interrogation falls under his jurisdiction. In Wanda’s hands, Burke’s brainwashing becomes something more like torture, as he is repeatedly asked to divulge the name and location of every human who has helped him evade capture until now. Though disappointed that he’s not the one interrogating Burke, Urko knows that Galen and Virdon are certain to come to the ape city to free their friend, and lays a trap. Galen seeks shelter from his parents, but Urko’s troops aren’t far behind them – and Urko’s parents, who hold positions of importance in the apes’ government, can’t be seen to help fugitives from justice. Can Burke be rescued before his mind is broken, and what will that rescue cost Galen’s family?

Order the DVDswritten by Richard Collins
directed by Alf Kjellin
music by Lalo Schifrin

Guest Cast: Beverly Garland (Wanda), Anne Seymour (Ann), Normann Burton (Yalu), Booth Colman (Zaius), Lee Delano (Officer Gorilla), Wayne Foster (Lt. Gorilla), Lynn Benesch (Susan), Harry Townes (Dr. Malthus)

Notes: ’50s and ’60s movie mainstay Beverly Garland appears here, oddly enough, both in and out of ape makeup, while ’70s TV mainstay Anne Seymour puts in a prerequisite ’70s TV appearance. Her future genre appearances would include a short stint in the original Battlestar Galactica. Wanda mentions the “common” practice of removing the frontal lobes of humans’ brains to keep them docile, a practice depicted in the first Planet Of The Apes movie.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Tyrant

Planet Of The ApesBurke, Virdon and Galen are helping out in a human village, but have to take shelter when an ape garrison rolls into town to shake down the residents for a “tax” payment: the village’s entire crop of grains for the year. The three travelers offer their help, but the older humans in the settlement are too accustomed to being beaten down for the frequent payments. Only one villager’s brash young son is willing to help mount a resistance against the apes: in a fierce attack, the grain is hijacked and brought back to the villagers. The retaliation is swift and vicious: the young man who helped Virdon and Burke is gunned down in cold blood, and his father is injured, but left alive. News of the commotion draws Urko’s attention, but the local garrison commander is an old rival of his. That rivalry may be their key to escaping with their skin intact.

Order the DVDswritten by Walter Black
directed by Ralph Senensky
music by Lalo Schifrin

Planet Of The ApesGuest Cast: Percy Rodrigues (Aboro), Michael Conrad (Janor), Joseph Ruskin (Daku), Klair Bybee (Sam), Arlen Stuart (Gola), James Daughton (Mikal)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Cure

Planet Of The ApesGetting the feeling that they’ve outstayed their welcome at the most recent human village they’ve visited, the three travelers journey on before Urko catches word of their presence. But not long after they leave, they hear that the village they just left has been quarantined by apes, with a fatal disease spreading rapidly among the humans. Virdon recognizes the symptoms immediately: malaria has taken hold. Zoran, an ape doctor dispatched by Dr. Zaius and the apes’ science council, arrives to take charge of the scene, only to find that Virdon is already directing the effort to ease human suffering and cure those affected. Worse yet for Zoran, Virdon’s attempt to contain the disease seems to be working. He takes credit for Virdon’s efforts when he reports back to Zaius – and Urko immediately suspects that Zoran has help from the runaway astronauts.

Order the DVDswritten by Edward J. Lasko
directed by Bernard McEveety
music by Lalo Schifrin

Guest Cast: Sondra Locke (Amy), David Sheiner (Zoran), Ron Soble (Kava), George Wallace (Talbert), Mark Lenard (Urko), Booth Colman (Zaius), Biff Elliot (Orangutan), Albert Cole (Mason), Ron Stein (Neesa), Charles Leland (Dying Man)

Planet Of The ApesNotes: Though she’s generally better known for her movie roles, particularly those in which she appeared alongside her real-life love interest Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke was a familiar face on early ’70s TV, also appearing in Night Gallery, Kung Fu and Barnaby Jones, among others. The medical infomation in the story – battling malaria by deriving quinine from the bark of cinchona trees – is actually accurate, though that method of battling malaria was phased out in the 1940s with the advent of more reliable medicines.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Up Above The World So High

Planet Of The ApesVirdon, Burke and Galen spot something unusually large flying overhead; the two humans immediately recognize it as a primitive hang glider, which would represent a huge step forward for humans. The glider has also attracted the interest of the apes, however: Dr. Zaius sees great potential to enforce ape law from the air, while General Urko dismisses the glider as a toy. Its inventor is determined to keep developing it regardless of the risk, but when Virdon and Burke demonstrate some knowledge of flight, he instantly regards them with suspicion. And there’s someone else involved too – someone who sees the glider as the perfect way to drop bombs on the apes.

Order the DVDsteleplay by S. Bar-David and Arthur Browne Jr.
story by S. Bar-David
directed by John Meredyth Lucas
music by Lalo Schifrin

Guest Cast: Joanna Barnes (Carsia), Frank Aletter (Leuric), Martin Brooks (Konag), Mark Lenard (Urko), Booth Colman (Zaius), William Beckley (Council Orang), Ron Stein (Gorilla Guard), Eldon Burke (2nd Trooper), Glenn Wilder (Human Driver)

Planet Of The ApesNotes: This was the final live-action Planet Of The Apes project until the 2001 remake movie directed by Tim Burton, and the last Planet Of The Apes media to feature Roddy McDowall (1928-1998). With declining ratings, and the show’s increasing tendency toward controversial subject matter (including an entire completed episode that CBS deemed unsuitable for air), CBS opted not to order further episodes of the series.

S. Bar-David is a pseudonym frequently used by writer Shimon Wincelberg; he also used this pseudonym on episodes of the original Star Trek. Director John Meredyth Lucas was a frequent writer and director on that show as well, and was a name often seen in one of those capacities in 1960s TV credits. He also wrote episodes of The Starlost and Logan’s Run.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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