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