Total Episodes: 13
Original Air Dates: September 6, 1975 to November 18, 1979 (last new episode aired, although reruns ran until the beginning of the 1976 fall season)
Original Network: NBC
Bill Hudson (Richard Blackburn and Tom Williams): Leader of the astronauts, Bill is blond with blue eyes (when Zira meets him, his eyes cause him to nick-name him "Blue Eyes," and the name sticks with the apes). Bill is a natural leader, athletic, and has a good tactical mind.
Jeff Allen (Austin Stoker): Bill's best friend and fellow astronaut. Jeff is African-American, and is the technological expert of the group. Bill seeks Jeff's advice often.
|Cornelius and Zira|
Dr. Zaius (Richard Blackburn): The orangutang leader of the ape civilization. This Zaius is more sympathetic than previous depictions of Zaius, and he has a greater distrust of the military than we would expect, especially of General Urko.
General Urko (Henry Corden): Leader of the gorilla army, Urko seeks power, and hopes that by eliminating all humans and Underdwellers, he will be able to take control of ape civilization.
Cornelius (Henry Corden and Edwin Mills): A male chimpanzee scientist/archaeologist, married to Zira. Cornelius is sympathetic to the humans.
Zira (Philippa Harris): Female chimpanzee scientist who is very outspoken against the gorillas, and very fond of the humans, especially the astronauts.
Nova (Chaudette Nevins): A human female who speaks only a few words of English. She had helped rescue Brent years ago, and accompanies the astronauts on their adventures.
Ronald Brent (Unknown): A US astronaut who left Earth long after Bill, Jeff and Judy, but arrived on the Planet of the Apes years before. He had been injured when he crash landed, but Nova and her people helped him, and he set up camp in the ruins of his ship.
|Dr. Zaius and Urko.|
The series was produced by DePatie/Freleng Productions, and both David DePatie and Friz Freleng had a long career in animation, particularly working on the Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies at Warner Brothers before branching out on their own. They produced the Pink Panther shorts, leading up to The Pink Panther Show, followed by Here Comes the Grump, Doctor Dolittle, The Houndcats, The Barkleys, and other shows. They later produced the 1978 Fantastic Four cartoon, as well as Spider-Woman, the syndicated Spider-Man, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, The Incredible Hulk (1982-1983) and Dungeons and Dragons.
|General Urko and soldier.|
|The astronauts are introduced to Brent by Nova.|
Geek Guests: Not applicable.
DVD Release: Full series available.
Website: None I could find devoted to the show, but there are single pages on various sites out there.
Notes: This show represents what could be considered the fourth reality in the Planet of the Apes series, at least so far as TV and movies go. It clearly has a different timeline than the movies (which introduced a second timeline itself) or the live-action TV show. In this series, the apes have more technology than we'd previously seen -- they're driving cars and jeeps, have radio and television, trains, as well as more advanced weapons; however, they don't have aircraft until an old fighter plane is discovered and rebuilt (although this is stolen by the astronauts before it could be duplicated). One of the unique aspects of the show is, although the gorillas are shown carrying rifles, they never fire them on the show... Standards and Practices wouldn't allow this, as children could imitate this. A famous story (attributed to Doug Wildey as well as to others) is that a series of other weapons were run by S&P until they hit on Howitzers... since they couldn't argue that children could get their hands on a howitzer and fire it, the gorillas could use howitzers. Another unique aspect of the series is that all 13 episodes are chapters in an ongoing storyline, with each one leading into the next. At the end of the series, it's obvious they were hoping to carry the storyline further along... the astronauts had moved the primitive humans to a new location to keep them safe from the gorillas, had met up with Brent, and had even come to terms with the Underdwellers. Things definitely aren't the same as they started out!