The Movies

Planet of the Apes (1968)
The film that started it all follows three astronauts as they awake from a crash landing on a mysterious planet. One of the astronauts, George Taylor (played by Charlton Heston), is captured by advanced apes. Taylor joins forces with a sympathetic ape, named Zira (played by Kim Hunter), who studies him. Later, he goes into the Forbidden Zone desert to try to escape the apes holding him captive. That’s when he discovers the truth about the world the apes inhabit. 

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
The sole survivor of an interplanetary rescue mission searches for the only survivor of the previous expedition. He discovers a planet ruled by apes and an underground city run by telepathic humans.

Escape from Planet of the Apes (1971)
At the conclusion of Beneath the Planet of the Apes, we see the destruction of the planet by the Alpha and Omega doomsday device. However, before that happens, Zira and her husband Cornelius repair the original ship that brought Taylor to the Planet. The two apes use it to travel to 1973 where they become celebrities, but the government has launched an investigation into why Taylor’s ship suddenly reappeared with talking apes but no astronauts. Just as the government begins to suspect Zira hasn’t been truthful, it’s revealed she’s pregnant. She and Cornelius must escape capture to save their child, Milo.

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
It’s the year 1991, and Zira’s child Caesar is grown-up. Caesar was raised in hiding by Armando (the circus owner Zira left him with in Escape from the Planet of the Apes). The film follows Caesar through a dark world in which apes have become pets and a source of slave labour. Caesar is the only ape who can speak in this world. He becomes enslaved, and this leads to an uprising. 

Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
In this movie an older Caesar leads a society where apes and humans coexist after a nuclear war. But the society is being torn apart by threats from a militant faction of apes who wants to make humans subservient. Caesar learns of tapes that exist in the Forbidden Zone that show his mother speaking about how conflict between ape and man caused the destruction of Earth. While in search of those tapes, Caesar also discovers a group of mutated humans, led by Governor Kolp, who views the apes as a threat and sets out to destroy them.  Between the tapes and lessons he learned up to this point, Caesar understands that the only way to prevent the Earth’s destruction is by helping humans and apes to live together in peace.

Planet of the Apes (2001)
In the year 2029: Astronaut Leo Davidson boards a Space Station pod cruiser on a rescue and recovery mission. But an electromagnetic storm throws him through a space time wormhole, landing him on a strange planet in the year 5021 where talking apes rule over the human race. With the help of a sympathetic chimpanzee activist named Ari and a small band of human rebels, Leo leads the effort to evade the advancing Gorilla Army led by General Thade and his most trusted warrior Attar to reach a sacred temple within the planet’s Forbidden Zone and discover the shocking secrets of mankind’s past – and the key to its future.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Will Rodman, a scientist in the near future is researching a cure for Alzheimer’s. Rodman discovers a baby chimp that’s been exposed to an experimental drug. When the baby’s mother dies, Rodman takes it home to raise, naming him Caesar (keep an eye out for the news report about the spacecraft Icarus entering the Martian atmosphere as this may be a link to Charlton Heston’s spacecraft in the original film).

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
10 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes sees Caesar leading civilisation of apes in the Redwood forests outside of San Francisco. Most of humanity has been wiped out by the Simian plague, but remnants led by a man named Dreyfus encounter the apes when they enter the forest to repair a Hydroelectric Dam.

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
Two years after Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sees Caesar still leading his people. He’s dealing with the fallout of Koba’s insurrection, which causes an elite group of soldiers, led by Colonel J. Wesley McCullough to begin hunting Caesar’s apes. Caesar’s only hope to get his family away is to cross a vast desert. Near the end of the film, we see some of Caesar’s friends assure him that the ape society he helped create will know everything he sacrificed for them.

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Planet of the Apes – TV Series

The TV series was based on the 1968 movie Planet of the Apes and its sequels and was broadcast on CBS in 1974. The series (which lasted just 14 episodes) starring Ron Harper, James Naughton, Roddy McDowall, Mark Lenard, and Booth Colman was cancelled after its first season due to poor ratings.

In 1981, selected episodes were re-edited into five made for TV movies: Back to the Planet of the Apes (1981) Forgotten City of the Planet of the Apes (1981) Treachery and Greed on the Planet of the Apes (1981) Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of the Planet of the Apes (1981) and Farewell to the Planet of the Apes (1981).

The Animated Series

While on a mission, three astronauts in their spaceship get caught in a time vortex. They return to Earth in the year 3979 A.D. and discover that intelligent apes are now the highest form of life.

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The Simpsons Broadway Parody

Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off” was the Simpsons Broadway musical adaptation of Planet of the Apes.

The musical features in the episode ‘A Fish Called Selma’, which is the 19th episode of The Simpsons season 7. In this episode, washed up actor Troy McClure (voiced by the late, great Phil Hartman) looks to reignite his career by embarking on a sham marriage with Selma (voiced by Julia Kavner) in order to improve his image and viability for roles. The first comeback role he lands is the lead role in a Broadway musical adaptation of Planet of the Apes, entitled Stop the Planet of the Apes. I Want to Get Off.

This wasn’t the first time that the Simpsons had referenced Planet of the Apes. In The Simpsons season 5 episode 15 Homer is selected to go into outer space…

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