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Planet of the Apes - The Complete TV Series

4.5 out of 5 stars 180 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After their spacecraft travels through a time warp, two astronauts (Ron Harper, James Naughton) from 1981 crash-land back on Earth in the year 3085 - a time when intelligent apes rule and humans have been reduced to servants or pets. Captured by the apes and sentenced to death, they are saved by a curious chimpanzee name Galen (Roddy McDowall). But now all three are on the run, trying to keep one step ahead of the gorilla army led by General Urko (Mark Lenard), who is determined to kill the renegades.

Those immersed in the Planet of the Apes universe will go bananas for this DVD-only boxed set containing all 14 episodes of this obscure 1974 TV series based on the 1968 sci-fi classic. Ron Harper and James Naughton star as two astronauts who crash-land on the simian-ruled planet. Roddy McDowall (Cornelius in the Apes films) is Emmy-worthy as "renegade ape" Galen, who befriends them and helps them elude capture by the relentless General Urko. At its best, this series presented thoughtful stories in which the fugitives bridged the human-ape gap ("The Deception"). Of special interest is the episode "The Liberators," which was never broadcast during the series' fleeting run. Notable guest stars include Marc "Beastmaster" Singer ("The Gladiators"), Roscoe Lee Browne ("Tomorrow's Tide"), Sondra Locke ("The Cure"), and a pre-Bad News Bears Jackie Earle Haley ("The Legacy"). --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • Collectible 4-disc set includes all 14 episodes

Product Details

  • Actors: Roddy McDowall, Ron Harper, James Naughton, Mark Lenard, Ron Stein
  • Writers: Anthony Wilson, Jim Byrnes
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 644 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005PJ8W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,111 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Planet of the Apes - The Complete TV Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mr. VINE VOICE on November 23, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After the success of five Planet of The Apes motion pictures, it was decided to try Television next, casting Roddy McDowall in the lead role as the sympathetic chimpanzee, Galen (the ape role to which McDowall professed as his favorite in later interviews). Ron Harper & James Naughton were cast as astronaut's Alan Virdon and Peter J. Burke who's spaceship gets caught in a time warp, transporting them 2000 years into the future...a world ruled by apes.

Unlike the film series, humans in this time period were able to speak. The TV series had a very unique way of discussing very important topics such as racism, loyalty, honor, as well as the value of ape/human friendship, and many more. Unfortunately the series was cancelled after only 13 broadcasts (having something to do with the fact that CBS put the show up against "Sanford and Son" & "Cheecho and The Man", two of the most popular shows on television at that time..very unwise indeed).

It was only many years later that the show found new life when many episodes were cut and spliced together to form a sort of "Movie Length" that began airing along with TV broadcasts of the theatrical films. Many people began to realize just how good a show Planet of The Apes truly was.

Now, for the very first time (with the exception of Australia), the complete series is available for home viewing..on DVD no less, with the added bonus of an additional episode that never aired originally ("The Liberator"). I have viewed all 14 episodes in this DVD box set and all I can say is "BRAVO! Fox has done it again!" Now don't expect the picture and sound quality to be tremendous, although the picture is very decent and the sound, though presented in Mono, isn't bad either.
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Format: DVD
After the success of the 'Planet of the Apes' film franchise, and after several films had brought the storyline almost full circle, it seems with hindsight only natural for the producers and studio to decide to extend the success of this series onto television. The experiment was short-lived, as the 'Planet of the Apes' television series only lasted for half a season (American standard). The shows were very popular in Britain and other nations, but without an American audience (and American advertising dollars coming into the studio), the series was destined to be one of those interesting, irritatingly half-complete storylines.

The special effects in the series were fairly well done, considering items such as the make-up technology (which won awards in the cinematic productions) and sets such as the central ape city were hold-overs from the films. Another carry-forward was Roddy McDowall, who played the leading ape character in most of the films - in the television series, he reprises a similar role, but one with a different history and motivation. The characters of Dr. Zaius, chief scientist and 'defender of the faith', and General Urko, a militant gorilla ('the only good human is a dead human') are also characters held over from the films.

The plot is same as the beginning of the film series - American astronauts somehow land on the earth of the distant future, a thousand years or so, in a post-apocalyptic world where human civilisation has been virtually destroyed, and a dominant race of apes has supplanted them as the authority in the world. Unlike the early films, the humans in this alternate world can talk, read, and live in parallel communities with the apes, although always to varying degrees under ape control and subjugation.
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Format: DVD
Science Fiction Television does not get any better than this. (Arguably)

I remember very well back in 1974 a unique TV series aired entitled `Planet of the Apes', previously I enjoyed the movie `Escape from the Planet of the Apes', back in 1971, (I didn't see the other films-for whatever reason), so I was somewhat surprised that a TV series was to follow, after the last apes' film `Battle for the Planet of the Apes'.

Due to `Escape', Roddy McDowall (sadly no longer with us), became one of my favourite actors and still is; thus when he was in the `Planet of the Apes' TV series, I had to watch...boy was I in for a surprise, I enjoyed every episode of the series, I didn't know the other two actors at the time-Ron Harper (appearing later in the TV series Land of the Lost) and James Naughton (appearing later in the TV series Trauma Center), but that was okay, they were great too-real likable fellows.

I was really sad that the show ended after 13 episodes, later...very much later I found out there was a 14th episode that was never aired called `The Liberator', and a few years ago I got the video release of the series that contained that missing un-aired episode, finding it was like gold to me and I watched it thinking this is great-it was 1974 all over again, why it was never aired originally is beyond me.

---The Series---

Set in 3085, the series starred Roddy McDowall as Galen, Ron Harper as Alan Virdon, James Naughton as Pete Burke, Mark Lenard as General Urko and Booth Colman as Councilor Zaius (not Dr. Zaius as many would believe). It was based on the 1968 Planet of the Apes film and its sequels in which McDowall also starred in except `Beneath'.

The series ran from the 13th of September to the 6th of December, 1974.
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