Return to the Planet of the Apes

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NBC (ended 1975)

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6.8
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SHOW REVIEWS
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Return to the Planet of the Apes

Show Summary

Astronauts Bill Hudson, Jeff Carter and Judy Franklin, orbiting in the NASA spacecraft Venture, are caught in a time warp in 1976. They crash land roughly two millennia later on a planet where intelligent apes are the dominant species and humans are helpless primitives which the apes refer to as "humanoids." Only later do they realize that it's Earth of the far future. In Ape City, the head of the Simian Senate is orangutan Dr. Zaius, who knows the truth about humans and apes. General Urko, in charge of the gorilla army, wants to wipe out the humanoid menace. He is also power-hungry and plots to seize control of the government by proving the military is superior. Chimpanzee scientists Zira and Cornelius are sympathetic to the endangered species since they subscribe to the theory that apes evolved from humanoids. They are the only apes who know about Bill's ability to speak and keep all of the astronauts' secrets. Zira has named Bill, "Blue Eyes" because he is the only blond human she has ever seen. Supporting characters include Nova, a female humanoid the astronauts have befriended, and Colonel Ron Brent, an astronaut from the 22nd century who also entered a time warp and arrived 15-20 years before the main characters. The series was based on "La Planéte des Singes" (The Monkey Planet) by Pierre Boulle and lasted only one season. Unlike its theatrical predecessors, the Planet of the Apes series of films, Return to the Planet of the Apes placed the apes in a society with architecture and technology approximating mid-20th century United States and realizes Boulle's original style and setting. DePatie-Freleng Enterprises produced the show, although the animation is often confused with the similar Filmation style. However, the detailed background drawings combined with often simplistic animation is more reminiscent of Hanna-Barbera's Jonny Quest.moreless
Henry Corden

Henry Corden

the voice of General Urko

Claudette Nevins

Claudette Nevins

the voice of Judy Franklin / Nova

Austin Stoker

Austin Stoker

the voice of Jeff Carter

Edwin Mills

Edwin Mills

the voice of Cornelius

Phillippa Harris

Phillippa Harris

the voice of Zira

Richard Blackburn

Richard Blackburn

the voice of Bill Hudson / Dr. Zaius

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Very good Return to the Planet of the Apes

    10
    Very good animation, wish there was a sequel with more episodes.
  • Abomination of the Planet of the Apes

    4.0
    An incredibly ill-conceived Saturday morning cartoon show, Return to the Planet of the Apes is atrocious on every level. After the failure of the Planet of the Apes live-action television series, the franchise attempted to re-imagine the property as a bizarre mishmash of Boulle's original novel and select elements from the films. This time three astronauts crash-land on Earth of the future and attempt to protect a human colony from the ape military, which is led by the warmongering Gen. Urko; who's dedicated to the extermination of mankind. The characters of Dr. Zaius, Zira, and Cornelius are kept, and there are appearances by Nova and Bent (but they've been completely rewritten). The ape society is changed to a high-tech society with cars, buildings, electricity, and the underground mutants have also been changed. And while there are some interesting things about this new version of Planet of the Apes, the writing is terrible. The animation is also unbelievably bad, as there's barely any movement or depth, and the coloring is extremely poor. But what damns this show more than anything else, is the appalling voice work; which has no inflection or life to it. Dying a quick death, Return to the Planet of the Apes only lasted 13 was 13 too many.moreless
  • Classic 70s Sci-Fi

    8.7
    Classic Sci-Fi from the 70s and a great spin off from the 'Planet of the Apes' movies. Love time travel stories and this was one of the 1st and used to look forward to this series when growing up. Loved the ape characters as well, like Cornelius, Dr. Zaius and the evil General Urko. Loved the episodes where they find the plane and Cornelius unearths the book 'A day at the Zoo' on an archaeological dig. I remember a classic scene where one of the astronauts is locked up and General Urko proclaims that only birds can fly. The prisoner then asks for a piece of paper, proceeds to make a paper plane then launches it to the apes amazement, classic stuff!moreless
  • Return To The Planet Of The Apes...you can't go wrong when monkeys are involved!

    8.0
    First a little back story. Before I even knew what the movies, TV series or animated series were about, I knew the apes were cool. The kid next door had the POTA (Planet Of The Apes) Mego toys and we'd spend hours having them face off against Captain Kirk, Fonzie and Ponch from CHiPs.



    So years go by, I'm in college actually, and I finally sit down and watch the original film. Instantly hooked! I rush to by the DVD box set of the film series and I am loving life. It wasn't just the Mego toys...these were great movies. Then the TV series gets released and again I'm a happy little monkey. Something was missing though. I'd seen in the documentary included with the film series that there was also an animated series. So I began a quest for this simian treasure.



    Flash ahead a few more years when I get my hands on a couple episodes on a bootleg video at a convention. My quest is now further fueled by my determination to own all of the episodes. After all, with the movies and live action series already under my belt, it seemed only logical to complete the collection in full.



    I recently attended another convention were I found a high quality DVD set of the complete animated series. Awesome! The first episode starts very much like the original film. A space craft crashing on a desolate world. Three astronauts, Bill, Jeff and Judy, began a long trek through harsh conditions to find food and water they'll need to survive until they're rescued or can find a way home. The hike plays out with minimal dialogue for almost the first 10 minutes and really helps to reinforce the situation. I was actually a little surprised to see how well written it was. RETURN isn't a dumbed down kiddie show, it was written as intelligent sci-fi carrying on themes, characters (Cornelius, General Urko, Dr Zaius even Nova!) and situations from the book and films! There's a continuing story, a serialization, that to me at least is a rare thing in the world of Saturday morning cartoons.



    Admittedly Filmation's animation from this period is at times "limited". Static figures against moving backgrounds. Identical footage re-used over and over again. But for all of its faults, it only adds to the character of the series.



    All in all I'd say this is a must for die hard fans and at least worth a look for the casual viewer as well. Like I've always said, you can't go wrong when monkeys are involved!moreless
  • YOU'LL HAVE PLENTY OF REASONS TO STAY INSIDE THIS FIRST WEEK OF OCTOBER WHEN YOU SEE THIS BATCH OF DVDS. REVISIT THE FIRST EPISODES OF C.S.I. AND FRASIER, OR WATCH THEM FOR THE FIRST TIME. FOR SOLID SCI-FI OFFERINGS, YOU HAVE THE COMPLETE SERIES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE, THE SECOND SEASON OF MEDIUM, ANDROMEDA'S SEASON FIVE, AND A SLIM SET OF STARGATE SG-1. AND DON'T FORGET TO BRING HOME THE CLASSICS THE BRADY BUNCH, THREE'S COMPANY, AND THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO!

    October 3, 2006 DVD Releases

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    More Info About This Show

    Themes

    fight for survival, on the lam, mission to space, man vs. nature, isolation from society