Thursday, 25 September 2014

Planet Of The Apes

A novel.
A series of five feature films.
Novelizations of the four original films.
A live action TV series.
A prose adaptation of TV episodes.
A TV "Annual" book.
A record.
An animated TV series.
A Marvel Comics adaptation of the first film.
A real bad Marvel Comics on-going series.
A one-off feature film.
A new series of, so far, two feature films.

In the first film series, a chimpanzee couple featured in the first three episodes and their son, Caesar, was the hero of the remaining episodes. The name "Caesar" is retained for the hero of the new series.

The double surprise ending of the novel was, first, that, while the astronauts had been on Soror, apes had become intelligent and had taken over on Earth and, secondly, that the apes later had space travel.

The surprise ending of the first film was that the Planet of the Apes visited by the astronauts was in fact Earth after a nuclear war. The surprise ending of the second film was that a belatedly detonated doomsday bomb destroys Earth. The surprise beginning of the third film was that a chimpanzee couple time traveled to present day Earth. The surprise ending of the third film was that that couple become ancestors of the intelligent apes that later dominate Earth. The fourth and fifth films show the human-simian conflict that leads to an ape-dominated Earth.

Thus, in the novel and the first film, space travel transported characters to the ape-dominated planet. At the mid-point of the film series, time travel was introduced to keep the series going and a time travel paradox was used to explain the series. The new series dispenses with space travel and time travel and moves directly to a different version of the human-simian conflict that leads to an ape-dominated Earth.

Addendum, 26 Sept 2014: Human-simian conflict is covered in a journal in the original novel. Amazon has some more recent books that I am unfamiliar with.