Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Escape From Tomorrow (1974) Part 7

The final set of screenshots from Episode 1 of Planet Of The Apes.

Roddy McDowall as Galen
Ron Harper as Virdon
James Naughton as Burke
Booth Colman as Zaius
Mark Lenard as Urko
Royal Dano as Farrow
Woodrow Parfrey as Veska
Bobby Porter as Arno
Biff Elliot as Ullman
Ron Stein as Turvo
William Beckley as Grundig
Jerome Thor as Proto
Alvin Hammer as man
Eldon Burke as gorilla guard
Shelley Snell as gorilla lieutenant
unknown as Jones


(edited from Planet Of The Apes Wiki)

It is indicated within the opening scenes of this episode that the setting of this series takes place in an alternate continuity from that of the original Arthur P. Jacobs films. A young chimpanzee named Arno is seen chasing after his pet dog. As established by the character of Armando in Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes, a space-borne pathogen eradicated all cats and dogs from the planet Earth in the year 1984. Zira and Cornelius also predicted the extinction of all cats and dogs at some point in their ancient history. Another dog can be seen frolicking about the ruins of Oakland, California in the opening scenes of The Legacy, though actress Zina Bethune later explained, "There was a stray puppy running in and out of the shots."

This episode recycles stock footage from varying resources, causing several continuity gaffes along the way. There is a scene showing a long-distance shot of gorilla cavalry soldiers riding along a trail. One of the gorillas is riding a white horse; the only character in the series who rides a white horse is Urko. Urko does not make his first appearance until later in the episode. When the riders arrive at the site of the crashed space ship, the white horse is missing. All of the present horses are black or brown.

Many of the establishing shots of Central City are actually archival footage of Ape City used in Planet Of The Apes and Beneath The Planet Of The Apes.

Virdon, Jones and Burke's ship was named Probe Six in initial concept pages for the series.

Interviewed during filming of The Trap, star Ron Harper described the opening scenes of the series: "the chronometer records, I think, fifteen hundred years into the future before it stopped working. So, there's a little time to play with, fifteen [hundred] to two thousand years." Harper's understanding (about two weeks after filming Escape from Tomorrow) was therefore that the series could be set much later than the 3085 date shown.

This episode formed the first half of the first TV movie Back To The Planet Of The Apes (paired with The Trap), originally broadcast in 1981.

The first episode to be broadcast (13th September in the USA, 13th October in the UK), this was the third episode filmed, chronologically, according to the Production Code.

In the opening scene, the wind machine nearly blows Bobby Porter's ape wig off and he has to hold it to keep it in place.

Two of the extras cast in this episode, Alvin Hammer and Jerome Thor, were both born in New York City in the year 1915, and both died in California in 1993.

Escape from Tomorrow was the only episode in which Roddy McDowall and Booth Colman appeared together.

Woodrow Parfrey (Veska) previously played Dr Maximus in Planet Of The Apes (1968).

Bobby Porter (Arno) previously played Cornelius in Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973).

The costume worn by Booth Colman is the same one that was worn by Maurice Evans in both Planet Of The Apes (1968) and Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970).

poster by Dave Ballard

Episode 2, The Gladiators, will follow in early September.