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Orangutans

Dr. Zaius  - Pompous, authoritarian orangutan featured on the science fiction series PLANET OF THE APES/CBS/1974.

Dr. Zaius (Booth Colman) was part of the ruling class on this Planet of the Apes. The military was run by the Gorillas, and the other simians such as Chimpanzees and monkeys were responsible for the operation of the society.

One such "employee" named Galen (Roddy McDowell), a scientist chimpanzee befriended a couple of astronauts - Alan Virdon (Ron Harper) and Pete Burke (James Naughton - when their spacecraft from the year 1988 time-warped onto their futuristic landscape. 

Dr. Zaius feared these humans and sought to capture them but Galen helped them escape and so began the relentless pursuit of these humans. Dr. Zaius had good reason to fear the humans for according to the Lawgivers scrolls, the Apes were to"

“Beware the beast ‘man’ for he is the devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.”

In reality, Dr. Zaius knew the underlying truth of the Lawgiver scrolls. He knew that thousands of years earlier, it was man who ruled the earth, but when they destroyed themselves in atomic warfare, the Apes evolved to take over the planet. With the arrival of two earthmen from the past, he now feared their influence might compromise the Apes hold on their power and so they had to be captured, controlled and if necessary, killed.

TRIVIA NOTE: The TV series is based on the novel "Planet of the Apes" by Pierre Boulle. Other inspired spinoffs from the book included the films:

  • Planet of the Apes (1968) starring Charlton Heston
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1969)
  • Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
  • Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
  • Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
  • Planet of the Apes (2001) starring Mark Wahlberg

The animated series RETURN TO THE PLANET OF THE APES/NBC/1975-76 continued the franchise of the 1974 TV series.

In the science fiction film The Planet of the Apes (1968) Charlton Heston plays Taylor, one of three astronauts who accidentally time warps into the future to find Earth ruled by apes, and the human race now slaves to these hairy masters. Maurice Evans played the role of Zaius in the film.

When captured, Heston cries, “Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!” This vocal rebellion astounds all the apes since humans from the future were not supposed to be able to speak (The apes conveniently lobotomized their captives to keep them quiet and docile).

At the film’s finale, Taylor escapes his captors. Before he leaves, he offers to kiss Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter) a chimpanzee scientist who assisted in his escape. She agrees but admits, “You’re so damn ugly.”

As Taylor travels the coastline, he sees the remains of the Statue of Liberty protruding from a rocky beach and laments, “Oh my God! I’m back. I’m home. All the time. You finally really did it. You maniacs! You’ve blown it up. God damn you! God damn you all to hell!”


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