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Home  USA  Series  R  Return to the Planet of the Apes

Return to the Planet of the Apes


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Characters & Voices
Bill - Richard Blackburn
Jeff - Austin Stoker
Judy - Claudette Nevins
Dr. Zaius - Richard Blackburn
Nova - Claudette Nevins
Cornelius - Edwin Mills
Zira - Phillippa Harris
Gen. Urko - Henry Corden
Imagine you are an astronaut. Your vessel is time-warped to a planet almost 2000 years into the future, to a post-atomic land where apes are the governing species and humans are captured and domesticated. This was the predicament in which Bill Hudson and his crew found themselves in Return to the Planet of the Apes, an animated Saturday morning TV show based on the popular 1968 film Planet of the Apes (and that film's many sequels). It was the second TV series based on the film, the first being a short-lived live-action series bearing the same name as the movie.

In the Saturday morning version, Bill Hudson and his young crew, Jeff Carter and Judy Franklin, were on a mission when their craft, the Venture, got caught in a vortex and landed in the year 3979 A.D. (1 year later than in the film). Unaware that they had actually landed on earth, Bill and company found themselves in a society where apes were the rulers and humans were considered primitive and uncivilized. Mankind as we know it was relegated to a separate area called New City, where they were subjected to scientific experiments (yes, children, we call that "irony").

The human experiments were carried out by an ape named Dr. Zaius, their scientific leader, with the assistance of two simian underlings, Cornelius and Zira. Bill, like the Charlton Heston character in the film, eventually won the sympathy of Cornelius and Zira when they realized that he had the ability to speak. Other characters from the film were regulars on the cartoon as well, like military leader General Ursus and human female Nova. General Urko also appeared in this series. He first appeared in the live action TV series of Planet of the Apes.

Since the show was geared towards younger audiences, it played for more laughs than the film had, including sly cultural references (e.g. - one of the apes mentions, "that new film, The Apefather"). Such witticisms were not enough to stave off the process of natural selection, and Return to the Planet of the Apes left the air after only one season.
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In 1921, cartoonist Tony DiPreta was born. He was famous for work done on Joe Palooka and Rex Morgan, M.D.