Back to the Planet of the Apes (1980)

TV Movie   |  Not Rated   |    |  Sci-Fi


Back to the Planet of the Apes (1980) Poster

This is not an original made-for-TV movie, but two episodes of the 1974 TV series Planet of the Apes (1974) edited together: Planet of the Apes: Escape from Tomorrow (1974) and Planet of the Apes: The Trap (1974).

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Cast & Crew

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Directors:

Arnold Laven , Don Weis

Writers:

Pierre Boulle (characters), Edward J. Lakso, Art Wallace

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21 January 2015 | Red-Barracuda
4
| The first of the Planet of the Apes TV movies
In 1974, after the conclusion of the final of the five films which made up the Planet of the Apes series, a TV show was made to extend the franchise even further. Unlike the movies, though, it wasn't a success and folded before the end of its run. I suppose as a means of salvaging some money from this failure, in 1981 five TV movies were made, where each edited two individual episodes of the series together to achieve feature length. Back to the Planet of the Apes was the first such film and combined the first and third episodes of the series.

As a film, it's pretty limited really, on account of its awkward genesis. Like all the others it very much feels like what they all are – two TV episodes joined together. Consequently, the two halves are pretty different and there is little overall cohesion. Seeing as this uses material from episode one, it at least has a proper beginning though. The first half introduces the characters and sets things in motion, while the second part involves one of apes being forced by circumstance to work alongside one of the humans in order to survive a dangerous situation. I felt the first half was the more interesting and the second flagged as a consequence. In all honesty, if you are a fan of the Apes franchise you would be far better just watching the series. The films are no more than a curiosity now, although they admittedly are a relatively interesting one.

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