1. I was watching the recent SE release and was particulary interested in the first portion of the movie...

    I always wondered why the Astronauts ruled out Earth as their current location.

    After all, that's where their navigation system was set to go (although they did have some system failures).

    Then I caught the line about there 'being no moon'.

    The astronauts knew that 2000 years had passed since leaving Earth.

    Seems odd that they never seriously considered the possibility that they were on Earth, but I guess that was the intended 'journey' for the movie.

    I haven't had a chance to watch the extras or the text commentary.

    Was it ever explained what happened to the moon?
  2. In the absence of anything official...

    Might have been cool if the moon had disintegrated due to over-mining or been destroyed in the war or by terrorists.

    If more effects had been possible in 1967, they could have shown a debris field in Earth's orbit.

    Maybe it would have been visible from the ground, lending an otherworldly quality.

    This could have also been used to explain why the ship sank (was damaged on re-entry by debris that wasn't suppose to be there).

    Spacecraft were built 20 years ago that were capable of water landings, always seemed odd that one from the future would sink like a stone for no apparent reason.
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Jun 3, 1999
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    Rod Serling was never very good when he tried to do science fiction; for some reason, he just never felt the need to research his basic science. And that's the rub here: Since the film, however much you may like it, is not workable as "real" science fiction, there's no point in trying to piece together all the dots of illogic. Futile.

    For example, before Taylor even puts himself into suspension (before the crash landing), Serling posits that this spacecraft left Earth in the late 20th century. You mean he expected there to be interstellar travel that soon after 1968? (He was always doing this sort of over-optimistic dating on The Twilight Zone.)

    And it just gets worse from there.

    So, if the ship was headed out into the interstellar void (to some "star in the constellation of Orion"), just how did it manage to do a 180 and end up heading back to Earth?

    And those natives on the planet: a hundred percent human. Did it not occur to Taylor and remaining crew (not to mention Serling) that finding humans this "far" away from Earth might be a bit curious?

    Oh, and the apes: They are speaking perfect English. Wouldn't Taylor (and Serling) have found this odd, what with them supposedly on a planet thousands of light years away from Earth?

    One could go on and on. So what's the point in seeking internal consistency and logic when there is none?

    (The movie, while hardly "real" science fiction, is still fun, though -- in a weird, late-'60s sort of way. And it was released in 1968, not '67.
  4. I agree that the presence of humans and English-speaking Apes (have to laugh as I type this) should have been a giveaway as to their location.

    Although, most sci-fi seems to have humanoids everywhere as well and one might theorize about parallel evolution or some divine hand in the cosmos.

    As far as language goes, it crossed my mind too; but imagine how annoying it would be if most characters/cultures/races could not speak to each other in films/books/fiction.

    I guess I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on that one, just to allow the story to be told.

    Since they specifical mentioned the moon, I had to wonder.

    Maybe only Lucas writes detailed backstories to setup his fiction.
  5. Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre Cinematographer

    Jun 9, 2001
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    Rod Serling's contributions to what actually ended up in the 1968 "Planet of the Apes" were minimal. The screenplay was actually written by Michael Wilson. Serling was credited for an early draft, but Wilson is responsible for 95% of the original elements of the film adaptation. Serling's version didn't have the "Statue of Liberty" ending, nor did it take place in the primative ape world. His version was much closer to Pierre Boulle's original novel.
  6. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

    Jan 23, 2000
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    I actually took the astronauts reaction because of a 'Star Trek' science fiction perspective. In the kind of 'ST' frame of mind, it was not uncommon to find worlds with breathable air, with other species you could immediately understand, and with other species that were nearly indistinguishable from humans.

    Coming at it like that, I though of Taylor looking at it like an away team does:
    "Indigenous life equivalent to post-Neanderthal civilization, world inhabitable but barren" and run with it from there.

    Of course, the remake introduces the possibility of an extra-solar colony that has gone awry and evolved into a role reversal of man and apes.
  7. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

    Jun 8, 1999
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    Here's where you can sneak in some explanations. If we are to accept that the technological leaps could occur to transition them from orbital to interstellar flight in a mere 30 years (possible in principle), then it's not much of a leap to suppose that other ships would be built afterwards which would get to the destination much faster than the first ship. In the time that passed with the crew in hibernation, mankind could have populated any number of planets throughout the galaxy and those civilizations could have fallen into ruin. The crew could have explained away the creatures on the strange planet by supposing that they had descended from other interstellar travelers from Earth.

    It would have been nice of them to put such an explanation into the script, but ultimately not necessary.


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