Return to the Planet of the Apes (1975–1976)

TV Series  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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While on a mission, three astronauts in their space ship get caught in a time vortex. They return to Earth in the year A.D. 3979 and discover that intelligent apes are now the highest form of life.

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Series cast summary:
 Jeff Allen (13 episodes, 1975)
Philippa Harris ...
 Dr. Zira (13 episodes, 1975)
 General Urko (13 episodes, 1975)
Richard Blackburn ...
 Dr. Zaius (13 episodes, 1975)
Edwin Mills ...
 Dr. Cornelius (13 episodes, 1975)
 Nova / ... (13 episodes, 1975)
 Bill Hudson (13 episodes, 1975)


While on a mission, three astronauts in their space ship get caught in a time vortex. They return to Earth in the year A.D. 3979 and discover that intelligent apes are now the highest form of life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

6 September 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Retorno al Planeta de los Simios  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(13 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Doug Wildey ran up against NBC's "Emulative Clause," which stated that something from an animated series needed to be eliminated if a six year old child could physically emulate what he sees on the cartoon. This meant he could not equip apes with machine guns or knives or clubs or pistols or hand grenades, and that while the apes could wear rifles, they could not use them. Finally, Wildey asked if it would be okay to use Howitzers. The network agreed that they could not think of a way a six year old could operate a Howitzer so Wildey loaded the series with the weapon. See more »


Referenced in House M.D.: Don't Ever Change (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Return to the Planet of the Apes:The Animated Series
28 January 2009 | by (Durham,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

In 1973,Mad magazine spoofed a seemingly endless movie series in a sequence titled "The Milking of The Planet of the Apes." Little did the people at Mad magazine know or little did they know that they haven't seen the last of the efforts to milk the success of this sci-fi story line involving a futuristic Earth run by simians and other hairy primates which first surfaced as a novel by Pierre Boulle and a 1968 movie titled "The Planet of the Apes",which was followed by four more sequels that were released theatrically in 1970,1971,1972,and 1973. Following high ratings for the TV showings of the sequels(there were five "Apes" movies that were released in theatres between 1968 through 1973),CBS-TV made a live-action hour long television series that was short-lived,also titled "Planet of the Apes" that CBS put onto its prime-time schedule on Friday nights,where it produced 16 episodes and ran from September 13,1974 until December 27,1974. After the cancellation of the series,the producers and the head of operations at 20th Century-Fox figured that was not the end of the simian saga. Also to point out Fox re-released all five "Apes" back in theatres during the summer of 1974.

In September of 1975,NBC made it into a Saturday morning cartoon entry that produced 13 episodes and was produced for DePatie-Freleng Productions in association with 20th Century-Fox Television. The series ran from September 6,1975 until September 4, 1976. However,NBC reaired all 13 episodes during part of the 1976-1977 season. The animated series based on Pierre Boulle's novel and the movies of the same title,was the replacement for the animated version of "Star Trek" which was cancelled in 1975 after two seasons.

This animated retelling was set in the year 3810,nearly 1,000 years after the date given in earlier renditions. There were two new passengers in this adventure-youngsters Jeff and Judy,who crash-landed with Bill in an area where Dr.Zaius was the scientific leader of the planet,as he was in the original series and the theatrical features. And as in the movies,General Urko was the military commander and what made this good,is that the simians were technologically advanced. The other characters were Cornelius and Zira(from the theatrical version),and Nova,young chimp buddies and rough counterparts to Jeff and Judy(who went missing during the first half of this animated series). The animation was superb,since it was done by Doug Wildey,the creator of Jonny Quest. The musical score for this piece was done by jazz musician and conductor Dean Elliott. This was a series that have a lot of potential,but it was slow in the development stages. Worth seeing if you're a fan of classic Saturday Morning cartoons from the mid-1970's.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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