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Back to the Planet of the Apes (1980)

Not Rated | | Sci-Fi | TV Movie 20 December 1980
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).


Arnold Laven, Don Weis


Pierre Boulle (characters), Edward J. Lakso | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roddy McDowall ... Galen (archive footage)
Ron Harper ... Alan Virdon (archive footage)
James Naughton ... Pete Burke (archive footage)
Royal Dano ... Farrow (archive footage)
Woodrow Parfrey ... Veska (archive footage)
Norman Alden ... Zako (archive footage)
John Milford ... Miller (archive footage)
Mark Lenard ... Urko (archive footage)
Booth Colman Booth Colman ... Zaius (archive footage)
Biff Elliot ... Ullman (archive footage)
Bobby Porter ... Arno (archive footage)
Jerome Thor ... Proto (archive footage)
William Beckley ... Grundig (archive footage)
Alvin Hammer ... Man (archive footage)
Cindy Eilbacher ... Lisa Miller (archive footage)


Three twentieth century astronauts travel through a time warp and crash on Earth in 3085 A.D.. One of the astronauts is killed in the impact, and the two survivors, Alan Virdon and Pete Burke, find that they have returned to an Earth where their loved ones are long dead, where technological civilization has fallen, and where humanity is subjugated by intelligent, talking simians who live in jungle cities and preside over pastoral hinterlands. The two astronauts are captured by horse-riding gorillas (the ape army) and taken before an orangutan tribunal. They are deemed a threat to ape security and sentenced to death. The two condemned men are visited in their cell by a curious chimpanzee named Galen, who is fascinated by their accounts of an advanced human civilization centuries past. After Galen accidentally kills a gorilla and is charged with murder, Virdon, Burke, and Galen all escape the ape city and are fugitives hunted by a determined gorilla named Urko. Virdon manages to salvage... Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Roddy McDowall filmed new wraparound footage in December 1976. In it, he plays an older Galen, in the year 3100. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally broadcast in 1974 as two episodes of "Planet of the Apes" (1974). See more »


Followed by Farewell to the Planet of the Apes (1980) See more »

User Reviews

Not bad at all
6 July 2009 | by ahifiSee all my reviews

While watching this movie, I could not help but shake a sense of familiarity. I was pretty sure I hadn't seen it before, but a part of me recognised what was unfolding.

Lone behold, I find that it's just two episodes of the TV show stuck together. Regardless of this, it's quite an engaging little piece. You get the same type of message as the previous movies yet with a little less focus on the weird and a little more focus on the actual relationship between man and ape.

It's something we've seen before and the plot does feel a bit mediocre and shoestring at times, but I most certainly enjoyed it. The ending is shoddy, but this can be explained by the episodes being stuck together.

Overall, solid acting and a familiar premise means that you'll enjoy this little ride back through the Planet of the Apes, but will probably want to revisit the original by the end. 6/10

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Release Date:

20 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The New Planet of the Apes See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

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