6 user 4 critic
Two astronauts survive a crash-landing on a planet where intelligent apes rule over humans. The men find that their own intelligence challenges the apes' superiority and puts their lives in danger.


Don Weis


Pierre Boulle (characters), Art Wallace




Episode cast overview:
Roddy McDowall ... Galen
Ron Harper ... Alan Virdon
James Naughton ... Pete Burke
Royal Dano ... Farrow
Woodrow Parfrey ... Veska
Mark Lenard ... Urko
Booth Colman Booth Colman ... Zaius
Biff Elliot ... Ullman
Bobby Porter ... Arno
Jerome Thor Jerome Thor ... Proto
William Beckley ... Grundig
Alvin Hammer ... Man


A human-male named Farrow finds a crashed spaceship, goes inside, and discovers three astronauts - one dead, two unconscious. He carries the two unconscious ones to his cave and, after they revive, shows them an old book with a photo of New York City in the year 2503. Shocked, the astronauts figure that while they left Earth in the year 1980, they've somehow come back to Earth more than a thousand years later, and that apes now rule the planet! Farrow is killed defending the astronauts who are captured by apes, tried, and thrown into a cell. They escape in company with a sympathetic chimp named Galen and begin a series of adventures. Written by dinky-4 of Minneapolis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

13 September 1974 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Bobby Porter (Arno) previously played Cornelius in Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973). See more »


Although it was mentioned that dogs and cats were wiped out in a plague in Escape from the Planet of the Apes and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, the young chimpanzee boy Arno and his Great Dane chase Farrow in the first scene. See more »


Zaius: I said you had a great deal to learn but that didn't include heresy.
See more »


Edited into Back to the Planet of the Apes (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

A tolerable beginning to a short-lived series
7 December 2006 | by dinky-4See all my reviews

The opening episode of a series has the burden of introducing the main characters and setting up the basic situation, which often involves a lot of expository work that later episodes can avoid. "Escape from Tomorrow" manages to deal with this situation in adequate fashion, though fans of the earlier movies will note that the TV series is handicapped by a more restrictive budget.

The characters of astronauts Virdon (Ron Harper) and Burke (James Naughton) are quickly established with Virdon being the older, wiser, more cautious one and Burke the younger, more impulsive, wise-cracking one. Both actors seem comfortable in these roles though neither of them shine and Harper is stuck with a curious hairdo of hard-to-describe color. There's a bit of "beefcake" as these two change from their astronaut suits into "human" garb and later the tops of their bare chests are glimpsed when they're seen lying (separately!) under covers pulled up toward their shoulders. All this is just a warm-up for the later episodes "The Good Seeds" and "Tomorrow's Tide" which qualify as beefcake bonanzas.

Roddy McDowell more or less repeats his role from the movies and lends this episode a touch which is almost whimsical and yet touching as well. He's the emotional heart of the series and he has "style." The basis of the series is a "chase" format and "Escape from Tomorrow" succeeds in setting this up. There are also a variety of hints thrown out which can then be developed in later story-lines. However, more discussion would have been welcome about the dead astronaut, "Jonesy."

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