I thought that with the new Planet of the Apes movie coming out, I’d share with those of you unfamiliar with the original 5 apes movies, a timeline of key events. One of the things that made the Apes movies fun for us kids (I was just 6 or 7 when the last of the original Apes films came out) was to piece together the timeline of events.
Thankfully the editors of Marvel’s Planet of the Apes magazine thought so too and published a timeline, which incorporated their comic book storyline and the 1974 CBS TV series into the events of the original 5 films. Of course now that the films are on DVD, it’s easy to play them and pause them and write down the dates on Taylor’s ship, for example, and other dates spoken by characters.
So to save you all the trouble, I did exactly that—watched all five movies and took notes (yes, I know. I need to get a life). This timeline is from the 5 original Apes films only.
1) Jan. 14th, 1972—Taylor and crew embark on an outer space mission.
2) July 14th, 1972— Taylor makes his last recorded log entry.
3) 1973/1974— NASA launches a 2nd manned ship to search for Taylor’s lost expedition (this was Brent’s ship).
4) 1983— A plague brought back from space kills all dogs and cats on Earth.
5) 1992-2182 Apes fill the void left by dogs and cats and become household pets and later servants. They become aware of the concept of slavery.
6) 2183— An Ape named Aldo utters the word “no”. Apes rebel against their human masters.
7) 2184-2678— Nuclear War breaks out among nations. The resulting radiation mutates humans to become dumb and apes to grow even more intelligent, soon taking the niche left open by humans.
8) 2778— The “greatest Apes of them all”, the Lawgiver writes the sacred scrolls. For a time, Apes and Humans lived together in peace.
9) Sept. 25th, 3978— Taylor and crew lands back on Earth 2,006 yrs in the future to discover a planet of the apes. Soon after earth is destroyed by the Alpha-Omega bomb in the mutant/Apes war. There are no survivors. All life of earth is destroyed. However…
1) 3978/1973— Three Apes named Zira, Cornelius and Milo, escape in Taylor’s recovered spaceship and through an unexplained time-warp, travel back in time to Earth’s past. At first the Apes are treated like celebrities, until the government learns of man’s future fate and decided to abort Zira’s pregnancy and render the apes sterile. The apes escape and Zira has her baby, hiding him in a circus, switching babied with a “primitive” chimp. The fugitive apes are hunted down and executed.
2) 1983 Dogs and cats dies from a plague brought back from space.
3) 1991— Apes are trained as servants. Zira’s baby, now called Caesar is taken to Ape Central and “blends in”, pretending to be a “primitive” ape. Seeing how apes are treated by humans, he forms a rebellion against his human captors. In a bloody confrontation, apes win the revolt and their independence. Earth becomes a Planet of the Apes.
4) 1992-2000— Nuclear war between humans breaks out, destroying all of Earth’s major cities. Caesar moves the survivors (apes & humans) out of the city and they form Ape City. Other humans stay behind to live in the radioactive cities, refusing to accept ape rule. Although apes and some humans are living together, the humans are treated as second class citizens and servants. An Ape named Aldo tries for a power grab and fails. He kills Caear’s son and becomes the first ape to kill another apes. The humans in the cities make one last attempt to regain control and attack ape city. Sick and ill-equipped, the irradiated city humans lose their war. Caesar frees the humans of Ape City, declaring apes and humans should live as equals.
5) 2670— Apes and humans still live in peace… but who know what the future will bring.
I hope this timeline helped to fill in any blanks.