The Chronology Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Confused by the tricksy time-travelling chronology of the original Planet Of The Apes series? So we were, so we persuaded in-house expert Dan Jolin to explain what the Charlton Heston actually happened in the five original films. How did the Apes get to 20th century Earth again? And when exactly did that fascist state rise? All is explained below…

This feature appeared in issue 266 of Empire magazine. Click here to subscribe today.

1. Having launched on a space mission in 1972, astronaut Taylor splashes down on a strange world in the late 40th century and is taken captive by talking apes. He befriends chimp scientists Zira and Cornelius, discovers it was Earth all along, and disappears into 'The Forbidden Zone'.
Planet Of The Apes (1968)
2. Astronaut Brent’s spaceship crash-lands in The Forbidden Zone. He tracks down Taylor in an undercity run by bomb-worshipping mutant humans. After apes seize this ‘Alpha-Omega bomb’ they kill Brent and mortally wound Taylor, whose final act is to detonate it and destroy the entire planet.
Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970)
3. Taylor’s repaired ship reappears, containing time-warping chimp survivors Zira, Cornelius and Milo. They become celebrities, then are killed, but not before Zira gives birth to baby Milo, who is hidden away.
Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971)

6. Humans and apes co-exist peacefully. But what does the future hold for them? A crying statue of Caesar suggests not much that’s good...
Battle For The Planet Of The Apes prologue and epilogue (1973)
5. Caesar’s ape community welcomes human survivors of nuclear war and against his will they become treated as second-class citizens. War breaks out between human and ape, leading to a truce.
Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973)
4. America is now a fascist state in which developed apes are a slave race. Milo, having been raised by kindly circus man Armando, is enslaved and renames himself Caesar, before leading an ape revolution.
Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972)