Farewell to the Planet of the Apes (1981)

Article 2319 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-1-2007
Posting Date: 12-18-2007
Directed by Don McDougall and John Meredyth Lucas
Featuring Ron Harper, Roddy McDowall, James Naughton

Burke and Virdon set free a man from a fishing village who was being sacrificed because he was too old, and they set out to change the ways of the fisherman. Then they encounter a human who has learned the secret of flight but is in danger for his life from the apes.

This is another TV-Movie edited from episodes of the “Planet of the Apes” TV series; in this case, episode 6 (“Tomorrow’s Tide”) and episode 14 (“Up Above the World So High”, the last one of the series) are combined. Despite the title, there is no escape from the planet, since the series ended before it could resolve its plot. Actually, I liked this one a shade better than the other two I’ve seen, largely because the stories seem less formulaic, less preachy, and show a sense of humor that I found sorely lacking in the others I’ve seen so far. They still fall short of compelling, though, and I still think the series was pretty weak overall. However, it did make me appreciate the best thing about it; Roddy McDowall always put his best foot forward, and his character is far and away the most interesting one in the series. His performance helps to compensate somewhat for the other weaknesses.

With this one, I’ve seen (via TV-Movie versions) just a little under half of the episodes of the series. I’ve got one more of these to go, but it will be several days until I get to it.



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