If you’d had the pleasure of watching the NBC Saturday
morning cartoon line-up in September ’75, you witnessed a rare treat, the
cartoon series, "Return to the Planet of the Apes"!
Feeling there was still some life left in the Apes concept,
the powers that be enlisted animation legends Friz Freleng, the creator of Porky
Pig and the Pink Panther, and Doug Wildey, who created the original Johnny
Quest, to bring the series to Saturday morning.
The series was unusual, in the fact that it was closer in
concept to the original book by Pierre Boulle than the course set by the Apes
films. Here, the apes lived in a city that was a mix of historical eras. The
buildings resembled those of ancient Rome, and the cars were styled after those
of 1940s and ‘50s. The apes had modern weaponry though, like jeeps and machine
Director Wildey, attempted something different from the usual
Saturday morning fare, the stories had a serialised format and the characters
would evolve from week to week.
Despite this though, the show was hammered in the ratings and
left the air after 13 episodes.
- written by Peter Noble