Friday, February 24, 2012


A little bit about Continuity: 

So there have been a ton of apes spin offs over the years- the TV series, the animated series - Marvel, Boom, and Adventure comics, etc. There have even been two attempts at a brand new continuity - the Burton FIlm (2001) and the newly minted Rise fo the Planet of the Apes (2011). 

Unfortunately, there has been little to no regulation to bring it all in under one line of continuity. My Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes novel was designed to make a lot of the pieces connect that did not fit previously, without contradicting anything that was established in the films. Conspiracy was a labor of love, and  something I went out of my way to make sure fit in the continuity of the original films - even subtly connecting plot points and discrepancies so that they now jelled together in a coherent universe. It was something I enjoyed doing, and something I will enjoy doing again in the upcoming sequel novel, Death of the Planet of the Apes. Unfortunately, when you add other media, such as the animated series, some of the comics, The Tim Burton affair and its spin offs, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, there is just no way to cement them all within the same continuity without turning it into a hellish nightmare… or is there?

Ships that pass in the night: Liberty-1 v. Liberty-1.  What...what's that? How does a ship pass itself? 
Just who is flying that other Liberty-1? Pay no attention to the Archaia watermark, it will beguile you... 
PARADOX by Andrew Probert - a color plate from the illustrated novel Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes. 


In the Apes saga, time is likened to a highway - a metaphor that can help to resolve all Apes storylines into the same universe. As I see it, there is only ONE highway - but several different LANES. As said in the classic films, by changing lanes, one can change one's destiny. The future as Cornelius knew it in Escape was likely the original timeline - unaffected by the Liberty-1 making it's jaunt to the future. Liberty traveling to the future (Original film, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and Death of the Planet of the Apes) affected things because Cornelius and Zira travelled back using that same craft, arriving in 1973 and started a new LANE (which they couldn't do if Taylor hadn't gone to the future in the first place). 

Confused yet?

In that original timeline, apes didn't take over until after 2503, which is why the Venturer crew, Ronald Brent (Apes cartoon), and Probe Six (Apes television series) astronauts leave earth in 1976, 2125 and 1980 respectively, without knowing about an ape future, despite Cornelius and Zira appearing in 1973 (Escape)  and saying as much publicly (this is also where the Burton LANE would spring from). The Probe Six astronauts crash land in the original future (TV series), while the Venturer and Ron Brent accelerate to a DIFFERENT LANE (animated series). Cornelius and Zira start a new lane (Escape) which causes the apes to take over MUCH sooner (1991), which leads to TWO LANES -the two different versions of Caesar's revolt (Conquest theatrical release and BluRay versions.) One of those lanes, the Theatrical version, leads to events we are familiar  with (Revolution, Battle, and the BOOM series). But the blu ray version is a result of something happening in the timeline, something which causes Caesar to become so enraged that night, that he doesn't stop the gorillas from pulping Breck. This leads to a darker, grittier duology of novels I have planned that tell the secrets of that night in Conquest, an altered version of Revolution, and a drastically different telling of the events in Battle, events which actually lead to the first film. Rise was started by some change in the Timeline before all this, leading to the Liberty -1 not being launched until 2010ish.

Phew! Does any of that make sense?

I hate temporal mechanics...


  1. "In that original timeline, apes didn't take over until after 2503"

    Mr. Gaska,

    There is no proof of this aside from the testimony that Cornelius gives in ESCAPE. But as Cornelius proves in PLANET, 'The Sacred Scrolls aren't worth their parchment'. Both PLANET and BENEATH show that human civilization was destroyed in the 20th century, not the 26th. Cornelius even says that apes had been speaking english for 2000 years earlier in ESCAPE. So the testimony that Cornelius gave can't be considered accurate since it conflicts with almost everything that had been shown before.

  2. Except that as far as Cornelius knows, he was telling the truth. Because as recorded in the previous timeline, the version of history before Cornelius and Zira went back in time, it was the 26th century. Their act of going back in time altered history into the state we see in Conquest and Battle. The Sacred Scrolls of course are full of fallacies - but the 26th century date of apes taking over gels neatly with the NEW YORK in the 25th CENTURY book that was seen in the Apes TV series, and Ronald Brent's ship launch in the animated series. So in SOME LANES of the highway that is TIME, the apes take over at a later date - but in the lane that Cornelius and ZIra went back in time to, they caused it to happen earlier. It is the only theory that makes all apes series work as part of the same universe - one of divergent timelines.

    1. Saw this over on the pota wiki site and it refutes what you're saying here.

      "However, the biggest flaw with the altered timeline theory is that is rests almost totally on Cornelius' sworn statement in Escape from the Planet of the Apes, and that in itself has several problems. Firstly, according to the history that Cornelius relates, the downfall of man took place in the 25th century. However, this is inconsistent with what had been established the two previous films (Planet and Beneath), which stated that a 20th century nuclear war had destroyed human civilization, leading to the ascendance of apes. It is also inconsistent with Cornelius' own earlier statement in Escape, that apes had been speaking English for almost 2,000 years. Secondly, the source of Cornelius' testimony were secret sections of the Sacred Scrolls. However, in Planet it was shown that the Scrolls were highly inaccurate in regard to the apes' history, making them a highly questionable source. Thus, the events of both Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes can be consistent with what was established in Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes, with the only real inconsistency being Cornelius' statement, which came from a source that had previously been shown to be "not worth their parchment"."

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  8. You are right, Taylor and Brent discover a very 20th century New York! And everything Cornelius stated about the apes speaking English for 2000 years is also correct (40th century - 2000yrs = 20th century = Conquest of the Planet of the Apes). It's obvious that he was lying to Hasslein in his second statement. Paul Dehn himself also stated that the 5 movies were a paradox/time cycle. Stan Hough also clearly stated in 1974 that the Apes tv series had nothing to do with the films continuity and that the Apes tv series was just based on the first 1968 movie, there was even a dog in the first episode! The official APJAC Beneath The Planet of the Apes press book from 1970 also clearly states that the world was destroyed by nuclear war in the 20th century.

  9. I myself came up with the same thing, in order for the series to connect at all that is the only viable answer, and any fan wanting to have an established full continuity has to follow that way as well. However each person has their own personal take on what to and what not to connect. Me personally have the same views as you and I applaud your efforts in connecting the series and can not wait until the novels that connect escape to conquest and the alternate more brutal conquest. Count me as a huge fan of you efforts to connect the seemingly unconnectable.


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