Is This Roddy McDowall’s Final Appearance In PLANET OF THE APES Make-up?
If any one person is most identified with Planet of the Apes, it must be Roddy McDowall. He played Cornelius in two Apes films, Caesar in two more, and then played Galen in the Planet of the Apes TV series. He missed only one Apes film, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, when he had a scheduling conflict. David Watson stepped in with a McDowall imitation for Cornelius’ few scenes.
The videos below feature McDowall in ‘old age’ Galen make-up, hosting reruns of the Planet of the Apes TV series in 1981 (although he could be hosting movie versions of the series. They put episodes together in syndication and called them stuff like Return to the Planet of the Apes. As a young Apehead, I found these things to be quite confusing). I could be wrong, but I believe this is the last time McDowell wore ape make-up, making this somewhat historic (it’s possible he put on the make-up post-81 for something else - if so, let me know!).
As for the TV show: it’s real bad. The show basically has two astronauts who look like Starsky and Hutch/Bo and Luke Duke crash on the planet of the apes and ignore all previous continuity. Humans talk, there are dogs, and everything is terrible. The show follows an A-Team, Incredible Hulk type format, with Verdon and Burke, the two astronauts, being chased from town to town by gorillas. They solve problems in the towns they visit and then fuck off on their way again. The whole thing seems to have been filmed in a picnic area at Griffith Park. Only Mark Lenard (Spock’s dad, Sarek!) as Urko the gorilla and McDowall as Galen make it even partially worth bothering with.
Thanks to Phil Nobile Jr for uploading these.
And now the videos!