Planet of the Apes (1968)
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

5 million years ago

Africa and Indonesia: an unpredictable genetic mutation starts to affect simians, generating a diverged "branch" of apes. All three races feature antropomorphization (almost-erect posture and human-like physiognomical traits).

Note: in ESCAPE Zira is erroneously defined as a 'Primitive Ape'.


The presence of 'Primitive Apes' (big or small) is often unspoiled in Africa.

Note: both a "smaller" form of Humanoid Gorilla (the one which killed Milo) and Humanoid Chimp (Helene, mother of Salome) are introduced in ESCAPE.


A marginal world conflict ensues at this point. It wasn't as abysmal as our World War II, but it was enough to disappoint a young Taylor and make a cynical man out of him.

Note: the POTA saga takes place in an alternative history. The 'Lawgiver' of Apeline Beta reports: "... and in the fullness of time evil men betrayed God's trust and in disobedience to his holy word waged bloody wars not only against their own kind...". The dialogue seems to suggest that world wars prior to the "one" never had occurred.


Experimentation involving nuclear energy proves to be successful. This form of energy is soon introduced to the ever-growing scientific environment.

1947 A.D.

N.A.S.A. is created. That same year, Landon is born.

Note: Taylor specifically says that Landon is "2031 years old" in regard to the EARTH-TIME Date Meter (11-25-3978).

1948 A.D.

A big economical break boosts private enterprise. A top-secret black-budget agency is set up: A.N.S.A, a technologically developed military branch of NASA apt to release intergalactic explorations. ANSA is also nominated to perform additional tasks as well as technological experimentation under the guidance of Dr. Otto Hasslein.

1953 A.D.

One of the many Humanoid Apes receptive to human language is born. He will be known as 'Mandemus'.

Note: Mandemus is at least 20-years older than Caesar (see BATTLE). As far the language is concerned, Cornelius revealed that English had been the Ape language for roughly 2000 years (see ESCAPE).

1966 A.D.

The Alpha-Omega Bomb project is set in motion. News about this weapon soon circulate in many ANSA sectors. The task is appointed to famed General Mendez (father of Mendez "II", seen in BATTLE).

Note: Taylor stated that the bomb was "a souvenir of the 20th century".

1967 A.D.

ANSA addresses a pool of volunteer astronauts to enterprise a journey of exploration in further space. Among those, Taylor and his crew.

Armando's Circus sees the light for the very first time, and the Imperfect Ape 'Heloise' is also purchased.

Note: Heloise's story told by Armando in ESCAPE.

1970 A.D.

Autumn. Unspecified astronaut embark on a low profile reconnaissance mission in space aboard an experimental ANSA capsule. The capsule abruptly disappears, and is soon dismissed either as "lost" or "disintegrated" by the agency. Fact is, the capsule has been caught by a "spot" of the Hesslein Curve and sent 13 years into the future.

Note: in 1973, the President reveals that Taylor's ship wasn't the only one supposed to be missing: "Yesterday, a US spacecraft splashed down off the southern California coast. It was one of two that have been missing in space for over two years now" (his words in ESCAPE). However, Taylor's ship had been lost for only an year and a half, and it was way too early to dismiss Brent's mission as "failed". Here we go.


Government plans to build suburban sites in order to host socially prominent figures, as well as scientists, engineers and technicians. 'Century City' (New York State) is the prototype of a long list of centres set in strategical sectors across the globe. Works begin.

Note: it seems to me that Century City is supposed to be relatively "old" by the mark of 1991 A.D. Besides, Breck refers to other "cities", so there might be many other sites out of there.

1971 A.D.

Armando becomes leader and owner of the Circus.

Note: probably, the circus began to operate seven years before the Ape-O-Nauts would land (Apeline Beta). It's only when Armando says: "I run a circus", that Kolp replies: "We know that", and Hoskyns then adds: "From 20 years back". The "20 years" part is about Armando's running of a circus.

1972 A.D.

The day: 01-14-1972. 'Big One' mission commanded by Colonel Taylor lifts off from Cape Kennedy. The crew: Landon, Dodge and Lt. Stewart. Overspread by a sudden and powerful warping effect, the ship disappears from orbital detection and is soon believed to have disintegrated. In truth, Big One entered in an 'Hasslein Curve', a fold in space interconnecting Point A (1972 A.D.) with Point B (3978 A.D.).

Taylor in his final report: "Six months in deep space... by OUR time, that is. According to Doctor Hasslein's Theory of Time in a vehicle travelling nearly the speed of light, the Earth has aged nearly seven hundred years since we left it, while we've aged hardly at all. Hmm. Maybe so."

Secretly, a rushed rescue mission to find Big One is also launched. Astronaut Brent and 'Skipper' Maddox aboard a much faster ship, powered by an experimental engine able to reach "warp velocities". In the desperate effort to track Taylor's trajectory, they end in that very same distortion outside Earth: the Hasslein Curve.

Note: the Hasslein Curve is a sort of discrepancy, a "bend in time". The ship didn't even appear to be equipped with hybernation chambers, so you can guess it's a much powerful vessel.

1983 A.D.

The 1970's ANSA capsule miracolously emerges from the "spot" of the Hasslein Curve. The astronaut is alive and well, but somehow he's become the carrier of a mysterious virus: the Plague. Either dogs and cats are soon infected by this lethal and unknown bacillum from space "imported" by the astronaut himself. Most of the animals are deliberately slaughtered to prevent the spread. Within months, the Plague is contained, but man is left without pets.

1990 A.D.

The Alpha-Omega Bomb Project has been successfully completed under the guidance of gifted General Mendez. His son is now the new "leader" of the project. He also wrote some musical compositions for churches, being himself a great christian.

Note: supposedly, the "Mendez" seen in BATTLE is deeply connected to the bomb (he provided Kolp with it). From the Mutants in BENEATH we know that a "Mendez" must have been a key-element in the history of the weapon. This theory explains the simultanous presence of a "Mendez" in both the Apelines. The once-deleted scenes in BATTLE (now restored on the extended cut) show that, at this point of the timeline, the bomb already exists.


It is during this period of time that the social repercussions of the Plague begin to be felt. Humans, to replace their lost pets, turn to keeping small primates, birds, lizards, etc. The primates are found to be the most useful and gradually become the most common household animal. Gradually, larger and larger ones are taken in.

The Nuclear War occurs at the end of the 20th century.


A group of surviving scientists and civilians, affected by nuclear radiation, exile themselves in the underground sites of a bombed-out New York. Their spawn will soon show several effects of an unpredictable, deturping mutation. The scientists would eventually start to manipulate D.N.A. in need to "freeze/stabilize" the most profitable traits. After generations, the final result will be the nucleus of the 'Gesalt Mind'.

Note: this is an attempt to justify the evolutionary "leap" in human morphogenetics shown in BENEATH. It must have an artificial origin in order to sound plausible.

Humanoid Apes become pets for the survivors.

Note: the 'Ape Prehistory' mentioned in Cornelius's historical account (see ESCAPE). He also told the commissioners that his "language" (English) had been spoken by his ancestors for roughly 2000 years. I suppose his interpretation of the Secret Scrolls must be a bit fuzzy: Humanoid Apes just became responsive to it.

2190 A.D.

The survivors gradually realize that Humanoid Apes could serve much greater purposes, thus performing services instead of "simple tricks".

Note: Cornelius's historical account (see ESCAPE). He also pointed out that it took less than 200 years to make the Apes more than 'pets'.


"They became alert to the concept of slavery, and as their numbers grew, to slavery's antidote, which of course is unity. Well, at first they began assembling in small groups. They learned the art of corporate and militant action, they learned to refuse. At first they just grunted their refusal, but then, on an historic day which is commemorated by my species and fully documented in the Sacred Scrolls, there came Aldo. He did not grunt, he articulated. He spoke a word which had been spoken to him, oh, time without number by humans. He said, 'No'."

Note: Cornelius and Zira's historical account, open to much interpretation. The Nice Lawgiver in BATTLE "rounded-out" the story in a mythological fashion: "... And in the fullness of time evil men betrayed God's trust and in disobedience to his holy word waged bloody wars not only against their own kind but against the apes whom they reduced to slavery. Then God in his wrath sent the world a savior miraculously born of two Apes who had descended on Earth from Earth's own future." It can be read as a mythical-like reference to the Apeline Alpha timespan.

2490 A.D.

The Planet of the Apes I is born.

Note: "(...) after three more centuries, (they) turn the tables on their owners..."


Both the species look disbanded.
In the American "outback", a dedicate elite of surviving Apes struggles to retain the culture achieved in the past: they are the 'Ancients'.
On the East Coast, simian ramifications go wild in the 'Jungles'. The living condition of the Humans is terrible: generation after generation, they will regress toward a primitive stadium.

Note: according to Cornelius's historical account about an "age of barbarism".

2670 A.D.

'Proteus', a brilliant and resourceful Orangutan, raises like mentor and leader of the Ancients, the civilized Apes of the outback. He will play a pivotal role in the resurgence of the culture on the East Coast and the spread of ruthless hostility towards Humans. Lately, he will be known as 'The Lawgiver', "The Greatest Ape of All".

2678 A.D.

East Coast: anarchist Apes running free throughout the 'Jungles'. Carnivorous Gorillas die in a specific area also featuring the past remnants of Humans from 1978 A.C.

Note: Cornelius's archeological account: "It was at this level that I discovered traces of an early ape creature -- a stage of primitive barbarism, really -- dating back some thirteen hundred years, roughly." A hundred of years before the writing of the Sacred Scrolls.

2700 A.D.

The Simian Exodus. From the outback, the Ancients enterprise a long journey to reach the coast and "civilize" the wild Apes under the name of Proteus, who is personally in charge of the operation.

Note: surely, Proteus played an active part in the colonization of the East Coast, and that's why: it was he who established the "ancient taboo" by having "pronounced this whole area deadly" ('The Forbidden Zone'). Not only it's a taboo for a civilian Ape to "exceed his orders" on his "travel permit" and travel into the Forbidden Zone, it's an ecclesiastical crime too.

2778 A.D.

East Coast: writing of either the official 'Sacred Scrolls' and the apocryphal 'Secret Scrolls' occurs. The scrolls celebrate the figure of Proteus and his instrumental anti-Human teachings.

Note: Doctor Zaius's historical account. 1200 years prior the events depicted in PLANET.

3956 A.D.

East Coast: an orangutan doctor named 'Zaius' establishes himself as a highly influential entity in Ape City. He's the "guardian of a terrible secret".

3978 A.D.

East Coast. The day: 11-25-3978 A.D. After nearly eighteen months of travelling in space, the Big One crash-lands in an inland sea somewhere in the area south of what was once Long Island. Astronauts Colonel Taylor, Landon, Dodge survive, but Stewart dies in hibernation. Landmasses have shifted so that is no longer ocean. The astronauts' journey across the barren desert to a forested area, where they find representatives of what was once the human race. In a gorilla raid, Taylor and Landon are captured but are separated, and Dodge is killed. Taken to Ape City, Doctors Zira and Cornelius discover Taylor's intelligence. The council perceives this as a threat and makes plans to exterminate the human. During a mock trial, Taylor discovers that Landon has undergone brain surgery, turning him into a mental vegetable. Zira and Cornelius take Taylor and his female companion, Nova, into the Forbidden Zone to the site of an archaeological expedition conducted by Cornelius. Taylor and Nova escape from Doctor Zaius and the gorilla patrols farther into the Forbidden Zone. There, Taylor discovers that he has in fact returned to Earth.

SHIP-TIME: "07-14-1972 A.D."

3979 A.D.

Ape City is awash in political undercurrents. Doctor Zaius has succeeded in quashing the ripples caused by Taylor's appearance and abilities, but General Ursus, campaigning for war, is beyond his control. Several scouts are lost in the Forbidden Zone not long after Taylor disappears and war is on. There is also a chimpanzee undercurrent, and while pretending to go along with Zaius, Cornelius and Zira have secretly been aiding the genius chimpanzee Doctor Milo in his studies of a rescued spacecraft, the one Taylor had arrived in. He is analysing it and attempting to ready it for flight. They plan to use it as the kind of traumatic evidence they feel Ape City needs to escape the total loss of the light of Truth.

Peter Karsten: "We know from statements that Milo is brilliant, but unlike Cornelius, who was an archaeologist, we don't know what Milo's specialty was. From his musings in ESCAPE, it is possible he was a mathematician. Perhaps he discovered some information (possibly aided by Cornelius) in the Forbidden Zone that helped him in his work with the ship? Either way, his launching of it was an exceptionally brave thing, since Apes did not believe flight was possible."

Mid-August. The rescue mission emerges from the Hasslein Curve and abruptly crash-lands on the Planet of the Apes I. Brent is the only survivor ('Skipper' Maddox is rendered blind from the fires and damage of the ship and soon after succumbs to his injuries). After an encounter with Zira, Cornelius and the gorillas in Ape City, Brent and Nova travel to the Forbidden City in search of Taylor. A chain of dramatic events follows, and Taylor detonates the Alpha-Omega Bomb. The Planet of the Apes I is destroyed. According to the Space Observer: "In one of the countless billions of galaxies in the universe lies a medium-sized star... and one of its satellites, a green and insignificant planet, is now dead".

SHIP-TIME: 1973 A.D. (rough estimation). The Date Meter has just stopped during the trip in the Curve (indeed, it erroneously reports "3955 A.D." as final chrono-coordinate).

Cornelius, Zira and Dr. Milo aboard the Big One ship (Mark II) leave the Planet of the Apes I. A catalytic reaction spreads across the globe. The Effect Shockwave caused by the blast is sent into the space and hits the spacecraft containing the three Ape-O-Nauts. Finally, the ship is thrown into the Hasslein Curve, now converted into the Sinusoid.

Note: "Dr. Milo was a genius well in advance of his time." Can we argue on this? Milo somewhat retrieved Taylor's ship in the lapse between PLANET and BENEATH (seven months). Helped by his subversive acolytes, he re-arranged the machine in many different ways, even salvaging Brent's faulty Date Meter to replace Taylor's water-logged one.


1 comment:

  1. While this is a very well researched and put together site, it is based on a false premise that the original movies tell the story 2 timelines. While that in an interesting way to explain away the inconstancies in those movies, it is a revision of the story that was written by Paul Dehn.
    Dehn was either wrote or co-wrote all of the Apes sequel movies. He was quoted on several occasions that he was writing a ‘time circle’. The dialogue in the movies support this:
    Dr. Milo, “And earth will be destroyed just as we saw it.”

    Dr. Hasslein, “One day talking apes will dominate the earth and destroy it by 3950-something”

    The Lawgiver, “Then God in his wrath sent the world a savior miraculously born of two Apes who had descended on Earth from Earth's OWN future.”

    Caesar, “I went looking for my past but found our future.”

    By comparison while there no dialogue in any of the movies that state that there were 2 timelines. There is dialogue (by Dr. Hasslein and Virgil) which states it may be possible to change the future but never any that confirm it has been changed. We see Dr. Hasslein attempt to change the future by murdering baby Milo but failing.

    The premise that there were two timelines is based almost completely on the history that Cornelius and Zira told Dr. Hasslein, that after the dog and cat plague humans took apes as pets and after 2 centuries the apes became slaves and after another 3 centuries apes rebelled against their human masters and took over. But there are several problems with this history.

    Those who advocate for 2 timelines say that Caesar’s existence fast forwarded events causing the ape rebellion to take place centuries earlier. The problem is that it doesn’t explain how apes went from pets to slaves in 8 years instead of 2 centuries because Caesar was in the circus during those years.

    It disregards that the first 2 movies (PLANET and BENEATH) showed that the human nuclear war was in the 20th century not 5 centuries later. Cornelius says to the Presidential commission that apes spoke the same language for almost 2000 years not 1500 years.

    The source of this history is the sacred scrolls but they were proved by Cornelius in the first movie to be flawed. Using Occam's razor the simplest explanation is that the 5 centuries in the history was due to scrolls being flawed or even altered not that there were 2 timelines.