In fact, I'd argue that the film versions of the Planet of the Apes franchise are not traditional science fiction at all. Sure, it deals with time travel, fall-out from a nuclear disaster (which I assume bred the mutations in the apes and the de-evolution of human beings), and then later genetic proselytizing by Caesar (maybe? But then that wouldn't explain how, only one generation later, all of the apes can talk and are running the world in Battle for the Planet of the Apes). But in the first film, originally released theatrically in 1968, there is no science used to solve any of the conflicts/problems in the plot.
- Planet of the Apes
- Escape From the Planet of the Apes
- Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
- Beneath the Planet of the Apes
- Battle For the Planet of the Apes
My main dislike for Beneath is the telepathic powers of the cult members. I suppose, though, that if I could accept such a mutation in Jean Grey over in the X-Men, then I should be able to accept it generations after a nuclear disaster. I also disliked the scenes when Brent was forced to attack Nova -- just didn't care for that type of violence. And by the way, Linda Harrison looked much nicer in the second film... And the antithesis to her carnal beauty was the scarred visages of the monks who lived underground -- totally scared the bejeebers out of me as a child!
So to finish (and I could probably ramble on about all of this for quite some time), I still make time for the Apes movies. About a year ago when AMC (was it that channel??) ran an Apes marathon, including the television series, I was along for most of it. I've read a few articles about the black & white Planet of the Apes magazines that Marvel Comics published in the 1970's and have wondered about picking some of them up (could an Essentials volume be in the offing -- please?). I'm just still, all these years later, into the concept and the franchise.
But don't get me going on the Tim Burton re-make...