Episode #14 - Up Above the World So High

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Episode #14 - Up Above the World So High

Post  BoG on Tue May 14, 2013 8:52 pm

Air Date: 12/6/74 monkey Production #B-514 monkey written by Shimon Wincelberg and Arthur Browne, Jr. monkey Directed by John Mededyth Lucas

This begins by the seaside, as Galen spots a man attempting to fly using a handmade glider; to Galen, this looks like a large reptilian bird and frightens him. Virdon & Burke attempt to explain but are interrupted by a couple of approaching gorillas on horseback, who also spot the glider and give chase. Though the trio and the now-earthbound gliding man escape after the glider is wrecked, this is all reported to higher ups, so a large scale search ensues. The man in the glider (Frank Aletter) turns out to be this far future's version of the eccentric inventor. Though he is far in advance of the rest of humanity, Virdon & Burke point out that his glider had serious flaws - the man was fortunate not to have crashed to his death in his flight attempt. The inventor scoffs at their assertions, thinking them to be opportunists who want to steal his secrets. He is soon arrested by the apes, but a female chimp scientist (Joanna Barnes) convinces Zaius and the ape council to allow the man to construct a new glider, so that ape society may benefit from this invention. The astronauts and Galen, pretending to be someone else again, sneak into Ape City to help the inventor out. It is eventually revealed that the chimp scientist has her own ulterior motives for making use of a glider.
The premise of this episode builds on the brief reveal in a scene from the first Planet of the Apes film, where-in it was established that ape society had no knowledge of flight (or such knowledge was suppressed by the ruling orangutans). Therefore, apes and humans are essentially on the same rung when it comes to this topic; both species are completely ignorant of the possibilities. Well, except for this human inventor; there is an amusing scene when Virdon & Burke begin to question the inventor about his glider and he reacts as if they are typical superstitious humans of this future century, having no understanding of such principles. The inventor doesn't realize that Burke & Virdon are as far above him in capability as he is above superstitious humanity. But, there's a curious lack of interest in such an invention, even from Burke & Virdon: in an early scene, they suggest to the inventor that he focus on better possibilities, such as a new plow. Wouldn't such a glider provide them with great transportation in such a backwards age? The female chimp scientist only wants to use such a glider for political, violent purposes; the thought that such a device might change ape society as far as travel never enters her mind, or the mind of any other ape in this episode. Implausibly, the climax suggests that the invention will remain buried and unknown - ignoring the old 'genie out of the bottle' saying. The story did offer more than the usual hint that all is not copacetic within the ape society, that some may be dissatisfied with the old power structure. Orangutans - beware! BoG's Score: 6 out of 10

Trivia of the Apes: actor Martin Brooks has a role in this one as a gorilla; he had appeared previously as a chimp doctor in The Surgeon. The writer Shimon Wincelberg was credited as S. Bar-David, suggesting that he wanted his name off the credits for some reason.
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