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Arthur Levain; illustration by Erno Zorad

Arthur Levain was a young physicist and a colleague of Professor Antelle in the French novel La Planète des singes.



Arthur Levain was a disciple of Professor Antelle. He and Ulysse Mérou accompanied the celebrated scientist, traveling aboard a spaceship to the star Betelgeuse.

The Woman

After arriving on the planet Soror, Arthur was the one who spotted the naked Nova, nearly scaring her off by his enthusiasm at her femininity.

When Nova had murdered Hector, Ulysse had referred her as a savage, Arthur rebuked him asking how such a graceful creature like the young woman could ever be compared to come from a primitive tribe.

Both he and Ulysse were the ones who supported the idea of remaining in the jungle and making contact with the savage humans rather relocating their launch to a more civilize location. The two men silently shared the desire to see the naked savage again, despite the risks.

After returning to the lake where they met the girl, Levain suggested that they remove their clothes as they seem to have frightened her. His theory proved correct, as Nova appeared along with a group of similarly undressed men and women from her tribe.

Inadvertently the trio disconcerted the tribe when they engaged in laughter and later dressing in clothes causing the tribe to attack them. Like the others he was stripped of his clothing and dragged into the depths of the jungle by Nova's tribe. While interacting with Nova, Levain was envious of Nova's affection toward Ulysse. Upon seeing her help his companion build a nest, Levain immediately went to sleep where he stood, turning his back toward the couple as they spent the night together.


Levain is killed by apes; illustration by Erno Zorad

When the apes hunters came and raided Nova's tribe, both he and Ulysse fled with the horde of men, leaving Professor Antelle behind. The two explorers approached a field where a line of gorilla hunters waited for the flushed game to emerge and shoot them.

Levain lost his nerve in his first encounter with the apes on the planet Soror and the slaughter before him. Pressed between the beaters behind and the hunter in front, the man attempted to run across the field to safety but was shot and quickly killed by the hunter's guns. However his death allowed Mérou a chance to escape the shooting line. The poor boy's corpse was collected by the apes and was last seen among-st the rows of game that had been shot during the hunt. Ulysse caged with the survivors had spotted a female ape striking a pose, sitting on his corpse for a chimp photographer.

Personality & Traits

Arthur was described as a young man with a great future. Notable for his certitude personality when establishing his views, he was also brash unable to keep his cool. He was amorous towards Nova and became infatuated with her at first sight. It was hinted that he was jealous of Ulysse, as Nova was attracted to his colleague. Sadly he was killed before be could attempt to compete in a relationship with the girl. His childish and boyish features stood out among that game that were shot in the hunt. 


  • The French word 'physicien', from the source novel, was mis-translated into English as 'physician' by Xan Fielding; the word actually means 'physicist'. Other-language versions correctly translate as 'physicist'.


  • Levain's personality is closest to that of Landon in the movie adaptation, Planet of the Apes, but it is Dodge who is shot and killed in his first encounter with the apes, and Taylor discovers him as a stuffed and mounted display in the ape museum shortly afterwards. Levain, like Dodge, is also shot and killed during the hunt, but the last we see of him is a female gorilla standing over his dead body with a photo being taken by a chimp photographer.