- "Doctor, these animals are dirty."
- ―Dr. Galen
Doctor Galen was a chimpanzee who worked as a veterinarian in the Academy's animal Research Complex in Ape City during the latter half of the 40th century. Forever frustrated with his position, he pleaded with his colleague, animal psychologist Doctor Zira, about advancement in the field. Citing the recent abolition of the quota system, Galen believed that he should be held in as high regard as Zira. Zira however, downplayed her own importance, noting that Minister of Science, Doctor Zaius, routinely "looked down his nose at chimpanzees".
Galen despised working with human patients, as he felt they were little more than savage, filthy creatures. On one occasion, one of his human child charges even bit him on the hand. Gorilla hunters brought a human astronaut named Taylor into the laboratory to be treated for wounds he had sustained during the morning's hunt. Doctor Galen was the first ape to talk to Taylor, and in fact saved Taylor's life with a blood transfusion from Nova, and bandaged his throat wound.
In the 2011 novel Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, Dr. Galen was one of the central characters. He conducted gruesome and illegal experiments on human subjects in order to test surgical transplantation theories, all without success. He was married to Liet, a cousin of Dr. Milo, though she was having an affair with the gorilla/chimp hybrid garbage ape Mungwortt. Galen came to keep Landon captive in his laboratory for some time, and came under the suspicion of Dr. Zaius and Marcus. On first hearing Landon speak, Galen summoned Marcus and recaptured the human, but after Marcus and Zaius accused Galen of surgically creating a human freak and tried to arrest him, London pushed both Galen and Marcus off a bridge and both perished, shortly before the trial of Taylor.
Dr. Galen was condemned at the trial, together with Zira and Cornelius, by Dr. Zaius for training or 'creating' Taylor, a talking human, to support Zira's theories about human intelligence.
- Galen was probably named after the Greek surgeon Claudius Galenus ("Galen") of Pergamon (129 – 200 AD).
- Actor Wright King played the role of Doctor Galen. His son Meegan King played Gregor in the Planet of the Apes TV series.
- Planet of the Apes
- Planet of the Apes Magazine: Planet of the Apes (issue #2)
- Adventures on the Planet of the Apes: Planet of the Apes (issue #2)
- Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes