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Donovan Maddox was an ANSA astronaut more familiarly known by the colloquialism, "Skipper". He was in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, the first sequel and the second movie in the Planet of the Apes Series.

Maddox commanded a rescue ship which was sent to find astronauts Taylor, Dodge, Landon and Stewart, who had gone missing. Colonel Maddox was accompanied on this mission by John Brent. Maddox and Brent's spaceship passed through a "Hasslein Curve", sending them into the future. The ship made a crash-landing, badly injuring and blinding Maddox in the process. Brent helped Maddox out of the ship and reported the current year to him. Maddox was horrified to hear that they had travelled two-thousand years forward in time to the year 3955 A.D. He spoke of his wife and two daughters being long since dead. Maddox himself died shortly afterwards and was buried by Brent. Maddox was mentioned later in the film when Brent found himself in front of Albina and the other inquisitors in the Forbidden Zone, where Brent says the only ones who came were himself and his commander, who is now dead.


  • Maddox's name is not mentioned in Beneath the Planet of the Apes or its comic adaptations or its novelization. As such it has been the subject of much speculation over the years. A close examination of a promotional shot seems to reveal the letters 'addox' on his uniform.[2]
  • A 2007 fan-produced reproduction of the Presidential Commission's Briefing Dossier gave Skipper the name 'Captain Andrew Maddox' (Mission Commander).[3]
  • The 'ANSA Public Service Announcement' bonus feature from the Blu-Ray Planet of the Apes Box-Set (released November 2008) included this biography: "Two first alternates round out the crew [of Colonel Taylor's mission] - ... Brent, 34, and Colonel Skipper Donovan, 38." However, a timeline included in the same Box-Set gave his name as the more familiar 'Maddox'.
  • The 2011 novel Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes said that Maddox had been a brash young pilot during the Korean War, where he served with the more mature Colonel Taylor and General Lazenbe. By the time of his final space mission, he was married to Cheryl and had two daughters.


Maddox's uniform; image from Phil Broad
  • The name 'Maddox' in fact appears in an early script treatment for the original movie. Charles Eastman was asked to revise Rod Serling's screenplay. Instead, he completely re-wrote his own screenplay but only completed the opening scenes before he was replaced. In Eastman's script, the central character (the 'Taylor' character) was called 'Command 60 Maddox' - "Our hero has a slightly military, over-conscientious, too business-like air" - and is in control of a large crew. It's unknown if this has any connection with the flight suit seen in 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes'.[4]


External Links


Maddox's death in 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes' Maddox in Gold Key's 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes'; illustration by Alberto Giolitti Maddox in Power Records' 'Planet of the Apes'; illustration by Arvid Knudsen and Associates Maddox in Marvel's 'Adventures on the Planet of the Apes'; illustration by George Tuska, Michael Esposito & George Roussos

Planet of the Apes - The Original Pentalogy Series
Planet of the Apes (APJ) Movies
Planet of the Apes | Beneath the Planet of the Apes | Escape from the Planet of the Apes | Conquest of the Planet of the Apes | Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Main Ape Characters
Zira | Cornelius | Zaius | Ursus | Milo | Caesar | Lisa | Virgil | Aldo | Cornelius II | Lawgiver
Supporting Ape Characters
Hunt Leader | Julius | Marcus | Galen | Honorius | Maximus | President of the Assembly | Lucius | Minister | Minister | Frank | Mandemus
Main Human Characters
George Taylor | Nova | John Landon | Dodge | John Brent | Mendez XXVI | Caspay | Ongaro | Albina | Fat Man | Lewis Dixon | Stephanie Branton | Otto Hasslein | Armando | Breck | MacDonald (Conquest) | MacDonald (Battle) | Kolp | Mendez I
Supporting Human Characters
Stewart | Maddox | Verger | General Winthrop | General Faulkner | The President | Chairman of the President's Committee of Inquiry | E-1 | E-2 | Inspector Hoskyns | TV Newscaster | Mrs Riley | Mutant Captain | Jake | Jake's friend
Horse | Gorilla in Zoo
Items / Weapons
Sacred Scrolls | Human Doll | Alpha-Omega Bomb | Grape Juice Plus
Important Events / Battles
Ape Rebellion
Bellatrix | Orion | Earth's Moon | Ape City | Forbidden Zone | Statue of Liberty | Queensboro Plaza | Radio City Music Hall | Grand Central Terminal | New York Stock Exchange | St. Patrick's Cathedral' | New York City | Jefferson Public School | Los Angeles | Los Angeles Zoo | Forbidden City | Ape City (Caesar's City) | Council
Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes | Exile on the Planet of the Apes | Planet of the Apes: Ursus| Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern | Kong on the Planet of the Apes | Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes
Soundtrack Music
Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Beneath the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Escape from the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Battle for the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Music Of The Planet Of The Apes