Pericles is a male chimpanzee appearing in the 2001 Planet of the Apes movie.


Pericles was one of the genetically enhanced chimpanzees aboard the space station Oberon in 2029, as was his mate, Aspasia. Captain Leo Davidson was his trainer, conditioning him to pilot space pods on reconnaissance missions, and also grew to be very fond of Pericles, almost regarding him as a pet. When a great electromagnetic storm was detected in space, Pericles was dispatched in the small 'Alpha Pod' craft to check it out. Leo didn't like the idea and would have preferred to go himself. However his commander, Vasich, believed in sending a chimp before sending a man to explore something dangerous. When Pericles lost contact while piloting the space pod, Leo sneaked onboard 'Delta Pod' and followed him, only to get caught in the same electrical storm, which rocketed Leo through time and caused his pod to crash on a strange new world ruled by apes but also populated by humans who existed as savages and slaves.

After Pericles and Leo had disappeared in the storm, the Oberon had also subsequently crashed onto the planet Ashlar. In the aftermath of the crash, surviving humans Grace Alexander and Molly Benavides decided to instill genetic improvements in the still-unborn fetus son of Pericles and Aspasia to improve the colony's chances of survival. The enhancements caused the death of Aspasia, but Jonathan was born safely and raised by Molly, who had recently given birth to a son, David, fathered by Leo before he too had disappeared in space. Jonathan eventually launched a vicious slaughter of almost all the humans (in 2048). Molly, David, and a small group of others escaped, to become the ancestors of the humans Leo would encounter 3000 years later. Jonathan, meanwhile, rejected his human name and called himself 'Semos' - the founder of the ape planet. He was the ancestor of Zaius, Thade, Thade’s sister, Thade's Niece and Shiva. He became revered as the god of the apes and by the time Leo reappeared in 5021, apes like Attar would pray to Semos.

When the ape army was fighting the mainly-human rebels led by Leo, the 'Alpha Pod' containing Pericles finally reappeared, landing safely. Believing Pericles to be Semos, returned from the dead, Attar and the ape soldiers stopped fighting, and put down their weapons when they saw the chimp run to Leo and embrace him. Thade however, refused to accept that this was his ancestor and tried to kill him, unsuccessfully. Leo shortly afterwards used the Alpha Pod to return to Earth, leaving Pericles in the care of Ari.


  • Jonah - one of the chimps playing Pericles - reportedly attacked Helena Bonham Carter in one incident during filming.[1]
  • Ape movement coach Terry Notary spent time on the set playing with the twin chimps cast in the role, learning from them. "I tried to picture them as humans in ape suits. It was like: OK, let's see what he's doing... Hmm, well, I would never have expected that an ape would do that. We can use that."[2]
  • In the first draft script of the film, Pericles arrives on the planet some time earlier, helping Leo to recover from a botched execution attempt by Thade.[3]
  • He is a similar character to Hector from the original novel La Planète des Singes.



  1. The Planet of the Apes Chronicles, by Paul A. Woods
  2. Monkey Business, by Marina Dundjerski - UCLA Magazine (Fall 2001)
  3. The Visitor First Draft Script, by William Broyles Jr. (24 September 1999)
Planet of the Apes - The Chronicle of Ashlar
Planet of the Apes TB
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Main Characters
Leo Davidson | Ari | Thade | Attar | Krull | Limbo | Daena
Supporting Characters
Grace Alexander | Aspasia | Bon | Leeta | | Thade's Niece | Tuug | Karl Vasich | Woman in Cart | Zaius | Sandar | Nado | Nova | Pericles | Semos | Birn | Gunnar | Karubi | Tival
Ashlar | Calima | Oberon | Derkein
Comics, Novels & Magazines
The Human War | Planet Of The Apes (2001) Graphic Novel | Planet of the Apes (2001) (Junior Novelisation) | Planet of the Apes (2001) Concept Art & Costume Tests
Soundtrack Music
Planet of the Apes (2001 Soundtrack Album)
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