Professor Antelle was a genius scientist in the French novel La Planète des singes.
Professor Antelle was a world renown scientist of many fields committed his vast fortune to explore the distant star of Betelgeuse. For this he designed a rocketship that could travel nearly the speed of light. He disliked mankind, and, accompanied by his colleague Arthur Levain and friend Ulysse Mérou, he guided the spaceship to the star Betelgeuse.
Arrival on Soror
Upon arriving on Soror, Antelle took measures to make sure that the air was breathable before allowing them to take their diving suits off. Later after finding a body of water he was the first to plunge into it to after testing it was safe. Discovering evidence of humans on Soror, he was somewhat disappointed. When the trio saw Nova like he other he was moved by her beauty. Seeing her frightened attitude towards the explorer, Antelle devised a tactic to win her over by ignoring her.
After the death of Hector, he originally wanted to relocate to another, more civilized locations. However the others of his party, wishing to re-encounter the beautiful savage woman Nova outvoted him.
Like the others he was stripped out all articles of clothing and was taken by the wild men of Soror to their campsite. At morning, due to his old age, he was left behind when gorilla hunters invaded the camp. As a result, Antelle was captured by the apes.
Descent from Man to Beast
Captured by intelligent apes soon after his arrival on the planet Soror, Antelle was placed in their city zoo along with the primitive humans of the planet. Ulysse later discovered Antelle to be alive, during one of his excursions in the simian world.
After Ulysse gained his freedom, he went to the zoo to retrieve his teacher. However much to his horror, he discovered Antelle to be incapable of speech; he had reverted to a primitive state in the company of the native humans during his four month confinement.
At the request of Ulysse he was later transferred to the Institute for Advanced Biological Study, along with a young woman he had taken as a mate during his captivity. Despite all attempts by his former pupil, the once esteemed professor displayed no signs of retreating from his primitive state. He was left behind by Ulysse believing that Antelle had found some contentment in his new life as an animal.
Personality & Traits
Professor Antelle is described as an aged man with a skinny frame. He was a brilliant scientist who had not studied a field that he did not explore. Somewhat of a misanthrope, he held low expectations of man, hence his ambitious expedition to Betelgeuse to seek out new life.
After he was captured, its suggested that Antelle while in the company of the wild men of Soror forced him to remain silent in fear of retaliation. The months of silence, captivity, and feral conditions drove him mad to the point he was indistinguishable from the rest of the regressed men. Despite his situation, Ulysses noted that Antelle had found some contentment in his new life as an animal. This was seen when he found an unknown female to be his companion.
Although he was kept in a zoo, Ulysses noted the good professor had put on weight and looks younger.
- As a scientist, Professor Antelle is similar to Dodge from the movie adaptation, Planet of the Apes, but Dodge's colleague, Landon, like Antelle, is discovered by Taylor alive but incapable of speech. Antelle reverted to a primitive state in the company of the native humans while Landon was knocked out in the ape's hunt and had brain surgery before his intelligence could be revealed.