Ralph Senensky is a television director and writer born in Mason City, Iowa. He began his career directing community theater and summer stock, and went on to direct multiple episodes for dozens of television shows from 1962 to 1986, including Dr. Kildare, Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, The Nurses (starring Zina Bethune), The Fugitive, The F.B.I., Star Trek, Insight, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Nanny and the Professor, The Partridge Family, Rod Serling's Night Gallery, The Waltons, Planet of the Apes (episode "The Tyrant"), Hart to Hart and The Paper Chase.
Senensky looked back on the Apes series as a missed opportunity: "Originally, the series was about the relationship between the two cultures; the tyrany of the apes over the humans. That's what played best on the series. The minute you had the apes wrangling with each other or talking, it got dreadfully boring. It's also hard to do anything like 'Planet of the Apes' on a seven-day schedule. It kind of copped out, it became more of an adventure series. Their options seemed to have gotten a little screwed up, they set up a premise that didn't leave them much room to maneuver. In hindsight, wouldn't it have been more interesting if they had looked at the Civil War in the 1800s for story material? They could have used those parallels about slavery in the series. The white population are the slaves and the gentry are the apes. That's what the first movie was about. That's what got lost in the series." "Roddy [McDowall] was marvelous. He was very dedicated to the show. Stan [Hough] was a marvelous producer. The main thing with Stan was to get the job done. When you work in TV, a lot of it is getting it committed to film. It's something of an artistic assembly line. You don't wait around until you get the inspiration. Looking back on Planet of the Apes, it was a terribly ambitious project for the economics and scheduling of series television."