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In William T. Quick's two novels detailing the aftermath of the Oberon's crash on the planet Ashlar, Jonathan was one of the central characters. He was the genetically-enhanced son of chimpanzees Pericles and Aspasia.


After Pericles had disappeared in the electromagnetic storm and the Oberon had crashed onto the nearby planet, surviving humans Grace Alexander and Molly Benavides decided to instil genetic improvements in the still-unborn foetus 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 Davidson before he too had disappeared in space.

While Jonathan and David were very close and saw each other as brothers, the status of apes in the new society was little more than that of slaves and soldiers in the fight against the planet's native lifeforms, which caused resentment from Jonathan. Secretly plotting a society of free apes, Jonathan waited until the native lifeforms (the 'Brax') had been defeated before launching 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, an anagram of Moses. He kept the unfortunate Grace as a prisoner for many years.

Pericles - 'The Return of Semos'

The ape colony faced as many challenges as the human colony had, and Semos' eventual fate is unknown, but he had a number of children including Thados and Zaius, who 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 spacepod containing Pericles also reappeared. Believing Pericles to be Semos, returned from the dead, Attar and the ape soldiers put down their weapons when they saw the chimp run to Leo and embrace him.


  • Semos was mentioned only briefly in the movie - as the leader of the rebellion - when Leo consulted the Oberon's memory banks. The movie script included Semos' appearance as Leo watched the ancient video recording: " one quick blur we see four large apes sweep across the screen - one ape (Semos) looks right at camera, then growls in a rage.." That part of the scene was omitted from the final cut. Dark Horse's comic book adaptation showed the ape face staring into the camera - but seemed to depict a gorilla rather than a chimp.
  • In the first treatment of William Broyles' story, the legends about the foundation of Ashlar civilisation say it was settled by apes and humans who came from beyond the suns a thousand years earlier, led by the humans Moses and Daena and the apes Abraham and Zophie.[1] In the first draft script, the migrants landed on Ashlar 3000 years earlier, led by the ape Semos and the human David.[2] In both versions, the time-travelling Leo Davidson is ultimately revealed to be the human founding father Moses/David. The name 'Semos' is an anagram of 'Moses'.
  • Dark Horse Comics' The Human War mini-series incorrectly spelled his name 'Seimos', but the film's script, the spin-off novels and Dark Horse's other comic series used 'Semos'.
  • Dark Horse Comics' Planet of the Apes: Old Gods also described an ape origin legend involving 'Hanuman The Wise' - apparently an orangutan.
  • He is a similar character to Caesar from the original films - both being founders and leaders of ape society.



  1. Annals of the Planet Ashlar Treatment, by William Broyles Jr. (4 August 1999)
  2. 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)