Planet of the Apes
The Good Seeds
Episode The Good Seeds
Season 1
Production Number B-501
Air Date Friday, October 4th, 1974
Network CBS
Director Don Weis
Writer Robert W. Lenski
Continuity TV Series
Previous Episode: "The Trap"

Next Episode: "The Legacy"

"The Good Seeds" is the fourth episode of the first season of Planet of the Apes.



Guest Starring:

Production Crew

  • Assistant Director ... Bill Derwin
  • Music ... Lalo Schifrin
  • Film Editor ... Clay Bartels



When Galen is wounded, he and the astronauts seek shelter at the farm of a peasant ape, Polar. The farm is four day’s hard ride from Central City. We learn here that Virdon was raised on a farm. The travelers spend two weeks here so that Galen's leg can mend. While they are there, Virdon helps Polar improve crop yields and introduces the family to such things as butter. They are accepted as workers, but eldest son Anto is resentful; as part of tradition, the son cannot start his own farm until a cow bears a male calf. When the cow goes into a difficult labour giving birth to twins, the lives of the humans hang in the balance. Even though Alan has provided a number of agricultural innovations to them, superstition threatens the astronauts with death. They win their hosts over by teaching them valuable lessons about farming and saving the cow. Also notable is an infatuation that the farmer's daughter has for Galen.



  • The fourth episode to be broadcast (4 October in the USA, 3 November in the UK), this was the first episode filmed, chronologically, according to the Production Code.[1]

Behind the ScenesEdit

Marvel Comics 'Planet of the Apes' UK Issue #15 (1 February, 1975), 'Journey to the Planet of the Apes'[2]

TV guide1

"The assistant director calls for quiet on the set, which is the barnyard. Behind the garish array of camera, cables, mike booms, arc lights and shiny-boards, director Don Weis surveys the scene to be shot and says, “Release the chickens—stand by to cue the gorillas—and—action!” The Chicken Wrangler opens his cage and shoos half a dozen dazed hens into camera range. Also in range are a chimp farmer, the farmer’s chimp wife, and their chimp children; Our Heroes, astronauts Alan and Pete (played by Ron Harper and James Naughton), and Our Heroes’ guide on the far side of the time warp, a friendly chimpanzee named Galen (played by Roddy McDowall). Here’s the story. The farmer has been persuaded by Galen to give refuge to the astronauts, who are being hunted down by henchmen of Urko, the gorilla who is Chief Enforcer in the apes’ police state. The boys from the 20th century are red-hot subversives to Urko and his ilk, since they hold the secret of man’s past glory on the planet, a secret that the apes have suppressed in order to keep their slave labor force of humans in check. Alan and Pete want to hang around the chimp farm for a while, in the guise of “ordinary” humans, so they can perform their Good Deed of the Week, which this week is helping a cow give birth.

TV guide3

On cue, three mounted gorillas, rifles at the ready, gallop into the barnyard, raising a cloud of dust. They are mean incarnate: prognathous, sunken-eyed and hairy; hulking studies in black-on-black. For some reason they are dressed in leather jerkins, gauntlets and boots straight out of the Sheriff of Nottingham’s posse in a Robin Hood movie. (For some other reason, the humans of the planet are gotten up like Biblical rabble out of a Cecil B. DeMille movie. There are all kinds of time-warps in operation here.) Director Weis is unhappy with the movements of the chimp Galen. “Cut!” he calls, and the Chicken Wrangler rounds up his flock and drops them, fussin’ and cluckin’, back into the cage, and the three gorillas wheel their mounts and ride back to the shade, where the Horse Wrangler takes over the reins.

TV guide2

His arm on “Galen’s” shoulder, Weis says, “Roddy, I wonder if—when you first see the gorillas riding up—” He is interrupted by the voice from deep inside the chimp mask: “Excuse me, but I’m not Roddy McDowall. I’m Roddy’s double.” “Oh. Right,” said Weis, recovering quickly. “Now, in this shot, you’re fairly close on camera, so I wonder if you could—you know—twitch your nose more, like Roddy does?” Ron Harper fished a tobacco pouch from out of the folds of his Barabbas-like sackcloth, filled his pipe, lit it, and said: “Telling the apes apart here is a problem for somebody new on the set. But after a while you learn to recognize them by body shapes and their quirks of movement. See that gorilla getting a makeup touch? Tom! Hey, Tom—!” The gorilla, unheeding, walked away. “Sorry,” said Harper. “So it’s not Tom. Well, I know it’s not Ronnie, so it must be Eldon.” Curious as to how this unintentional but cruel alienation had damaged the psyches of the TV apes, I wandered about the set between takes to see what might be preoccupying them when they weren’t on camera. Four gorillas were lounging under a thatched lean-to. One gorilla was reading Daily Variety. The second gorilla was doing needlepoint. Gorillas Three and Four were engaged in an intense conversation. A-ha! G-3: “I just made a pretty good buck doubling for Steve McQueen.” G-4: “Yah? Nice goin’. I just did a Volkswagen commercial.” G-3: “Neat.” G-4: “And I still got a Pabst Blue Ribbon running.” Gorilla 2, putting down his needlepoint, picking up on a long-lapsed conversation: “I still say, what’s the point of living out here if you don’t have a swimming pool?”

TV guide4

My in-depth ape analysis was interrupted by the break for lunch. Humans—crewmen, astronauts and slave laborers—headed for the chow wagon, some 300 yards away in a grove of live oaks, in a stampede. Chimps and gorillas trudged in their dusty wake, shedding costumery as they went, stripping down to T-shirts, tank tops, bare chests and, in one memorable case, to a bikini bra. They were all grateful for the break, but in no hurry to endure the ordeal of lunch. More than the intensive heat, the melting makeup, the flies, or the interminable stage waits, hunger is the bane of the thespian ape’s existence. The mask—or “appliance,” as they call it, out of respect for the hinged jaws—is built on, section by section, during the three-hour makeup session, after which the hair is laid on strand by strand. Once on, the appliance is on for the day. While the mandible can waggle enough to simulate talking, it does not open wide enough to accommodate a normal mouthful of food. A further gnathic hazard is the three-inch gap between the protruding ape teeth and the actor’s own teeth. So most of them settle for milkshakes, soups and eggnogs, taken through a straw. A few of the more enterprising apes manage to maneuver flat spoonfuls of food into their mouths with the aid of a makeup mirror. But this is very tedious. It is also dangerous. As a gorilla who had gone back to milkshakes explained: “You drop a glob of macaroni salad down inside your appliance, and the flies find it, it’s sheer torture for the rest of the day.” "

- Rowland Barber, TV Guide (December 7, 1974), on the set of The Good Seeds[3]

Ron Harper later recalled: "Before they would shoot the first episode to reach the air ['Escape from Tomorrow'], they wanted me and Jim to be comfortable and experienced, and they wanted everything running smoothly. So we shot 'The Good Seeds' and then another episode, maybe 'The Gladiators' and I think the third one we shot was 'Escape from Tomorrow'. The thinking was, "Ron and Jim will be better, they'll know their way around, they'll know each other. It'll be an easier and a smoother production." I liked 'The Good Seeds' - I liked it a lot. It was warm, and it was not terribly violent. But once the series was on the air, we were told that the network [CBS] wanted more action. "All the sentimental, warm, folksy stuff is great, but that ain’t 'Planet of the Apes'. Get those apes out there with the guns and have 'em start shootin' some people and fightin'. Get some action going. Forget that sentimental crap!"[4]

External LinksEdit


Planet of the Apes TV Series
"Escape from Tomorrow" "The Gladiators" "The Trap" "The Good Seeds" "The Legacy" "Tomorrow's Tide" "The Surgeon"
"The Deception" "The Horse Race" "The Interrogation" "The Tyrant" "The Cure" "The Liberator" "Up Above the World So High"
Planet of the Apes (TV Series)
Main Characters
Alan Virdon | Peter Burke | Galen | Urko | Zaius
Supporting Characters
Aboro | Anto | Arn | Augustus | Bandor | Barlow | Carsia | Daku | Dalton | Farrow | Fauna | Gahto | Hurton | Jillia | Jones | Kava | Kira | Kraik | Leander | Leuric | Lucian | Miller | Olam | Perdix | Polar | Remus | Scientist | Sestus | Tolar | Veska | Chris Virdon | Sally Virdon | Wanda | Yalu | Zako | Zandar | Zantes | Zilo | Zon | Zoran
Alpha Centauri | Farrow's Shelter | Central City | Borak | Chalo | Delphi | Hathor | Kaymak | Numai | Trion | Venta | Oakland | San Francisco | Council
Escape from Tomorrow | The Gladiators | The Trap | The Good Seeds | The Legacy | Tomorrow's Tide | The Surgeon | The Deception | The Horse Race | The Interrogation | The Tyrant | The Cure | The Liberator | Up Above the World So High
Unmade Episodes
Episode One | Episode Two | A Fallen God | Hostage | The Trek| Freedom Road | The Mine | The Trial
Annual / Comic Strips
Brown & Watson 'Planet of the Apes' Annual, 1975 | Brown & Watson 'Planet of the Apes' Annual, 1976 | Brown & Watson 'Planet of the Apes' Annual, 1977 | Pit Of Doom | The Arsenal | Ship Of Fools | Raiding Party | A Promise Kept | Blow For Blow | Breakout | Depth | Flight From Terror | From Out Of The Past | From Out Of The Sky | Galen's Guerrillas | Journey Into Terror (Brown & Watson) | New Life... On The Old Planet | Power Play | Rockets | Swamped | The Beach Of Time | The Captive | The Circus | The Gods Of The Stars | The Marksman | The Master Of The Forests | The Prophet | The Scavangers | The Wandering Jew | The Zombies | Ultrasonic | When The Earth Shakes | When The Ghosts Walk
Planet of the Apes Encyclopedia: The Legacy | Planet of the Apes Encyclopedia: The Surgeon | Planet of the Apes Encyclopedia: Tomorrow's Tide
Audio Episodes
Volcano | Battle of Two Worlds | Dawn of The Tree People | Mountain of The Delphi | Values