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Tommy was an abusive owner of Koba and Milo and the TV producer of an entertainment program called "Monkey of the House." He was also the one responsible for Koba's facial scar and blind eye.


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm

Tommy was a man who lived in a large house with many rooms. He owned a young male chimpanzee named Milo, whom he abusively trained to do tricks for a TV show named Monkey of the House, which Tommy produced. Tommy was also an alcoholic, sometimes drinking at night.

At some point, Tommy received a new pet; a young male bonobo named Koba. Tommy immediately made Koba a new performer in his show and subjected him to the same brutal treatment as Milo. He trained Koba to do many tricks, starting with smiling, and then moving on to clapping, "talking" (hoot-panting) and dancing. If Koba succeeded in doing the tricks correctly, Tommy would reward him with a cookie, but whenever Koba showed even the slightest signs of disobedience or incompetence, Tommy would electrocute him with a prod. When he wasn't forcing them to perform, Tommy kept Koba and Milo locked up in separate cages which were so narrow they had to stand up in them, although he occasionally let them out so they could exercise. Sometimes, Tommy would take the two apes to a large theatre, where he would force them to do their tricks under the supervision of a woman named Alice.

One night, Tommy, for pure amusement, forced Koba and Milo to drink alcohol, causing the two apes to get drunk and accidentally hurt themselves. Tommy also drank until he was asleep, and when he woke up, discovered the two apes had stolen some of his food, so he furiously beat them before locking them back in their cages.

The next day, Tommy tried to force Koba and Milo to do their tricks again, but the two apes were unable to do so due to still being slightly groggy from getting drunk the night before. Frustrated, Tommy left the room to talk to Alice. In his absence, Milo bit an unruly boy in self-defense. When he discovered this, Tommy punished Milo by wiring his mouth shut and threatened to do the same thing to Koba if he ever "misbehaved".

Eventually, Tommy's show was cancelled due to poor ratings and outrage about the incident with Milo biting the boy, much to Tommy's chagrin. Depressed and angry, Tommy began to drink more heavily and frequently, and started treating Koba and Milo even worse than before. One day, Tommy took Koba out of his cage with the apparent intent to muzzle him. Terrified, Koba resisted Tommy, who then started to angrily shock and beat Koba without stopping. This finally made Koba snap, as the bonobo angrily defended himself by knocking Tommy down and hitting him. Tommy pretended to submit, but as soon as Koba stopped, Tommy in a fit of rage, slashed Koba's face with a knife, leaving a long scar down the bonobo's left forehead, eye and cheek. Tommy then electrocuted Koba into unconsciousness.

After Koba regained consciousness, Tommy noticed that the bonobo's wounded eye was still working, so he sadistically blinded the eye by burning it with a lit cigarette, all the while taunting Koba for his new "ugliness" and ignoring the bonobo's desperate pleas for him to stop.

After several days of leaving Koba and Milo to starve in their cages, Tommy returned with a pistol and pointed it at Koba for a long time. However, he eventually lowered it and opened Koba's cage before going to the living room where Tommy shot himself in the head, thus committing suicide.


Apart from Roger, Tommy played a major role in kick-starting Koba's eventual genocidal hatred for humans, stemming from the horrific physical and physiological abuse Koba received while living under Tommy.

The tricks Tommy trained Koba to do ironically saved the bonobo's life years later, when Koba used the tricks to amuse a pair of guards who had cornered him into letting him go, and then later to lower their guard in order to steal a gun from them.


Tommy was a vile and cruel man who was extremely abusive towards his pets, Milo and Koba, verbally, physically and psychologically. He trained them to do tricks through pain and intimidation, ways that were extremely traumatizing and humiliating for both apes. He was also a short-tempered and somewhat foul-mouthed alcoholic, as he sometimes used swear words and was often quick to lash out in rather violent anger, which was made worse by his habit of drinking alcohol.

Tommy was also sadistic, as he seemed to enjoy the pain and fear he inflicted upon Koba and Milo, and at one point made them drink alcohol purely his own amusement. He took a particularly disturbing amount of pleasure in slashing and then burning out Koba's left eye.

After his TV show was cancelled, Tommy tried to save face by dismissing it as a "stupid show", but his depression afterwards indicated it meant a lot to him. He gradually seemed to lose all interest in life and eventually committed suicide.


  • Tommy is the one responsible for Koba's facial scar and blind eye; which is arguably Koba's most notable physical feature in the movies. He inflicted the scar with a knife, but that failed to blind Koba's eye, so Tommy burned it out with a lit cigarette.
  • Tommy is also the one who trained Koba to do the tricks he uses to fool the guards in Dawn.


  • Some people believe Tommy being the one responsible for Koba's facial scar and blind eye contradicts Dawn's implications that Koba got them from his time as a lab ape. However, it's worth noting that Koba never actually states that all of his scars are specifically from lab experiments, just that they are "human work."
  • However, Tommy being the one responsible for Koba's facial scar and blind eye does contradict the note on Koba's time as a lab ape, which states he got half-blinded from a failed eye operation
Planet of the Apes - Chernin Entertainment Series
Planet of the Apes (CE) Movies
Rise of the Planet of the Apes | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes | War for the Planet of the Apes
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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations | War for the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | Caesar’s Story
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