This weekend the Fox Movie Channel is running all of the 1960's and 1970's Planet of the Apes movies, as well as the short lived 1974 television show, back-to-back (starting this morning), touting itself as the "Channel of the Apes."
The original 1968 "Planet of the Apes" starring Charlton Heston is one of my all-time favorite movies. I was hooked from the first time I saw that Statue of Liberty at the end of the film. I was watching it on television as a young kid in the mid-1970s, home sick from elementary school. My eyes almost bugged out of my head when I saw that for the first time. And right then and there I began a passionate multi year "love-hate" relationship with the franchise as a child. On the one hand, because I was fascinated by the whole concept I faithfully watched all of the films whenever they were re-run on TV, as well as the television series. And I begged my parents (successfully) to buy me the "action figures" and their various playsets. But on the other hand, it may have all been a little much for me as as a 7 year old, especially the iconic sequence in the first film where the apes on horseback are gunning down humans in a cornfield as they flee in terror. That gave me nightmares for years. As a result, throughout the rest of my elementary school days, if I found myself in an unfamiliar place (say a friend's house or a shopping mall, for instance), I would not infrequently catch myself unconsciously looking around to see where I might hide if, "the apes come."
Anyway, I've seen these films and the TV show countless dozens of times. So I won't be watching them this weekend on the Fox Movie Channel. But I noticed that they are also airing a 45 minute documentary about the making of the series called "Evolution of the Apes" that I've never seen before and will TIVO.