Darren Stockford

Passion and wisdom on the Planet of the Apes

Simian Scrolls issue 12Say the word ‘fanzine’ to a lot of people and they probably think of a few sheets of A5 held together with attitude and, if you’re lucky, a couple of staples. Which is why I’m hesitant about describing Simian Scrolls as such.

For the uninitiated, Scrolls is an expertly tended, 44-page, A4 publication, put together by Planet Of The Apes fans for Planet Of The Apes fans, that you really need to see if you’ve anything more than a passing interest in this classic series of movies and the short-lived TV show. It’s clearly a labour of love for its editors and contributors - its articles, interviews and reviews have real thought and care poured into them, and its enthusiasm and passion for its subject is infectious. I started reading around issue four, and have watched it grow over the years into a magazine that Apes fandom can be proud of.

The reason for me mentioning all this now is that issue 12, featuring Glen Scheetz and Gina Scarbro’s fab cover art pictured above, has just hit my doormat - later than planned, but this issue is the mag’s second TV show special, and as Scrolls’ founder John Roche explains, there were a couple of TV-related articles that were worth waiting for.

Among the goodies on offer are a detailed look at the TV series’ ‘bible’, which Mark Rogers found in an LA bookshop - and paid $375 for. While that sounds like a lot of money (heck, it is a lot of money), its worth to fandom is great, as not only does the document contain story synopses that in many cases differ to the transmitted versions, but there are also plot details for five stories that weren’t filmed. Mark has kindly shared all of this info and dug as deep as he can to find out more about these ‘bible stories’. The least we can do is buy him a drink.

Also in this issue are interviews with Booth Colman (aka the TV series’ Zaius), Beverly Garland (Wanda from The Interrogation), Joanna Barnes (Carsia in Up Above The World So High) and music producer Nick Redman (who helped get the Apes soundtracks on to CD), plus detailed reviews of the TV soundtrack CD and the first three issues of this year’s Revolution On The Planet Of The Apes comic.

Simian Scrolls costs three UK pounds or six US dollars, including postage. As I don’t want to publish John’s email address here, send me a message for more info.

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