Timeline of the Planet of the Apes / Rich Handley : 3 of 5
Once you start getting into the Planet of the Apes, you soon discover the amazing amount of media that has been created about this science fiction saga. In addition to the five classic films and the modern Tim Burton movie, there's the live action TV series, the animated series, tons of comic books and novels by different publishers, and even video games! Since the Apes story involves both the distant future and goes all the way back to the 1970s (and includes a classic time paradox), lots of people have tried to construct a timeline of all the events, but often end up throwing things out because they don't really match up with each other. Rich Handley has decided to just make everything work no matter what, even including scraps of unpublished stories (obtained from the authors) into the biggest timeline yet, spanning from the 1850s all the way into the year 5040 and beyond! It's extremely difficult to make the Tim Burton film (not to mention the animated series) work in the context of the original films, but the author takes the time to explain various assumptions and resolve discrepancies via detailed notes after many entries. Even the births of characters are included in the timeline, computed by using the actor's age at the time of filming (when not explicitly stated in a script or other work). I actually read through the entire book, which was fascinating for the most part, mainly when it involved media I had experienced myself. There are long sections with comic book synopses that were a little boring to me since I hadn't read those stories, but of course they have to be included for completeness in this ultimate timeline! I really enjoyed the cover gallery with images of all of the books, comics, and even various DVD releases, although it's a shame these photos are in black & white only. Timeline of the Planet of the Apes is an amazing fan undertaking, and was a lot of fun to read (especially since I'm in the middle of watching the films on Blu-ray now), but it's definitely a book that only a hardcore Apes fan would enjoy!