is a character in the movie Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des singes by Pierre Boulle. The film stars Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly and Linda Harrison...
. He is played by Brian Cox.
Landon was a human astronaut who joined the NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...
program some time in the 1960s. According to his colleague, George Taylor, Landon was an ambitious scientist who "wanted to live forever". Along with Taylor and fellow astronaut Dodge, Landon participated in a mission to test the scientific theories of Otto Hasslein regarding an object moving faster than the speed of light.
The crew of the Icarus
-Space and astronomy:* Icarus , on the Moon* Icarus , a planetary science journal* 1566 Icarus, an asteroid* IKAROS, a interplanetary unmanned spacecraft...
launched out of Cape Kennedy in 1972 and spent over six months in outer space. Taylor, commander of the mission, placed the crew into a state of suspended animation, in preparation for the second leg of their journey. While they slept, the Icarus passed through a Hasslein Curve
, a twist in space, that propelled the ship several centuries into the future. The ship crash-landed back on Earth in the year 3978. Splashing down into a stagnant salt lake, the crew revived and scurried to freedom.
After crash landing on the planet, Landon and his fellow astronaut George Taylor bicker as they explore the planet. Landon was an adventurer and a patriot. As such, he found it hardest of the three to come to terms with their fate and argued strongly with Taylor after their crash-landing. Taylor maintained a rigid attitude, while Dodge committed himself towards finding a means to survive on this new world. Landon meanwhile, found himself the target of Taylor's acerbic wit. Taylor laughs as Landon plants a tiny U.S. flag on the surface of the planet near the lake where they crashed.
Later, Landon and Taylor - along with another astronaut named Dodge - are captured by a group of apes and taken to a city populated by apes. During Taylor's subsequent trial, he discovers that Landon has been lobotomized by an ape scientist (which Dr. Zaius
Dr. Zaius is a fictional character in the Pierre Boulle novel Planet of the Apes, and the film series and television series based upon it. He is an orangutan and although given a minor role devoid of dialogue in the novel, he becomes the main antagonist of the story in the subsequent film adaptation...
ordered) and left a mere shell of his former self. Landon is taken back to his cage, while Zaius later admits he knew Landon could talk, and had him operated on.
When John Brent visited Zira and Cornelius in Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Beneath the Planet of the Apes is a 1970 American science fiction film directed by Ted Post and written by Paul Dehn. It is the second of five films in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. Jacobs...
, Cornelius told him that Taylor nearly ended up a museum specimen "like his two friends", which suggests that Landon was also dead and displayed alongside Dodge by that point. It's possible that during a skirmish involving gorilla soldiers, Landon was shot and killed.
- His first name "John" was revealed in the Planet of the Apes book-n-record set by Power Records and in Marvel Comics
Marvel Worldwide, Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics and formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, is an American company that publishes comic books and related media...
- A fan-produced reproduction of the Presidential Commission's Briefing Dossier gave Landon the name 'Captain John Landon'.
- The 'ANSA Public Service Announcement' bonus feature from the Blu-Ray Planet of the Apes Box-Set (released November 2008) included this biography: "Lieutenant John Landon serves as navigator on board the Liberty 1. Distinguishing himself as navigator on ANSA's Juno Mars mission, Lieutenant Landon automatically became the prime choice for the Liberty Project. After searching their souls and weighing the sacrifice, John and his wife proudly chose to add the Lieutenant's talents to the mission. His infant son Mike will grow to manhood knowing that his father bravely conquered nothing less than time and space."
- Landon's personality is closest to that of Arthur Levain in Pierre Boulle
Pierre Boulle was a French novelist largely known for two famous works, The Bridge over the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes .-Biography:...
's original novel, La Planète des singes, but like Levain's colleague, Professor Antelle, Landon is discovered by Taylor alive but incapable of speech. Antelle merely reverted to a primitive state in the company of the native humans while Landon was knocked out in the ape's hunt and had brain surgery before his intelligence could be revealed.
- The name 'Paul LaFever' is used in the earliest scripts (1964) written by Rod Serling
Rodman Edward "Rod" Serling was an American screenwriter, novelist, television producer, and narrator best known for his live television dramas of the 1950s and his science fiction anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone. Serling was active in politics, both on and off the screen and helped form...
. Serling's script treatment for an Apes TV show
Planet of the Apes was a short-lived American science fiction television series that aired on Friday evenings at 8:00 PM Eastern/7:00 PM Central on CBS in 1974. The series starred Roddy McDowall, Ron Harper, and James Naughton, Mark Lenard and Booth Colman...
followed on somewhat from these scripts, with two astronauts sent to rescue Taylor's crew which included a 28 to 30-year-old man (possibly called 'LaFever') who is found to have died from a gunshot.