General Urko
Aliases: General Urko
Chief of Security Urko
Series: Planet of the Apes
Gender: Male
Notability: Supporting character
Occupation: Security Chief
Race: Gorilla
Location: Central City, California
Relatives: Elta (wife) [1]
Born: 1940
Died: 2009
First: "Escape from Tomorrow"
Final: "Up Above the World So High"
Actor: Mark Lenard

General Urko is a fictional military commander as well as a humanoid ape featured in the 1974 CBS television series Planet of the Apes. Played by actor Mark Lenard, he was introduced in the series' pilot episode, "Escape from Tomorrow" and appeared in all fourteen episodes of the series in total.

Overview Edit

Urko is a humanoid ape and a military commander holding the rank of General. He was the Chief of Security for Central City in Northern California and worked directly under Councillor Zaius. General Urko was in charge of all of the military garrison in Central City, as well as the outlying prefects. He was married to a woman named Elta, but had not children to speak of.

Like most gorillas, General Urko despised humans and had a zero tolerance policy towards their development beyond that of laborers and servants. Even in this capacity, Urko would have preferred to see all humans dead and he even encouraged his officers to not expend any efforts to safeguard the wellbeing of a human. Despite this however, he was an officer first and loyal to the ape council of Central City, though he often disagreed with the council members when it came to affairs of state - particularly as it related to humans. General Urko did not exactly have a strong fondness for chimpanzees either, seeing them as weak dreamers who mollycoddled humas as if they were pets.

No two humans ever caused General Urko as much grief as Alan Virdon and Pete Burke, as well as their chipmanzee companion, Galen. Urko knew that there was something different about these two humans in that they were brighter and more capable than most of the others that lived about the city. This only frustrated him even more and he had standing orders for all of his guards to arrest the three of them on sight.

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • The character of Urko was created by director Don Weis and writer Art Wallace based on concepts originally developed by French novelist Pierre Boulle.
  • To easily distinguish Urko from other gorillas in the series, Urko wore a stylized helmet engraved with various glyphs that denoted his rank as General.
  • Aside from Galen, Urko is the only ape shown in the series who knows the truth about Earth's past. He learned about it after Pete Burke showed him an old poster for the San Diego Zoo depicting a gorilla in a cage.
  • It has often been said in the series that gorillas were not exactly known for their keen intellect and Urko is not exception. He once theorized that the act of brainwashing was a process by which one removes a person's brain from their head and scrub it down with warm water.
  • General Urko was one of four characters from the series who had an action figure made of him by the Mego Corporation as part of their 1974 Planet of the Apes toy line. The Urko figure was distinguished from other gorillas made from the movie line in that he wore his traditional elongated helmet and had purple sleeves and leggings as opposed to the brown ones worn by the gorilla guards.
  • Other notable gorilla commanders featured in the Planet of the Apes feature films include General Ursus from Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Aldo from Battle for the Planet of the Apes.

See also Edit

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