Anthony Lawrence wrote the earliest known script for a proposed Planet of the Apes TV series. Dated March 2, 1973, the unfilmed episode A Fallen God followed on from the (presumably already-written) TV series concept, and featured Virdon, Kovak (later renamed 'Burke') and Galen - already fugitives from the ape authorities.
In a small town resembling the turn-of-the-century American West, Galen goes to investigate whether the inhabitants are friend or foe. Impatient at his progress, Virdon and Kovak soon follow him. In the town, Galen finds an ape crowd gathered around a fanatical religious leader - Preacher Syrinx. He proclaims a message of hatred towards the 'evil' humans and warns the apes to be vigilant of where they might be lurking. As if pre-ordained, a horse bolts with it's wagon to reveal Virdon and Kovak spying on the assembly. To protect them, Galen claims to be a traveller and claims the two as his slaves. Sensing deception, Syrinx cajoles Galen into selling the humans to a kindly ape family - Telemon, a farmer, and his son Dardon and daughter Delphia. Attempting to escape the farm at night, the humans peer into the farmhouse and see the family behaving reverently before a twentieth-century radio. Intrigued, Virdon insists on waiting to investigate. After the apes have retired, they sneak into the house and find an intact but slightly damaged radio. Surprised by a returning Telemon, Kovak runs while Virdon is injured. Kovak makes his way to Galen, who tells him he has heard rumours about free humans living in the surrounding hills. Kovak goes to make contact while Galen promises to help Virdon. Syrinx observes their meeting.
Galen spends some time at the farm during the next few days as Virdon recovers, during which time Delphia sees them talking (speaking humans are unheard of in this region). After Dardon catches Virdon (whom he has renamed 'Thura') making a second attempt to use the radio, Virdon speaks to him and gains his trust. Virdon gives Galen a list of tools he will require to repair the radio. Kovak has meanwhile discovered a tribe of savage, but speaking, humans led by Gorn, Drak and Lob. They tell him they lived on the farmland until the apes drove them into the hills, and Kovak persuades them to help rescue Virdon. Confronting Galen in the town, Delphia learns the truth and warily agrees to bring the tools to Virdon as Galen tries to find Kovak. He finds the tribe's warriors on their way to attack the farm, spurred on by a defiant Kovak. He unhelpfully gives Galen twenty minutes to free Virdon before the humans attack. At the farmhouse, Syrinx has discovered Virdon and Dardon repairing the radio, just as Telemon and Delphia enter the house. Telemon - armed - must decide whether to follow Syrinx' advice to kill Virdon and destroy the machine, or to trust his children's instincts. He lets Virdon complete his repairs and all are astonished to hear a voice respond to Virdon's broadcast - the voice of advanced humans living in a city. Just then, Kovak's warriors arrive, killing Syrinx and smashing everything in the house - including the radio. Kovak and Virdon send the humans running back to the hills as Kovak bitterly regrets the consequences of his actions. The ape family forgive the fugitives and send them on their way as Dardon tinkers with the destroyed radio.
Although the TV series was still a year-and-a-half away from airing, the formula followed by the filmed episodes was already in place, and the script could have fitted easily in to the series, albeit one of the few episodes that hinted at an advanced human society that could provide a resolution to the astronauts predicament. Anthony Lawrence would go on to write the script for the episode The Deception just over a year later, in April 1974.
- A TV series outline and Rod Serling pilot episode scripts also exist, from an unknown date. The production codes on the scripts seem to suggest "A Fallen God" was written soon after Serling's script; both follow the concept outline and feature Virdon, Kovak and Galen.