Taylor encountered an ape society governed by a formal power structure including a Minister for Science, a Deputy Minister of Justice, a Commissioner for Animal Affairs and a President of the Assembly, though no further details are revealed.
Soon afterwards, Brent hears General Ursus address the "members of the Citizens' Council" flanked by Dr. Zaius and a religious minister. The Council is assembled in an outdoor amphitheatre and consists of gorilla, orangutan and chimpanzee factions.
Caesar summons the governing council in Battle for the Planet of the Apes after he, Virgil and MacDonald had visited the ruins of Breck's old city. Having found hostile mutants living there, Caesar needs to warn the council that they may be a threat to their continued existence. The council consists of perhaps fifty apes, grouped according to their species; chimps, gorillas and orangutans. They meet in a natural amphitheatre and on top of one large rock is a seat carved from stone. This is the throne of Caesar, and next to it is a simple wooden chair for Lisa, his queen. His son and heir, Cornelius, also attends the council meeting, by his father's side. When a group of humans walk into the council meeting, having been invited by Caesar, the gorilla faction loudly protest and quickly announce they will not sit in council with humans, walking out in disgust. The council meeting continues in their absence.
A little later, with Caesar at the bedside of his dying son, Aldo convenes an impromptu meeting of the council to reveal that one of his gorilla sentries has spotted, and been injured by, the advancing mutant army. Standing on Caesar's rock he addresses even the humans who are present before ordering that all humans should be locked in the horse corral. Warned by MacDonald that Caesar will not allow this action, Aldo defiantly sits on Caesar's throne and announces "Caesar...is not here".
An earlier draft script for Battle included details of a much smaller and more organised council governing the apes: Caesar, with MacDonald, goes to address the Council, consisting of three chimps led by the young, intellectual, idealistic Pan; three gorillas led by Aldo; and two orangutans led by Zeno who hold the balance of power between the other two factions. A conversation ensues where MacDonald suggests humans should be entitled to a seat on the council; almost all the apes reject his proposal. A conspiracy between Zeno and Aldo ultimately leads to them killing Caesar and becoming joint rulers, Zeno becoming the first Lawgiver.
The High Council or Supreme Council of Ape Central CityEditThe council (also known as the Supreme Council of Elders) is first shown in the opening episode Escape from Tomorrow, where the captured astronauts are questioned about their origins. The council at this stage consists of three orangutans (including Proto and Zaius), two chimpanzees (including Grundig), and one gorilla, Urko, who is chief of security. Zaius is the chairman of the council, and the supreme leader of the apes, although Urko often hints that this office does not go unchallenged, and that a change of leadership can be arranged. Galen is also present, having acted as Zaius' representative during the capture of the astronauts.
Galen mentions in "The Tyrant" that his cousin, Augustus had been working for the council last he had heard, but he has since become a Prefect. This presumably, would have been around the time Galen left Central City. In The Interrogation, Galen's mother informs Galen that his father, Yalu has become a member of the council. By the time the council appear again on screen, in The Cure, there are five members, three orangutans, one chimp and one gorilla, with only Zaius and Urko identified although another member is given the title 'orangutan'. This council meets to discuss the outbreak of a disease in Trion, with their chief medical officer, Zoran, and his assistant, Inta, present. Later all five members travel to the outskirts of Trion to take direct control of the situation (at that point they believe the disease only kills humans).
The third and final appearance of the council is in the final episode, "Up Above the World So High". Here, only three orangutans (including Zaius and the 'council orang') and Urko are shown, though there may well be a chimp at the end of the table, off-screen. Again, there is a chimp advisor present - Carsia is familiar with ancient history and believes that apes were once able to fly, and could learn the secret again from the human Leuric, although she secretly plots to bomb the council and begin chimp domination of ape society.
On the basis of this evidence, it seems Zaius and Urko are the only constant members of the council, with certainly the chimp members, and possibly the orangutan members changing frequently. It may be that Zaius and Urko are able to manoever their own candidates onto the council in order to manipulate it's decisions - while the orangutans sometimes side with Urko, it's likely the chimpanzees would be opposed to a lot of both Zaius' and Urko's policies, and there may be a high turnover of chimp council members. On the other hand, Yalu is apparently an old friend of Zaius, and indeed shares a lot of his beliefs about humans, and it is that friendship that got Galen his appointment as Zaius' assistant. It seems strange that the council that controls a vast part of North America (according to Urko's wall chart) consists of only five or six members though.
The Ape Senate or Simian Senate in Return to the Planet of the Apes is the most sophisticated and elaborate of all the assemblies. Like other aspects of the animated series, the Senate is roughly at the technological standards of 1970s humanity. This is the governing ape body (subordinate to the Supreme Council) and both Zaius and Urko are members. Debates are shown throughout the series on the most pressing issues of the moment, including the attack of the 'Monster Bird' and the supposed invasion of the Underdwellers. When Urko is judged to have failed once too often, it is the Senate that suspends and replaces him with Colonel Rotok. At the conclusion of the series, Cornelius assures Bill Hudson that with their ancient human book they will be able to convince the Senate to rethink their attitude towards the human population.
The Ape High Council of Ape CityEdit
In UbiSoft/Fox Interactive’s 'Planet of the Apes' Game for PC, Ulysses entered the Ape High Council Chamber to demand Nova's release and to tell the council - made up of the leaders of the five Ape species - orangutan (Professor Zaius), gorilla (General Ursus), chimpanzee, mandrill (General Rakham) and baboon - about Ursus' treachery. On reading the evidence Ulysses had gathered about Ursus' secret plot, council president Zaius ordered the arrest of Ursus and, despite the protests of the other Council members, offered Ulysses the chance to go free if he never returned to the Ape City, to which Ulysses agreed. Zaius then revealed that allowing the human leader to run away would do more damage to the resistance than making him a martyr, and made reference to "those who voted for" the other councillors. A closing scene showed Ulysses and Nova gallop away on a horse, but then showed the massed forces of the resistance and the Akanites, under the leadership of Mathias, preparing to attack the Ape City.