The Planets

Watch The Planets

  • 1999
  • 1 Season
  • 8.4  (1,526)

The Planets is a stunning and visually captivating documentary series produced by the BBC and released in 1999. Written and presented by the renowned British astronomer, Sir Patrick Moore, the series takes viewers on a tour of our solar system's eight planets, providing a detailed look at each planet's unique features and history.

The show features eight episodes, each focused on a specific planet in our solar system. The first episode begins with an overview of the solar system and a brief history of its discovery. The next episodes are dedicated to specific planets, with each episode focusing on the planet's history, structure, surface features, and atmosphere, as well as the missions launched by various countries to explore the planet.

Sir Patrick Moore, who passed away in 2012, serves as the show's knowledgeable guide, providing valuable insights and explanations of the complex science behind each planet. He is known for being an expert in astronomy and an excellent communicator, which makes the show both informative and entertaining, even for those without a background in science.

One of the strengths of The Planets is its sheer beauty. The documentary series is expertly shot, with stunning visuals that highlight the unique characteristics of each planet. The show also makes use of advanced computer-generated imagery, making it one of the most visually striking documentaries of its time.

Another strength lies in the show's ability to contextualize each planet's unique quirks and features. For example, the episode on Mars explains the planet's similarities to Earth, as well as the reasons for its distinctive reddish-hued landscape. The episode on Saturn showcases its massive rings and explains how they formed, providing viewers with a rare opportunity to learn about the mysteries of the universe.

One of the most memorable episodes is on Jupiter, which includes stunning footage of the planet's swirling clouds and massive storms, including the famous Great Red Spot. The episode also touches on Jupiter's 63 known moons, showcasing their unique features and the challenges of exploring these moons.

Throughout the series, The Planets explores the complex relationships between Earth and the other planets in our solar system. For instance, the episode on Venus discusses the planet's extreme temperatures, highlighting how Earth's atmosphere has helped to stabilize our planet's climate and make it habitable for life. This contextualization helps viewers better appreciate the interconnectedness of our solar system and how important each planet is in forming a comprehensive understanding of our universe.

In addition to its visually stunning footage and expert presentation, The Planets also includes interviews with some of the leading scientists and academics of the time. These experts provide additional insights and information on the science behind each planet and its discoveries. This inclusion of scientific experts adds an additional layer of credibility to the show's presentation of complex scientific concepts and theories.

In sum, The Planets is a visually captivating and informative documentary series on our solar system that allows viewers to explore the mysteries of our universe. With its stunning imagery and expert presentation, it remains an essential watch for anyone interested in science and space exploration.

The Planets is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (8 episodes). The series first aired on April 29, 1999.

The Planets
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8. Destiny
June 17, 1999
What will happen to the solar system be like in several billion years? Destiny explores the distant future of the solar system with specific predictions of how the sun will determine the fate of the planets.
Life Beyond the Sun
7. Life Beyond the Sun
June 10, 1999
Need a space vacation? Life Beyond the Sun reveals the hypothetical locations in space where man could survive if we ever needed to leave Earth.
6. Atmosphere
June 3, 1999
Earth's atmosphere is responsible for supporting life on our planet, and in this installment we compare Earth's atmosphere with that of other planets in the solar system. We take a look at the weather patterns of other planets, and by comparison discover Earth's secrets of life support. Learn about the Greenhouse effect and "red" planets, as well.
5. Star
May 27, 1999
In Star, the series shifts focus to the center of our solar system to take a close look at the sun and its relation to the other stars in the galaxy. Besides providing light for our planet, the sun is responsible for some incredible phenomenon. We see eclipses and northern lights, and study the effects of the sun alongside theories about the historical worship of the sun by ancient cultures.
4. Moon
May 20, 1999
Moon chronicles the Cold War era space race, from sputnik and Apollo to the historical moon landing. It also explores the dark side of the moon and compares Earth's moons to those of other planets in the solar system.
3. Giants
May 13, 1999
Giants delves into the history of space exploration. This episode investigates the discovery of techniques used to study distant planets and examines NASA's study of Saturn and Neptune.
Terra Firma
2. Terra Firma
May 6, 1999
The second installment features the intriguing geological surfaces of Earth's neighbors: Jupiter, Jupiter's moon Europa, Mars, and Venus.
Different Worlds
1. Different Worlds
April 29, 1999
This first episode takes us back to the origin of our solar system, tracing the creation of the sun, the planets, and the surfaces of each.
Where to Watch The Planets
The Planets is available for streaming on the BBC Earth website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Planets on demand at Amazon, Vudu and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    April 29, 1999
  • IMDB Rating
    8.4  (1,526)