The Planets
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The Planets

1999, Science  -   29 Comments
Ratings: 5.38/10 from 24 users.

The PlanetsEmploying computer graphics, space race archive material and first-hand testimony from scientists around the world, The Planets is comprehensive and spectacular account of space exploration and discovery.

This series is a historical production about the history of space travel including both Russian and American perspectives.

It focuses each episode on a topic like the sun, atmosphere, giants, moon etc... The film footage on both country's programs reaches from the Sun to Neptune and the moons in between.

  1. Different Worlds: A look at space travel and the latest planetary explorations.
  2. Terra Firma: The story of the pioneering missions to our neighboring worlds.
  3. Giants: Uncovers the secrets surrounding the massive planets in our Solar System.
  4. Moon: The answer to one of the greatest mysteries of our Solar System - why does Earth have a moon?
  5. Star: The latest scientific advances bring us a new perspective on the Sun.
  6. Atmosphere: A fantastic voyage through the skies of the Solar System.
  7. Life: A look at the very latest robotic explorations of other planets.
  8. Destiny: How are the planets going to evolve over the next four billion years?

More great documentaries

29 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Keith

    Richard, I was hoping you could help me out. My recollection of this series from 1999 was narrated by an American voice similar to Mike Rowe. I was hoping you might be familiar with that narrator and his name.

    I find this series one of the best not because of its content so much but because it’s a time capsule freezing what limited knowledge we had at that time. Like Cosmos if we don’t keep these original our newer generation looses the chance to experience what we thought to be cutting edge information.

  2. Petar Vitanovich

    props for Serbian subs

  3. TheJurg71

    "Religious nonsense" has nothing to do with the creation of the planets. In the first video, you heard a guy say that planets were formed from very fine dust... hmmm... what about the vast expanse (est. 70%) WATER! Aye, "intelligensia" make me sick with their arrogance!

    1. Pierre Roussel

      When they refer to the planet being made of very fine dust, they really mean small dust-like bits made of various particles. Also, while the surface of the earth is around 70% water, the surface is a very small part of the earth.

      "Scientists calculate that the mass of the oceans on Earth is 1.35 x 1018 metric tonnes, which is 1/4400 the total mass of the Earth. In other words, the oceans are 0.02% of the total mass of the Earth."

    2. Krista Kottonnip Anderson

      First of all, everything on the planet shares the same origin, water, rocks, oil etc. Second of all, you, random internet commenter think you know more about the origins of the universe than scientists who spend their lives studiyng it? Now who's arrogant? lol

    3. oklima

      I can't believe how thick you are - go back to reading your bible fairytales

  4. oilchng

    Thanks for expanding our knowledge. I have enjoyed watching nearly all of the science section. I have also liked reading comments from the more intelligent viewers.Your contribution to mankind is truly noteworthy.

  5. lex lexich

    the best!

    1. englishgirlinjapan

      Thanks Vlatko!
      Wonderful and so educational. This should replace the religious nonsense in American schooling.

  6. Neal Boyd

    Love this series so much... no telling how many times I've rewatched or at least had 'em playing in the background while working. Classic... I'm especially keen on our GIANT planetary neighbors.

    Thanks again Vlatko!

  7. Jack1952

    Dated but still a great documentary. I have been alternating episodes with the doc on WW1. Getting smarter by the minute (or well informed). Thanks for posting them both.

  8. farhan arain

    things gona so easy day by day...
    lets watch future what would come in the path

  9. Richard Troiano

    The Planets (produced by BBC) It is nothing but straight up FACTS but presented in a way that I find to be interesting. No extra speculative bullshit.
    BTW I think this is a perfect example of how documentaries created for american audiences ( A Travelers Guide to the Planets, The Universe) are devoid of real information. IMHO, both A Travelers Guide and The Universe are TOTAL CRAP. The information is presented is watered down and sensationalized to make it seem 'more interesting'. This series however, does not once mention "You could on to try and make the viewer not change the channel. I think part of the reason why there is such a lack of interest in science in America these days is the fact that real scientific advances are never mentioned, except for when something goes wrong. I rarely find fellow Americans that are aware that we currently have spacecraft orbiting Saturn (Cassini), another spacecraft en route to Pluto (New Horizons), Jupiter (Juno), another rover en route to Mars (Mars Science Laboratory), another satellite that has literally found THOUSANDS OF NEW PLANETS AROUND OTHER STARS (Kepler).. Why are these things NOT FRONT PAGE NEWS (at least in America)? Instead, we have worthless, mindless dribble like the Jersey Shore and X-Factor being exported as shining examples of our culture instead of our ability to explore space and create new technology. I am getting wayyyyyy off topic now, so I will stop.

    1. Richard Troiano

      kind of a strange bug I seem to have found. It interpeted my use of double quotes as XML tags..

    2. Space_Cadet_1952

      I totally agree with the above. Television started off being touted as a wonderful new way of being informed and informally educated in the 1950's.

      Now real information has to compete with celebrity junk (90% of broadcasting). Media Studies seems to be about lowering the bar to see how far they can limbo underneath common decency.

      We have become by stealth the Orwellian 'Nineteen Eighty Four' generation which watches wall sized television screens, watching (and manipulating) us, written about prophetically in 1949.

      When you go to pay for your fuel why is there 60 feet of shelf space selling you sugar loaded chocolate junk and alcohol? The retailer is hoping we momentarily forget why we came there... I watch so many 'children' falling for it, like the tale of Hansel and Gretel.

      The latest dumbing down is You Tube with '18' and porn video links to compete with Dailymotion’s popular uncensored sleaze.

      Standards have lowered so much we now have our knickers round our ankles. Why make pretence of having any standards? Let’s all just go ‘commando’ and be done with it!

      Two days ago I was served in a UK Brighton Post Office shop by a young, seemingly intelligent looking boy wearing the waistband of his trousers down around his crotch, with the crotch at his knees. He looked as though he had been caught short coming out of a toilet.

      'Cool' progress or just plain gross?

      I offered him my belt and got a dirty look. Other shop assistants have freak-show faces with metal protrusions like a barbed wire fence or face tattoos like Maoris. Can't wait till they become a parent..! “Look at me, please, I have no personality” generation.

      Society now celebrates extremes of looks and behaviour but most of it is not edifying to the human spirit, nor, I submit, looks intelligent. This seems to be mainstream television’s target audience.

      Thank you, Vlatko for offering us a viable alternative. “Live long and prosper”.

    3. Jack1952

      @ Space_Cadet_1952

      Lol. "caught short". Who would have believed that plumber's butt would become stylish. My neighbor in the early seventies is finally fashionable.

    4. Jack1952

      @ Richard Troiano

      People haven't changed that much over the years. In the past the books printed came in a wide range, from great literature to comic books. A person's intelligence level was gaged by what he read. The same can be said about television viewer-ship.

      A lot of people find modern science too hard to understand. If one doesn't understand something it is easier for that person to claim it is irrelevant or foolish, then it is to admit that it is too difficult to comprehend. Many will resort to mocking those who do take an interest in science. Others will claim that scientists are making things up to procure large research grants. I have heard many people claim that the human genome project was a lot of nonsense, to name an example.

      A lot of those that I have met who take an interest in the higher arts, science and history, do not watch a lot of television. Producers pander to the viewers...the ones who do not understand the idea of enriching the mind. We are left with the impression that all people are a bunch of mindless simpletons when this may not be true. Those who want to learn will and those who don't won't. That is the way it has always been.

    5. Richard Troiano

      I have to agree with the last statement. Those who want to learn will and those who don't won't. Why not raise the bar for those who do want the information and just forget about the people who are content with watching scripted 'reality' soft-porn? I think the mindless simpletons out there just end up getting noticed a lot more than your average person who would find this stuff to be interesting if it were presented in the right way. For example, have you ever watched BBC - Planet Earth, narrated by David Attenborough (the British version)? The first time I saw this series (UK version), I was glued to my TV set for hours, hanging on every little bit of information as well as being blown away by the visuals. I went to show a friend of mine the series when it came on Discovery Channel, and was horrified to find that not only was the documentary no longer narrated by David Attenborough, but most of the really interesting information was missing as well. I remember one scene in the Oceans episode where instead of learning some new bit of information that I found interesting, I was treated to long pauses with random "look at the pretty whale" comments from Sigourney Weaver! Think of all the work it took to edit eleven, one hour long episodes, cut any parts where Sir David Attenborough is shown or is speaking, have Sigourney Weaver re-record narration with most of the interesting information removed!?!?!?!?!? WHY!?!??! Are the majority of people going to hear a British voice and instantly decide "this is not for me".. To top it all off, the Discovery Channel goes ahead and does the same thing for the Life DVD release for US audiences - but with Oprah Winfrey! Give me a break! She talks to the viewers as if they are children looking up from the floor of a kindergarten about to take an afternoon nap! WAKE UP PEOPLE! YOU ARE NOT IN KINDERGARTEN! Sorry.... Stuff like this really makes me angry.

    6. JustMe___1

      You are right. However, I wouldn't say that series like Traveler's guide to the planets or the Universe are that bad. Yeah, they are WAY too sensationalist and simplified only in order to keep the common (let's say "non-geek") audience watching. Still, it has some pretty good sides. First, making it simple and fun will bring at least SOME of them a bit closer to science. It may turn them away from thinking that science is all about boring formulas they had to study at science classes. Also, they are a much better way of spending spare time than most 'general' shows. Of course, there are many better stuff to watch and read, but they are good to fill it up in some, say, fun way. When I have free time, I will rather watch some of these series than some soap opera or capricious richy teen sh#t (e.g. Gossip Girl) or "star" ego-boosting shows or reality shows. I am happy whenever I see something like the Universe om a general channel... and I think that over here (on the Balkans) general channels suck even more than they do in America.

    7. Herbie Vahreeks

      Don't knock the shows too hard. At their core, they are intended to ignite the imagination and get people thinking and I think they are effective in accomplishing that... Then again, I could sit through 42 minutes of Morgan Freeman reading the backs of feminine hygiene products.

  10. Sieben Stern

    Loved it! Why can't we go to space :C

    1. Yavanna

      google "space exploring the galaxy christians" top link

    2. Iain Nicoll

      Nice link! I think extrapolation is a dangerous tool but one cannot ignore the Vatican's influence on science

    3. Sieben Stern

      how depressing - religion is so worthless! :c i hope tomorrow's lecture at the cal academy about black holes will cheer me up!

    4. OccultAlien

      religion is kinda like a black hole. that should cheer you up a bit.

    5. Sieben Stern

      and hawkings radiation evaporates black holes ^^ it just takes time! eventually.... eventually :3

  11. Richard Troiano

    One of the best space documentaries ever made. It is a bit dated and in many places will say things like "when the Cassini probe launches to Saturn" which has already happened. Regardless, the information is presented in a very understandable and interesting way. This doc is one of the things that originally got me interested in astronomy. I now volunteer at a observatory in Northern California.

  12. Iain Nicoll

    Thanks Vlatko. Haven't watched yet but I'm sure I will get weeks worth of entertainment from these!

  13. Enigma

    always a great topic for a doc.