The dynamic meeting of solid science and futuristic simulation culminates in a dramatic exploration to another inhabited planet seven light years away. Alien Planet creates a realistic depiction of creatures on another world, where life is possible, if not provable, according to scientists' theories. Take this fascinating journey created by state-of-the-art animation and photo-realistic affects, leading NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory experts and, of course, imagination.
"A spacecraft from another solar system invades the night sky. But this is not our sky, and we are the invaders. The search for alien life has begun." So begins Alien Planet, a Discovery Channel production that combines cutting-edge computer animation and video technology, interspersed with interviews of top scientists and filmmakers (Stephen Hawking and George Lucas, among others), to examine what life might really be like on another planet. Darwin IV, the subject of this interstellar journey, is home to a wild variety of dinosaur-like creatures, bizarre beasts, and exotic vegetation of every kind. The idea is human beings have sent an unmanned spacecraft, packed with computer-driven droids--something right out of Star Wars--to a planet 6.5 light years away. We follow along as the probes explore the planet and encounter aliens and situations of every kind, as the scientists weigh in on what they think we might really find there, and why. Its all motivated and informed by real missions being undertaken today. While its all speculative, the story itself is still fascinating and events unfold according to the laws of physics, just as they would here on earth. The viewer experiences Darwin IV through the eyes of the probes; the spectacular computer animation offers stunning recreations of their explorations, and the creatures the writers have come up with are highly imaginative. The scientists insights add to the experience by explaining the thinking behind the moments in the story, and by being appropriately relatable (one contributor compares sending the unmanned probes to the planet to watching your child at a spelling bee, hoping they make the right choice). While its obvious that Alien Planet is a great show for students and educators, its appeal is far wider,this is a highly entertaining program that should feed the imagination of anyone whos ever wondered about life on other planets.