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The Planets 1 Season 1999

Season 1
(157) IMDb 7.8/10

1. Different Worlds TV-G CC

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.

Boris Chertok, Charles Conrad
50 minutes
Original air date:
April 29, 1999

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Season 1

Product Details

Genres Documentary
Starring Boris Chertok, Charles Conrad
Supporting actors Imre Friedmann, Mark Halliley, Nikita Khrushchev, Sergei Khrushchev, Sergei P. Korolev, Robert B. Leighton, David Levy, Bruce Murray, Yuri Silaev, Wernher von Braun, George Wetherill
Season year 1999
Network BBC Earth
Producers Gina Kocjancic, John Lynch, David McNab
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 94 people found the following review helpful By on May 18, 2000
Format: DVD
Absolutely first rate! I have been waiting for someone to take all the latest theories and images from space and put them together with the latest computer graphics and interviews with scientists and that is exactly what has been done here. Have you wondered what the formation of planets in the solar system looked like? It is shown here in all the spectacle of a Hollywood Sci-Fi movie. Same for other astronomical events (worlds colliding, stars exploding). The computerized movies of Jupiter's storms are stunning! I would watch a documentary on ANY subject that was put together this successfully.
I fear some people may confuse this title with another space video narrated by Patrick Stewart called "The Planets." That is little more than a music video for Holst's work and is disappointing to anyone hoping for a space documentary.
I was greatly saddened to learn of Carl Sagan's passing in late '96. I had always wished that he would do another series like Cosmos. This series is not Cosmos but it comes closer than anything I have seen since 1980.
I only have two complaints. One is that there is very little bonus material on the DVDs. But given how stunning these documentaries look on my 15-year-old TV, this is not much of an issue for me. Secondly, the narrater could have been a bit more enthusiastic about the material. (Perhaps I am spoiled by Carl Sagan's enthusiastic Cosmos.) I see that this was a BBC production and that the US version uses a different narrator. I have to believe the BBC narrator is better and if I were buying these discs again, I'd buy the region 2 discs from
Space documentaries this good only come once in a generation. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and purchase it!
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112 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Billiam Woddington on March 13, 2001
Format: DVD
I just want to point out to possible purchasers of this DVD some of the differences between the region 1 and 2 versions - it seems most people already know what a great tv series it was anyway.
Having seen an episode or two of the series when it was on tv in the UK I bought this DVD - however I was disappointed by several aspects and sent it back, replacing it with the UK version. The episodes seem to be different from the UK version - much of the segments describing early space exploration involving russian scientists is cut. This leads to an imbalance (in my opinion!) as it seems from the region 1 DVD that the US did all the exploring - are subtitles un-American? The narration is also much less patronising on the UK edition. The region 2 set is dual layer, so 2 discs and not 4 and hence much cheaper too....
The series itself is still worth the 5 stars though, but do get the region 2 set from the UK
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By JoH on November 9, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Welcome to the best documentary series ever. Yes, BETTER than Dinosaurs (which depended largely on sensational computer visuals)! Whether you have only a passing interest in astronomy or have read a hundred books about it, this series will steal your heart. Every single aspect is flawless. The musical grandeur of Gustav Holst's symphony and the warm, captivating voice of the British narrator make up the aurals. No artificial excitement, no badly chosen music, PERFECT. The visuals include stylish computer animations and footage that makes you wonder how deep they actually had to dig... The first footage of a human being outside the atmosphere (jumping out of a balloon), the first on-board rocket footage, the earth as a blue dot captured by an ageing Voyager looking back at its birthplace. The content isn't exactly dumbed down, either. Even for an amateur like me, there were plenty of new things to discover. It contains many interviews with astronauts, Russian and American space-project leaders, the finest available planetary geologists, exo-biologists and trendsetting astronomers. Providing not only information, but also a true sense of passion and childlike wonder. Hear how an American airforce officer tries to describe his silent jump through the outher layers of our atmosphere, falling back into "known territory". How Gene Cernan had the almost transcendental experience of covering all of human history (earth) with his thumb. How a NASA scientist was the first to see the other side of Saturn via a Voyager picture... If this series doesn't get you excited, you must be dead.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Critical Reasoner on July 10, 2002
Format: DVD
I enjoyed this series admittedly, and will watch it many times in the future, as I am a junkie for all things related to the science of astronomy. I would have given it 3 1/2 stars if it was possible.

It is however not the most informative, nor the most comprehensive such attempt on the subject. The Narrator used for the American addition (Karen Stone) is wholly innapropriate and to my ear, a distraction to the show's content. She seems to be reading everything for the first time and with no true concept of what it is she is saying. I get the feeling the British version would carry a far more intellectual tone and this I regret being shorted.

There is nowhere near the scientific information relayed as compared to a show the caliber of Cosmos for instance, or even in any given Nova installment. There are definately holes in the story. Also, there is a pattern of content repetition between the episodes to the point that my wife on several occassions didn't believe that we had not already seen the epidode currently being watched, despite my insistence that we had not.

So, what is good about this series? It is, notwithstanding what I have said thus far, both beautiful to look at and enchanting to sit through. I consider this series (which I own on DVD) a fine edition to my collection. It simply fills the niche of mental candy as opposed to the niche of a full meal. This is amplified by the fact that there is no sequence required, rather you just pop in any episode and it stands on its own as a visual snack.

It is certainly light years ahead of the garbage most Americans are able to call entertainment, it is however done with an eye to the modern taste for flash and sound bite sized doses of information. This is a bowl of easy to eat mental candy for the thinking person not wanting to think TOO deeply. I recommend it (Though you might wish to check for the British edition).
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