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The Planets on BBC Earth

Space and 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landings.

Welcome to the greatest story that’s never been told. In a new, ground breaking series Professor Brian Cox is back to tell the story of the planets as never before. The Planets will bring these worlds vividly to life with Academy Award winning VFX Company Lola Post. This never seen before translation of our solar system, can be seen on BBC Earth, DStv channel 194, From Sunday 23rd June at 18:00.

This is drama on a planetary scale, with characters and plot twists newly revealed. We’ll meet the tragic Mars – once a vibrant water world yet destined by a twist of fate to become the barren, cold desert world we see today. Or the tyrannical Jupiter, which the latest science suggests, wandered through the early solar system using its massive size to create havoc and destruction that could have destroyed the Earth. All the way out to lonely, mysterious Neptune, the last major planet in the cold remote reaches of the solar system. But that is far from the end, because all the evidence points to the fact that we do not know our planets as well as we thought we did. This is an epic story that is still being written and has only just begun.


Episode 1: MARS – A Traveller’s Guide; Sunday 30th June at 19:00.

We now have the most detailed surveys of the Red Planet ever created. Using jaw-dropping imagery from orbit and on the surface, this insightful documentary creates the definitive traveller’s guide to Mars. It reveals our nearest neighbour, not as a dead planet, but as a world of constant change and astonishing variety. Up close, monumental graphic sequences show the wonders of Mars as never before. Showcasing the marvels of a remarkable planet, this is the most comprehensive tour of Mars you can take.


Episode 2: Jupiter Revealed; Sunday 23rd June at 19:00.

Jupiter is a behemoth of a planet. All our solar system’s planets, asteroids and comets would fit inside it. But we’ve known surprisingly little else about our greatest gas giant, until now. Five years after its launch, NASA’s spacecraft Juno has entered Jupiter’s orbit and is making remarkable discoveries. This film follows Juno’s mission and finally uncovers some of the planet’s hidden secrets.


Episode 3: Goodbye Cassini – Hello Saturn; Sunday 7th July at 19:00.

On 15 September 2017, the Cassini spacecraft ended its remarkable 13-year tour of Saturn by plunging into the gas giant’s atmosphere and burning up. Goodbye Cassini – Hello Saturn follows the team behind Nasa’s most successful spacecraft as they prepare for its dramatic descent. Take an incredible journey past Saturn’s rings and the small moons orbiting within them. This is the first view from inside the rings, and the closest ever look at Saturn’s swirling cloud tops. It’s also the first accurate measurement of Saturn’s magnetic field, which promises to unlock more mysteries – not just about Saturn, but the entire solar system.


Episode 4: 8 Days to the Moon and Back; Saturday 20th July at 18:00.

8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes, 35 seconds. That’s the total duration of the Apollo 11 moon mission. But we only saw a fraction of what happened. Using cutting-edge special effects and previously classified cockpit audio, 8 Days recreates the crucial scenes that were never filmed. The first sight of the moon. The dramatic touchdown. The nail-biting journey home. Original archive footage is seamlessly blended with newly shot film to create a new view of history. This is the untold story of the most important space mission ever flown. And it’s a giant leap for documentary storytelling.


Episode 5: Stargazing: Live; Saturday 20th July at 20:00.

In this live primetime television event, each episode is themed and reveals the secrets of space. Combining revelatory VTs and live material from telescopes, it brings the wonders of the night sky into the nation’s living rooms. Presented by a leading scientist Professor Brian Cox, Stargazing: Live has a mix of expertise and amateur enthusiasm. Packed with amazing sights and incredible facts, Stargazing Live brings you the very latest science of our universe.


Episode 6: Moon Landing: Live (Double Bill); Saturday 21st July at 19:00.

July 1969. America made history and sent the first humans to the moon. Two immersive documentaries retell this extraordinary moment in history and allow viewers to experience the moon landing, live in their living rooms. The first part relives the drama of the launch, while the second part focuses on the nail-biting landing. Moon Landing also reveals how close the mission came to failing: Neil Armstrong was forced to take over manual control, and landed with just 30 seconds of fuel to spare. NASA footage and international broadcasts from the time bring history bursting back into life. Step back in time, and witness the most famous leap forward for mankind.


About Louw Mulder

Editor At Stage and Screen

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