Explores both the untainted beauty of space & the technological advancements that have enabled us to unlock its secrets. Experience first-hand the view from the hubble space telescope & witness seldom seen nasa archival fo... more »otage. This epic journey of cosmic discovery is an amazing adventure like nothing on earth. Studio: A&e Home Video Release Date: 12/16/2008 Run time: 400 minutes Rating: Nr« less
Genres:Documentary Sub-Genres:Docurama, Space Exploration Studio:NEW VIDEO GROUP Format:DVD - Color DVD Release Date: 05/02/2000 Original Release Date: 01/01/1999 Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1999 Release Year: 2000 Run Time: 6hr 40min Screens: Color Number of Discs: 4 SwapaDVD Credits: 4 Total Copies: 1 Members Wishing: 0 Edition: Box set MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated) Languages:English
"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 Amazon.co.uk"
Super70s.com | South Beach, OR United States | 05/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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 Amazon.co.uk. Space documentaries this good only come once in a generation. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and purchase it!"
Finest planetary voyage
JoH | Antwerp, Belgium | 11/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Recommended for those beginning to study astronomy.
Siva Balan | Singapore | 08/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Firstly, I wish to state that this series does NOT go in-depth into astronomy and the study of the cosmos. However, it gives the viewers a general idea on the birth of our solar system and a brief commentary on the future of space explorations, it does not go into the mathematical details of astronomy and the formation of our solar system. However, the visuals presented in this series is outstanding and inspiring.
8 different titles are being separated in 4 DVD discs. The narration is mediocre (but NOT awful) and I would recommend the readers to get the region 2 version of this series. The narration is much better than the US version and it is less expensive as well.
There is also a cameo appearance of Carl Sagan which elevates this series a bit. I would thus like to recommend "Cosmos: Carl Sagan (7 DVD Set)" by Sagan in addition to this series. "Cosmos" goes deeper into astronomy and our universe than "The Planets"."
Good Educational Junk Food
Critical Reasoner | Bay Area, ca USA | 07/10/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"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)."