Imagine trying to capture an icy block from Saturn's rings or drill on the disintegrating surface of a comet. This program reveals for the first time the danger and spectacle of what it would be like for astronauts to land... more » on and explore the other planets in the solar system. Their mission lasts for six years, extending the boundaries of what has been achieved in space travel to date. Combining the latest scientific thinking and the real-life experiences of astronauts with drama and spectacular CGI, Voyage to the Planets and Beyond propels us into the not-too-distant future. DVD Features:Featurette:50-minute Robot Pioneers feature examining the history of space exploration25 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes Other:Fact filesPhoto gallery:« less
Very impressive production. Have seen this one several times now. Accurate science on what would happen if a manned solar system round trip was taken. Defying Gravity was inspired by this BBC miniseries. Highly recommend!
Incredibly realistic space adventure!
J. Lundberg | 09/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's truly amazing what this film does. It's dramatic, it's intense, well acted, and incredibly realistic. This is what it really seems like visiting the planets in our solar system would be like. I was absolutely glued to the screen during this awesome space adventure. Once you reach the part where they have landed on Jupiter, you will be completely amazed at how real everything seems. This film just keeps sucking you in further and further. It starts off seeming like a documentary but ends up like a dramatic movie. I always wanted a true realistic outerspace movie to watch. "2001 Space Odyssey" was not it. That just lulled me to sleep. "Voyage to the Planets and Beyond" is an adventure that I look forward to experiencing again and again!
SPACE TRAVEL W/O The Schmaltz
W. T. Hoffman | Pennsylvania, United States | 07/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to admit, i am practically addicted to this film, but for a variety of reasons, not all of which have to do with the "drama" of the show. Let's start out, on the hard science that backs up the show. For what we know today, from Hubble, the planetary probes, and solar activity, most of what i see in the show, DOES address the reality of space travel. It's a very practical show, because it addresses our technological shortcomings, to REAL interplanetary space travel. Even tho Bush has tried to play this game, that mankind can go to Mars, we can not at the present stage, because of the VERY REASON so often stressed in this film. 1. NEED OF A VERY FAST PROPULSION SYSTEM. We cant make it with our present rockets. Only something like a FUSION Nuclear engine, could give us the boost, to get where we are going FAST. 2. NEED OF SOME KIND OF ARTIFICIAL GRAVITY. Again, they have this sort of "Carnival ride" that allows the living quarters and workout space, to spin, providing the centrifugal gravity of 0.5 G. The space ship itself is a mile long, so that allows things like the SPACE DEBRY shield, and the centrifugal gravity quarters, to operate within the boundries of science. 3. SOLAR ACTIVITY PROTECTION. Again, they have a special invention, that provides the astronauts with something like an artifically produced VAN ALLEN radiation belt, around the inner core of the ship. They even has a space suit like that, which i was totally taken away by, from the pure inventiveness. 4. GAS STATIONS FOR LONGER FLIGHTS Another problem solved, was done via sending out huge HYDROGEN fuel tanks, around Mars and elsewhere, for refueling. Other problems with the scientific limits of the human body were delt with, as well as the problems of the vulnerability of the human body, physically and mentally.
People have critized this movie, because at each planet/solar system encounter, some type of CRISIS happened. WEll, OK, you do need some kind of drama to drive the film. Human interactions between the crew, and the ground crew, are not enough. However, with both a well written musical score giving a dramatic UMPH, good script writing, and total REALITY of depliction, it's easy to buy into the idea, that what you are REALLY watching, isnt a film, but rather a series of TV news reports, mixed with documentary material. That makes the whole thing WORK, tho not in the way a film like "APOLLO 13", or "VOYAGE TO MARS" works. There are not extended "interpersonal" dramas, outside of the normal ones expected, with tragidy strikes. The special effects are SO INCREDIBLE, that they literally filmed part of this movie in ZERO GRAVITY, on one of those parabolic planes, the infamous "VOMIT COMETS", used to train astronauts for the experience of weightlessness. Imagine watching these actors move around in the weightless enviorment, WITHOUT computer animation. ITS SO COOL. Because the awe, and queasiness, and joy, of weightlessness comes across so well, when BBC could have easily done the cheap thing ,and just used wires and blue screens with computer work. Also the scenes on Venus and Mars are beautiful. The encounter with the sun, as a gravity swing shot, was magnificent, because all these REAL FILMS of the sun from the SOHO observatory were used. The same with the VENUSIAN radar mapping of the planet used for that part, and so on and so on. Maybe the only part that sort of made me wonder, was WHY they went to Pluto. ALso, I sort of wondered what was up with the comet encounter. (Not really nessacary, tho it was a great dramatic ending.) If you DO line up each encounter with danger, starting at VENUS, then MARS, then the SOLAR SLING SHOT, then the ASTEROID BELT, then JUPITER's IO, then SATURN's RING, then THE COMET, each encounter that caused danger, is more and more catastrophic, and dangerous, than the last one. Sure, something happens on VENUS, but then again, that's NOTHING compaired with what happens later. So, suspense, and danger, and most of all, ADVENTURE is kept alive. NO, nothing like ancient cultures are found, or talking marians. I mean, DO WE REALLY EXPECT THIS? Much of what we still want to believe about our solar system, is based on our deep wish to know, that LIFE happens all the time. maybe the best thing is that we find out, that its RARE, and should be protected and cherished on our planet. I dont want to give out spoilers, so i better stop here.
In conclusion, i borrowed this film from the library, and i have LITERALLY watched this thing at least 7 times thru. I never NEVER do that with films. But between the actual footage of the planets and the sun, mixed with the reality of the mission, the space ship, and the documentary style, i just love this movie. This is the REAL documentary about Mankind's conquest of our solar system, that i may never see in my lifetime. AND, if our world doesnt get it together, and spend its money on science art and education, instead of braindead entertainment, war machines and pharmeceutical company lobotomies that allow us to complacently accept this boring NON life as "adequet", then we may NEVER get to explore the heavens. More than anything, this is a film that gives us HOPE, in a world that DOES survive, and thru international cooperation, finds the cultural and scientific motivation, to make great stides forward. THis is truly the future i wish my descendants, and not Hell on earth chewing on soilent Green. So, buy this to instill a bit of hope for a good future for humanity. Right now, we sure need to believe in it."
A great hard science interplanetray journey
Rob Caswell | Haydenville, MA USA | 06/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I REALLY enjoyed this program. With a degree in astronomy and a focus on planetary studies, I've usually been disappointed by science fiction treatments of the subject. For the most part my disappointment was totally absent with regards to this work.
I think this production is best thought of as the grandchild of Disney's "Science Faction" shorts of the 50's, sans the head-on educational component. It's science fiction with the emphasis on the science side. The hardware design - particularly the main vessel, Pegasus - is very well done and synchs up well with current sensibilities on the subject. The zero-G shots are believable and were all done on the Russian counterpart of The Vomit Comet.
I will grant you that the events are a little more dramatized than I'd have liked. I found the documentary style of The Office to be a bit more acceptable as a documentary presentation. But again, I think it's best to think of this a SCIENCE fiction tale and with that perspective the nature of the drama was fine.
As to the earlier comment about the slights against manned exploration, I just don't buy it. In one instance a robotic probe does what a man was not able to, but in another a robotic probe completely fails. It's a stalemate, in my book. Yes, there are several mishaps in the mission, but consider this. First, the mission is six years long and covers contact with six planetary bodies. That's longer than any manned mission in history by a wide, wide, margin so there's planet of room for events to go believably awry. Second, none of the events are as dramatic as the real life Apollo 13, so you can argue that they've erred on the conservative side.
If you're a fan of hard science fiction and manned exploration, I think you'll really enjoy this. If it were possible to give it a 4.5 start rating, I would have. It's not a perfect work, but darn close. "
Voyage to the Planets and Beyond
Danny | Laval, Quebec Canada | 07/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this docudrama on Discovery a couple of weeks ago. I loved it. It's entertaining as well as informative. The special effects are quite good and the "film" is well made. It makes you think that the time when such a journey is possible is not that far. I liked so much that I ordered the DVD. It's on the same level as the Walking with ... series."
Finally, after a lifetime of class "M" planets...!
American Patriot | Gilbert, AZ United States | 06/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up with Star Trek, and as much as I love that show, this documentary/drama is a refreshing change. True, it may have had some sore points technically, but it gives a very good insight of just some of the aspects of what it would take to explore our very own solar system.
People think that just because we went to the moon so many times, it was almost routine; but nothing could be farther from the truth. There are those Apollo astronauts who admit to being glad to see the Apollo program coming to an end. They had wondered just how long our luck would hold out!
This show tells us a little of cutting ourselves off from the security of our world, the courage and dedication that such a grand endeavor calls for.
For years, we have been used to seeing humans exploring planets from interplanetary starliners like the Enterprise...but how many of us would take this journey on a relatively primitive ship like Pegasus? Always at the mercy of solar radiation, gravity, meteors, etc?"