The Planets (2019 TV series)

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The Planets
The Planets 2019 titlescreen.png
Directed by
  • Stephen Cooter
  • Martin Johnson
Presented byBrian Cox (UK version)
Narrated byZachary Quinto (U.S. version)
Opening theme"The Void" by Muse
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes5
Executive producerAndrew Cohen
ProducerGideon Bradshaw
EditorLouise Salkow
Production companies
Original network
Picture format16:9 HD
Original release29 May (2019-05-29) –
25 June 2019 (2019-06-25)
Related shows
External links

The Planets is a 2019 BBC/PBS television documentary series about the Solar System presented by Professor Brian Cox[2] in the UK version and Zachary Quinto in the US version.[3]

First broadcast on BBC Two beginning Tuesday 28 May 2019, the five-episode series looks at each planet in detail, examining scientific theories and hypotheses about the formation and evolution of the Solar System gained by unmanned missions to the planets.[2] Originally released in the UK, it was changed to cater more to the American audience watching on PBS's series Nova.

Cox presents segments to camera from various locations around the world alongside extensive computer-generated imagery and footage from space missions. The series was created as a partnership between BBC Studios and the Open University.[4]


No.Title [5]US title [6]Directed by [5]Original air date [7]UK viewers
(millions) [8]
1"A Moment in the Sun – The Terrestrial Planets"Inner WorldsMartin Johnson28 May 2019 (2019-05-28)3.24
Examining the rocky planets at the centre of the Solar System, Professor Cox examines new evidence about the violent creation of Mercury and the hostile atmosphere of Venus, contrasting them with the life-giving planet Earth and the barren Mars.[9][10]
2"The Two Sisters – Earth & Mars"MarsStephen Cooter4 June 2019 (2019-06-04)3.25
Professor Cox contrasts the two rocky planets in the habitable zone, looking at how Mars lost its water and atmosphere, in stark contrast to the life-giving oasis of Earth.[11][10]
3"The Godfather – Jupiter"JupiterStephen Cooter11 June 2019 (2019-06-11)3.03
Looking at the gas giant Jupiter, the largest and oldest planet in the solar system, Professor Cox discusses how it shaped its part of the solar system, including its huge gravitational influence and its effect on the Asteroid Belt and its largest object Ceres.[10][12]
4"Life Beyond the Sun – Saturn"SaturnNic Stacey18 June 2019 (2019-06-18)2.39
Cox looks at the gas giant Saturn, with its distinctive rings and a plethora of moons, examining the new evidence discovered by the NASA Cassini–Huygens mission.[10]
5"Into the Darkness – Ice Worlds"Ice WorldsMartin Johnson25 June 2019 (2019-06-25)2.30
Uranus, Neptune and the new discoveries being made by the NASA New Horizons probe to reveal more about the mysterious dwarf planet Pluto and the Kuiper belt.[10]


A 288-page hardback book written by Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen was released on 23 May 2019. by Harper Collins (ISBN 978-0007488841). The book was also released for ebook readers as well as an audiobook[13] on the same day.


  1. ^ "Watch "The Planets" on NOVA 24 July − 14 August". American Astronomical Society. 21 July 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b "The Planets". BBC Programmes. 28 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Tour the Solar System with Zachary Quinto on PBS' Nova Series".
  4. ^ "The Planets". Open University OpenLearn. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  5. ^ a b "BBC Two - The Planets - Episode guide". BBC. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  6. ^ "The Planets". PBS page. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  7. ^ "The Planets - Next on - BBC Two". BBC. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Four Screen Dashboard". BARB. See relevant channel and week(s). Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  9. ^ "A Moment in the Sun - The Terrestrial Planets". BBC Programme page. 28 May 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d e "The Planets - Episode guide". Open University OpenLearn. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  11. ^ "The Two Sisters - Earth & Mars". BBC Programme page. 4 June 2019.
  12. ^ "The Godfather: Jupiter". BBC Programme page. 11 June 2019.
  13. ^ "The Planets Audible Audiobook". Amazon. Retrieved 13 June 2019.

External links[edit]