Prepare to immerse yourself in an alien world as if you were standing there yourself. Giant ice fountains rising over 100km high; an ocean hidden beneath a frozen crust of ice; storms twice the size of Earth coloured blood red by a vortex of dust and gases; immense volcanoes that could rip a planet apart - this series reveals the true and awesome beauty of our solar system. Using the very latest breathtaking images sent directly from space, groundbreaking CGI transforms the static into the dramatic. Travelling from the Sun to the far-out reaches of Neptune, the series has at its heart the latest scientific knowledge beamed back from the fleet of probes, rovers and telescopes currently in space, and offers a vivid and unprecedented tour of the world beyond our planet.
The latest example of just how much a terrific documentary series can benefit from the Blu-ray format, Wonders Of The Solar System is a fascinating six-part series that simply looks stunning in high definition.
Presented by Professor Brian Cox, the series takes time to investigate the solar system around us, and the many natural beauties contained within it. Across the episodes, Cox covers the likes of planets themselves, the rings of Saturn, the question of whether we’re alone in the universe, and the sun itself.
What lifts Wonders Of The Solar System above the many shows that have tackled the subject before, however, are two factors. Firstly, it’s Cox himself, an enthused and interesting host, who explains things well and really helps make accessible the material. Secondly, it’s the utterly stunning visuals. The BBC has mixed in CGI along with images sent directly from space to quite breathtaking effect.
And this, inevitably, is where the Blu-ray kicks in. Wonders Of The Solar System simply looks wonderful in high definition, with the visuals coming across terrifically well. On DVD, this all looked very impressive. Here, it’s simply brilliant, and the end result is a series that can sit alongside Planet Earth as an example of just what Blu-ray can do for material of this quality and ilk. --Jon Foster
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