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399 of 412 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your license fee money put to very good use
This is a rare example of a specialist topic given a mass appeal by the engaging voice accent and manner of Professor Brian Cox who manages to explain the Solar system as a natural phenomenon with numerous simple examples

It has some stunning computer generated graphics combined with real images and pictures

Traveling to many location over the planet...
Published on 29 Mar. 2010 by A customer

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's all about Cox
BBC documentaries from a decade or two ago used to be packed so tightly with information, one would have to watch them twice to take it all in. This is nothing like that; it is just Brian Cox rambling on in an almost patronising way.

The most irritating aspect of this DVD was how much of the time was taken with Cox on screen. Shots of him drinking coffee,...
Published on 22 Jun. 2011 by A. D. Jones


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning and Informative, 11 Nov. 2010
By 
Amazon Customer - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonders of the Solar System [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Professor Brian Cox's style of presentation throughout the five episodes contained on this box-set was both informative and enthusiastic, bringing to life (in stunning detail) a subject matter that can be dry if not handled well.

No expense seems to have been spared in a budget that allowed the professor to fly to the upper reaches of the atmosphere, submerge deep under the ocean and travel to far flung areas on Earth to share observations about hostile environments found elsewhere in the solar system.

I have been fascinated by astronomy from early childhood when my Dad would point a telescope into the day and night sky pointing out the many wonders. We both felt that this series was amongst the best we have ever seen on the subject (and that is praise indeed coming from my Dad). This is a simply stunningly informative voyage around the solar system presented by an individual that is able to pass on knowledge of the subject with ease and enthusiasm.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal New Series For The BBC, 23 April 2010
By 
D. Reynolds (Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonders of the Solar System [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I'd not watched Wonders of the Solar System, or actually heard about it really until I saw Brian Cox on Jonathan Ross, in which he was hilarious whilst being a highly entertaining personality. This prompted me to watch the series via iPlayer and I was pleasantly surprised. Being someone that hated physics and the sciences during school with a passion, I wasn't sure if this was for me, but i've found the show extremely entertaining whilst being educational with Professor Brian Cox being one of the most likeable presenters on television. I've now bought the entire series for my blu ray player which is even more incredible with the high definition quality.

One of the main, most noticeable things about the series, is how well the BBC have put the budget to good, effective use. The amount of panoramic and cinematic shots are incredible and they are simply breathtaking with the BD 1080i quality. On top of this, the use of graphics and effects as Cox describes the facts and theories are highly interesting and really keep you captivated. Each one of the five episodes is just under an hour long, but it really doesn't feel like it. There's a good balance of recent, relevant footage, explanations with props by Cox as well as archive footage and photos from space probes etc that doesn't end up boring you, it only leaves you in awe. The way Cox is so likeable and enthusiastic makes the time fly. There are moments which emphasise this and his funny personality such as some of the comments he makes just after carrying out an experiment with regards to air, paper and a glass of water - look out for this and other moments of brilliance from him.

Before I watched one of episodes, I really didn't think I'd like it and i'd be bored. I really don't think I could have been more wrong. Sensational work by the BBC to bring an exciting educational documentary series to our screens. Don't think I could recommend this product anymore, especially on blu ray.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, and truly wonderful to watch, 9 April 2011
By 
shadowman_63 (Swindon, Wilts. UK) - See all my reviews
Excellent DVD really got me hooked on physics and Astronomy. Presented in such a way that anyone can understand and incredibly captivating. This DVD is all 5 episodes from the TV series (which aired last year, 2010) put onto 2 DVDs. Full of amazing facts and figures about our solar system and Earth, a real treat to sit through. I could have happily sat through many more hours of this. It's nice to see an English professor presenting it, and doing so very well, Professor Cox does an outstanding job of conveying all the information in an informative and interesting way. It's an amazing production, and nice to see that the BBC is still producing such good quality programmes.

Some very minor points, I did have to have the sound turned up quite high on my surround sound system to hear what he was saying. The music at times can be a little over powering, but it does not detract from the experience. For episode you still have to sit through all of the intro information, it would have been nice had they simply edited it and just gone straight into each episode, it feels like they just spliced all 5 episodes together and not done any editing for the sake of the DVD. Still all in all very minor points and they don't detract from the experience or quality of this DVD. Well worth watching and I would whole heartedly recommend this to anyone who enjoys thoughtful, evocative and very well produced documentaries.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Physics! It's Great!, 13 Dec. 2010
By 
Ian Mortimer "Mortimeister" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonders of the Solar System [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Brian Cox has a terminal case of contagious enthusiasm. He infected me a while ago and this adds to it. The image quality is superb. The content is quite simply fascinating and, to use a much abused word, the overall effect is awesome. I wish I'd worked harder at school now. Thank you Brian.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brian Cox Brilliance, 20 Aug. 2010
First off this is an amazing series which thoroughly inspired me into pursuing physics further. I was interested in space before I arrived at this programme but I couldn't have encountered a better series which would potentially fire this passion. Brian Cox is a master at engaging the viewer and his enthusiasm is entirely infectious. Each episode focuses on a different wonder of the solar system as Brian leads you on a journey through the cosmos, opening your eyes to everything that is out there to see. Brian makes physics appear delightfully simple, his love for the subject draws the viewer in and even complex concepts seem amazingly comprehendable, you really do hang on his every word.

Combining amazing film footage with jaw dropping CGI, "The Wonders of the Solar System" really does make the cosmos seem more like an adventure than a mystery, with Brian Cox acting as possibly the best tour guide imaginable!

I would recommend this series to anyone who is interested (however remotely) in physics, you cannot fail to be enthralled by this stunning series! Any questions are welcome, otherwise thankyou!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wonders in our solar system, imagine the rest of the universe!, 4 April 2010
BBC physics and astrophysics documentaries have been a bit hit and miss lately. The Horizon program in particular has had a disappointing dumbing down far below the belt of even the general masses which is who they were trying to appeal to. However in wonders of the solar system there is a definite return to form with material accessible to the scientist and general public in equal measure.

The premise is the understanding of the other bodies in the solar system, and how they are not so far away from phenomena on earth to which everyone can relate. Various film pieces are used to show this, real images are shown from our robotic arsenal such as the Cassini probe and the mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. These planetary bodies are then give the CGI treatment with fly by shots to help us gain a more visual perspective compared to the difficult to study real obtained images. Then Prof Cox shows us the same concept happening on earth, e.g. our volcanic lava pools compared to the molten materials on Venus.

The program's host has proved to be a very important thing in recent documentaries. In the `How long is a piece of string' Horizon program we were forced to watch Alan Davies spend an eternity wrestling with the most basic of fractions, something that 8 year olds can do, so why he got to host a program about quantum physics is perplexing. In this program thankfully we get the sincerely enthusiastic and educated host Prof Brian Cox who has gained some celebrity status from this series with an appearance on Jonathan Ross, and deservedly so. He takes the elegant theories of how features in our solar system have come to be and describes them with wonderfully simple analogies that everyone can appreciate. His enthusiasm is able to stir enthusiasm in the viewer, kids and adults alike and the show probably would not have worked so well without him, just how wild life documentaries work best with David Attenborough!

The highlight for me was learning about Saturn's rings, and how complicated orbital patterns of the moons have helped to give such a precise and beautiful set of rings. This is used as a microcosm model of the rest of the solar system to give us an idea of how the planets themselves may have collected together from the vast array of dust there once would have been. There are many significant educational points in this series though and hopefully everyone would find something that really appealed.

The show isn't perfect. What is billed as an hour long program could certainly have fit just as eloquently in a half hour program as there is plenty of repeated visualisations and re-summarisation, though this program is still much better in this regard compared to horizon and no doubt the repetition is a plus for some people even if my personal tastes are different.

When recommending this program I do so for one main reason, and that is to give people some perspective about what life on earth means. Our scale in just our solar system, let alone the universe, shows we are not the centrally important beings many of us think we are, there are far bigger wonders in just our solar neighbourhood. The existence of life, as illustrated in final program, is not such a long shot to believe and if this message is imprinted in at least a fraction of viewers I think the program was well worth the licence fee.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 17 Oct. 2010
Fantastic series, delivered with Prof Cox's infectious enthusiasm.

I am a science lover but not trained in physics, that was no issue here as the phenomena described are laid out with such clarity and simplicity. My knowledge of our solar system and some of the complexities and beauties inherent within it have increased considerably as a direct result of this informative, enjoyable and inspiring series.

In sum this is an excellent series I am a very pleased and proud owner of the wonders of the solar system.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT series, GREAT visuals!, 28 Oct. 2010
By 
Steven Edwards "burnside80" (Stratford-upon-Avon, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonders of the Solar System [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Prof. Brian Cox has a REAL passion for all things Astro-Physics and it shows in his delivery. This series is genuinely fascinating and if you've ever wondered what's 'out there' in our solar system this won't disapoint, he explains everything with such enthusiasm it makes you just want to watch the whole lot in one sitting! The visuals are simply breathtaking with crisp close ups and wonderful pictures from space using images from the Hubble space telescope and quite a lot of CGI, which is beautifully done! To summarise, this is a 'how and what' of things that go on in our solar system explained by a real expert, a kind of Attenborough of the science world, who explains everything so you can easily understand rather than baffle you with the kind of science only a geek would understand (no offence intended to geeks!) What's more is that there's not even a glimpse of a leather elbow patched tweed jacket in sight...not even once!?!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind Blowing!, 18 April 2010
By 
Lizzi S (Brentwood, UK) - See all my reviews
I was captivated by this series from start to finish. Learning more about our planet and our solar system has made me appreciate the wonder of Earth and the miracle of life. We should treasure our "Goldilocks"planet(because it's just right). A mind blowing experience!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational documentary. fascinating, 27 Mar. 2011
By 
H. M. Anderson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I am surprised that someone considered Brian Cox's delivery of his fascinating and thrilling series soporific!!! Craziness!!

He is obviously passionate about what he is narrating, and presents it in such a ground-breaking and easily accessible way, using various visual aids, stunning photography and beautiful special effects/graphic depictions to illustrate his points. He lives and breathes this stuff - physics and chemistry - and isn't just reading it from a script, anyone can do that, but Professor Cox makes the science come alive. His softly well spoken and poetic narration, with near religious fervour, perhaps is something of personal taste - I love it - but he can't be faulted.

The production direction and design on this series is awesome.
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