Richard Hammond Builds a Planet: BBC One CGI Science Special

Image Credit: BBC. Photographer: Unknown. Image Copyright: BBC

Image Credit: BBC. Image Copyright: BBC

Ever wondered how Earth or planets like it originally came together billions of years ago? Well in this two-part BBC One series, Top Gear host Richard Hammond takes us back in time to the early days of the solar system, to show just what it takes to build an Earth.

From the top of his two-mile high virtual tower in the heart of the Californian desert, Richard will show us what ingredients you need to create an Earth like planet, and just what can happen if things go wrong. Episode 1 of Richard Hammond Builds a Planet will be broadcast on Sunday, 3 November, 2013 on BBC One, no doubt best enjoyed in HD where possible.

With the help of some impressive CGI graphics, ‘The Hamster’ demonstrates how gravity and numerous other factors, combined over millions of years to construct the spherical shaped rocky planets we know today.

In terms of both programme structure and appearance, the show follows the same edutainment style formula as Hammond’s earlier series, Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Effectively like a Brian Cox ‘Wonders of’ documentary, but tailored for a wider audience. Hardcore science enthusiasts are unlikely to learn anything new, but even they should still appreciate the state of the art visualizations.

It’s not until you learn the quantity of celestial events that had to occur just right, and how many had to be avoided over the Earths 4.5 billion year lifetime, that you truly realize how incredible the existence of life on our little plant is. If just one collision or near-miss had gone differently, we might not be here today.

Here’s a clip from the show were Richard gets to touch what is possibly the oldest thing on Earth, and no he’s not meeting Bruce Forsyth. I said possibly: