Discovery Explores Alien Planet

After employing state-of-the-art computer animation to visit the past in the popular Walking with Dinosaurs series, The Discovery Channel is using the same techniques to imagine what life might be like on other planets. Alien Planet premieres on Saturday, May 14, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).

It’s the year 2014 and a trio of unmanned probes from Earth have arrived on the fictional planet of Darwin IV, some 6.5 light years from home. On this world with two suns and 60% of the gravity found on Earth, the probes search for microscopic signs of life but encounter a variety of bizarre life forms.

Darwin’s inhabitants have been imagined by such leading scientists as Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku and Jack Horner, and fleshed out in CG by Meteor Studios. Other participants include George Lucas and NASA’s chief scientist, Jim Garvin. 

The scientists featured in interviews consider data in this planetary environment and deconstruct the animals on Darwin IV, basing the analysis on the laws of evolution and physics. Where possible, life-size animal images and the real probe prototypes will help the audience to understand the real basis of the search for other planets. For more information, go to www.discovery.com/alienplanet.