THE PLANETS is a 15 minute video made by Bristol Film and Video Society.
It explains the vast size of the Solar System in a light hearted way.
The video features an eccentric professor who travels across England and South Wales from Greenwich to Cardiff using various land marks and towns to represent the planets' distance from the sun all to the same scale as a globe of the earth that he carries with him. In effect he uses southern England and Wales as a giant scale model.
Absorbed in his subject he fails to notice any of the people around him. As a consequence, as well as failing to appreciate the charms of a number of attractive girls he comes across, he generally causes havoc.
The film starts with the Professor parachuting into Trafalgar Square which he uses to represent the Sun at the centre of the Solar System. From there he travels to Marble Arch used to represent the orbit of the innermost planet Mercury then on to the Albert Hall used to illustrate Venus.
Travelling westwards he stops at Wimbledon to talk about the Earth then on to Kew Gardens for Mars. Then it is on to Windsor for Jupiter and Henley-on-Thames for Saturn. Next he visits Stonehenge representing Uranus and Bath for Neptune. Then it is across the Severn Bridge to Cardiff for Pluto.
On his travels as well as ignoring the attractive girls he knocks over an old lady and another passer-by ends up in the river before he arrives in Cardiff to meet the mythological lord of the underworld the god Pluto.
His journey ends on the Moon which he uses to explain that to the scale of his globe the nearest star to the Solar System will be three times the distance of the Earth to the Moon.
The video ends as he finds true love on the Moon with a female alien.
The video stars Geoff Salter as the eccentric professor and also features Jane Andrews, Christine Sargent, Juliet Galling, Rachael Harris, Virginia Pearson and Lois Adams. It was shot in 1998 and early 1999 and as well as location shooting involved extensive chroma key special effects.