The Planets – BBC2

Named after a Roman god, Jupiter is a huge planet with a destructive history, as we find out in this week's The Planets on BBC2

Named after a Roman god, Jupiter is a huge planet with a destructive history, as we find out in this week’s The Planets on BBC2

Professor Brian Cox (pictured above) continues his exploration of the solar system with a visit to the planet that dwarfs all others and shaped the destiny of Earth.

Soon after its birth, Jupiter’s orbit began shifting towards the sun, destroying young worlds as it went.

Indeed, the gas giant would have obliterated every rocky world on its journey into the sun – including our fledgling planet – had a tussle with Saturn not brought it back from the brink.

The Planets

Professor Brian Cox refers to Jupiter as ‘The Godfather’

But while Jupiter’s trail of destruction is at an end, its power lingers on as a hangover from a much darker past.

If you’re a fan of Brian Cox shows, there’s a last chance to catch his Infinite Monkey Cage 100th episode special on BBC iPlayer this month.

TV Times rating: *****