Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey (2014)

Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey (2014)
Starring: Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Running Time: 662 min

I think everyone was really surprised when they heard that Fox was going to do a new version of Carl Sagan's Cosmos.  What was even more surprising was that Seth McFarlane, creator of Family Guy, American Dad and Cleveland was going to be producing it.  Images of Peter Griffith farting the elements of the periodic table while singing the Mexican hat dance came to everyone's mind or something similar and I'm sure everyone wondered what kind of science show this would end up being.

  In this documentary series, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson uses his "Ship of Imagination" to explore, investigate and explain how we have discovered different laws of nature on our world and how they are affected by time and space in the universe.  He travels through time to different centuries into different parts of the world to explore and explain how scientists at that time, could discover these theories and facts that we know today and in the same episode reveals how this affects or relates to the rest of the universe.

  This is a fascinating series and an incredibly thought provoking television show.  I had not seen the original series but it's not necessary to enjoy this program.  The show explores the development of different scientific terms and ideas in a no holds bar way.  It not only shows you where, when and how different ideas have been discovered but how some of these thoughts, like the earth revolving around the sun, were difficult to pitch to the community and sometimes caused these scientists their livelihood or sometimes their lives.  This show looks at the world as a global community of scientists searching for the truth about what's out there in the universe and how it relates to us.
  Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the host of the show, explains and explores in a way that easy to understand but he isn't talking down to you.  He speaks to you about the material as a friend or an equal which is quite refreshing because some shows seem to dumb things down or try to speak over your head.  Tyson is a brilliant science communicator and although Carl Sagan will never be replaced Tyson has truly come into his own as a host.
  The visuals for the show are brilliant and will enhance your love for the stars and the solar systems.  The universe look gorgeous, as Tyson tours around exploring clusters, black holes and the surrounding galaxies.  As well as the animation, used to tell the stories of the past are very enjoyable as well.  They translate to the kid inside and you get excited about the exploring the universe again.

  The only issues I had with the series is that there is a lot of information in each episode and since our brains have gotten lazy, at least mine has, and it's not as active when watching television, it's a little bit different to get use to at first.  However, after a couple of episodes, your brain will be back in shape and looking for another helping of real information, instead of the what Kim and Kanye are doing.
  Also, you may find that your family or friends may want to talk to you during or after the program about what was being discussed, which may seem scary and weird but go with it.  Discussions about things can be a lot of fun.  I wasn't used to it myself, but I have since come around and it's not bad.

  Unfortunately, I got this a little late and I'm still getting through the special features.  However, I watch the Carl Sagan Library of Congress Dedication, which has three captivating and funny speeches for Seth McFarlane, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan, who was Carl Sagan's wife and is a writer/producer for the show.  I am looking forward to seeing the other features because there is still over an hour an half of stuff to see.

This is a superb series for anyone, young or old and must have for anyone who has any interest in science.  It's this type of show, that will nurture and grow the next generation of scientists and push our boundaries of exploration.

1 comment:

  1. Series like this can only reinvigorate our kids to space programs and good sci fi