Most helpful positive review
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
New York Times' rave review (and a correction)
on March 30, 2006
Amazon has the wrong description of this show. It's really an Emmy winning 2 hour Nova Episode with Simon Callow as Galileo, first broadcast in 2002.
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES:
''GOOD philosophers, like eagles, fly alone, not in flocks like starlings,'' declares the father of modern science in ''Galileo's Battle for the Heavens,'' a two-hour special on PBS's ''Nova''
The same goes for intelligent television shows...With this handsome, unabashedly earnest production, ''Nova'' demonstrates a continuing willingness to believe in viewers who are interested in how ideas have taken hold.
The two-hour program, written and produced by David Axelrod, recalls the uproar over Copernican theory at a time when Roman Catholic theology placed a stationary earth at the center of the universe. This is no dry science lesson but a dramatized vision of the contradictory forces pulling on Galileo, who was both a scientist and a devout Catholic. He lived during the Inquisition, in an era when unpopular ideas were grounds for torture or being burned at the stake.
The program was adapted from ''Galileo's Daughter,'' Dava Sobel's best-selling book based on letters written to Galileo by his daughter, who became a nun. She took the name Maria Celeste, perhaps in deference to her father's fascination with the stars, and her letters reveal a touching desire to understand his obsession.
His feelings for her are less clear, because his letters to her have not been found. But Galileo was a prolific writer, expressing his scientific theories as literature in his ''Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems.'' He had the necessary arrogance to combat prevailing wisdom. ''I render grace to God that it has pleased him to make me alone the first observer of an admirable thing kept hidden all these ages,'' he said. But he would die humbled by the Inquisition; his writings were banned. In dramatic recreations, Simon Callow plays Galileo with melancholy grandeur.