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The Universe: Season 1

137 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the mysteries of our own solar system those that surround unexplored galaxies, history and science collide in this ambitious investigation of the Universe.

Questions about the Universe have consumed man since the dawn of time. In the 50 years since humans made their first tentative explorations of space, we have increased our knowledge of the cosmos dramatically, using powerful telescopes, robotic probes, and manned missions. But only recently has computer technology allowed scientists to illustrate in stunning detail their awe-inspiring conclusions. THE UNIVERSE, a groundbreaking series from THE HISTORY CHANNEL®, employs cutting-edge computer-generated imagery to bring distant planets and faraway stars up close, allowing viewers to gaze at black holes and comets, and witness the births and deaths of galaxies and solar systems.

This epic miniseries takes viewers on an exhilarating voyage through the cosmos. From the farthest reaches of distant galaxies back to the familiar face of our moon, THE UNIVERSE brings the mysteries of the heavens down to earth.

The sky and outer space have fascinated man for centuries and the History Channel's series The Universe is the story of man's study of the cosmos from his earliest attempts to map and understand the heavens through modern day scientific studies, advances, and theories. A mix of historical footage, modern space imaging, and conceptual computer graphics presented in high-definition, the visual component of this production is absolutely breathtaking. Each of the 13 44-minute episodes begins with a general introduction of subjects ranging from the sun to individual planets, alien galaxies, the search for extra-terrestrial life, and scientific theories like the Big Bang. Each topic is then broken down into a series of segments that detail specific ideas, theories, or components integral to the understanding of the main topic as well as historical material, current studies and theories, and projections of potential future events and scientific advances. The 90-minute "Beyond the Big Bang" feature relates "the story of everything"--from the universe's formation following the "Big Bang" to its eventual projected demise from unchecked expansion dubbed the "Big Rip." Leading experts from universities and scientific institutions around the world do a great job of taking very complex subjects like galaxies with spiral density arms and relating them to easily graspable concepts like a city with a downtown core surrounded by suburbs and plagued by freeway traffic jams. Amazing photographs from the Hubble space telescope, infrared views from the Spitzer space telescope, and x-ray images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory augment understanding as do demonstrations of modern science's ability to simulate historical events like the formation of earth and to project future cosmic events. The Universe is a fascinating and understandable study of space that speaks to viewers ranging from the generally curious to the serious student of cosmology. --Tami Horiuchi

Special Features

Includes the feature-length documentary Beyond the Big Bang

Product Details

  • Actors: The Universe
  • Format: Subtitled, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 705 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UP881S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,966 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Universe: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

189 of 209 people found the following review helpful By Erin Fritz on December 29, 2008
Format: Blu-ray
I am reviewing the Blu-ray version of The Universe Season One.

Let me first frame my review. I am a big astronomy buff. I have been interested and studied astronomy all my life. Although I dabled in aerospace engineering in college due to my love of space, I ultimately changed my major and have never really worked in the field. In fact I don't own a telescope. Most of my interest has been satisfied by books and wonderful TV shows like Cosmos and The Planets.

So, to me this series would have been perfect fit. A modern Cosmos with all the latest technology, computer graphics, and newest imagery. However, this series is dissapointing. I wanted this to be the outer space equivalent of the stunning Planet Earth series (or even walking with Dinosaurs), which it is not. It's not that it's horrible or even bad, just it left so much on the table.

So, I will outline what I find as flaws and then finish the review with the positives.

1) It's a little to cutesy. The narative style is a little too casual and relies on a lot of comparisons that are a little trite. For instance, they describe how Jupiter flings comets and asteriods out of their normal orbit (which protects the inner planets) by comparing it to a frisbee thower. So we have a lady on a field throwing a frisbee over and over. There are descriptions like, "I want to go ice fishing on Europa" from professional scientists, and using pool tables to make analogies of particles in the Sun colliding, but doing it over and over, or how the threats to the Earth are like an amusement park (except that they aren't at all!!!). Most of us get the point with the mere mention and don't need the extended display of terrestrial footage. It comes off as dumb and slightly insulting.
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69 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Blair Anderson on November 30, 2007
Format: DVD
I've ordered this show on iTunes and now I want to add this as a permanent collection on my DVD rack, so here I am. This show is great on a number of levels. Following along the lines of great shows like Dogfights, this series takes a new, refreshing, and bold look at our solar system, stars, galaxies, you name it, with great computer graphics and special effects. I've longed for a show that realistically took me among the clouds of Jupiter and Saturn, and here it is. It's also great for the family, because even though its focus is on science its presentation is on a layman's -- or even children's -- level. My 8-year-old daughter has even shown a newfound interest in astronomy. So consider buying this show; not just for you, but for the entertainment and enlightenment of those around you. You won't regret it. To the creators of this show, if you read this, know your work is greatly appreciated and keep 'em coming!
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112 of 128 people found the following review helpful By E. SYP on December 6, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ordered this item from Amazon not knowing if the bonus disk "Beyond the Big Bang" was included. Other web sites very clearly state that it is. After receiving the DVD set, I confirm to all interested that the bonus disk is indeed included in the product I received from Amazon.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Steve on February 18, 2008
Format: DVD
I, along with so many others, purchased this set after seeing it on the History Channel. In short, this series is AWESOME!! Explains our universe in a very easy down to Earth way that both young and old can enjoy.
In this 4 disc set you get;
Disc 1) Secrets of the Sun, Mars:The Red Planet, The End of the Earth:Deep Space Threats to our Planet, Jupiter:The Giant Planet.
Disc 2) The Moon, Spaceship Earth, The Inner Planets:Mercury & Venus.
Disc 3) Saturn:Lord of the Rings, Alien Galaxies, Life and Death of a Star, The Outer Planets.
Disc 4) The Most Dangerous Place in the Universe, Search for ET, Beyond the Big Bang.
In all, 14 episodes. While you're at it, consider buying The Universe by Tim Tully. This Dvd can not be beat!!
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82 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Jerry G on November 3, 2007
Format: DVD
I purchased this dvd set after seeing it on the History channel and I was blown away because it is so informative and well done both the visual effects and descriptions of our universe and planets VERY interesting series everything you will want to know about our solar system and beyond you will never view our universe the same again this will make you think. these shows envelope the viewer into the topic at hand and forseeable future catastrophies of planets detailed descriptions of all the planets that will fascinate you like never before this series is just great buy it and enjoy.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jason VINE VOICE on November 21, 2008
Format: Blu-ray
I bought this on DVD last year, and was soo upset because the video was 4:3 letterboxed, I'm so glad the person in charge of the blu-ray didn't make the same stupid mistake (however, they did make a different one, 1080i!!!!! come on! why can't someone release this wonderful CGI filled series the way it should be seen!)

If your interested in learning more about the universe, this is a pretty good choice, especially considering the price. As far as content goes, Cosmos, this is not. But thats ok. This is a ongoing series, it cannot pack tons of information in such a short amount of time. This is an ongoing show, and as the seasons progress, more and more content will be covered. I like the format, and find it refreshing, the only hard part is not watching the whole disc each time I put one in.

What's cool though is, watching this blu-ray makes me more interested in studying some of the drier material out there, and usually encourages an amazon book purchase from me.

I'm glad the series is finally on blu-ray, and I'm even more glad that it is in real widescreen format, instead of 4:3 letter boxed like the last dvd. I eagerly await season 2 on blu-ray, and wish History Channel the best of luck with making this series.

I truly hope that the next box set has some extras. I know, its a documentary, which is basically a whole bunch of extras, but still, maybe some CGI making of, interviews with experts, something, I'm just saying. I still like it, and I really appreciate the low price. Thanks for giving this wonderful series the chance to shine on blu-ray.
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How long away is the 'The Universe - The Complete Second Season' from...
Actually, A&E's website says it will ship on September 16th, 2008, NOT July 1st. Also, the website is , NOT www.shopA& .

Apr 2, 2008 by Dan the Man |  See all 3 posts
History Channel - The Universe - looking for "Light Speed" program
The Light Speed episode is on Season 3, Disc 1.
Mar 9, 2010 by Bart |  See all 2 posts
This show treats its viewers like idiots Be the first to reply
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