Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Blu-ray | Box Set
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COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey continues the exploration of the remarkable mysteries of the cosmos and our place within it. Hosted by renowned astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, this thrilling, 13-part adventure will transport you across the universe of space and time, bringing to life never-before-told stories of the heroic quest for knowledge and a deeper understanding of nature. With an updated Cosmic Calendar, dazzling visual effects, and the wondrous Ship of the Imagination, prepare to take an unforgettable journey to new worlds and across the universe for a vision of the cosmos on the grandest - and smallest - scale.
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Tyson is one of the most famous astrophysicists alive. His involvement in NOVA and his podcast 'Startalk' have made him a rockstar among the scientific-literate youth. Ann Druyan (who co-wrote the original Cosmos) helped produce and write this revamp. Seth Macfarlane, better known for starting the show Family Guy, it seems has always been interested in science...this revamped version of Cosmos came about when Seth ran into Tyson at a meeting at the National Academy of Sciences. Who woulda thought?
Now onto the show:
In the first episode, you are invited aboard the Ship of the Imagination. It's a sleek vessel that allows Tyson and the viewer to go anywhere: from the edge of the universe to the nucleus of an atom. It's a fantastic way to get to the places that Tyson is describing in the narration.
The cinematography is jaw dropping. 3D renderings of galaxies, nebulae, asteroid fields, atoms, storms on Jupiter, etc are scattered throughout each show...and they look 100% real. There are moments where animated cartoons are used, usually representing a story about past scientists or philosophers...I thought the cartoon animations would detract from the shows grandeur, but that doesn't seem to be the case - the animations are beautiful and tasteful.
The music score, by Alan Silvestri, is perfect for this series. Silvestri has scored soundtracks for movies like Contact, Castaway, Forrest Gump...and for Cosmos he has used his talent to create yet another fantastic score. It gives the show a perfect sound to go along with the visuals...you'll see (hear) this in the first episode when you take a tour of the universe.
The science is mind-blowing. Neil Degrasse Tyson clearly talks you through each scientific tidbit, allowing even the youngest developing minds to understand intricate ideas, theories, and laws. Most who graduated high school (and college) will already know about most of the science talked about in this show, but this is a great refresher.
In addition to making it easy for you to understand the science, Tyson urges the viewer to continue the charge of the scientific revolution. He makes it clear that ANY viewer could be the next Einstein, Darwin, or Newton...it just takes one spark of inspiration and the next great idea will be born.
Cosmos is one of the most important television shows to ever grace the airwaves. No doubt it will inspire teachers to educate more clearly, inspire students to learn, and allow everyone to appreciate the vast beauty and complexity of the universe we live in.
As the show goes on, I will continue to update this post with my likes and possible dislikes (though I doubt I'll find anything I dislike). I will also update my post when the Blu-ray is released. For now, I just want everyone to know how great this show is.
BLU RAY REVIEW:
The picture and audio quality is mindblowing - every little star is noticeable, even the smallest bacterium is full of detail. This is the quality I expect from blu-ray, but this detail also spotlights the care and precision that went into this show (the special effects mirror that of a high-budget Hollywood film).
The audio is crisp and deep. If you have a sound system, definitely use it when watching Cosmos.
The packaging is great (even has a little Cosmic Calender printed on an inside flap). The menu screen is slightly difficult to navigate - the words on the screen are very small (I have near perfect vision and I have to squint to read the show titles on my 42" television).
My main gripe with this release is that it didn't come with a digital copy (even one that we could download from the web). This is a show I'd love to have on my tablet, but I'm more or less confined to just watching it at home now.
Regardless, if you have a blu-ray player and are remotely interested in Cosmos, it's worth the plunge. Never before has a show brought me to such an emotional level: Cosmos isn't just about science, it's also about the grandeur of the universe. And in blu-ray, it's like having a front row seat to all that is, was, and ever will be.
I also found it to be a fitting tribute to the late Carl Sagan.
That said, this BD (Blu-ray Disc) presentation was very well done. The stunning visuals and rich audio really pop. Crisp, clear, nearly 3D quality on a flat-screen TV nearly puts you there. Subject matter takes the viewer from the very reaches of the universe to the infinitesimal microscopic life. Each episode is so engrossing and informative; it’s over before it started. Tyson takes you on a trip with his “Ship of the Imagination.” This is one of the few TV shows of this era I found myself eagerly awaiting each week’s episode. It is a shame there were only 13 episodes.
Brannon Braga (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Enterprise, Voyager; Threshold, 24, etc.) directed and was Executive Producer.
Alan Sylvestri composed the fitting musical score.
The packaging was done well. Discs are available on plastic “pages” in the typical blue BD case. This makes disc access easy, unlike some which are packaged on a spindle.
If you find Astronomy fascinating, I have no doubt this will be a worthy addition to your collection
The team has done an incredible job of teaching difficult concepts, recounting some of the incredible stories of scientific breakthroughs in history, and creating that sense of wonder about discovery.
With continuing insanities of wars and escalating idiocies from the ignorant egotistical orangoutang at 1600, more people MUST see this!
With the demonstrable effects of man-made global warming causing hurricanes, higher sea levels, and even more terrifying CO2 rise, we need a mass of informed people to quell this tide of corporate sponsored ignorance.
This series, like Sagan's, is part of the cure. It's essential viewing, and very plausibly, might be one of the few things that help us survive.