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Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey

An interesting and enlightening documentary.

I remember watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos as a teenager and being fascinated as I learned about our Solar System and beyond, then being dazzled by the novel way the graphics were utilized to help tell the story of the Universe. This updated version of Cosmos, with Neil deGrasse Tyson hosting, has also used the very latest high-tech CGI to aid in our virtual space exploration as Tyson flies his spaceship of the imagination through the cosmos, in a bid to try to explain the origins of the Universe and how we are made of "star stuff," to quote that giant in astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology, Carl Sagan.

Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey
Host by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Cast Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stoney Emshwiller, Cary Elwes
Release Date 9 March 2014
Ed's Grade: A

In this first of the thirteen part series, Tyson explains what is planned in the future episodes as we begin closer to home then work our way out to beyond the stars in this celebration of science and astronomy. As well as the latest CGI, good old-fashioned animation is used when we learn the story of a 16th-century pioneering thinker of his day, Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk who spread the idea that if God was infinite then why not the Universe. Bruno's ideas were extremely unpopular and he traveled all over Christendom until he was eventually imprisoned for 6-years then executed.

It looks like we'll be treated to learning about important people during the series where it will be shown as animation. I actually enjoyed the inclusion of animation like this as it should encourage children to learn about the heroes of astronomy. Anyone with a decent understanding of astronomy and the stars may not learn anything new but this show appears to be geared towards a younger audience and those with a rudimentary or little knowledge of the subject.

As a host, Neil deGrasse Tyson managed very well and his passion for the subject, comes through when he's taking us on our journey through the cosmos. He tells a story at the end of the episode of how he met Carl Sagan as a young man and spent the day at his hero's home. Tyson shows us his treasured journal which Sagan inscribed for him, that led to Tyson pursuing a career in astronomy, among many other things, and is now hosting the new version of Sagan's legendary show, Cosmos.

Review by Lead Entertainment Writer, Ed Blackadder

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