Cosmos

February 28th, 2008 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

Way back in 1980, renowned astronomer Carl Sagan helped bring Cosmos to the screen and it was this groundbreaking work as much as any of his other books or films that popularised astronomy among the masses. His child-like curiosity and love of the subject was infectious and after his death in 1997 his human and scientific legacy is still strong.

It relates the sum total of cosmological thought through Sagan’s talent for stripping away the dry mathematics and making it interesting. Seven discs contain the whole series of hour-long episodes and a few extras.

It can’t escape the design and cultural trappings of the 1980s when it was produced. Because Sagan doesn’t dwell on the technology it isn’t the science or even the science fiction that’s dated, but the whole delivery is tinted with suede brown elbow patches to an extent. Narrative devices like having Sagan walk slowly around an imaginary spaceship marvelling at the mysteries of the universe with a thoughtful look on his face are also funny more than heartfelt.

But if you’ve ever wanted to know anything about astronomy, this should be your next purchase. It’s perfect for science novices, and so expansive that even those familiar with the field will get plenty out of it that they never knew.


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