Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cosmos, a review of its triumphant return

As I alluded to in an earlier post, Cosmos, rebooted from the original 1980s version, debuted tonight on all of Fox's networks with Neil deGrasse Tyson hosting. I have been anticipating this for months, and I was not disappointed. One of the things I truly appreciated was the homage the show paid to the late Carl Sagan, the original host and one of the most popular scientists of all time. I also was very happy to see them revive some of the concepts and segments from the original, such as the Ship of the Imagination and the Calendar of Time. This episode quite literally was a remake of the original in that it used a lot of the same themes and storylines from the original's first episode (I got to watch a marathon on NatGeo of the original series leading up to the reboot).

Of course the new version has a much larger budget, special effects are a major driving force and Tyson is going to be great. One thing I learned was one of the producers, aside from Seth MacFarlane, is Sagan's widow, Ann Druyan, and she also wrote this first episode. This will ensure Sagan will continue to get his credit and the show will not veer off into something that tries to be more entertainment than scientific.

I was a tad annoyed when Tyson was going through the Calendar of Time that they chose to use the birth of Moses, Jesus and Mohammed as benchmarks throughout the final intervals of time. While I understand most people are religious, there are serious doubts that any of these three figures ever existed, much less should have a mention on a science show. But, if it keeps the religious watching and gets some young mind to consider science then so be it. There was a great animated segment that mentioned the Roman Catholic Church and its Inquisition, showing just how narrow-minded and oppressive it was. And the Creationists must have had a cow watching this episode.

All in all, I can't wait for Week 2 and Sunday has just become my favorite night for television.

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