Carl Sagans ‘Cosmos: A Personal Voyage‘ is arguably the greatest science series ever. Even though it is over 3 decades since the series first aired, it is just as engrossing now as it was all those years ago(though, to be fair I saw it only about 7-8 years back :-). Although the special effects are dated, the content and Vangelis’ soaring background score make up for it amply – the sequence where Sagan introduces us to the cosmic calendar and goes on to talk about DNA and evolution is simply awe inspiring.
Sagans eloquent and passionate presentation in Cosmos is brilliant – its strong on facts and light on hyperbole, has a healthy dose of scepticism towards dogma and debunks accepted ‘truths’ through sensible reasoning; to my mind the only other host in a science series who matches him is David Attenborough in his equally groundbreaking Life series. What still makes Cosmos stand out is that almost all science shows now overuse fancy special effects and seem too casual in their approach and presentation.
It is to meet such giant(and perhaps unfair) expectations that comes Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which will be presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Fortunately I cant think of anybody else who could fill Sagans enormous shoes; deGrasse is equally contagious in his passion for science & education and matches Sagan in eloquence. He linked in a recent tweet to a trailer of the upcoming series.
The photography looks impressive and it doesn’t look like they are tampering around with the way the original Cosmos was presented. The only thing I’m a bit iffy about is the score, its too loud & has a superhero-movie feel to it and doesn’t go with the soaring visuals. Nevertheless, this series is easily the program/movie that I’m already most looking forward to in 2014. I cant wait for it to be out. Here’s hoping for another generation of to-be-scientists to be inspired by Cosmos.