Almost every Horizon is like watching a detective movie.
I watched Horizon’s Mars programme about 5 minutes ago and yes, you’re right, Tej! Brilliant observation!
Do you know you can get the original series on DVD. I bought it recently. Forgot how good it was. Brian Cox could do well to watch it and learn from Carl Sagan, he is a great communicator.
Brian, there was an extended version released which I bought in US, it contained a ten year update since the original series with an older Sagan and his wife giving some additional information of the new developments over the ten years that had passed at the beginning of each program. In all honesty, though, the essence of the original has never outdated for me as it is a soulful, poetic journey through the cosmos which quite frankly is a timeless experience that has yet to be topped. The DVD box set you got, is all you need…it was just nice to have that updated extra but its not essential. They never released it over here anyway.
Actually, Brian Cox has seen it as I recall him saying a couple of times that it was Cosmos that inspired him into astronomy in the first place. I am sure most Television cosmologists/presenters probably rate it as the greatest astronomy documentary series ever but there is no point in replicating someone else’s approach to communicating to an audience. I dont want to ever see anyone do such a thing. Which is why I dont like Neil Degrasse Tyson’s delivery as he tries to emulate Sagan. I want to see their own persona, style and methods. Brian Cox has his own unique way of engaging an audience suited to his persona. Prof Al Khallili has his own which is very different but equally engaging. Prof Michio Kaku takes yet another very different quirky approach altogether that is captivating due to his no holding back opinionated persona and a sharp sense of playful sarcasm.
It is refreshing to have theses complete contrasting presentations suited to every individual’s persona.
But man, I’m with you, nothing comes close to Carl Sagan’s cosmos. It wasnt just his intoxicating delivery but the production itself was an ingenious narrative, taking us on an epic voyage through space in Sagan’s space ship accompanied by the most wonderful soundtrack by Vangelis (composer of Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire).
nothing comes close to Carl Sagan’s cosmos
… couldn’t agree more. I was about 13 or 14 when Cosmos first aired on the BBC2 (on a Friday evening, if memory serves!) I’d never seen anything like it before… completely mind-blowing and I loved every minute of it. My parents had only recently scrimped and saved to buy me my first telescope. The combination of that and the Cosmos series really did change my outlook on life.
Perhaps that’s why I’m so protective of that original series!
It seems barely credible that Sagan was taken from us at such a young age…62, I think. One of the greatest science communicators in all of history, in my opinion.
Anyway, I know the following video wasn’t on the original Cosmos programme, and it’s been played so much nowadays that it’s almost become corny. But it still sends a shiver down my spine, every time I view it… it is vintage Sagan… the Pale Blue Dot:
I got that version with the updates. I agree with you that different styles in presentation are good but I just find Brian Cox quite stiff which is why he could learn from Sagan on presenting.
Mike There is a video of Sagan’s last interview which is well worth a watch. He makes some very telling points about science and government.
Thanks Brian… yes, that interview is very powerful and worth watching in full:
Part 1 of 3:
Part 2 of 3:
Part 3 of 3:
ahh, yes, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (the new one). I was struggling to remember the name of this series.
It’s awful I’m afraid, the very worst of everything that’s been said in this thread ! He spent most of the program introducing us to the features of his ‘spaceship’ (that shiny thing that looks a bit like a rasor) and lots of over-the-top CGI effects, but safe to say that I was at no point threatened with anything remotely close to content. Stopped watching halfway through the first episode I’m afraid, and took it off series-link.
Like him or not, Prof Brian is much better.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (the new one)….. the very worst of everything that’s been said in this thread
I’m kind of tempted to watch this now, just to see how bad it is 😉
The original Cosmos, all the episodes
Well, that’s another 13 hours of my life gone!
Dang and blast! Missed a BBC4 repeat showing tonight of a programme about Voyager.
iPlayer to the rescue. Again.
Missed a BBC4 repeat showing tonight of a programme about Voyager.
You mean this one?
Only 6 days left to view it!
Yep, that’s the one, Mike. Thanks! Have downloaded it onto the iPad so I’ve got a month to view it.
Finally got a chance to watch this programme. I’d forgotten (a) how good it is and (b) what an amazing feat of engineering and sheer ingenuity the Viking project was.
What slightly disturbed me was the reminder that getting Viking off the ground relied on Carl Sagan’s ability to charm the public and politicians with a thin veneer of “Extraterrestrial life!” in order to get funding. Gold discs representing something or other about the human race and recordings of songs, etc, were put on board the probes. As though there were ever likely to be any ETs that would give a damn.
Terribly sad that the quest for knowledge about the Solar System wasn’t justification enough.
Terribly sad that the quest for knowledge about the Solar System wasn’t justification enough
But your comment reminds me that it is highly unlikely that there would have been an Apollo programme to land on the Moon without the Cold War. Sobering thought.
It’s one of the reasons why I think that the next person on the Moon will be Chinese or Indian. This new “space race” may not have quite the seriousness of the Cold War, but, politically, it will be important to these two countries.