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Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Review

To put it bluntly, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey rocks!

The show features famed astrophysicist superstar Neil Degrasse Tyson as host in place of the late Carl Sagan and is produced by Seth McFarlane and Anne Druyan who co-wrote the original series. Add modern special effects along with up-to-date science facts and you now have the potential for an excellent program.

Tyson on the Ship of imagination
Debuting a week ago on ten networks, Cosmos will continue to air on two, which are Fox and the National Geographic channel.  Fox will air the show at 9pm on Sunday nights (after Family Guy) while National Geographic will air the following night on Mondays at 10pm with bonus material.

If you're wondering what the show is about, according to Tyson, "The goal is to convey why science matters to the person, to our society, to us as shepherds of this planet. It involves presenting science in ways that connect to you, so Cosmos can influence you not only intellectually but emotionally, with a celebration of wonder and awe."

He does well emulating Sagan's calm and cool approach while explaining facts in an interesting and easy to understand format.  The show is also full of animation to explain facts and history.  Viewers are treated to witness any place and time through the "space ship of imagination"  powered by the "twin engines of skepticism and wonder without cutting corners" and events are shown on different scales on a "Cosmic Calendar" which condenses the scale of our 13.8 billion year universe into the equivalent of an Earth year.

The first two episodes cover topics from the big bang of the universe, to the theory of evolution.  In between you get historical facts such as the story of 16th century Dominican monk Giordano Bruno who was burnt at the stake by the church and state for his belief that Earth was not the center of the universe at a time before the telescope was invented.  Other entertaining clips tell of the domestication of wolves to dogs as mans best friend, an explanation of DNA, and the possibility of life on Titan.  When not using graphics, Tyson narrates from various locations around the world which are beautifully shot.

In the pilot episode it is also revealed that Tyson himself met Sagan when he was still in his teens.  It's a touching story and Degrasse is noticeably misty eyed while telling it.  This is a great family show and sorely needed considering all of the trashy TV forced upon us these days.

Hopefully, the 13 episode show will thrive even with it being aired competing against the uber popular "The Walking Dead" on AMC.  I would love to see this show thrive.

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