The new astronomy series on Fox called "COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY" is now available for streaming on Netflix! I'm not sure how long it's been available. I just stumbled on to it last night when I was browsing for something to watch. So what it this TV show about and why should you care?
The original Cosmos television series "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" was aired on PBS in the fall of 1980. Carl Sagan was the host of the 13-episode series, which was based on Carl Sagan's book...also called "Cosmos". Carl Sagan was a professional astronomer and astrophysicist who was best known for his public outreach concerning astronomy. I literally grew up with Carl Sagan. As I kid I would check out his books from the library and watch episodes of Cosmos on PBS whenever I could catch them.
Fast forward 34 years. Seth MacFarlane was instrumental in bringing back a fresh and new version of Cosmos to Fox television. Seth was a very unlikely person to do this. If you don't know who Seth MacFarlane is, he was a writer and animator for Hanna-Barbera and most notably is the voice actor behind several of the main characters in the Fox TV show "Family Guy." But despite his comedic origins he is a true geek at heart. He knew it was time to bring Cosmos back and he made it happen. Seth MacFarlane became the executive producer for "COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY", and the rest is history. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History (the modern day version of Carl Sagan), was the obvious choice as the host for the new Cosmos series and did an amazing job!
I was fortunate enough to get to attend a sneak peek preview of the first episode of the new Cosmos series at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Center earlier this year with my daughter. It was an unusually cold evening for Florida and we were huddled in the stands outside to watch a special viewing of the 1st episode of this new series several weeks before it aired on television. After the viewing a live question and answer session was held online with everyone involved with the show. It was pretty cool, during the interviews they were displaying a live feed of all the tweets coming in on Twitter and a few of mine came across the screen. It was a very memorable night and I'm so glad I got to share it with my daughter (who has recently told me she wants to become a professional astronomer).
So if you aren't a space geek like me, why should you watch this show. Believe it or not, this show was not made for people like me. I'm already hooked. The show is for everyone else out there that thinks space is kinda cool but doesn't really understand the first thing about astronomy, planetary exploration and scientific discovery. This show breaks all of these things down into bit-sized chunks and gives them to you in a visually stunning and entertaining way. You don't have to have a PHD in "space geek" to appreciate this show, only a curiosity about universe and our place in it. Do your self a favor and check out a few episodes, you won't regret it.
If you aren't a Netflix subscriber, there are other ways to watch the show.
- Buy individual episode of the series or the entire thing with Amazon Instant Video
- Buy the DVD or Blu-Ray set from Amazon
- Check your local library. If it is available you can check out the DVD or Blu-Ray of the series for free (most people don't realize that your public library has lots of great TV shows and movies available for checkout)