It took science and made it accessible to a mass audience. No more skulking around in classrooms with old textbooks absent of cool imagery and clever explanations.
What helped its popularity, and message, was the writing of husband and wife team Sagan and Ann Druyan together with astrophysicist Steven Soter, together with Carl Sagan’s effusive and enthusiastic delivery of the mysteries of the universe and human understanding of science. You can buy Cosmos on DVD for a reasonable price if you’re interested in catching-up on it
The world has thankfully changed since 1980, so it falls to another charismatic scientist, Neil deGrasse Tyson to host the sequel, Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey, which airs on Fox in the U.S. in just under a month’s time. There’s no news of local distribution deals, and in the absence of the Sci-Fi channel on Foxtel, I’m unsure of how we’ll get to watch it. But you can watch the previews on Youtube, together with various talks and speeches Tyson has done!
Tyson is director of the Hayden planetarium and once met Sagan back when he was looking for a university. Sagan of Cornell University kindly took Tyson in, led him around the facilities and even took him to the station when his ride didn’t arrive. Tyson chose a different university, but perhaps in an alternate universe they were best buddies and hosted the new version together. Unfortunately Carl in our universe succumbed to Cancer back in 1996.
Also involved with the show — reboot, re-imagining, whatever — are writers Ann Druyan and Seven Soter, together with Seth McFarlane of Family Guy and American Dad fame as producer and presumably arm-twister of Fox TV.
The production values and aesthetic of the new show look great with the possible exception of the fast-cutting and pulse-pumping action of the Superbowl ad, presumably aimed at a different demographic to us geeks.
Cosmos is back in March 2014. See it on the medium of your choice!