Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Neil Degrasse Tyson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Box set, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date: June 10, 2014
  • Run Time: 572 minutes


            Educational reality series used to be the type of programs only watched by teachers and their students under forced conditions in the classroom. While I can still imagine “Cosmos” being shown in more than a few science classrooms across the country, it is a series which can be shown for the ability to portray information in an entertaining manner rather than simply providing educators a break from their job. Credit is mostly due to the technical aspects of these type of series, which seemed to reach a significant turning point with the overwhelming success of the use of high definition cameras in the filming of “Planet Earth.” The widespread success of that series proved that when a Hollywood approach to effects and visuals are applied to educational shows, audiences will watch them without being forced to in a classroom setting.


            This thirteen-part series comes from the unlikely executive producer Seth MacFarlane, along with Mitchell Cannold, Brannon Braga and Jason Clark, and collaborators from the original 1980 series, Ann Druyan and Steve Soter.  The all-new show inspired by the original 1980 series hosted by astronomer Carl Sagan brings a new twist to the elements of the series with renowned astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson as the host. Not only is his passion for the content clearly palpable, Tyson brings additional layers to the science with cutting-edge theories and ideas. The modern ideas of science mixed with the latest in digital effects provide a spectacular blend of information and entertainment to the series.


            Each of the hour-long episodes of “Cosmos” delves into a specific aspect of astrophysics, often finding a way to tie the topic into real-world examples and relevance. There are many big ideas within the series, often even playing with theoretical science, but somehow it is always reduced into a manageable episode. Even when I found myself lost somewhere in the middle, the show’s impressive graphics helped keep my interest until they brought the final point home.


            All thirteen episodes are included into a four-disc Blu-ray set, along with a handful of special features with varied levels of significance. The only commentary track is reserved for the show’s first episode, though there is also a featurette about the reincarnation of the educational series. Also included is the less important featurette about the show’s appearance at Comic-Con. The package also has an interactive Cosmos Calendar and a featurette about the Library of Congress Dedication.    


    Entertainment Value: 6/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 8.5/10

    Historical Significance:  8/10

    Special Features: 7.5/10

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