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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Science > Outer Space > TV Mini-Series > Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014/Fox Blu-ray Set)

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014/Fox Blu-ray Set)

Picture: A Sound: A Extras: A Episodes: A

Cosmos is all that is and every was and is EASILY one of the best Blu-ray releases of the year. It's Science class without the homework. Not only is it an incredible and informative program that you can't help but enjoy but is presented here with incredible picture and sound quality that is out of this world! (Bad pun) If you have ever stared up at the stars and wondered what more is out there or are a genuine science nerd then this is for you. The special effects and filmmaking here is top notch as is the overall concept and delivery. It also makes you realize that we are but tiny ants in the galaxy!

The show is a follow-up to the 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (reviewed elsewhere on this site) which was presented by Carl Sagan on the Public Broadcasting Service and is considered a milestone for scientific documentaries. This series was developed to bring back the foundation of science to network television at the height of other scientific-based television series and films. The show is presented by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who as a young college student, was inspired by Sagan. Among the executive producers are Seth MacFarlane, whose clout and financial investment were instrumental in bringing the show to broadcast television, and Ann Druyan, Sagan's widow and a co-creator of the original series. The series loosely follows the same thirteen-episode format and storytelling approach that the original Cosmos used, including elements such as the Ship of the Imagination and the Cosmic Calendar, but features information updated since the 1980 series along with extensive computer-generated graphics and animation footage augmenting the narration. There's also a great score by Alan Silverstri and cinematography (and directing) by Bill Pope - who shot The Matrix.

The 1080p high definition transfer is flawless and full of incredible details. It also preserves the original 1.78:1 aspect ratio of the original broadcast. The audio is also superior with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Subtitles are also included on the disc in English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch. The slipcover packaging is also very cool (and shiny!) Total runtime is 662 minutes!

Extras on Disc One include Audio Commentary or Standing Up in the Milky Way which features Ann Druyan, Mitchell Cannolo, Brannon Braga, Jason Clark and Kara Vallow.

Disc Two features Celebrating Carl Sagan: A Selection from the Library of Congress Dedication is a great piece focusing on a bequest of Sagan's papers and notebooks to the Library of Congress.

Disc Three includes Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey at Comic-Con 2013 and finally Disc Four, which has Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey - The Voyage Continues and Interactive Cosmic Calendar which features Ann Druyan as host and voiceover artist in this compendium of information laid out on a timeline accessible by choosing any given cosmic month. Various pit stops on the calendar feature more information about that particular epoch or event.

This is a release not to be missed!

- James Harland Lockhart V



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