Origins (Nova/WGBH/PBS Set)
Sound: C+ Extras: C Episodes: B+
One of the most damaging and distracting debates in recent
science, highly politicized, is the argument for some UFO of an idea called
“intelligent selection” versus evolution.
Only in The United States thanks to The Religious Right, making us loose
face with the world, it is yet another attempt to dumb down the public and the
country at large for an extremist political agenda, to the point that IMAX
Theaters and PBS affiliates are being intimidated with threats and
protests. That’s why the DVD boom is so
Thomas Levenson wrote, produced and directed the ambitious
four-part science program Origins, which debuted on the great PBS series
Nova in 2004. Hosted by author
Neil DeGrasse Tyson, has been issued in a double DVD set by WGBH and is a
terrific show, the kind that put PBS on the map and continues to keep up their
highest standards. The four parts are:
1) Earth Is
2) How Life
Are The Aliens?
4) Back To
The show is very detailed in new digital graphics, stock
footage and well-researched history.
There are breakthroughs and innovations here you may not have heard of
since your last science class in school and it is constantly interesting. Tyson obviously loves the subject and that
alone makes watching more involving.
Though there is not a ton of science DVDs out there, we have looked at a
few and Origins offers more than enough information to show that major
science theories are not the oversimplified myth some people would have you
believe. It also shows why research is
so necessary for the next science breakthroughs, and not just dogmas that roll
back learning and progress. What a
The letterboxed 16 X 9/1.78 X 1 image is not
anamorphically enhanced, but has plenty of interesting imagery throughout. This was likely shown in digital High
Definition on PBS stations, with some fine detail lost here, but the editing
and visuals make up for that. The Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo has no Pro Logic surrounds, but is clean and clear. Extras include PDF teaching material, Nova
website link, video descriptive services and text page on some other DVDs in
the series repeated on both DVDs. Since
the show is so new, a lack of extras is not as much of a problem, though even
those not in school could check out the PDFs.
Origins is impressive and if you have not seen it, catch it.
- Nicholas Sheffo