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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Science > Outer Space > Mars: Dead Or Alive (Nova)

Mars: Dead Or Alive (Nova)


Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C+†††† Main Program: B-



We hear of so many missions to Mars and how some of the robots never make it or something does not work.When something fails, everyone hits the panic button and acts like NASA is in decline.Watching the Mars: Dead Or Alive (2004) installment of the PBS/WGBH series Nova, it is never that simple.Instead, it shows some very nice, smart, talented, dedicated, hard-working people dedicated to their field of science and approaching things with the greatest enthusiasm and a real love of studying outer space.


In its short length of under an hour, a long period of chronology, along with the general history and knowledge of Mars itself and the progress of all the recent missions show just how groundbreaking and vital all this financial expense and extremely difficult group work is.It takes a huge gamble of resources, including money, technology, and effort, for anything good to result.When the debate about stem cell research recently became a hotter topic, someone remarkably and actually asked me why scientists needed to do any research in the science field?That is why programs like this are so vital, because ignorance of science and the research it takes to make breakthroughs is still too extraordinary for people to grasp, especially in an era of growing populism and anti-intellectualism.


The letterboxed 1.78 X 1/16 X 9 image is not bad, but this might have looked a little better had it been anamorphically enhanced. With that said, it seems to have originated in digital High Definition and most of it is taped that way.There is some film footage and even some animation as well.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has slight surrounds, but they are not too strong.Extras include a weblink, DVD-ROM printable material for educators, interview with MERís Steve Squyres and installment on robot rover director Donna Shirley from the series Masters Of Technology.We hope to cover that series on DVD down the line.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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