Galileo’s Battle For
The Heavens (Nova)
Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episode: B
At a time when certain political forces are trying to
trash science and any other types of free through, the story of Galileo and his
lifelong battle for scientific facts becomes more poignant and valuable than
ever. The two-hour Nova show
(twice the usual length, because it deserves to be) Galileo’s Battle For The
Heavens is based on Dava Sobel’s book Galileo’s Daughter and
tells the story of how his illegitimate daughter helped him write a book that
rewrote history and challenged the political powers (religious and
governmental) that be.
With interviews, documents and factual narration, joined
by well-placed dramatizations, the program is always involving, often feeling
like history repeating itself when recent events are considered. Cheers to David Axelrod and all the people
involved in bringing to life this more-vital-than-ever history that was
originally produced back in 2002. Of
course Galileo went on to build groundbreaking telescopes, create landmark
theories (many of which turned out to be correct) and made him one of the
greatest men that ever lived. This is
fine tribute indeed.
The letterboxed 1.78 X 1/16 X 9 image was shot in digital
High Definition, but is sadly not anamorphically enhanced. Still, the way it is shot is appealing and
the reenactments of Galileo himself (actor Simon Callow) are not bad, though
history out of context seems to make everyone laugh, so you can have unintended
giggles if you loose track. The Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo is simple and has no major surrounds, with solid narration
by Liev Schreiber. Extras are the usual
weblink and DVD-ROM printable educational materials.
Knowing the world as it really is and not from dogma is
more important than ever, especially in The Free World, as some in that world
act like it is not such a world that being as restrictive as The Taliban is the
price for battling them and their supporters.
That gives the title of this program new meaning it did not even have a
few years ago when it was first finished.
- Nicholas Sheffo