Newton’s Dark Secrets (Nova)
Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episode: B-
Sir Isaac Newton was so ahead of his time, that he was off
figuring out secrets of the universe no one could have begun to guess at. Gravity, Calculus, the invention of the
telescope and more, for instance, are at the top of the list. He eventually was partly recognized, but he
made that time short-lived because of ridicule, so his later studies (known and
little known) went underground. The Nova
installment Newton’s Dark Secrets adds some more unusual journeys into
considering the end of the world happening in 2060 based on his research of the
final chapters of The Bible and the outlawed practice of alchemy.
Running the usual near-hour in length, the aside continues
as Newton actually becomes involved with The Church Of England and starts to
secretly disagree with the concept of The Divine Trinity. However, this is not a religious show, but
one that shows his searching into faith, alchemy and nature as new avenues he
went down to figure out other undiscovered secrets of the world. The result is a solid show, as usual for Nova.
The letterboxed 16 X 9/1.78 X 1 image is not bad, though
one wishes (once again that) it were anamorphic. With that said, it is newly shot and always
interesting to watch with its models and digital graphics showing how the
scientists involved trace all their theories through. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no
surrounds, but is a recent recording with good fidelity. Extras are the usual WGBH weblink, DVD-ROM
printable educational materials, descriptive video services in this case and
closed captions, but that is all.
- Nicholas Sheffo