The Stars – Supernovas, The Big Bang & More (Nova/WGBH Set)
Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episodes: B
space and the ideas about it are changing fast.
The latest controversy is about demoting Pluto from a planet to whatever
else despite having that status all this time.
You think they could make an exception.
But that is not all the excitement that has been going on lately in the
exploration and theories of space. The Stars – Supernovas, The Big Bang &
More offers three programs from WGBH’s Nova
series that look even further than Pluto to figure out origins, events and
happenings that are vital to understand now more than ever.
Death Star is not about anything George
Lucas created, but about entities first detected in 1967 that are so massive,
that one could instantly wipe out our own planet if one went off close
enough. It took three decades for
scientists to begin to know and figure out what they discovered, then new
debates arose. If the explosion does not
kill you, the gamma radiation would. And
you thought black holes were bad.
Death Of A Star has to do with Supernovas
exploding, a third big threat to the giant fabric of space. The oldest o0f the programs, it reminds us
how great Nova was in even its
earliest days. I think a few items here
were dated, but it is still a strong, informative installment.
Runaway Universe has to do with the theory that
the universe is expanding so much that we will be isolated far in the future
with hardly anything to see. Instead of
letting things become to gigantified, the program starts with what Einstein
thought was his big theoretical goof, but might have also turned out to be more
correct than he ever could have imagined.
We learn about Supernovas (and further than the last program) as two
different science teams tackle what is really going on.
is letterboxed 1.78 X 1 on all programs except Death Of A Star, which is an older 1.33 X 1 analog production. They are all a bit soft, though anamorphic
enhancement would have helped the letterboxed discs. Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is simple and has no
surrounds, with Death Of A Star
showing it age the most. The only extra
are weblinks on all three titles and DVD-ROM printable materials on Runaway Universe. This is a good set worth checking out.
- Nicholas Sheffo