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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Science > Astronomy > Space > TV > The Stars Supernovas, The Big Bang & More (Nova/WGBH Set)

The Stars Supernovas, The Big Bang & More (Nova/WGBH Set)


Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episodes: B



Outer 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 WGBHs 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.


The image 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


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