Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

New version of ‘Cosmos’ is a dream come true

I finally got around to watching the new “Cosmos” on Tuesday, two days after it aired on the National Geographic Channel.

I wanted to finish the 2000 version of the original series with Carl Sagan first, and had the DVDs in hand for that series. People who are expecting Neil deGrasse Tyson to be a Carl Sagan clone and for the new series to track with the old one are in for a disappointment. First of all, a big part of Sagan’s series was the music of Vangelis. It’s kind of odd to not hear the introduction music or the song “Alpha” in certain sections.

Tyson is his own man, and he takes “Cosmos” in a new and fresher direction. Science has advanced tremendously in the 34 years since the original aired and even with the updates that Sagan made to his original as well as the 2000 update, much has changed.

We have a space telescope, we have clear proof of planets orbiting other stars – something that was only theorized in the original run – and we have a global Internet in which information is available to nearly everyone instantaneously.

The commercials are disruptive, so I’m sure that near the end of the 13-episode run we’ll start seeing the ads for the complete DVD collection, as we would if the series were on PBS. I think that’d be the best way to watch Tyson’s version.

He’s an engaging personality and his appearance the following day on “The Colbert Report” showed that he’s willing to go where the people are to make his case for science.

One thing it has done is made me even more determined to find and share my 1993 interview with Carl Sagan. I have a microcassette player now and just have to plow through all those little tapes. Just as Tyson describes Sagan being so friendly and accessible, I found Sagan to be that way when I called him to interview him before he came to Florida Atlantic University for a presentation.

Maybe I’ll get to interview Tyson one of these days. That would be a great joy in my life.

In the meantime, there are 12 more episodes of “Cosmos” ahead. It’s going to be a great three months.

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March 11, 2014 - Posted by | Living in the modern age, Observations with Vinny | , , , , ,

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