Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey Preview

6 03 2014

CosmosLogoIt has been three long decades since Carl Sagan’s groundbreaking series, “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” premiered. Brought to you by executive producers Brannon Braga, Mitchell Cannold, Ann Druyan and Seth MacFarlane, and hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, we set off on the Ship of the Imagination to discover our Cosmic Address and our coordinates in space and time. First, we meet Giordano Bruno in the Italy of the Renaissance, a wandering priest who had a spiritual epiphany of this much grander universe. Later, Tyson takes us on a walk across the Cosmic Calendar, where all of time is compressed into a football field-sized year at a glance calendar, with each month representing a little more than a billion years, in the all-new “Standing Up in the Milky Way” series premiere episode of COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY airing Sunday, March 9 from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET/PT across multiple U.S. Fox networks, including Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX), National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, FX, FXX, FXM, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and FOX Life.

After the cross-network premiere event, COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY will continue its epic 13-episode run, airing Sundays from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET/PT on FOX and Mondays — with all-new bonus footage and behind-the-scenes content — on the National Geographic Channel from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET/PT.
The original series “COSMOS: A PERSONAL VOYAGE” first premiered in September 1980 on PBS, and for 10 years was the most watched series ever on public television in America. Based on his book of the same name, and written for television by Sagan, Ann Druyan and Steven Soter, the series was a stunning and iconic exploration of the universe as revealed by science that took viewers through a galaxy of topics to help explain the universe and humanity’s place in it. Called “a watershed moment for science programming” by Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times, Sagan brought science into the mainstream by explaining complex theories in a way that everyone could comprehend and appreciate. Among the areas explored are the life cycle of stars, genetics, laws of planetary motion, the journey to Mars, the search for intelligent life beyond Earth and The Big Bang Theory.
More than three decades after the debut of “COSMOS: A PERSONAL VOYAGE,” Seth MacFarlane has teamed with Sagan’s original creative collaborators Druyan and Soter to conceive the 13-part series that will serve as a successor to the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning original series.

I had goosebumps when the show started and they did not stop until the end. The graphics are stunning. The most important thing about this show is the science. This is a show that can be watched by families together on a Sunday night and open up dialogues of discussion and perhaps inspire the next generation of astronomers, astrophysicists, astronauts, and teachers.

Fortunately for me my world is big enough for God and science to co-exist without contradicting one another. You may be surprised that many religions, including Christianity, embrace the theory of evolution: Bahá’í, contemporary Christian religions (including Anglicanism, United Methodist Church, Church of the Nazarene, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Roman Catholic Church), Deism, Hinduism, Daśāvatāras, Islam, Ahmadiyya, Judaism, and Pantheism. Of course I am certain that there are members of these religions that would beg to differ. I was born Catholic. On October 22, 1996, Pope John Paul II, in a speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences plenary session at the Vatican, said, “This theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory.” Pope John Paul II believed it is the human soul that is created by God.

The end of this particular episode had a touching tribute to Carl Sagan that made tears fall from my eyes. It is the power of passing things on from teacher/mentor to student. I think Carl Sagan, if he were here among us on this Earth, would be proud.

(COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY is produced by Cosmos Studios, the Ithaca, N.Y.-based company Ann Druyan co-founded in 2000, and Fuzzy Door Productions, MacFarlane’s company. Druyan and Steven Soter are the series’ writers. Druyan, MacFarlane, Cosmos Studios President Mitchell Cannold and Brannon Braga (the “Star Trek” franchise, “24”) executive-produce the series. Jason Clark (“Ted,” “42”) co-executive produces. “Like” COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY on Facebook at facebook.com/COSMOSonTV. Follow the series on Twitter @COSMOSonTV and join the discussion at #cosmos.)

(I wish to thank FOX VIP and Fox Broadcasting for the privilege of viewing the episode).





Terra Nova Genesis

25 09 2011

By Hilda Clark Bowen

Forewarning: This preview may contain spoilers, but such spoilers are already readily available on the internet from interviews, previews and the like.

“Welcome to paradise.” And welcome to the one of the most awaited shows in television, a show so ambitiously graphic, the original premiere date was cancelled for this later date, a show so heavily publicized on so many different channels and venues to every possible demographic imaginable, it cannot possibly fail. But as one Twitter friend pointed out, it is going up against Monday Night Football; he felt it was only a matter of time before it was moved to another day. I doubt there is any show that wins over Monday Night Football, but Fox must have great confidence that this show can compete.

After viewing the first 60 minutes, courtesy of Fox VIP, I can say this show has something for everyone. It is not primarily about dinosaurs. There is drama, humor, love, action, angst, heartthrob-status rebellious teenagers, adorable children, betrayal, mystery, idyllic tropical backdrops, and out-of-this-world visual effects.

The show centers on the Shannon family: Jim (Jason O’Mara) and Elisabeth (Shelley Conn), and their 3 children, Josh (Landon Liboiron), Maddy (Naomi Scott), and Zoe (Alana Mansour). That is a problem in 2149 because the air is toxic and population is controlled to a maximum of 2 children. It is an even greater problem since Jim is a law enforcement officer. Their secret is discovered and the family is put through an ordeal that would tear other families apart. Love wins and without giving the details of how it happens, they manage to arrive to Terra Nova for a fresh start, but not without heartache for one of the members of the family. Jim has to prove himself to Commander Nathaniel Taylor (Stephen Lang) before he entrusts him with a secret. Not everyone is in harmony in Terra Nova. Expedition 6 left the compound for unknown reasons, and there is violence between them. The leader of expedition 6, Mira, will be quite familiar to every “Stargate SG-1” fan, Christine Adams. There will be trials ahead for the Shannon family as well as they adjust to their new lives.

The show has the potential to be the next “Lost” with mysteries already being unlocked in the pilot episode. The writers, knowing how intelligent their audience will be, give a great explanation of why the butterfly effect will not occur–this is an alternate timeline. What is fantastic about that is that the writers will not be bound to what our knowledge base is for prehistoric history, being free to create new and interesting theories and–of course–fascinating new dinosaurs (and I’m sure other creatures).

The executive producers on Terra Nova are:  Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Brannon Braga, Rene Echevarria, Alex Graves, Jon Cassar, Aaron Kaplan, Katherine Pope, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Craig Silverstein, and Kelly Marcel. The director for “Genesis”, the pilot episode, is Alex Graves. The episode was written by Kelly Marcel, Allan Loeb, and Craig Silverstein. It premieres Monday night on Fox at 8 p.m. /7 p.m. central.

While it is airing in the United States, the finale episode is being shot in Australia. Several of the people associated with production have expressed a desire to try to live-tweet while the episode is occurring if time permits. So follow these Twitter feeds Monday night:

@JonCassar
@Jason_Omara
@TerraNovaonFOX
@joeh90
@NaomiScott
@JoseMolinaTV
@traviswf
@earnestracket
@Simone_Kessell
@TerryMatalas
@allisonemiller
@teamcephalopod