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 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).