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"Cosmos" (1980) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1980-

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9.3/10   15,584 votes »
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Release Date:
28 September 1980 (USA) See more »
Astronomer Carl Sagan leads us on an engaging guided tour of the various elements and cosmological theories of the universe. Full summary »
Plot Keywords:
Won 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Greatest of All Time See more (43 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 1 of 3)
Carl Sagan ... Himself - Host (13 episodes, 1980)

Series Directed by
Adrian Malone (13 episodes, 1980)
David F. Oyster (12 episodes, 1980)
Rob McCain (11 episodes, 1980)
David Kennard (9 episodes, 1980)
Richard Wells (8 episodes, 1980)
Geoffrey Haines-Stiles (6 episodes, 1980)
Tom Weidlinger (5 episodes, 1980)
Richard J. Wells (3 episodes, 1980)
Series Writing credits
Ann Druyan (13 episodes, 1980)
Carl Sagan (13 episodes, 1980)
Steven Soter (13 episodes, 1980)

Series Produced by
Gregory Andorfer .... producer (13 episodes, 1980)
Geoffrey Haines-Stiles .... senior producer (13 episodes, 1980)
David Kennard .... senior producer (13 episodes, 1980)
Robyn Mendelsohn .... series associate producer / associate producer (13 episodes, 1980)
David F. Oyster .... associate producer / series associate producer / ... (13 episodes, 1980)
Tom Weidlinger .... series associate producer / associate producer (13 episodes, 1980)
Adrian Malone .... executive producer (12 episodes, 1980)
Rob McCain .... series associate producer / associate producer / ... (12 episodes, 1980)
Judy Flannery .... series associate producer / associate producer / ... (11 episodes, 1980)
Richard J. Wells .... series associate producer / associate producer / ... (11 episodes, 1980)
Richard Wells .... associate producer (2 episodes, 1980)
Series Cinematography by
Hilyard John Brown (2 episodes, 1980)
Chris O'Dell (2 episodes, 1980)
Series Film Editing by
James Latham (2 episodes, 1980)

Roy Stewart (unknown episodes)
Series Art Direction by
John Retsek (2 episodes, 1980)
Series Makeup Department
Tonga Knight .... makeup artist (1 episode, 1980)
Series Production Management
John Macker .... executive in charge of production / executive production manager (13 episodes, 1980)
Bea Dennis .... post-production film supervisor / post-production supervisor (2 episodes, 1980)
B. Gentry Lee .... series manager (2 episodes, 1980)
Ramon Romero .... associate post-production film supervisor / associate post-production supervisor (2 episodes, 1980)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sharlene Belanger .... associate director (2 episodes, 1980)
Series Art Department
Rick Sternbach .... astronomical artist / models (12 episodes, 1980)
John Allison .... astronomical artist / models (2 episodes, 1980)
Brown .... astronomical artist / models (2 episodes, 1980)
Don Davis .... astronomical artist / chief model maker (2 episodes, 1980)
Jon Lomberg .... chief artist (2 episodes, 1980)
Adolf Schaller .... astronomical artist / models (2 episodes, 1980)
Series Sound Department
Kent Gibson .... sound designer / sound re-recording mixer (13 episodes, 1980)
Gerald Zelinger .... sound mixer (7 episodes, 1980)
Jeff Kallestad .... audio (6 episodes, 1980)
Ruth Bird .... associate sound editor (3 episodes, 1980)
John Page .... sound (3 episodes, 1980)
Richard Van Dyke .... sound (3 episodes, 1980)
Series Visual Effects by
Peter Anderson .... visual effects supervisor: Universal Hartland / visual effects supervisor: universal hartland (13 episodes, 1980)
Max W. Anderson .... visual effects (12 episodes, 1980)
Robert Blalack .... effects production (12 episodes, 1980)
Pete Kleinow .... visual effects (12 episodes, 1980)
Jamie Shourt .... effects production (12 episodes, 1980)
John Allison .... visual effects supervisor (11 episodes, 1980)
Adolf Schaller .... visual effects supervisor (8 episodes, 1980)
Bob Buckner .... visual effects: Magicam, Inc. (4 episodes, 1980)
Pat Cole .... computer animation (4 episodes, 1980)
Jim Dow .... visual effects: Magicam, Inc. (4 episodes, 1980)
Joe Matza .... visual effects: Magicam, Inc. (4 episodes, 1980)
Susan Welsh .... visual effects: Magicam, Inc. (3 episodes, 1980)
Gregory Andorfer .... visual effects producer (2 episodes, 1980)
Bea Dennis .... effects editor (2 episodes, 1980)
Susan Racho .... visual effects production coordinator (2 episodes, 1980)

Christopher S. Ross .... magicam crew (unknown episodes)
Donna Tracy .... visual effects (unknown episodes)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Mark J. Levin .... lighting technician (13 episodes, 1980)
Kirk Morris .... lighting designer (5 episodes, 1980)
Ken Dettling .... lighting director (3 episodes, 1980)
Len Emery .... grip / gaffer (3 episodes, 1980)
Ron Graft .... camera operator (3 episodes, 1980)
Greg Harms .... video (3 episodes, 1980)
Corky Quakenbush .... camera assistant / assistant camera (3 episodes, 1980)
Scott Spencer .... gaffer / grip (3 episodes, 1980)
David Bryant .... assistant camera / camera assistant (2 episodes, 1980)
Kenneth Patterson .... camera operator (2 episodes, 1980)
Peter Rees .... camera assistant (2 episodes, 1980)

Hilyard John Brown .... location cinematographer (unknown episodes)
Chris O'Dell .... location cinematographer (unknown episodes)
Series Animation Department
Russ Mooney .... animator (unknown episodes)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Maureen Quinn .... wardrobe (1 episode, 1980)
Series Editorial Department
Jeff Cahn .... assistant film editor / editorial staff / ... (7 episodes, 1980)
Roy Stewart .... videotape editor (7 episodes, 1980)
Don Packer .... assistant film editor / assistant editor / ... (6 episodes, 1980)
Donald Wylie .... film assistant / assistant film editor / ... (6 episodes, 1980)
Paul Anderson .... film assistant / editorial staff (5 episodes, 1980)
Ruth Bird .... editorial staff / assistant film editor (3 episodes, 1980)
Ramon Romero .... assistant film editor / editorial staff (3 episodes, 1980)
Series Music Department
Gordon Skene .... music consultant (13 episodes, 1980)
Series Other crew
Janelle Balnicke .... production coordinator / locations production coordinator (13 episodes, 1980)
Adam D. Wright .... distribution executive (13 episodes, 1980)
Shirley Arden .... assistant: Carl Sagan / executive assistant: Dr. Sagan (2 episodes, 1980)
Cameron Beck .... locations production coordinator / production coordinator (2 episodes, 1980)
Charles Lux .... technical consultant (2 episodes, 1980)
Cherie Rardin .... unit coordinator (2 episodes, 1980)
Cal Slater .... technical director (2 episodes, 1980)
Steven Soter .... head of research (2 episodes, 1980)
Susan Stribling .... assistant to executive producer (2 episodes, 1980)
Steve Wyskocil .... production coordinator / stage manager / ... (2 episodes, 1980)

Stephen H. Burum .... magicam crew (unknown episodes)
John Gale .... magicam crew (unknown episodes)
Larry Heider .... magicam crew (unknown episodes)
Mike Johnson .... magicam crew (unknown episodes)
Robert C. King .... magicam crew (unknown episodes)
Cleve Landsberg .... magicam crew (unknown episodes)
Carey Melcher .... technical designer (unknown episodes)
George C. Reilly .... magicam crew (unknown episodes)
Joe Wolcott .... magicam crew (unknown episodes)
Series Thanks
Thomas Fletcher .... special thanks (13 episodes, 1980)
David Pieri .... thanks (2 episodes, 1980)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" - USA (complete title)
See more »
60 min (13 episodes)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

When Turner Broadcasting bought the rights to release Cosmos on VHS for the 10th anniversary of the original PBS series, CNN filmed a special 1-hour program titled "Cosmos, Episode 14: Ted Turner Interviews Dr. Sagan", where Ted Turner talks with Carl Sagan about his creation, Cosmos. In it, Sagan and Turner discuss the preservation of the Earth, nuclear weapons, the greenhouse effect, and other topics. It is only available as the last tape of the fourteen-tape series and it is not included on the DVD version.See more »
Carl Sagan:Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group. Initially our loyalties were to ourselves and our immediate family, next, to bands of wandering hunter-gatherers, then to tribes, small settlements, city-states...See more »
CosmosSee more »


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109 out of 111 people found the following review useful.
Greatest of All Time, 28 July 2004
Author: dlevine from Palo Alto, CA

Cosmos is, hands-down, the greatest educational series of all-time. Even the wonderful (and highly recommended) history series Connections can't hold a flame to the perfection of Cosmos. If you don't believe me, look at the user ratings.

It makes me tear up that most of my friends and almost all Americans don't know what Cosmos is (or what "cosmos" means), yet they can name every Friends cast member and their character's name and quirks.

Computer graphics have come a long way since 1980, and just a few minor scientific updates are needed, but the series was so far ahead of its time that other than the spaceship deck set, the hair, and the clothes, it doesn't seem dated in 2004. It won the Peabody and Emmy awards, and remains to this day the most watched PBS series of all time (600+ million viewers in 60 countries).

The series is 13-hours, but ought to count as a three semester hour (~45 hours of class) Intro to Cosmology college course. Sagan's ability to communicate the essence of the cosmos and the history of scientific discovery is concise and absorbs the viewer.

If ever there was a series that explained "life, the universe and everything" (an appropriate quote from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Cosmos is it. Cosmos takes the viewer on a journey from the origin of the universe to the end of time and displays it as easily as looking at a calendar on a wall (literally, at least from the origin until present time!). Evolution of all life on Earth is condensed into a simple animation only a few seconds long. A detailed history of the origins and interactions between religion and science is engaging and sure to provoke discourse between viewers. The series also explores the massive capacities of information available in the brain and DNA (virtually wiping aside "nature" in favor of "nurture"). Cosmos details Mars and Venus and uses them to eloquently describe the "greenhouse effect" and its possible repercussions on Earth. I could describe episode by episode, by suffice it to say, it encompasses almost every "big picture" question one could ask.

Some people knock Carl Sagan for seeming smug or turning from a researcher to a public entertainer. I think of his entertainment as education to a broader audience, and any smugness should be discounted in favor of the information being conveyed. Sagan did society a tremendous favor by making this series. This is the most digestible science series I've ever seen. This should be required viewing for all high school students (or elementary students in their later elementary grades).

Whether you buy it, rent it, check it out from the library, or borrow it from a friend, watch this series. Thanks to Cosmos, you will have a better understanding of your universe.

(Incidentally, Sagan's speech is suspiciously similar in style to Agent Smith's from the Matrix. I've never heard of Hugo Weaving crediting Sagan as an inspiration but, intentionally or not, the similarity is there.)

Was the above review useful to you?
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