In each episode, geologist Dr. Iain Stewart explains the effects and importance of a specific force of nature, such as wind or volcanism. He also examines the various ways in which it ... See full summary »
Professor Brian Cox visits some of the most dramatic parts of the globe to explain the fundamental principles that govern the laws of nature - light, gravity, energy, matter and time. With ... See full summary »
My first impression of this, as I watched it, was that the visuals were very well done, and indeed they are. Great graphics make you really see how it looks when the events described occur. If it were just a graphic presentation, I would have given it a 10/10.
Unfortunately, it wasn't. While the presentation, including Sam Neill's narration, was very well done, the content was extremely scarce, and what was there had me raising my eyebrows. There is very little information in this that can't be gotten out of a grade school level book. The series makes very simple, obvious assertions about the universe and stretches them out for a half hour each. What's more is that it is strangely alarmist, giving the feeling that we could all die at any moment from some huge cataclysm. While that's true on some level, it's also extremely unlikely that a comet or asteroid will strike us out of the blue. To watch this series, you would think it was inevitable within our lifetimes.
It also makes the assertion that the only hope for humanity's future lies in colonizing the stars. This may or may not be true. In the several billion years before this even becomes an issue, we may very well discover how to keep the sun burning longer, how to live in the vacuum of space, or any number of other things that would make that much less relevant. There is no pressing need to colonize other worlds right now, though I admit I love the idea of doing it.
In all, outside of the alarmism, I suppose this would be good for someone who is very unfamiliar with astronomy in general. But if you have some knowledge of the subject, you won't get much out of this besides nice graphics.
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