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56 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Astronomical Wonder for the whole family

Author: prubin-1 from United States
31 March 2010

Our family loves this series, and it offers something for all ages. Professor Brian Cox is remarkably youthful in his presentations and appearance, and his fresh approach is accessible and exciting to watch. Brian has a wonderful way of bringing together modern and classic topics of astronomy to produce a truly breathtaking experience. In Episode 1, Empire of the Sun, Brian discusses the elements of the Solar Wind, its vast expanse, and the how our magnetic field protects us from these high energy particles. Then there's a tremendous visual and narrative the clearly explains the Northern Lights. And Brian is constantly traveling the globe to experience first hand these wonders. When Brian is viewing a full solar eclipse, he presents the event in the context of the everyone around him witnessing this remarkable event. When the sky goes dark, I could actually see what it was like for these folks, and minutes later, when the sun begins to reappear, you can really feel the emotional outburst of the crowd. Each episode is dramatically and skillfully crafted for an unbelievable experience. Not since the days of Carl Sagan and Cosmos have we enjoyed these wonders.

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39 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Wonders of documentary

Author: Wugang from United Kingdom
7 April 2010

This series, describing and explaining some of the extraordinary discoveries made in astronomy and our explorations of the solar system as well as our own world, ranks as one of the most entertaining and informative series of programmes I've seen in a long life of watching too much television.

While some of the images are repeated too often to maintain their initial impact, the visuals are stunning and generally essential to the narrative. The presenter, Brian Cox and most of the other contributors manage to demonstrate and explain the physics, chemistry and biology in ways that are both very rich and elegantly simple. The overall result is the sense of wonder that is promised in the title.

The most impressive feature of the series is the way that the strands are woven together, keeping life at the focus of a journey through awesome reaches of space and time. These are essentially wonders for everyone, not just physics professors. The production's faith in the intelligence of its audience is matched by the deep understanding of the subject that underlies the apparently effortless presentation.

This series is the antidote to the many formulaic, sensationalist and half baked documentaries that are increasingly dominating the schedules.

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39 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Is there anybody out there?

Author: peterclark99 from United Kingdom
4 April 2010

Brian Cox is the kind of man who can incite excitement in adults, change career paths of the young, and generally engage and include people of all levels of intelligence. His rock star credentials have clearly allowed him to transcend stereotypical geekiness, and purvey complex matters in simplistic formats. Maybe he is a genius? A man who clearly has a highly active brain in both the areas of arts and science. It is just such a guy that the country needs as it seeks to transform itself from a Nation of number crunching Accountants to a re-establishing Nation of scientists, engineers and innovators. He is clearly a reminder of what we once were and what this great Nation once spawned, and more importantly he has answered some of the biggest questions that have shadowed mankind since the creation of time.

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25 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Dr.Cox rocks!

Author: Grace from Florida
13 August 2010

What's with everyone bashing Dr.Cox? I think he's fascinating. He explains complex subjects in simple ways, and is obviously passionate about what he's doing. He speaks clearly, and I feel like he pauses just long enough for you to absorb the information before he moves on. I have to say though, sometimes it's difficult to absorb the information because I'm distracted by how darn handsome he is! That man makes science sexy. ;-)

The places he visits are amazing. It's very interesting to get to see (and learn about) these different places while also learning about the solar system. I loved the part about Aurora Borealis. But my favorite parts are when he makes models (of different things like Saturn's rings and moons) with ordinary items like rocks and sand, and then explains it so well that it seems that those rocks and sand are the absolute perfect tools for explaining whatever complex thing he's talking about.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A More Faithful Review: The Show's Format

Author: Tylertv from United States
29 July 2011

I wrote this review because I wasn't satisfied with what was already written. Other reviewers mentioned many "flaws" with this program which I believe are actually essential strengths which set this documentary apart.

For instance, other reviewers mention the show's "distracting" scene changes. However, if you really listen to what is being said, as opposed to simply looking at where the host is standing, the scene changes are essential to the show's format. The strength of this program is that every astronomical concept is immediately compared to an Earth based equivalent or analogy. This format really clarifies what is being said and provides the viewer a deeper appreciation for the show's content.

In summary, if you are looking for a show which describes the solar system in an intuitive way, as opposed to the history lecture format of many other shows, check it out! Sure the host's voice takes a little time to get used to, but the shows content is worth it.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I was reborn..!!

Author: vivek1303 from India
18 February 2014

I was reborn..!!

What locales, what angles, what direction, what music, what theories, what mysteries...!! An amazingly well written series. Some of the episodes are, of course, much better than others. Especially, the Empires of the sun and the thin blue line were amazing.

Cox takes you from one extreme to another while nourishing one's hunger for cosmos and other worlds. His analogies and examples are very engaging and simple. The way the whole episodes reaches a pin-pointed theme at the end is very fulfilling. Apart from that, the amazing screen-shots one can get from roaming around from one exquisite part of earth to another are simply stunning.

I have seen a lot of hatred for the presenter but it is ill-meant. Brian Cox does seem lost at times, but that is because he gets so immersed into whatever mystery he is explaining, that he himself moves to some other level. His passion and love for explaining such intricate details (whole world's Gold is no more than 3 Olympic pools) is amazing. And, the way he relates such esoteric topics to real life was simply superb.

This series is the most reinvigorating series I have ever witnessed. Cox's Wonders of the Universe is equally engaging (but not of the same level and it does get repetitive at times...but still worth a watch). I feel bad though, as its new season isn't coming anytime soon.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Encourages deeper thinking

Author: Jarrod Brown from Australia
25 October 2011

Many reviewers I believe are entirely missing the point of this documentary series, people complain about the lack of complexity and detail. It is very clear that Brian has an immense passion for what he is talking about and wishes to share that passion, to show those who had no prior interest in science what it is all about.

If you are looking for an array of fun little facts about the solar system then this isn't for you, I can recommend "The Universe" documentary series for that. If you are already a fan of science and enjoy watching other similar documentaries then chances are you won't learn a great deal, but again that isn't the point.

Brian is trying to show that there is more to science than learning facts and is attempting to illustrate the wonderous side of science. Many it seems are utterly unable to handle anything that isn't loaded with CGI and facts. But for those who can enjoy a humble and passionate series presented by a humble and passionate presenter, I would recommend this series to.

Granted Brian Cox is no Carl Sagan and this series is no 'Cosmos' it can definitely do what it sets out to do which is to inspire those capable of holding a child-like sense of wonder and a passion for deeper thinking.

This series will encourage the curious minds to think deeper about things and won't attempt to overload you by repeatedly shouting interesting space facts at you.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

in response to cinemapassion

Author: madfranco from United Kingdom
30 September 2010

i haven't logged into IMDb for years but i thought i'd make a special exception to say how far off the mark i felt you (cinemapassion) were with you're wonders.. review. i think that you completely missed the point, you have reviewed it from a standpoint pointing out things that were missing from it but not really ever understanding what the program was. it seems you've reviewed it as if this were an essay or a report on new discoveries in the solar system which it isn't, it's a bbc production telling the vast majority of people in Britain a bit of information they probably didn't know about the solar system (our solar system which is why it didn't mention neighboring solar systems).

in summary:

1- most bbc factual entertainment programs are only commissioned for 5 shows which is why there is only a limited number of things covered, also brian cox chose to write what he wanted to make a program about, it's your subjectivity which is the problem if you were't happy with what you learned, and if you already knew it why bother watching the program?

2- the lack of graphics was probably due to budgetary constraints or a creative choice, there wasn't really any massive need for more graphics and the fact things were shot on location (i feel was a good thing), was to show the massive similarities there are even on alien worlds!

3- again it is your subjectivity which is the problem, i personally like brian cox, i think he's quite funny.

4- i personally didn't have a problem with the editing, it was a documentary ON TV so why would images stay on the screen for prolonged times for someone to study them, read a book or watch it on DVD and discover the wonders of the pause button.

5- that's just a mean comment and not objective critical analysis of the program, maybe a poor attempt at humour?

in detail-

1- there is some repetition but mainly between episodes or you may be confused with what the function of an introduction and credits are.

in David attenborough documentaries the information is much more easy to grasp and doesn't require massive knowledge of physics and other subjects the majority of Britain has not much grasp of, that is why if you want to learn about the science become a scientist, not watch a bbc TV program.

i've already covered why he didn't cover what you wanted him to cover so i will also point out that you didn't make the television program which is probably another reason why he didn't cover everything you wanted him to cover.

and why didn't he cover any complex physics... (BBC PRIME TIME)

2- well you've explained to yourself that it is because of the similarities why he travelled to look at similarities between alien worlds so again; your subjectivity = the problem and if you want to continue to complain about the lack of graphics why don't you go live in tron?

3- this reader feels the reviewer may be a jilted ex the way they continue to attack the presenter and has still no grasp of the function of an informative program as opposed to a space probe.

4- & 5- not a book, jilted lover.

something on the oort cloud would have been good though..

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11 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Christian Rock Video

Author: dikdik3001 from United States
31 July 2011

Trying to watch this TV show was like trying to watch a bad Christian rock video. There were tons of lingering shots of Brian Cox staring off into the distance looking at some "majestic" scenery, a lot of silhouettes of him posing as the sun or stars rise above him, multiple shots of him contemplating the universe or absorbing in some "fantastic" sight--all of this accompanied by horrible, drowning music. Half the time I was left wondering if it was actually a science show or not because of how little information was actually given. If you can stomach watching what I have just described, or know very little about the solar system or basic physics, then this show is for you; otherwise, stay clear or prepare to be both bewildered and angered by the fact that the BBC has produced such a mind-boggling awful show.

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16 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Grinning Brian Cox

Author: njmollo from London
13 March 2011

This extraordinary subject is made unpalatable by the grinning presenter Brian Cox. Brian Cox is annoying, unengaging and lacks the authority this subject needs.

The production itself seems very excessive with Cox being flown to remote locations probably at very high expense to expound upon time and the universe.

Every second shot seems to be a close-up or long-shot of the presenter.

It is almost unbelievable that such a wondrous subject could be made so boring because of inept presentation, writing, editing and clichéd post-production sound design.

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