In this comprehensive cosmology series Stephen Hawking looks at the entire universe, from the Big Bang to the end of time.
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2010  
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 Stephen Hawking (3 episodes, 2010)
...
 Himself (3 episodes, 2010)
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In this comprehensive cosmology series Stephen Hawking looks at the entire universe, from the Big Bang to the end of time.

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25 April 2010 (USA)  »

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Stephen Hawking's Universe  »

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A captivating mix of science and science fiction
22 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Stephen Hawking, the wheelchair-bound theoretical physicist who joined Einstein and Newton at Data's holodeck poker table in Star Trek:The Next Generation brings us this stunning look into the realms of sci-fi speculation and science. You may think a documentary hosted by someone who can't move and speaks in a computer-generated monotone would be boring but this three episode mini-series is anything but. Hawking appears only to punctuate the segments and a smoother-voiced narrator speaks for him most of the time. It's his inner vision of the universe and it's incredible possibilities that take us along on this fantastic ride.

The first two episodes seem more like sci-fi than science; the third is mostly a cosmology primer- the basics of the history, structure and dynamics of the universe:

  • "Aliens" gives us an intriguing look at what life might look like in
bizarre extraterrestrial landscapes and the possibilities and implications of first contact.

  • "Time Travel" explores the scientific basis and intriguing "what
ifs?" of travel through time.

  • "The Story Of Everything" brings us back to pure science for the most
part covering the basic tenets of cosmology with the same compelling examples, engaging style and eye-candy photography and graphics as the first two episodes. It dabbles in sci-fi towards the end as it speculates about human migration to the stars.

For me personally, the third episode was an anti-climax twice as long and half as interesting as the first two. This is because I've watched many cosmology documentaries and despite the presentation the subject matter covered was just too basic and repetitive to interest me. If you're new to cosmology however, you'll probably find it as riveting as the first two episodes. If you're a strong believer in a Creator or Intelligent Design, you may be a bit put off by the unambiguous lack of support for them here.

This series is very accessible for a layperson or student who doesn't follow science, anyone from grade school on up should enjoy this series. Hard-core science fans like me should appreciate it for it's wonderful imagination and spectacular presentation. Check it out.


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