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Wonders of the Universe 

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 »
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2011  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...  Himself - Presenter 4 episodes, 2011
...  Narrator 4 episodes, 2011
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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 the world's most profound science at its heart, Wonders Of The Universe reveals how the story of humanity is intimately entwined with that of the complex story of the origins of the universe. Written by Enzedder

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universe | wonder | time | science | nature | See All (29) »

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TV-G | See all certifications »
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3 August 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le meraviglie dell'universo  »

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1.78 : 1
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The US titles for the episodes were The Cosmos Made Conscious, Children of the Stars, The Known and the Unknown, and On Beams of Light. See more »

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Featured in Get Santa (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brian Cox takes the torch with enthusiasm for science and cosmology
26 November 2012 | by See all my reviews

In the same scope as Carl Sagan's Cosmos (1980), although not quite as comprehensive, Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe (2011) along with Wonders of the Solar System (2010) attempt to place humankind in the scale of the universe and explore some of physical science's more meaningful discoveries. Cox actually gives homage to science vulgarization pioneer, Sagan, in Wonders of the Universe which I will review here. Although Cox does not tackle subjects like time travel in a daring and direct way like Sagan, he is an eager, likable, scientist who engages and teaches with appropriate awe and metaphors.

This time Cox is aided by breathtaking HD cinematography, coupled with the technical prowess of eye-candy CGI and post-production, but the soul-searching subject remains as the core of the text to leave us in admiration, wonder and understandably a little perplexed. He explains the content and the context well and builds the viewer's knowledge along the way.

The series as a whole is a success and perhaps bridges the 30-year gap since Sagan's landmark 13-part series. Episode 1 "Destiny" defines time and describes the beginning and the end of the universe in a near- complete and cathartic way. It explains entropy, puts our existence in perspective and sets the stage for further topics and questions of the series. The second episode "Stardust" deals with chemistry from its origin to the complex carbon-based human beings that we are and the wondrously diverse world around us. It explains stellar evolution and the births and deaths of stars. It shows how everything is connected and creates a case for the continuous recycling of matter in the Universe.

Episode 3 "Falling" examines gravity, but is the lesser of the series. It does not fall completely short, but is bogged down by two experiments (weightlessness - or so-called zero g - airplane and g force accelerator) and less compelling screenplay and source material. "Messengers" ends the series on a high note and looks at light as a property, but also as a code for the history and intricacies of the universe. It also relates space and time, the Big Bang and present day quite harmoniously. It demystifies myths, shows infra-red, radio and micro waves as extensions of the light spectrum smoothly, examines the importance and apparition of eyes in evolution and leaves us with a sense of unity with the universe and ongoing inquisitiveness into our nature.

All in all, the series succeeds in promoting science, awakening curiosity and giving deeper meaning to things we may take for granted. It is beautiful and thoughtful. It lacks perhaps some of the detailed observations a more science savvy audience may expect, but it gives an accessible solid foundation for one to build further knowledge and explore on his own.

Wonders of Life (2013) will complete the "Wonders Of" series in a BBC co-production with China's CCTV. Also, Sagan's widow and co-writer will be involved in a new Fox version of Cosmos called "Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey" to be aired in 2014.

May science live long and prosper.


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