For a program like Fox's new version of the classic Carl Sagan science series Cosmos, images are worth billions and billions of words. Behold!
Premiering tonight at 9pm on the Fox broadcast network along with a slew of other Fox-affiliated cable networks ganged together for a huge simulcast event, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is an update of Sagan's seminal scientific series Cosmos: A Personal Journey which electrified PBS viewers over thirty years ago. Sagan's widow Ann Druyan is one of the forces behind this re-do, as is animation dynamo Seth McFarlane, and they've picked the very best guy out there to carry on in Sagan's footsteps as our guide to the Universe. Astrophysicist, Hayden Planetarium director and frequent science media personality Neil
Follow him on Twitter here, and listen to a great recent interview on NPR here.
At a time when Science is frequently under assault by a certain vociferous slice of the population (especially in America, where sadly it's not merely a philosophical debate but one often framed by money and self-interest), Cosmos could play an important part in re-igniting the wonder that makes us appreciate our precarious and precious place in Space. Indeed, the planet is groaning under the collective weight of intellectual apathy and outmoded superstitions. Bring it on, Cosmos!
Predictably postive reviews out there already for the show, including this one from Maureen Ryan at Huffington Post which includes a charming paragraph about the reactions her young son had; this from USA Today, The Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor. Many more out there, of course.
The 13-part Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey airs tonight at 9pm on the combined Fox networks and then only on Fox proper for the rest of the episodes, with extra-footage encores appearing on the National Geographic Channel at 10pm Monday nights and also 10pm Fridays.