I've been anticipating the arrival of this documentary series for months now. Finally it is here...
'Like David Attenborough, Carl Sagan’s success as a presenter came from a sincere and unrivalled passion for his subject. As he proved with his BBC lectures in the 1970s, he didn’t need props or special effects to be interesting; he spoke as well interacting with a group of school children as he did strolling along a beach, or standing next to a cardboard cut-out of what was supposed to be a spaceship.
'Yet even when these devices were employed, such as in his landmark series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, the project upon which Sagan’s legacy still rests, he himself always remained effortlessly fascinating.
'When he died of pneumonia in 1993, it seemed extremely unlikely that there would ever be a follow-up to the series, or whether a worthy successor to carry on in Sagan’s place would ever be found. But now, thirty-four years after the original aired, it returns, this time hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, presenter of PBS’s Nova ScienceNow and one of Sagan’s close friends during his lifetime.
'Gone this time around are the cardboard cut-outs and what Tyson calls “mutton chops” - i.e. scenes in which historical events are acted out by actors in tights and wigs; in Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey such stories are told through graphic novel-style animation and narrated by Tyson, who sits aboard an expensive-looking CGI spaceship, his face illuminated by flickering buttons and the kindly light of distant galaxies.' (On The Box article and Pirate Bay magnet link).