It’s been over 30 years since Cosmos: A Personal Journey hit the airwaves. The 13-part television series hosted by Carl Sagan.
First broadcast in 1980 on PBS it was the most widely-watched public television series at the time. Carl Sagan took the viewer on a voyage through history, space and time. It was truly a phenomenal show and an accompanying book was also published.
Tonight, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey will premiere on various Fox and National Geographic Channels. Hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey promises to take us on an exciting and exhilarating journey through the universe.
I have to work Sundays, so I’ll miss it tonight, but I’ll catch up on the episodes On Demand. I’m very much looking forward to this show, and I hope it will go a long way towards bringing the exploration of space and science to the forefront of our collective consciousness.
Granted, there are many, many, many problems on this planet that need to be addressed, but I believe that if we continue to ignore science and if we continue to disregard our place in the universe, these problems will never be addressed and we, as a species, will cease to exist.
The movie Contact, which starred Jodie Foster and recent Oscar winner for Best Actor, Matthew McConaughey, and was based on the novel by Carl Sagan, has a very poignant scene where Foster, who is appearing before a senate committee, is trying to describe the experience she had when she encountered beings from another galaxy.
That’s what I hope Cosmos will help people realize. Yes, we are tiny and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but we’re also special and rare and precious and that each of us has an obligation as sentient beings, gifted with the capacity to dream, question and , yes, to explore, to look around us and try to understand who and what we are and why’re we’re here.
I’m even hoping that this show will also change the landscape of what has been called “science fiction” movies and televisions for the past couple of decades. Ever since, I’d venture to say, Star Trek: Enterprise last aired, most SF movies and TV shows are less about science and exploration and more about dystopias, invasions by destructive aliens or some dangerous pathogen or virus that we’ve unleashed upon ourselves.
Hey, I admit, I watch Walking Dead religiously. But I also miss shows like the original Star Trek and even Star Trek: Next Generation that were also about exploring the stars.
Even the recent movie in the Star Trek reboot by J.J. Abrahms, Star Trek: Into Darkness, was not even about the Enterprise going where no one has gone before.
As a matter of fact, unfortunately, the movie went where everyone has gone before countless times as it was just another revenge/terrorist/let’s-blow-up-the-earth popcorn flick. *sigh*
Man, I hope kids under, let’s say, eleven years old watch Cosmos tonight and every Sunday night for the next thirteen weeks. Why? Because I’m hoping that their generation is the generation that will take us back not only to the moon, and on to Mars but to the stars themselves.