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177 of 179 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billions and billions
Just received my copy of this dvd after years of searching for a decent region 2 copy. I'm absolutely delighted with it. I, like many others, remember watching it as a child and being staggered and inspired by the scale of Sagan's vision. What was even more wonderful was the warmth with which this vision was presented; this is no cold scientific enquiry but allows...
Published on 21 July 2009 by JJJ

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic tv series but
if you are planning to watch this on a 50 inch TV don't bother as the quality is that bad it is unwatchable a great shame.
Published 7 months ago by P. Blakey


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177 of 179 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billions and billions, 21 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
Just received my copy of this dvd after years of searching for a decent region 2 copy. I'm absolutely delighted with it. I, like many others, remember watching it as a child and being staggered and inspired by the scale of Sagan's vision. What was even more wonderful was the warmth with which this vision was presented; this is no cold scientific enquiry but allows soaring imagination while absolutely respecting the scientific method. I guess I bought it out of nostalgia but I've just watched it again - it's quite incredible, even now, 30 years later.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply seminal, 23 Feb 2010
By 
ds (Whitby, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
Like many others, this is the series that, all of thirty years ago, inspired wonder in a ten year old boy's eyes, fuelling an already feverish desire to understand more about the world around him. Perhaps the key thing to understand about this series is the deeply human way Sagan presents his material. It's easy for him to inculcate that wonder in others because it is clear that as he goes on his journey he is filled with just as much of it as we are, and is just as excited and awestruck as any of us, perhaps even more so.

But then, apart from being a quite phenomenal scientific polymath (or indeed, just a polymath), he was also one of 20th century American science's great communicators, along with the late lamented Richard Feynman. Anyone who doubts this only has to watch the beginning of episode 2, as Sagan recounts, over a reconstruction, the story of the Heike crab, and humanity's pivotal, yet accidental, role in its evolution. All through the series Sagan's commentary (co-written with his wife Ann Druyan inter alia) is written with the verbal grace of any good novelist. But perhaps this is only to be expected seeing as he also wrote both Contact and his superlative work of non-fiction, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

It's not just the content, however, that is exemplary. The sound and picture quality are remarkably good for a thirty year old broadcast and there are extras which include Sagan himself providing updates to the science introduced in the earlier shows. And of course, in addition to all that, there is that beautiful Vangelis soundtrack, mostly taken from his album Heaven and Hell. Like pretty much all of this series, the tone is pitch perfect.

In short, pretty much anyone with an interest in science or a wonder for the world around them must have a copy of this on their shelf at home to dip into from time to time to reaffirm it. Sagan is still a great personal hero of mine and it's sad that he's been gone so long now, but even if he'd done nothing else, this series deservedly keeps both his work and memory alive for some years to come.
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163 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Tv series about space ever!!, 19 July 2009
By 
Room for a View - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
This is not just another TV series about space this is a Carl Sagan TV series about space. And as such it encapsulates Sagan's supreme majesty for the wonder of the cosmos and the central importance of humanity to observe and to try and understand the realm of the night sky. For me Sagan is the archetypal humanist: non-judgemental, compassionate, tolerant and objective. He exudes passion, humour and warmth with such a degree that the last episode brings tears to my eyes, particularly when his ship of the imagination encounters a lifeless planet Earth sometime in the future. Some viewers may find the format somewhat dated and Sagan does sometimes appear wooden in front of the camera but these are minor quibbles when compared with the man's awesome intelligence and benign demeanour. There is so much to enjoy in every episode, from the history of humanity's quest for knowledge, from the very small to the very large and from the first complex molecules to us. No stone is left unturned as Sagan travels through time and space, exploring mysteries and explaining them, searching for truths and exposing superstitions and handling the subject of religion with profound tolerance. After all who can blame an ancient civilisations for thinking the stars were camp fires warming the inhabitants of some far off world. It is this aspect of this epic series that makes Sagan stand out from the CGI infested, celebrity fronted, blandness of subsequent TV offerings. Long live Carl Sagan: Master of the Universe.
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104 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best after all these years, 27 July 2009
This review is from: Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
I watched this series as a child of 12 in the 80's and was enthralled at the knowledge and wonder it imparted upon me. It placed in me a fascination for cosmology not because I had any interest in science, but because Sagan answered the questions I had about evolution, atoms and the universe in a way that can only be described as the conversation of a freind. Before Sagan, we were dictated to by the "experts" and may have understood the questions but found it hard to understand the answer. "Cosmos" is a ground-breaking series on the nature of our universe, presented in simple, humanitarian terms. Very little has changed in our knowledge of the cosmos since this series ran, so it is still a valid exploration of our universe. This edition includes "updates" which are, in fact, little more than a nod to new discoveries or recently proved theorums already outlined in the main programme. This series is timeless, and should be shown to every school-child in the world. And, indeed, every adult ignorant of cosmology. Wonderful television. Wonderful subject.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This will change your life....., 30 Jan 2012
This review is from: Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
I count myself as a knowledgeable amateur in the field of astronomy. I own and highly recommend such titles as Professor Brian Cox's "Wonders of the..." series, and like to keep abreast of current developments in the science.
Therefore, I was in two minds of whether to purchase this DVD set. after all, a series from 1980 would likely be dated both graphically, and scientifically. In the end, the £7.50 price tag together with a glass or three of Pinot grigio swung it.

Two days later - as is the usual case with wonderful Amazon.co.uk - the set was in my hands. I decided to watch the first episode in the early evening before switching over to the football at 7.45.

I was still watching Cosmos at 1AM in the morning, and couldn't give a damn about the scoreline between Crystal Palace and Cardiff city. Quite simply, this series is mesmorising. As much about life on earth, the Human Mind and how, as a species, we could exist if we tried, as it is about Astronomy. Carl Sagan's "personal voyage" doesn't just focus on actual scientific How and Why, but insipres an awe and wonder and expansion of the mind that I've not felt since I was a small child. (I am now in my late 30s).

To detail each episode here would for me seem like robbing any potential buyers of that same feeling upon hearing carl's wonderful voice as he takes the viwer on the journey to that new viewpoint, so I won't even try.

If it was within my power to do so, every world leader from David Cameron to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be forced to watch this series upon assuming leadership of their country. Especially episode 13.

Please.. buy it, watch it, and never look at a dandelion seedhead in the same way again. You will never spend a wiser £7.50.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Awesome!, 16 Nov 2009
This review is from: Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
I first saw this classic around 1985 and it quite literally changed my views on life, death, the universe and everything completely.

For anyone who has ever asked such questions as "Why are we here?" "How was the Earth made" and "What is it to be human" this is a must watch TV series. Quite possibly the most important and awe inspiring piece of television ever made.

In this thirteen hour five disc epic the legendary astronomer Carl Sagan takes us on a personal guided tour through the history of the universe from the Big Bang to the anticipated death of the sun billions and billions of years from now in the distant future.

The section that deals with evolution and Darwinism is superb, I wish I had watched this before doing my Biology "O" and "A" levels; they would have been so much easier to understand.

Watching Cosmos one feels as if one is being led on a great adventure through the mysteries of science and time by one of those rare breed of teachers that we sometimes are lucky enough to experience during our childhood, the type who can transfix a child's attention and explain in simple terms the most daunting and complex concepts in such a way as to make learning a real joy. Cosmos is the ultimate educational classic and is so transfixing you will probably want to watch the whole thirteen hours in one sitting. It is the screen equivalent of the book that you just can't put down and sit up in bed reading into the early hours of the morning until you gently drift off to sleep, your mind whirring with excitement and fascination and anticipation for the next chapter.......
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Fantastic, 24 Aug 2009
By 
Gordon Copestake (Newcastle-under-Lyme, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
I purchased this DVD after someone bought me the accompanying book as a gift. Unlike some previous reviewers (despite being of a certain age) I never caught the TV series first time round. Needless to say I'm very pleased I made the effort and managed to watch all 13 episodes in just a few days.

Despite being an avid fan of the Discovery channel I have yet to find a series that so simply and clearly explains so many vast and far reaching concepts. Sagan's method of explanation is exceptionally easy to understand even for a layman such as myself (I guess I'm the target audience!).

One thing that did concern me initially was the "Agent Smith" vibe that Sagan gives off, but after an episode or 2 that soon wears off (Fans of The Matrix will understand what I mean).

All in all highly recommended. This should be required watching for anyone with even a vague interest in space, science and the future.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your children MUST see this., 21 Mar 2010
By 
K. Kontos (Piraeus, Greece) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
Not much more to say than what other reviewers have stated.

This is probably THE greatest scientific TV show ever made.
It's informative, emotional, poetic, inspirational, all packed together in hours of absorbing viewing.

As a child, I used to watch this in the early 80s, and it made a huge impact. Sagan's quiet voice of reason, my fellow countryman Vangelis' amazing music and the abundant sense of wonder that permeates the show - all came together to open my eyes to greater things than my simple life.

Cosmos is one of the two things in my life that spurred me to pursue a scientific education. It utterly changed my life.
And there can be no higher recommendation than this.

Do your children a big favor and introduce them to this masterpiece.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone needs to watch this!, 21 Jan 2010
By 
This review is from: Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
I have known who Carl Sagan is since I watched Contact, for me the greatest Sci-Fi movie ever made. One day whilst on youtube I looked up Carl Sagan and up came a few episodes from this DVD. Pretty soon after i bought this box-set at a really good price here on Amazon and I dont regret it at all. Yes, you can tell it was made in the early seventies and a couple of my friends who have watched it with me laughed at first at this strange, funny looking man talking about 'ships of the imagination'. After 15 minutes of watching though, you get past that and realise you are watching a true genius. He talks about science in such a simple way, giving great examples to portray his theories. The box set covers everything, the history of the universe, our solar system, other universes, life, maths, physics... everything you should have learnt at school but didnt (I didnt anyway). I now understand Einsteins theory of relativity! The work that must have gone into this production is incredible, makes a great gift, consider buying your kids this instead of transformers, they might just learn something in their own time! 5 Stars. Thanks Mr Sagan!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unparalleled, 28 Oct 2009
This review is from: Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
I really need add little to the extremely positive reviews already given to this series. The series is almost as old as I am but is still relevent and fascinating. Carl Sagan, who sadly died too early, is an excellent guide to the Universe, from the very large to the very small. The series considers a wide spectrum of topics. I especially like the reconstructions from the history of Science. Sagan is also respectful of differing beliefs and makes the point that ideas should not necessarily be rejected out of hand if they don't conform to current orthodoxy. I diverge somewhat, but I believe in the journal in which Einstein published his first paper on relativity there were a large number of papers on the ether. This emphasizes the importance of Sagan's thinking.

I must add that this series also contains one of the best explanations of Special Relativity that I have come across.

Anyone who doubts whether Science is the pinnacle of human achievement should watch this series and be awed.

Highly recommended.
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Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980]
Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980] by Carl Sagan (DVD - 2009)
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