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Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD] [1980]

4.7 out of 5 stars 283 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Carl Sagan
  • Format: Box set, Dolby, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 20 July 2009
  • Run Time: 780 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0027UY8CW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,766 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description


Cosmos tells the fascinating story of how nearly fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution transformed matter and life into consciousness, of how science and civilisation grew up together and of the forces and individuals who helped shape modern science.

Astronomer Dr. Carl Sagan is host and narrator of this amazing 13-hour series which originally aired on the BBC in the UK and on Public Broadcasting Stations in the United States in 1980 and has since been broadcast in over 60 countries worlwide to a global audience of more than 500 million

Dr. Sagan describes the universe in a way that appeals to a mass audience, by using Earth as a reference point, by speaking in terms intelligible to non-scientific people, by relating the exploration of space to that of the Earth by pioneers of old, and by citing such Earth legends as the Library of Alexandria as metaphors for space-related future events.

Among Dr. Sagan's favorite topics are the origins of life, the search for life on Mars, the infernal composition of the atmosphere of Venus and a warning about a similar effect taking place on Earth due to global pollution and the 'greenhouse effect', the lives of stars, interstellar travel and the effects of attaining the speed of light, the danger of mankind technologically self-destructing, and the search, using radio technology, for intelligent life in deep space.

Now remastered and restored, this multi-Primetime Emmy Award winning masterpiece, featuring music from Vangelis, is regarded as one of, if not, the greatest scientific series of all time


Following Sagan's death in 1996, his widow Ann Druyan, the co-creator of the original Cosmos series along with Steven Soter, a producer from the series, and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, sought to create a new version of the series, aimed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

Step foward none other than Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, Ted, American Dad, The Cleveland Show amongst others

Influenced by Cosmos as a child, MacFarlane believed that Cosmos served to 'bridge the gap between the academic community and the general public'.

Having met Tyson in 2008, MacFarlane told Tyson, 'I'm at a point in my career where I have some disposable income and I'd like to spend it on something worthwhile'.

Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey was commissoned in 2011 & is due to be broadcast in the US on 10th March 2014 and on 16th March in the UK on SKY1 and the National Geographic channel.


'Carl Sagan's masterpiece, probably the most important reason I got interested in astronomy'. --Professor Brian Cox

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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 - 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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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By ds VINE VOICE on 23 Feb. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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