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Wonders of the Universe [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
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Who are we? Why are we here? Where do we come from? These are among the most enduring and profound questions we can ask, and it is an essential part of human nature to want to find the answers.
We can trace our ancestry back hundreds of thousands of years to the dawn of humankind, but in reality our story extends much further back:
it starts with the beginning of the universe. Our universe began 13.7 billion years ago, and today it is filled with over 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars, and a breathtaking array of wonders.
In this groundbreaking new series Prof. B Cox tells the epic story of our universe and shows how its story is also our story.
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Top Customer Reviews
However, it's telling that the unfavourable reviews are critical of a) the globe-trotting Cox does during the series or b) the level at which the programme's narrative is pitched. Both criticisms are misguided, as it's clear that Cox's intention is not to provide a GCSE curriculum programme, nor to preach to the converted (i.e. astronomers and physicists), but to convey something in particular to the layman.
The clue is in the series' title, and it is wonders - and the sense of wonder at the universe - that Cox is keen to impart. The use of different locations and landscapes as visual metaphors is one part of this approach to the subject matter, and provides the viewer's eye with something to latch on to during what are sometimes reasonably lengthy explanations of nuclear reactions or the life cycle of stars. He could, of course, have increased the amount of CGI on display (and would have got criticised for that too, no doubt), or used more static shots of star fields or diagrams.
But television is a visual medium and it deserves the chance to make the most of the advantages it can offer over books or radio, i.e. supplying visual stimuli. To play to a medium's strength in this way is not showy, nor shallow. It is a direct consequence of choosing to use the medium of television in the first place. The programme chooses to take us to interesting locations because it is attempting to invoke a sense of wonder. And that's easier to do in exotic places than it is in an Open University style studio with a white board in the background.Read more ›
As the technical details at the top state, the single disc contains all four episodes , so total length is just short of four hours. The audio is English Stereo Dolby Digital and the video format is 1080i/16:9. It is not 24P or anything like that. There are subtitles in English, for the hard of hearing. That's it. So it is pretty much standard BBC Blu-ray format; say, the same as Ancient Worlds (Blu-ray) (although, with six episodes, that came on two discs).
The quality is good. It is very good. Many of the scenes are, even after multiple viewings, stunning. But really, it is no better than watching the series broadcast on one of the BBC's High Definition channels. And, again like Richard Miles' 'Ancient Worlds', there are no extras, no 'making of' mini-docs so often seen at the end of BBC natural history programmes.
I'm still happy to have it. This is a documentary series that I have watched half a dozen times already and I am quite sure I will watch it many, many more times. The photography and photographic effects such as the moody vignetting are, as I have already said, brilliant. Brian Cox's presentation is infectiously enthusiastic, the computer generated images really imaginative and quite stunning and the accompanying music very effective.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love it but just not as good a show as wonders of the solar systemPublished 20 days ago by David Dixon
brilliant to watch if you want to be a novice astrologer, brian cox at his bestPublished 1 month ago by kim rivers
You have just got to love Brian Cox he makes everything easy to understandPublished 1 month ago by Jesskilf
Touching universes? - give us a break - is this the height of empirical research? Science claims to be not only objective but exciting too (not that it isn't sometimes) and Cox... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr. Robert Marsland
This series is disappointing because it is less interesting than carl sagan's cosmos of thirty years ago and
you would expect the tv people to have improved on cosmos by now. Read more
totally absorbing documentary,wonderful stuff and highly recommendedPublished 2 months ago by roger kerr