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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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This special edition contains both 'Wonders' series' plus extra commentaries and three additional hour-long documentaries (previously broadcast as Horizon episodes) on the subject of astronomy. Overall, it's a magnificent package -- the only real wonder is whether there's anyone left who hasn't already bought the earlier DVD sets...
Undoubtedly, the 'Solar System' series is the more popular of the two. Some fans of Prof Cox feel that he was encouraged to lighten the hardcore science contect of 'Universe' and that it tended too far in the direction of entertainment and away from information.

Each hour-long episode is visually striking and easily accessible for all ages. Presenter Prof Brian Cox never patronises the audience and has a special knack for explaining quite complex theories with real-life examples. Both series incorporate plenty of excellent visual stimulation and makes great use of CGI as well as many of original images from space probes. The animations usefully demonstrate some of the trickier aspects of planetary geometry - for instance, understanding how the magnetosphere protects the earth from the solar wind isn't exactly easy to picture from a wordy description, but the CGI showed it perfectly.
'Universe' has been criticised for being too flamboyant and for concentrating too much upon the presenter rather than the subject and, on second viewing, maybe those critics have a point. However, it's obviously that Prof Cox's intention is to engage and inspire his audience to stimulate further involvement in the subject. So while I would have prefered more scientific detail (and not so may splashy sunsets), there's no doubt that both series succeed in encapsulating really big subjects in astronomy into neat, hour-long packages that will entertain a wide audience.

So this Special Edition package is particularly suitable for fans of Prof Cox -- of all ages; the 'Wonders' programmes are entirely suitable for getting younger viewers interested in science to start with. And very enjoyable for us older students to watch again. The extra episodes from Horizon were fun, too, but not essential to the over-view of the series. So if you're not interested in them then you should buy the straightforward The Wonders Collection [DVD] Wonders Collection

9/10
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on 13 March 2012
I bought the Wonders Collection after seeing the series on TV and missing a couple of episodes. I wasn't dissappointed. The collection brings the solar system and the universe into your living room and told by an equally fascinating man. I didn't know much about physics or the universe but this dvd collection is perfect for introducing you to how the universe works and why physics is important.

The bonus episodes dealing with a single subject are good too and don't take themselves too seriously. The locations and music are great on all the episodes. Well worth the money in my humble opinion and a small price to pay for such a fascinating subject told by a fascinating man.
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on 11 March 2012
Prof Brian Cox presents the pure science clearly and expresses his joy in learning and discovering how nature works. His enthusiasm is infectious and his teaching incredibly clear and solid. Highly recommended for all ages and backgrounds. You learn something both about science and how a child's fascination with studying nature can become a lifelong passion with technical, professional scientific study. Beautiful graphics and genuinely poetic choices of music, content and visuals. I bought this version for the audio commentaries which are very illuminating and add another dimension to the serendipity which played into how these were produced. Only criticism is I wish every episode had a commentary attached.

Oh, if you're in the USA or other non-Region2 area, you can probably play these on your computer.
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on 1 February 2014
There is no doubt whatsoever that these are TWO great series - I watched them spellbound when they aired on TV.

However, at the time of writing you should be aware you can get THREE great series - both of these two, AND Wonders of Life - for LESS money by buying the 'Collection of Wonders' box set, rather than this one.
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on 28 December 2013
Superb value in this collection, and Blu-Ray HD is made for these kind of settings, with spectacular images - both real and in CGI form - and the content pitched at just the right level for the average viewer by Brian Cox. Dedicated astronomy enthusiasts might possibly find it a bit too elementary for their tastes, but for those of us with non-specialist interest it leaves one craving more. A real gem by the BBC, whose mission is to inform and to entertain - and which achieves both perfectly in this series. I doubt if the commercial stations would give room to a series like this, a further argument - if any were still needed - for protecting a public broadcasting service from the vested commercial interests which tiresomely line up to criticise it.
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on 25 May 2012
Its wonderfully written and narrated by Prof Brian Cox.

It contains so many hard to find footage(in HD).

Go for this Bluray edition, its worth it.
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on 14 May 2014
I loved this! The content and quality of the box set was superb. Educational, well presented, interesting and superb value for money. I cannot recommend this set highly enough the seller dispatched very quickly and I would order again.
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on 25 October 2013
I bought these after seeing part of the BBC series. I have not been disappointed at all. Brain Cox portray's science in an easy to understand manner using earth like examples wherever possible. His obvious enthusiasm for his subject matter is infectious. If you want to dip a toe into science / astronomy I can whole heartadly recommend
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VINE VOICEon 6 April 2015
I watched these programmes on TV with my son about 3 years ago. He’s starting A level Physics and Double Maths this September in the hope of getting good enough grades to Study Physics at Manchester University in 2017. I believe this choice may, at least in part, be due to this astonishingly well-made and gorgeous BBC television series.

Containing all nine stunning episodes in the Wonders series plus a bonus disk with other related content, this 3 disk Blu Ray is not only superb TV but also an inspiration to those who watch it, especially the young. Prof Cox is an extremely engaging and enthusiastic communicator and obviously loves his chosen field of study. He manages to get the real majesty of the Solar System and the Universe across in a very accessible user friendly style. Never dusty or overly complicated, the true beauty of scientific endeavour and discovery shines brightly throughout.

If you or perhaps your children have an interest in the Physical Sciences, these terrific shows are a great way to test the water and may even inspire you to want to learn more
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on 26 April 2013
Attention-gripping and conceptually-graspable enough. Re-watchable. Spectacular locations, filming, and CGI, with a good attention to narrative. An effective "GET THIS!" quality throughout, so even where I didn't "get it", my enthusiasm and will to was maintained.
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