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31 people found this helpful
Long on graphics, short on science
on 9 December 2012
I'm sorry that I didn't experience the same satisfaction from viewing this DVD set that Peter Murray (the other reviewer) did, and I mean no disrespect. I don't regret buying it (it was so ridiculously cheap) but I was hoping to be scientifically informed as well as entertained. Instead I saw lots of pretty computer generated graphics, but with very little scientific explanation of the subjects covered.
I will give an example. Concerning time travel we are told that time slows down near massive objects like stars and planets, and also when travelling very fast (relative to the speed of light). No explanation is offered, just 'take it from me it's true'. James May did a lot better on the BBC by considering Einstein's 'thought experiments' as an explanation. For example imagine travelling on a beam of light and the fact that (other) light can never reach you implies that time stands still for you. Or the fact that mass bends light (experimentally proven on an astronomic scale) implies that due to it's constant speed, time must slow down slightly to allow for the extra distant travelled from an otherwise straight line to a distant source.
Had this been from anyone other than Steven Hawking, I might not have expected so much. I think that maybe the Discovery Channel 'dumbs down' scientific documentaries to appeal to a wider american public, so it's probably not his fault.
I hope I won't upset too many people by this review; I'm ready to be shot down in flames!