TV tonight: an expanded version of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey/NatGeo
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey/NatGeo

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2014–All too often when trying to highlight what is worth watching on TV each night the choices are between the dumb and dumber. Fortunately tonight is one of those rare exceptions with the airing of an expanded version of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.”

Last night while most of the TV audience was either keeping up with the Kardashians or counting how many zombies bit the dust on “The Walking Dead,” an updated version of “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” began its 13-episode run simultaneously broadcast on Global, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild.

Why mention a show that aired last night? Aside from the fact that any show that offers an intelligent and thought provoking alternative to the typical brain dead drivel we usually have to choose from is worth noting, tonight’s rebroadcast episode will include considerable extra content.

“Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” is a follow-up to the 1980 television series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” which was originally presented by Carl Sagan. Described as “a watershed moment for science-themed television programming,” the show has been watched by at least 400 million people across 60 different countries.

The host chosen to fill Sagan’s shoes for the remake of his groundbreaking series, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, is one of the finest and most vocal scientific minds of our generation.

Among the many honors bestowed upon Tyson; he was voted by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential persons in the world, selected by Discover Magazine as one of the “50 Best Brains in Science,” received the “Medal of Excellence,” from Columbia University, New York City, and the “NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal,” just to name a few.

Tonight’s expanded episode begins with a look at the work of 16th-century Italian astronomer Giordano Bruno and a walk across the “Cosmic Calendar,” a football field-size time line that starts with the Big Bang and ends with humans’ first appearance on Earth.

But beyond the awe inspiring content of the series, the fact that the series is based purely on science and lacking the religious fervor that trumps science in the minds of so many Americans today may be the key water cooler topic that emerges from “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.”

Regardless of personal opinions, it is always a good thing when the discussion of controversial topics are encouraged on a national level. So tonight when you are deciding whether to watch who the bachelor discards or what contestant makes it past the blind auditions, maybe the best thing you can do is gather the kids around the TV and give them the rare treat of watching something as compelling and informative as “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.”

“Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” airs tonight at 10 p.m. on National Geographic Channel.

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I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter. I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present. In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.
  • Kim

    What a great show last night. Plan on watching the whole series.