I purchased the Cosmos Boxed Set (Collector’s Edition) DVD a number of months ago. I was only recently able to make some time to get through the last few episodes and I wanted to say that I am as impressed with the series now as I was when it first aired in 1980. Even after 25 years the content is still just as relevant and inspiring as it was then. I particularly enjoyed the “10 years after” commentary added by the late Carl Sagan at the end of most of the episodes of this edition.
One thing I found really disappointing (although it has nothing to do with the actual series itself) was clicking through to CarlSagan.com — only to find the site mostly broken and non-functional. The site clearly hasn’t been updated since before the failed launch attempt of Cosmos 1 (July 2005). There is absolutely NO excuse for something like this and in this age of online information it does the legacy of the late Carl Sagan a gross disservice!
Having said that, the Cosmos series itself is spectacular and a must-see for any participant in humanity. I’ll leave you with an excerpt from the editor’s review on Amazon.com — which says it far more eloquently than I ever could.
“In the course of 13 fascinating hours, Cosmos spans its own galaxy of topics to serve Sagan’s theme, each segment deepening our understanding of how we got from there (simple microbes in the primordial mud) to here (space-faring civilization in the 21st century). In his “ship of the imagination,” Sagan guides us to the farthest reaches of space and takes us back into the history of scientific inquiry, from the ancient library of Alexandria to the NASA probes of our neighboring planets. Upon this vast canvas Sagan presents the “cosmic calendar,” placing the 15-billion-year history of the universe into an accessible one-year framework, then filling it with a stunning chronology of events, both interstellar and earthbound.
From the lives of the stars, to creation theories, functions of the human brain, and the ongoing search for extraterrestrial intelligence, Cosmos asks big questions. When appropriate, Sagan offers big answers, or asks still bigger–and yes, even spiritual–questions at the boundaries of science and religion. What’s most remarkable about Cosmos is that it remains almost entirely fresh, with few updates needed to the science that Sagan so passionately celebrates. It is no exaggeration to say that Cosmos–for all the debate it may continue to provoke–is a vital document for humanity at a pivotal crossroads of our history.” – Amazon Editorial Review