As a fan of the Cosmos series hosted by Carl Sagan in the 1980’s, I eagerly awaited this new series, particularly given Sagan’s voice was used to promote the new series. Whilst there was an episode devoted to his contribution to science, both as a scientist and an effective mass communicator of science, the new series failed to live up to the original. Where Sagan had a unique ability to deliver dry scientific material in a poetic and motivational way, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s delivery was often excessively verbose, overpowering the story telling and with it, the ability to inspire.
Tyson remains front and centre, either in front of the camera or behind it when voice overlaying the visual story. Detail rather than pacing is Tyson’s strength. Unfortunately, the cheesy music score, more suited to an old Star Trek episode, furthers that distraction. It’s a pity though, for the visual story told through various methods ranging from simple cartoon style history lessons, to high quality digital graphics, shines.
That said, it’s gratifying to see the Cosmos series live on, to inspire a new generation of ‘popular science’ fans. In this fast changing world of alternate facts, deadly pandemics and accelerating technology, educational/ entertaining shows such as Cosmos, play an important role in bringing the wonders of science to the masses.