Thursday, July 31, 2008

Documentary Review - The Universe

By Paul Herdman
The quality of a tv documentary depends on a number of factors, namely the balance between information and entertainment. I have noticed many documentaries of late have went through a process of "dumbing" down and the educational merit of such documentaries is questionable. on the other hand a tedious or boring documentary will normally result in loss of interest or the viewer simply changing the channel. In order to strike the balance between information and entertainment a documentary must emphasize the most interesting points in greater detail not retort to unrelated commentaries or visual anecdotes. One documentary that gets the balance right and one which I highly recommend is the universe series on the history channel

If you are interested in documentaries of a cosmological nature then the universe complete season one would be a highly recommended purchase. The universe series airs on the history channel and I personally find it very informative and interesting and believe that anyone even someone who normally would not have an interest in programs of this nature would also find this program interesting and informative. For an enthusiast such as myself this series does not disappoint on any level.

The series provides a comprehensive and easy to understand presentation of a multitude of astronomical ideas and subjects. And it is presented with commentary by some of the most brilliant physicists and astronomy experts on the planet. The final bonus episode "Beyond the Big Bang" is worth the price of this set in itself. And the entire presentation is up to date, accounting for the Mars rovers, the demotion of Pluto to dwarf planet status, and the recent discovery of water (and potential life) on Enceladus and Europa.

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