Neil deGrasse Tyson Unveils a Dazzling Preview of the New Cosmos

Sci­ence fans this week got their first tan­ta­liz­ing peek at the long-await­ed sequel to Carl Sagan’s clas­sic PBS series Cos­mos. Astro­physi­cist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who takes Sagan’s place in the new series, trav­eled to Com­ic-Con in San Diego last week for the unveil­ing of this new trail­er.

Cos­mos: A Space­time Odyssey will begin air­ing on the Fox tele­vi­sion net­work in the spring of 2014. As with the first Cos­mos, there will be 13 episodes. Accord­ing to the Fox Web site, “Cos­mos: A Space­time Odyssey will invent new modes of sci­en­tif­ic sto­ry­telling to reveal the grandeur of the uni­verse and re-invent cel­e­brat­ed ele­ments of the leg­endary orig­i­nal series, includ­ing the Cos­mic Cal­en­dar and the Ship of the Imag­i­na­tion. The most pro­found sci­en­tif­ic con­cepts will be pre­sent­ed with stun­ning clar­i­ty, unit­ing skep­ti­cism and won­der, and weav­ing rig­or­ous sci­ence with the emo­tion­al and spir­i­tu­al into a tran­scen­dent expe­ri­ence.”

The new Cos­mos is pro­duced by Sagan’s wid­ow Ann Druyan, who co-wrote and pro­duced the orig­i­nal series with her hus­band and Steven Sot­er. “This series is still about that same thing,” Druyan told reporters, “but we’re telling a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent set of sto­ries, estab­lish­ing the coor­di­nates, but then jump­ing off from there.”

As the new trail­er would sug­gest, the updat­ed series will be rich in spe­cial effects. Accord­ing to a sto­ry this week in Wired, the orig­i­nal series’ use of his­tor­i­cal reen­act­ments by actors will most­ly be replaced with ani­ma­tion in what direc­tor Bran­non Bra­ga called “a sophis­ti­cat­ed graph­ic nov­el-type style.” But the visu­al effects will be there only to serve the nar­ra­tive. “As humans, we like hear­ing sto­ries,” Tyson said in San Diego. “We have what I think is the great­est sto­ry ever told: the sto­ry of the uni­verse, and our place with­in it, and how we came to dis­cov­er our place with­in it. And final­ly, we have the meth­ods and tools to bring that to the screen.”

NOTE: All 13 episodes of the 1980 series Cos­mos: A Per­son­al Voy­age can be seen for free by fol­low­ing this link to Hulu. Alas, free view­ing may not be avail­able in all coun­tries.

Relat­ed con­tent:

Neil deGrasse Tyson Lists 8 (Free) Books Every Intel­li­gent Per­son Should Read

Neil deGrasse Tyson Remem­bers His First Meet­ing with Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan’s Under­grad Read­ing List: 40 Essen­tial Texts for a Well-Round­ed Thinker

Carl Sagan Presents Six Lec­tures on Earth, Mars & Our Solar Sys­tem … For Kids (1977)

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  • Luke says:

    If the trail­er is any indi­ca­tion, this could be spec­tac­u­lar. The orig­i­nal was on PBS and hence ran with­out com­mer­cials. I expect
    many com­mer­cials on Fox.

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