Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Universe Seasons 1-3 |
Director: Douglas J. Cohen;Luke Ellis
Genres: Television, Documentary
We once thought of ourselves to be at the center of the world, now we know that we are just a small spec in a giant universe. — Immerse yourself in an astonishing exploration of space with the first three seasons of this ep... more »
3 great seasons of a delightfully educational show
Alexander M. Walker | Chicago, IL USA | 10/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Universe offers hope that the History Channel's weekly programming can reach beyond age old conflicts and historical happenings to give the cable viewing public something new. Specials on Hitler and Mussolini can have daunting titles like "The Dark Wages of War" or "The Uncertain Age of Holocaust", but do these really compare to titles like "Secrets of the Sun", "The Most Dangerous Place in the Universe", "Supernovas", "Cosmic Apocalypse" and, who can resist a title like this, "Sex in Space". David X. Cohen, producer of Futurama, once postulated that adding the word "space" to any word makes it funnier and better. The Universe benefits from and proves this theory simultaneously.
The Complete Season One
The premier season of the series stays mainly within the confines of our solar system and offers an episode on each of the planets, the sun, the moon and a few other topics. The season is at its best when it takes on a single planet and examines it from every angle and nothing else. For that matter, the episodes that handle two or more planets ("The Outer Planets") also have their moments, but when they lump in Pluto, Neptune and Uranus just to save space in the season you feel like you're getting gypped on the full treatment the planet deserves. Except for Pluto...which is apparently lucky to have been included at all, poor guy.
The Complete Season Two
Each of the 18 episodes tackles a different topic; from "Alien Planets" to the harrowing prospects of "Cosmic Apocalypse" the show's ability to hold your attention never fails. To think that the discovery of a new earth is close to a reality should intrigue even the most diehard skeptics, especially in this field which seems to generate more questions than answers. Or maybe you're more interested in the future of space travel or colonization? Black holes? Or, my personal favorite title "Biggest Things in Space"? Come on, if you aren't slightly interested in the biggest things in that final frontier then you just can't be pleased. The History Channel has a really great thing going with this series and the second season keeps the pace with a nice supply of educational installments.
The Complete Season Three
The third season reels itself back in terms of the number of episodes going from the second season's 18 to a mere 12 - so to keep up the pace of this superior series they gave us a season of great and above par episodes. "Sex in Space", it's long been considered the final frontier for anyone who ever found their way into the Mile High Club and then wanted something more. But really, who hasn't thought of it? Well, after this episode it'll be hard to stop thinking about it...don't judge. The focus of The Universe shifts to a much more theoretical bend with episodes like "Parallel Universes", "Light Speed" and "Edge of Space". The topics will fascinate you and get you thinking in a way that the past seasons didn't quite manage.
The one misstep of The Universe would seem to be some of the less than convincing "authorities" brought in on the subject. While each and every one of them may have a brilliant mind, hearing the opinion of what appears to be a college astronomy major sitting on some large rocks doesn't exactly fill the audience with confidence that every piece of information is to be taken at its word. The show has plenty of interesting things to say, but they really ought to have found slightly more credible sources (or at least had the sources they used appear professional) to put any contrarian arguments to rest. It's not a total failure on the show's part, but with so many astronomy experts out there it seems unnecessary to settle - even if they were just trying to inject a little bit of youth into the proceedings; the injection isn't necessary though. To think that an audience would take slight at a show exploring some of the deepest darkest secrets of our universe for not featuring a variety of ages amongst the experts just seems ridiculous. Just like any piece on World War II, the better is the most informed - age be damned.
On Blu-ray the 3D models achieve mixed appearances. In some instances the graphics look phenomenal and elevate the show to its proper scale. Other times, the renderings just don't quite meet the 1080p demands and a bit of pixilation becomes visible. Unlike a special effects slathered feature, this shortcoming isn't as damaging in a series of lectures on space; sure we notice, but the images are complementary to the words, not vice versa. Instead of being upset with the show for sometimes failing graphically, it's easier to marvel at the visual aids provided for such riveting material. There's an almost indiscernible boost in quality in CGI used for the 3D models but it's there and it promises good things for the series' future endeavors in explaining and exploring concepts for which we have no actual footage.
Blu-ray Bonus Features:
The first season's extra feature is an in-depth documentary about the big bang. It's a fascinating subject that warrants hours and hours of examination, but you'll have to settle for one. For season two, a singular featurette casts a spotlight on the grass root community of the astronomy field: "Backyard Astronomers". You might not be so moved as to go out and buy a telescope for your home, but the featurette is as interesting and compelling as the rest of the season and well worth your time. Season three's offerings aren't quite so feature-based but instead offers a little cache that they've affectionately titled "Universe Facts". It's exactly what it sounds like, but what's better is the photo gallery which is absolutely mindblowing."
Anders Blom | 03/18/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I highly recommend this box set for anyone interested in purchasing this series. The money saved is quite substantial and despite what other reviews have claimed this box set does include ALL the episodes from ALL three seasons to include the 13 episodes and the special feature length documentary "Beyond the Big Bang" for season 1, all 18 episodes for season 2, and all 12 episodes for season 3.
(Disc 1) Secrets of the Sun, Mars: The Red Planet, The End of the Earth: Deep Space Threats to Our Planet, Jupiter: The Giant Planet, The Moon
(Disc 2) Spaceship Earth, The Inner Planets: Mercury & Venus, Saturn: Lord of the Rings, Alien Galaxies, Life And Death Of A Star
(Disc 3) The Outer Planets, The Most Dangerous Place in the Universe, Search for ET
Bonus: Beyond the Big Bang
(Disc 1) Alien Planets, Cosmic Holes, Mysteries of the Moon, The Milky Way, Alien Moons
(Disc 2) Dark Matter, Astrobiology, Space Travel, Supernovas
(Disc 3) Constellations, Unexplained Mysteries, Cosmic Collisions, Colonizing Space, Nebulas
(Disc 4)Wildest Weather in the Cosmos, Biggest Things in Space, Gravity, Cosmic Apocalypse
Bonus: Backyard Astronomers
(Disc 1) Deep Space Disasters, Parallel Universes, Light Speed, Sex in Space
(Disc 2) Alien Faces, Deadly Comets and Meteors, Living in Space, Stopping Armageddon
(Disc 3) Another Earth, Strangest Things,Edge of Space, Cosmic Phenomena
Bonus: Universe Facts, Image Gallery
I owned the first three seasons of this EPIC series on dvd and had been disappointed by the double black bars (fullscreen letterbox) presentation of this series. A quick fix was to change your zoom settings on your set or player, but this fix was quite awful in what seems to be lower than a 480i resolution.
The Blu-ray release of this series is truly wonderful in full 1920x1080 HD. This is a true widescreen release. The audio is presented in lossless 2.0 Dolby Stereo. Each Season is individually packaged in separate Blu-ray boxes.
The graphics and special effects can be and most of the time are the best of any production I have ever seen. It stands alone in comparison to anything the BBC, NOVA, The Science Channel, or The Discovery Channel has ever created.
If you are interested in a mind blowing, educational, heavily entertaining piece of eye candy, then do not pass this product up."
Note: it IS region free so for anyone else in the world it w
John Waghorn | Perth, Western Australia | 01/17/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
If you're looking at this set because you have the DVD you won't be disappointed. I'm wrapped with it! Its good value for the price, the Blu-ray disk set is nicely presented, the graphics is all I hoped for and the disks have no nasty habits!
I'm eagerly awaiting the next one.
Modern, sophisticated layout of a science program we never h
Dennis Yenn | Hollywood, CA USA | 04/18/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Imagine walking into a plush upscale model home decorated by the interior designers of Europe. Well, this is how The Universe season 1-3 is presented, this way, modern science program that's cutting edge, holds your attention and makes your ADD instantly cured. Rejoice; let the Universe series do its work instead of you paying attention. You'll be amazed, glued to your set, and not hear your phone calls or door bells. Graphics, stunning Hubble pictures, and renowned scientists speak the latest and greatest findings straight to the point in a way you never watched in a grade school astronomy class. Yes, science programs have set a new standard here. Blu ray is stunning 1080p details. All episodes are included. Layout menu: excellent."