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World Almanac Video - The Expanding Universe
World Almanac Video - The Expanding Universe
Directors: David Holroyd, Stephen Marsh, Martin Guest, Alex Hearle
Genres: Documentary
NR     2003     3hr 23min

A grand overview of the universe as we understand it and how it may evolve in the new millennium, this series reflects the youth and vibrancy of today's astronomers at the cutting edge of science. They scour for clues thro...  more »


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Movie Details

Directors: David Holroyd, Stephen Marsh, Martin Guest, Alex Hearle
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/24/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1999
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1999
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 3hr 23min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Starts Slow but Improves
John A Lee III | San Antonio, TX | 06/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This program is a bit dated but it is worth watching for anyone interested in space exploration, cosmology, planetary science and even SETI.

The DVD contains four discrete programs, each with its own emphasis.

The Big Bang - This one was the biggest disappointment to me. Cosmology is one of my interests. This program does a fair job of presenting some of the basic ideas but it falls short in that it fails to make some important distinctions when considering the fate of the universe. This is most telling in its relation of the idea of "dark matter". Dark matter is dark because it does not emit light. The amount of this stuff holds the key to whether the universe will continue to expand or contract in a big crunch. This program speaks of dark matter exclusively in terms of WIMPs (Weakly Interactive Massive Particles). This is indeed dark matter but it leaves out all discussion of cold dark matter between the stars. Cold gas is not as exotic or exciting as WIMPs but it is an important part of the story. Still, the program is basically sound.

The Sun and Other Stars - this was a much better program. It looks at the story of stellar evolution and explains the fates of differing types of stars. This includes small stars such as our own and also the big ones which collapse into neutron stars and black holes. It is simple but well done.

The Planets - this turned out to be my favorite. It is basically a survey of our solar system and discusses the various missions of exploration. Again, it is very basic but it is well done.

Searching for Other Lifeforms - Since we have yet to have any real evidence, this one is pure speculation. That does not keep it from being interesting. As the title implies, it looks at the possibility of life on other planets and in other solar systems. It looks at exotic forms of life on earth and then speculates on possibilities farther out.

These are good general audience programs. They are simple but interesting. Some of the material is a bit dated but it can still keep interest.
Good job bringing everything together!
Jennifer Meyers | Sterling, VA USA | 01/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Big Bang, The Sun & Other Stars, the Planets & Searching for other lifeforms cover much of what I enjoy learning more about. I love space documentaries and when I bought this a few years back, i also bought "95 Worlds & Counting" narrated by John Lithgow and what I thought was cool was that while Expanding Universe was definately "more documentary style" as far as the presentation itself and gave a more scientific overview of the universe, 95 Worlds was able to let me take that information and show and explain just what it would take to survive on another planet or what exactly in detail life would be like. If you aren't looking for a documentary than you probably wouldn't be too interested in this but I found it very interesting and never get tired of watching it from time to time. I seem to learn something different each time I watch it."
A wonderful Overview.....
T. Blessington | Media, Pennsylvania USA | 07/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Expanding Universe is a welcome treat for those of us whom are astronomy documentary enthusiasts! Although there's not much that's new information, I was very interested in the theory on the cycle of mass extictions correlating not only with our motion through the galactic plane, but encounters with supernova radiation. A new twist on a well known idea. I was glad to see some old and new faces to the cosmology community represented. The episode on the sun and other stars was really well done. It was great to see that much of the illustration footage was new. I think I'll need to watch this series at least twice to really catch all the new material. This documentary gives "Hyperspace" a run for the money! Buy it! You'll be glad you did."