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New 'Universe' Series on BBC2 Tonight


Peter Withey
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I don't know what you are all complaining about.  this is popular science, it's supposed to be full of atmospheric music and CGI. It's never going to be breaking new scientific ground. 

Maybe the BBC shouldn't spend any more money on Brian Cox. Maybe on things that more people will be interested in - the Great British Lawn mow-off for example.

I'm not a scientist and I love the sorts of things that Brian Cox does. His philosophical approach and vivid prose fires up my imagination, just like Carl Sagan before.

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14 minutes ago, JamesF said:

I've just watched the first couple of episodes of the "Earthshot" series.  In terms of style I found the photography to be very similar to Brian Cox's programmes, even down to having someone standing on a rock outcrop staring meaningfully into the distance whilst the camera pans around them as the shot widens.

Perhaps it's just an affliction of modern television programme directors/producers.

James

Perhaps someone copying Cox copying Sagan is preferable to the style that befell Horizon; 75% of the program padded out with historical reenactments in full period costume. More like an episode of Upstairs Downstairs that a documentary!  :)

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I’ve just finished watching episode 1, and enjoyed it - I do think it’s this sort of programming that inspired me to get further into the hobby. As a (one time) biologist I appreciated the nod to some quite complex ideas in biology -  photo system II mentioned for example. Very few casual viewers will know much about this, and if you are not a professional astronomer or physicist very few will understand the complexities of the cosmology behind much of it either - but it surfaces the basics of concepts to encourage further reading/research for those keen… probably nothing new here but one can never get tired of some of these big ideas - the age of stars - even if you’ve read The five ages of the Universe, and are well versed, is still poignant.  I actually thought the Fairport Convention track over the closing credits was quite clever and fitted the almost apocalyptic mood towards the end of the programme…

Edited by Astro_Dad
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4 minutes ago, Astro_Dad said:

I actually thought the Fairport Convention track over the closing credits was quite clever and fitted the almost apocalyptic mood towards the end of the programme…

Yeah, that's why it's so good, because it is expressing scientific ideas backed up by music, art, literature etc so we can all be inspired in ways which may be more familiar.

One of my  favourite quote of his is 'Oldham looks like New Order sound.'

 

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After a hearty tea Iplayer went on. Fifteen minutes into the first episode I entered a deep unconscious state and woke up dying for a wee half way through episode three. Just in time for the thoroughly enjoyed galaxy collision segment. 👍

I'll have another try at the weekend. 🙄

 

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
unconscious
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36 minutes ago, Astro Noodles said:

Maybe the BBC shouldn't spend any more money on Brian Cox. Maybe on things that more people will be interested in - the Great British Lawn mow-off for example.

It's about time that made it to prime-time.  If they could just talk James May into presenting it.

Nobody likes a soggy ha-ha!

James

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Oi, guys! Spoilers!

I'm not binge-watching this, need something to make mid-week telly worth watching for a few weeks.

Might binge watch later when it's on iP{layer and there's sod-all but worthless drama (Hawk-spit-ding) on the telly.

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Well, I just hope no one from the beeb reads the last three pages of comment I've just waded through, or they might never put on any astronomy content  again!

I go back a long way and I'm a bit of a philistine in terms of style of TV style I prefer.  Having said that, I've still enjoyed the three episodes I've seen so far, and I am willing to admit I picked up bits and bobs I didn't know.

I suspect it will be enjoyed by many people.  Of course, no one has to watch it if they don't want to.

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Just watched the first one and very disappointed. High on philosophising and low on science. Why does Brian Cox always say something then repeat it and then explain why he said it whilst wandering over some landscape or other. 👎

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40 minutes ago, Merlin said:

The thing about Cox is that he’s a particle physicist not an astronomer.
If an astronomer was presenting the series, we’d pick up the vibes.

I'm intrigued... What particular "vibes" are those... That I/we don't have? 🥳
MINE are many, don't worry! lol. To me, the level of stuff he presents on
Astronomy would not be beyond many with a (BS.c.) Ph.D. in Physics etc.

But TV Science is about *specific* audience appeal? BC has lots of that!
Plus he "Shouts at Astrologers"... Always a great plus for "Science Fans"? 😉
Unlike most scientists of yore, he is overtly quite "political"... Expressing
views that most of his (e.g. Twitter) fanbase are pretty likely to share...

He has doubtless put a LOT of "Bums on Seats" in universities (esp. his!).
He is a GOOD promoter of science! But also a creations of our times...
As with most *popular* figures, folks LIKE to feel he is "just like them"? 🙂

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12 minutes ago, PeterCPC said:

Just watched the first one and very disappointed. High on philosophising and low on science. Why does Brian Cox always say something then repeat it and then explain why he said it whilst wandering over some landscape or other. 👎

This is why I just don't bother any longer. That's padded out documentaries across the board. 

Part 1, tell you what they're going to tell you.

Part 2, tell you.

Part 3, tell you what they told you.

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14 minutes ago, Paul M said:

This is why I just don't bother any longer. That's padded out documentaries across the board. 

Part 1, tell you what they're going to tell you.

Part 2, tell you.

Part 3, tell you what they told you.

Part 4, tell you how they made what they told you.

Regards Andrew 

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20 minutes ago, Paul M said:

This is why I just don't bother any longer. That's padded out documentaries across the board. 

Part 1, tell you what they're going to tell you.

Part 2, tell you.

Part 3, tell you what they told you.

Putting myself in the shoes of someone completely new to the subject I would probably welcome the repetition to help cement the information. 

I'm wondering if this is done deliberately being its aimed at the general public?

It was relatively clear out when I was at my running club the other night and a guy asked me to give him a bit of a tour of the sky. For starters he had no idea that the bright 'stars' were Jupiter and Saturn and was amazed when I told him. He later messaged me to say he had watched the first episode of the above and loved it so much he was going to watch it again with his kids. 

It seems to be doing the job with it's target audience. 

 

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One comment that Brian Cox said made me wince (for other people) was when he stated that we don’t need to “make up God to explain the universe” (to paraphrase him) because the stars are the real Gods.

Best not go there eh....😬

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6 minutes ago, Chris said:

I'm wondering if this is done deliberately being its aimed at the general public?

I think it's TV in general. A few minutes of actual content spread over an hour. But I concede it will resonate with more than a large enough audience to be considered a great success.

I'm no scientist nor even well educated but I do have a very short attention span and if someone is talking without saying anything then I'll drift off into my own thoughts surprisingly quickly :)

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24 minutes ago, Paul M said:

I think it's TV in general. A few minutes of actual content spread over an hour. But I concede it will resonate with more than a large enough audience to be considered a great success.

I'm no scientist nor even well educated but I do have a very short attention span and if someone is talking without saying anything then I'll drift off into my own thoughts surprisingly quickly :)

There are some really good astronomy podcasts on Spotify which you may enjoy more? although one or two do contain some general chit chat which might make you switch off? 

The Naked Astronomy series is probably the most concise I've heard.

My kids have the monopoly when it comes to the TV and I find podcasts handy as you can listen whilst washing up, cleaning the house etc :) 

Edited by Chris
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I do like Brian Cox and was looking forward to this based on the other stuff he has done but I found the first episode very slow and it never really got going. A bit boring really. I hope the next episodes are better 🤞🏼

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2 hours ago, Andy ES said:

One comment that Brian Cox said made me wince (for other people) was when he stated that we don’t need to “make up God to explain the universe” (to paraphrase him) because the stars are the real Gods.

Best not go there eh....😬

Lol 😆.  I had a similar thought,  but I did wonder if it was a subtle attempt to engage with the science deniers 🤔.

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I enjoyed it, as someone who became seriously into astronomy in May 2020 it made a lot of sense to me and helped explain things, even though I do know a little about astronomy. I always enjoy Brian's programmes, and as its about the only astro related programme on TV atm apart from sky at night, which is less about astronomy. I really used to love stargazing live and wish they'd bring it back. I shall give the naked astronomy podcast a go though thank you @Chris 👍

Edited by AstroNebulee
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