Cosmos ‘Unafraid of the Dark’ Season Finale Review
After 13 episodes Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey has ended. And it has left me invigorated. I wasn’t sure what to think about this project when it first aired. I had seen Carl Sagan’s original show but that was a long time ago. 13 episodes in I have learned a lot about science even though I am currently finishing my own Master thesis in computer Science and I already should know a lot about science. During these 13 episodes Neil takes us by the hand and show how scientific discovery has evolved. We have seen its trials as well as its reward. I was already familiar with some of the stories about famous scientist. Cosmos manages to weave them together into a larger journey which I thought was invigorating. Cosmos has a tough audience to convince. It needs to explain science to a very broad audience without alienating them.
The use of animation footage was risky, but it paid off handsomely. It prevents the audience from becoming too distracted with what otherwise would have been expensive live action scenes. Cosmos wasn’t afraid to venture into material for which it would be criticized. Sadly too often science has become embroiled with religion and the Catholic Church in particular. Neil deGrasse Tyson points out that those conflicts happened in the past yet some still attacked the show for being anti-religion. Criticism was made because Creationism wasn’t offered as an alternative to Evolution. The production staff defended this by saying that Creationism is only a belief and not a scientific fact. Cosmos for the most part manages to avoid controversy but I like how they go about issues regardless whether people would be offended.
The last episode of Cosmos is entitled ‘Unafraid of the Dark’ and it explores the concept of Dark Matter and Dark Energy to explain why the stars and the galaxies moves as they do. The subject is noticeably abstract. As such much more difficult for those unfamiliar with the topic to understand. Nonetheless Neil does his best, the episode has plenty to offer for those who did not understand it. Scientist such as Fritz Zwicky and Vera Rubin are highlighted as scientist little understood during their time. The latter may have been the victim of sexism, a all to familiar topic for those watching Cosmos. ‘Unafraid of the Dark’ is a perfect capstone for Cosmos. The series does not lend itself easily for extension. These last 13-episodes certainly discussed most of the low-hanging fruit but there is always a possibility for a renewal. In an interview Neil deGrasse Tyson responded to the question whether there will be more Cosmos and whether people need it. Though he didn’t answer the first question he did say that people shouldn’t need to Cosmos to understand the meaning and power of science. This was Cosmos ‘Unafraid of the Dark’ Season Finale Review.
Score; 8.7 / 10. An excellent capstone to a fantastic series on science.