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Wonders of the Universe- Episode 1 "Destiny" review

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Written by : published Friday 25th March 2011

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Before this review begins I have an admission to make. I am a excruciatingly colossal nerd. I am geek chic of the worst kind, I’ve read Stephen Hawking’s  A Brief History of Time,  followed with a passion developments in technology and squeal with delight when I can learn about literally anything and everything. I am supposed to love Professor Brian Cox and his Wonders of the Universe programme. (BBC2, 2011)

Supposed is unfortunately the key word here. The problem, is just because something is interesting doesn’t make it exciting.  I love to learn and to discover, it’s human nature, Professor Cox seems to know this and he thinks that enthusiasm will allow people to learn and to his credit yes he seems to love the subject and be passionate about what he is telling us. But that’s just the problem because he is so enthusiastic every line is delivered with the smile of an overly excited toddler who has just received a puppy made from chocolate on Christmas day. This scares me. The facts he was imparting were about the universe ending, I am aware it’s not going to happen for a while but it’s still the end of the world and he says this with a cheerful smile and a spring in his step. Another major gripe with the first episode of the series is that I didn’t actually learn anything I didn’t already know. There were lots of stock phrases that sound impressive but when you actually think about what is being said it becomes a painfully obvious statement one of my personal favourites was “the fate of the universe depends on the passage of time” which when combined with the dramatic music and the shots of the universe and space sounds amazing. Is it really though? For something to happen to anything it has to follow the passage of time. That’s what time does!

That might be my problem with this programme. Technically it’s all good stuff. Solid facts, enthusiastic presenter, beautifully shot pieces of the world and beyond. It should be dramatic and awe inspiring but it’s too dramatic. The part that pushed me over the edge was when the Professor walked calmly away from an exploding building it was at that point I wish the explosion would continue to engulf my screen and burn that image from my memory. Seriously make science exciting by all means, it might mean we get more educated people in the world and we can find a cure for cancer, develop new sustainable fuels or create a portable jet-pack that makes sandwiches but by doing the most clichéd thing in action and sci-fi movies and slamming it into a science programme makes for oddly jarred viewing especially when combined with ever recurring close up shots of Brian Cox’s puppy-dog eyes. Yes the universe is beautiful and yes we should all be moved to tears by it and we should look at the natural world and see that this is how the earth should be but I’ve seen a close up of this man’s eyes so much I could probably identify his body by just his retina .

All complaining aside though it is a solid enough programme that will inform people and possibly entertain them. It could develop a whole new wave of people who want to discover more about the planet and the universe and help us develop into a new and better society or if like me you’re just a big nerd you can probably jostle your geek muscles at the pretty pictures of space.


Review written by Andrew Bremner.

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About the author Andybrem92


Im a British Stand-up comic, Radio Panellist, Writer and Broadcast Journalism Student.   www.twitter.com/andybrem92

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