"A poignant moment occurs near the end of the first episode of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” a rollicking 13-part tour of the universe to be broadcast on Fox starting on Sunday.
Sitting on a rock by the Pacific, Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of the show and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, pulls out an old desk calendar that had belonged to Carl Sagan, the Cornell astronomer and author. On a date in 1975 he finds his own name. The most famous astronomer in the land had invited young Neil, then a high school student in the Bronx with a passion for astronomy, to spend a day in Ithaca.
Dr. Sagan kindly offered to put him up for the night if his bus didn’t come. As Dr. Tyson told the story, he already knew he wanted to be an astronomer, but that day, he said, “I learned from Carl the kind of person I wanted to be.” …
After a series of special showings this week, including one at the White House, it will be shown in 170 countries and 45 languages, on Fox and on the National Geographic Channel — the largest global opening ever for a television series, according to Ann Druyan, Dr. Sagan’s widow and his collaborator on the original “Cosmos,” who is an executive producer and a writer and director of the new series.
I’m not going to pretend to be neutral here. I hope it succeeds and that everyone watches it, not just because I have known Ms. Druyan and admired Dr. Tyson for years, but because we all need a unifying dose of curiosity and wonder. …
We could use a national conversation that is not about scandal or sports.”
"Much of the first episode consists of a tour of the solar system and then outward as Dr. Tyson fills out what he calls our long address:
Milky Way galaxy.
And we get to hop along a cosmic calendar in which the 13.8-billion-year history of the universe has been compressed to 365 days and it’s now midnight on New Year’s Eve.
On this scale, Dr. Tyson reports, the sun was born on Aug. 31, and the dinosaurs died yesterday morning in that asteroid blast. Everybody you ever heard of, all the kings and queens and prophets, lived in the last 14 seconds of this cosmic year. ‘Jesus was born five seconds ago,’ he goes on.
'In the last second we began to do science,' he concludes. 'It allowed us to discover where and when we are in the cosmos.'
This is going to be fun.”
A Successor to Sagan Reboots Cosmos