Wonders of the solar system

By Phil Plait | March 7, 2010 7:00 am

Starting tonight on the BBC, a new series premiers called "Wonders of the Solar System". The host is some guy named Brian Cox. He’s a particle physicist! I don’t see the BBC hiring me to do a show on the Large Hadron Collider, so this doesn’t seem fair. And I’m a little concerned about how much Brian knows about the LHC, anyway.

Still, it looks cool. Here’s the trailer:

Seriously, this will be awesome. I can’t wait to see it!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Science, TV/Movies

Comments (91)

  1. John

    Folks up on Mauna Kea were probably annoyed, what with a film crew and their lights on during sky flats! 😉

  2. Zucchi

    Fantastic; gave me chills. So when do we in the US get to see the show?

  3. natasha

    i watching that cant wait

  4. Another blog post about TV shows! What about astronomy, huh?


  5. So when do we in the US get to see the show?

    After they let Phil record the American narration track. Hint hint, BBC.

  6. James H

    My wife says…young…English….eye candy. We’ll be watching!

  7. Plutonium being from Pluto

    Sounds awesome – wonder if The Wonders will be played in Australia anytime soon? :-)

    Way back in their November 2007 ‘Astronomy Now’magzaine came up with an article listing the “Seven wonders of the Universe.” which in turn prompted me tothink of my own lists there – I came up with three sets of “7 wonders” (Solar system, asseen in Earth’s skies & the cosmos overall) which was eventually published in a letter in their April 2008 edition.

    Anyhow my personal selection for the “Seven Wonders of our Solar System were (& remain – & in no particular order) :

    VII) The double planets of Pluto and Charon – and, yes I’d still term them planets!

    VI) The volcanoes of Io,

    V) the Tharsis Bulge volcanoes (incl. Olympus Mons) and the Valles Marineris complex on Mars,

    IV) Jupiter ‘s Great Red Spot,

    III) the lakes and intermittent rivers of Titan,

    II) the rings of Saturn,


    I) Our Earth with its oceans and biosphere!

    Feel free to agree / disagree or come up with your own lists, y’all .. :-)

    – Plutonium being from Pluto a.k.a. StevoR.

  8. Thanks for plugging this, I have always loved astronomy since a visit to the Planetarium when I was at junior school. Fabulous!

  9. Jack Mitcham

    I just want to take the time to reassert my man-crush on Dr. Brian Cox. Also, the UK gets the best television, I’m insanely jealous.

  10. Pi-needles

    Brian Cox is, IMHO, the best ambassador for science – esp. astronomy – since Carl Sagan. He just has such raw enthusiasm, shows such a sense of wonder and plain *love* for the subject and cosmos at large that he blows me away every time. Man crush? By Jove yes! :-)

    If he wasn’t so busy with doing real science, I think he’d make a superlative Doctor – of TARDIS as well as science! 😉

    That said, a very minor nit to pick :

    “Newton is usually right.” [Looking at the eclipse]

    Is it just me who finds that ironic seeing as a solar eclipse was pivotal in proving Einstein’s Theory of Relativity which refined and surpassed Isaac Newton’s “clockwork” cosmos?

    PS. My 7 wonders of the solar system? Earth, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Pluto-Charon & Halley’s Comet! (Sorry Mercury, Neptune & Uranus but you just miss the cut as do the asteroids. Hmm …If only I could somehow squeeze Titan, Europa, Enceladus and Io in there too .. So many possible candidates! ) 😉

  11. Ginger Yellow

    Cox was on this week’s Guardian science podcast talking about the show and the state of science funding in the UK, if you’re interested.

  12. Kimpatsu

    Ha! Mad British scientist Brian Cox (who has a secret base under Geneva) kicks Bad Astronomer arse all over again! This is payback for failure to recognise German George as the One True Ruler of the Colonies!

  13. Pi-needles

    @^ Kimpatsu: Which “German George?” Weren’t there about five (or should that be V) of them? 😉

    As for Dr Cox’s “secret” base, I think the news of his LHC /CERN bunker has been out for a while now! Not that it wouldn’t make a good Bond super-villain lair mind you, just that its not so secret. Unless that is, it extends deeper than we’re told! Maybe they’ve been putting that earth-swallowing black hole to good use as a digging implement? 😉

  14. Kevin Nolan

    I find Brian Cox incredibly annoying. He is patronizing to his audience. He also makes it ‘about him’ so you’re never in the subject, you’re perpetually frustrated by his superficiality. He overuses superlatives without explaining them and leaves the viewer none the wiser. So I will not be looking at this series however capable are the production values.

  15. Asimov Fan

    He’s a particle physicist!

    Doesn’t that give him dual wave-particle physicist .. uh “citizenship” if that’s the word? 😉

    I don’t see the BBC hiring me to do a show on the Large Hadron Collider, so this doesn’t seem fair.

    Actually, I’d just love to see you doing a TV show with Brian Cox on the LHC and astronomy and bad science generally – any chance that something could be in the works here? Could that be your “sooper-sekrit” project? I hope so! 8)

    EDITED to add : Congratulations Stuart R – Can you give us a heads up as to which photos would be yours when we see it or is that verboten?

  16. Sili

    Cox was on this week’s Guardian science podcast talking about the show and the state of science funding in the UK, if you’re interested.

    He also expressed interest in joining the Flat Earth Society after having heard the compelling case brought by their new president.

  17. I’m looking forward, too. I sold some of my astrophotos to the BBC for the production a few months ago … I’m curious as to how they turned out. 😉

  18. Pi-needles

    @ 15. Sili: The Flat Earth Society has a new president? Why wasn’t I told of that – who is it? 😉

    (Not that I’m a member or anything.)

    Actually, hang on, there’s still a Flat Earth Society? WTF!?

  19. Twilightened

    I don’t like Brian Cox, he just seems goofy, wanderin around, enjoying himself, instead of giving information. Isn’t that why we watch docus ?

  20. Gary Ansorge

    17. Pi-needles

    Yes! They’re right next door to the Geo-Centric Society,,,

    Brian Cox certainly is an enthusiastic proponent of science. Much like Carl Sagan, Neil DeGras Tyson and that other guy,,,Phil something or other,,,

    Guess I need to look into faking my country ids, just to be able to see this.

    Gary 7

  21. Dennis

    Brian Cox strongly reminds me of Roger Waters from the “Live at Pompeii” era.
    It’s his physical appearance and his accent, and for some reason it really annoys me.
    I have a hard time watching him host science shows, although I always enjoy the content of the shows he hosts.
    Personally, I’d rather watch Dr. Plait.
    But, that’s just me.

  22. I can’t wait to see it. Oh wait…. I don’t get BBC America. Curse you, cable company! First I have to ignore all the Doctor Who chat (hey did you guys see the end of season four! Cool!), and now this.

  23. Brian Cox always put me in mind of a grown-up version of Adric from Doctor Who.

  24. Doug

    Phil, the only reason you weren’t considered is the lack of a British accent. You might want to work on that.

    One thing that bothered me about the film … the thunder came at the same time as the lightning at the very end. After so much great science, too! I’ll try to justify it to myself by saying that the strike happened close enough (although it’s obviously not).

  25. oldebabe

    Re: 23. Doug, as you know/implied, when lightning hits from directly overhead, besides the crackle, the next sound is huge, overwhelming and almost instantaneous. I’ve experienced this twice personally, but even tho anecdotal, I think correct. From a `close distance’, however, the crackle/hit of the lightning can, and usually does, make a noticeable sound at the time of strike, too… depending I suppose on what is struck… Don’t you think?

    Phil, you simply can’t be everywhere doing everything…

  26. Gary Ansorge

    24. oldebabe:

    “Phil, you simply can’t be everywhere doing everything…”

    Sure he can. He just needs to do what Isaac Asimov did,,,make 300 clones of himself.

    GAry 7

  27. Flavio

    As much as Cox is an expert and everything, I can’t stand him, I’m not sure why… too much emphasis maybe.

  28. Shadowen

    Q: The Brian Cox?

    A: No.

    Q: Oh, well, then it’s the Brian Cox?

    A: No.

    Q: Then surely, you must mean the Brian Cox?

    A: No.

    Q. Then which Brian Cox?

    A: This one.

    …Man, Brian Cox is talented.

  29. Will a copy of this show be available online for download or as a DVD for purchase?

  30. Joe

    It’s also on the BBC HD channel. 25 mins until lift off.

  31. Wow, a science show with Brian Cox. I can’t think of a single reason NOT to watch it. At least when it’s available in the US or on DVD. Looks fantastic! Brian’s passion reminds me so much of Carl Sagan.

  32. jcm

    I don’t see the BBC hiring me to do a show on the Large Hadron Collider, so this doesn’t seem fair.

    If the BBC hires you, wouldn’t you be taking a job away from a british citizen?

  33. Rhys

    Brian Cox is wonderful; my favorite popular sciencetist since Carl Sagan. He did a bit on why Fusion Power was so important for BBC’s Horizon a few months back; it was fantastic. I am half way through watching the show right now. It is very good. His passion for the subject is so obvious!

  34. Mike C.

    Can’t wait to Netflix this series, though the preview reminds me an awful lot of those badly shot and edited Youtube videos of wannabe David Blaine’s performing something called street magic (not that Mr. Blaine is very good at it himself).

    Anyway, my wife thinks Brian Cox is hot. ‘Nuff said. Maybe I’ll just cancel Netflix and go live in a yurt in the Catskills.

  35. davem

    Just finished watching it. I didn’t learn anything, but it was good eye-candy (the scenery, not BC!). There was mention of him doing a kids’ programme ‘Space Hoppers’ appearing this week, too.

  36. MW

    13. Pi-needles:

    If you’re making a huge secret underground base in a densely populated region, you need some explanation for all the rock you’re pulling out of the ground. The LHC is just cover. Also nobody gets suspicious when you start lowering superconducting magnets, supercomputers etc. down the hole and hooking it up to enough electricity to run a city.

    The more I think on it, the more I like it. Can we convince everyone necessary to get Dr Cox to play himself as the villain in a Bond movie?

  37. Just about to view it on the iPlayer. Have been looking forward to it.

  38. Interesting programe with stars, dreamy scenes in the sunshine, with a bloke with dark hiar who looks like he is in a dream, no, D Ream (like a 70’s shampoo advert – which is pretty good going for a BBC Horizon Doc about large spherical rocks wooshing around in the sky, presented with a guy who does smashing atoms), would have liked a few other scientsist to co-present, eaxmple, that lovely chappo Max Tegmark (who is really good at explaining things that might happen on certain days of the week or not depending on whether or not infinity or not exists, if exists, exists or not) blowing up a, blow up planet. In this programe the differing connections made by each topics (proper music, even a rock band at the end?) was a good idea, very funky and it’s interpretation of how colours are made via the light spectrum – to a tree then a butterfly to some experiment with a tin of water, unbrella and thermometer, and loads ofepoeple waiting near a waters edge waiting to see the MOon pass over the Sun so that it looks like a diamond ring. And physics.

    Made me feel like a 6 year old kid discovering science all over again (which is what the show was supposed to do anyway, good one!)

    Claire Skies

  39. Just finished watching part one and I give it an A+.

    Brian Cox is superb and I think he may very well be on his way to being the next Sagan. The photography and production was at the usual high standards of the BBC. Still running well ahead of the U.S. actually.

    The segment of the eclipse was done better than any I have seen before.

    When I was in Antarctica in January, Sir David Attenborough was on the plane into McMurdo, and BBC is working on a huge project with him called Ice World. They have cameras (time lapse) set up in several locations including the hydroponics lab at the South Pole station.

  40. Jya Jya Binks Killer

    Brian Cox is awesome – this looks like great doco. :-)

    Can’t see him as a Bond villain although I’d agree he’d make a good Doctor.

    Is it me or is the jet at 48 secs one of those old Korean War ones? Any aeronautics experts here know?

    And did I hear him right? :

    “We’re part of a much wider ecosystem that extends way beyond the top of our atmosphere!” [Checks, yes, I did at the 40-45 second mark.]

    Er ..we are? I thought our ecosystem stopped at about the troposphere (lower layer of atmos.) & wasn’t aware we had a whole ecology that far above our heads let alone going out into space. Does this mean Dr Cox believes in something like Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe’s panspermia theory? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia )

    As for the Seven Wonders of our Solar System, hows this for inclusive list:

    1) The Sun
    2) The Planets
    3) The Dwarf Planets
    4) The Comets
    5) The moons of the planets
    6) The asteroids
    7) The TNOs /KBO’s / Oort Cloud objects (or whatever else you call ’em!)

    Did I miss anything? 😉

  41. Daniel J. Andrews

    Dan (39)—thanks for that bit of information re: Sir David Attenborough! I’m a huge fan of his, and now I’m more jealous that you got to meet him than of the fact you got to go to Antarctica.

    I don’t see the BBC hiring me to do a show on the Large Hadron Collider, so this doesn’t seem fair

    Because Brian has all his hair. Guys with the hair always get the tv breaks. Doesn’t seem fair at all. We have to rely on brains and personality to get by instead and that doesn’t make for good tv. 😉

  42. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @ 41. Daniel J. Andrews Says:

    Dan (39)—thanks for that bit of information re: Sir David Attenborough! I’m a huge fan of his, and now I’m more jealous that you got to meet him than of the fact you got to go to Antarctica.

    Heck, I’m jealous of both – but more so Antartica! 😉

    As for the no hair – Michael Garibaldi from Babylon 5& Homer Simpson spring to mind as immediate counter-examples! 😉

    @ 39. dan satterfield :

    You are so lucky, you know that right? Enjoyed looking at your blog which I thought was good too – even if I disagree with you on some things there. :-)

  43. David Vanderschel

    FWIW, Brian Cox is also featured in the documentary, “Six Billion Dollar Experiment” (about the LHC), which is shown periodically on Discovery Science, and which you can view on their web site:


    or http://preview.tinyurl.com/yaxa3kn

    (I found the show interesting because you get to see a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that is not normally shown in photos from the LHC.)

  44. Mac

    Brian Cox was interviewed on Colbert Nation recently. Typical Stephen Colbert stuff, but funny and worth a watch regardless.


  45. Merijn

    Brian Cox may be a bit dreamy in his presentation, but the documentaries are good in general. Also, the book he wrote with Jeff Forshaw titled Why Does E=mc²? is very enlightening.

  46. MarkW

    Coxy was always one of the cool kids at school. Glad to see he still is.

    (He’s a couple of years older than me so probably doesn’t remember me.)

  47. Walter Vannini

    He’s enthusiast, but I find it difficult to infer from such emphasis that knowledge should inspire, you know, awe, reflection, wisdom, inner peace and a sense of scale. His style makes everything look like just another MTV show for adrenaline addicts.
    And, yes, his accent is ghastly.

  48. Neil Haggath

    #40: He didn’t say “a much wider ecosystem”; he said, “a much wider environment“. Meaning the solar wind, and therefore the Sun itself, is part of our environment, because it influences events on Earth.

  49. Ginger Yellow

    Because Brian has all his hair. Guys with the hair always get the tv breaks.

    Jim Al-Khalili, whom the BBC commissions to present its really nerdy science documentaries, has even less hair than Phil.

    As for Sunday’s show, I thought it was pretty good, without being Cox’s best. I really liked the bits where he was enthusing about science (especially the experiment in the desert) and the eclipse footage. But I’m a bit tired of the BBC’s habit of filling its science documentaries with people jetting around the world (Iain Stewart’s earth science programmes are also guilty of this in a big way). And they could have been clearer as to which images were real and which were computer generated. Other than that, though, very watchable, and I think it worked well as an introduction to the series.

  50. MrWrinkle

    The BBC produced two version of this series — the UK version that started last night, and an international version that is being sold globally. The UK version is fronted almost exclusively by Brian Cox, but the international version is not — it has a series of “experts” talking about the different subjects (and a narrator, I guess…maybe Brian…but I haven’t seen it so don’t know). I know this stuff because I’m one of the lucky “experts” interviewed for the international version. I got to film along-side Brian, which was a lot of fun (and in a cool location!). He’s a great guy and is amazingly comfortable and professional in front of the camera.

  51. Len

    Just getting ready to settle down and watch this.
    Hoping for the following:
    1. Some interesting science stuff, not just pretty pictures of planets.
    2. None of that constant repetition every 5 minutes of the same points that seems to have invaded documentaries lately to suit our short attention…oh look a squirrell..
    3. That Brian Cox doesnt explode due to excitement during the program. Im sure he would take it as a compliment being compaired to the ‘brilliant kid’ from the fast show in terms of his exuberance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B12WBTFLK0Q&

    I think its a good thing.

  52. I thought the opening episode was pretty good. There were many images (such as some solar images) that were computer-generated, but this was not made clear. And yes, the jetting around the world was a bit of a distraction — and seems a waste of our TV-license fee.

    Still, it was a good programme.

    @47: I’m reading Jim Al-Khalil’s book “Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed”, which is quite good.

  53. Universal

    coxy is all good, nice guy too check out Jim Al-Khalili chemistry a volatile history and his atom series there good too.

    As for coxy new offerings very enjoyable but a little to basic for my likings. He has a way simplify things for the idiots, as we have seen when apered on something for the weekend with two football louts Tim Lovejoy and Louise Redknapp who lets face it biggest achievement is that they can speak. i stopped watching after being offended that Tim Lovejoy thought the nice fellas at CERN were all drunks because they served wine in the lhc canteen.

    this is another coxy classic were he makes fun of 2012 believers


    i hope this comes to bbc America for you guys

  54. GregB

    I thought the first episode was excellent and look forward to the rest of the series- now I can’t wait to watch it with my 7 year old daughter. What’s great about Brian Cox is his ability to share his knowledge in a way that both adults and children are able gain something from it. Like Attenborough and Sagan his passion and enthusiasm for educating are self-evident. He’s a smart, engaging and down to earth loud-hailer for physics- and science in general- and it’s place in our lives. He comes across well in front of the camera, and I hope he goes on to be a hero for my children in the same way that David Attenborough was for me.

  55. captain swoop

    Like all BBC science shows it was patronising and dumbed down. They seem scared to include any ‘real’ science in case they alienate any of their audience. When they do an Arts show they assue the audience knows something about the subject, that’s because most of the people who are involved with programs at the BBC are all Arts graduates. Latin and a knowledge of Ancient Greece or Renaissance Fresco gets you a lot further in your career at the beeb than any Science degree ever will.

  56. Rubicon 1971

    Brian Cox is an utter genius, and for me, my physics hero. I have to agree that some of the content has been “dumbed” down, but that is because BBC Primetime TV has to appeal to as many people as possible. Unfortunately getting the general public to watch the children’s version really wouldn’t wash. I for one applaud any programme that gets people talking / watching science, only this way will we get more funding for bigger projects and further our knowledge. Currently space science is taking a backseat, which in turn is killing the Space Programme, in 1969 we got to the moon, now we have no idea how to. We have to get the public enthused again. Unfortunately the debate of progress vs funding will rage eternally, but programmes like this can only help our cause

  57. Clive DuPort

    Captain Swoop, you may have felt patronised but I didn’t. I find Brian Cox to be an engaging presenter and for this programme has to convey his meaning to a wide spectrum of viewers which he managed very well in my opinion.

    Maybe it’s a bit science-lite but it seems to be not just about the astronomy but also the effect the Solar System has on Earth & the way we live on our planet.

    I am looking forward to the rest of the series. Thanks, BBC.

  58. Gary Ansorge

    57. Rubicon 1971:

    Every time we try to explain any sciency subject to those not inclined to science we have to “dumb it down” because every discipline has its own jargon and most people don’t speak the language. For most of science, that includes the very precise language of mathematics, which most people shy away from.

    Gary 7

  59. Al


    I think the aircraft at the 48″ mark was an English Electric Lightning – a bit later than the Korean War

  60. Geek

    I only caught the last half of Episode 1 but I was enthralled. It wasn’t “dumbed down” at all IMO. It was truly inspiring and the best science program I’ve seen on TV for years.

  61. Neil Haggath

    #52 Len: Thankfully, as the series is on BBC, the programmes are not interrupted by commercial breaks – though I guess they will be when shown on American TV! So the narration can maintain continuity.
    I don’t know what it’s like in the US, but on all the UK’s commercial channels ( i.e. all except the BBC ), every documentary these days follows the same annoying trend; after each commercial break, the narrator has to remind the viewers of what they have just seen up to four minutes earlier. They must think the entire population suffers from attention deficit disorder! Or perhaps it’s just a ploy to reduce the actual length of programme content even further. Whichever is the reason, it’s infuriating.
    So thank FSM that Brian is on the BBC!
    As for the “dumbing down”; as others have said, the programme has to appeal to a wide audience. It isn’t being made for scientists and people with degrees; it’s being made for the intelligent layman with an interest in science! And in that respect, Brian appears to be doing a good job. Personally, I don’t expect to learn a single thing from the series, but I’m watching it simply because Brian is such a good presenter.

  62. Peter Henderson

    It wasn’t “dumbed down” at all IMO. It was truly inspiring and the best science program I’ve seen on TV for years.

    Yep, some good basic astronomy and I liked the way he covered cosmic recycling at the end. The BBC is always very good at this sort of thing and I noticed the sky at night was on a similer theme later in the evening (SETI etc.).

    Brian Cox is excellent though he seems far too young to be a professor. For some reason he reminds me of Neil Morrissey.

    Still, I’m surprised the YECs haven’t complained yet:


  63. Jya Jya Binks Killer

    @ 60. Al Says:

    @40 I think the aircraft at the 48″ mark was an English Electric Lightning – a bit later than the Korean War.

    Okay – thanks. :-)

    I had thought it looked a bit like this aircraft :


    but on closer inspection maybe not. Cheers for that. :-)

  64. For those of us in America, Atheist Planet uploaded it to Youtube: http://atheistplanet.blogspot.com/

  65. Ryan

    Has anyone noticed this really strange frame at one bit. I downloaded the bbc hd video from iplayer. It’s at 19:21 just after he says ‘lifts’.

    I don’t know what it is but I got a screenshot of it

  66. Darth Robo

    Cool, now I got something to watch while I have my dinner.


  67. Dave

    “The host is some guy named Brian Cox.”

    Brian is one of the most famous scientists in the UK, mainly due to the fact he has been hosting the BBC Horizon programmes for years.

    I love his passion for everything he does. Check out the Horizon – ‘Can we make a star on earth’. “We’re in the desert, on a road trip to do physics. YEAH” It’s hard not to love the guy!

  68. Dave

    Yeah Ryan, I just noticed it too. There’s a woman and a guy with a beard?

  69. Dave (68): You might want to click the link in the original post about Brian and the LHC, or search for his name on my blog. :)

  70. BradPhysicsPhD

    Dr Brian Cox… not a bad pick for this. I mean really.. how many physicists are also considered a rock god? Just him.
    I’m sure you would have been considered P. Plait, except you tend to rub people the wrong way, and believe the Democratic party is good for science. 😀

  71. MS

    That’s prof. Brian Cox.. and he works for the LHC and that qualifies him to talk about it…

  72. Brian was the keyboard player for D:Ream (anyone remember them?) whilst studying for his PhD. They got into the UK charts in the early ’90s with the ‘anthem’ “Things Can Only Get Better”.

    Gotta say, I much prefer his Physics shows to his music…


  73. eeryowl

    I been enjoying this series and think Dr Cox is an excellent presenter.
    But I have to take exception to with the 3rd episode.
    Referring to this eyesore: http://imgur.com/Tc0b2.jpg
    Dr Cox says “This is an English Electric Lightning. The most beautiful fighter aircraft ever built”.

    Unless he has never seen a Supermarine Spitfire, F-104 Starfighter, or F-16 Falcon.
    Or the SU-7 is the only other fighter plane he knows.
    There is only one conclusion, he is lying!

  74. Bobby McDoogle
  75. Sandy

    And I’m a little concerned about how much Brian knows about the LHC, anyway.

    Well he does work on ATLAS at the LHC! So probably quite a lot!

  76. Fabrizio

    I want to know the soundtrack of this serie!!! Does anyone know anything about it??

  77. Kevin

    I really like the show. Yeah you don’t learn much if you have soem previous basic knowledge but TV isn’t abut learning anyhow IMHO. I just like hwo nice the show looks on my tv, great picutres/aninations and also how enthusiastic brian is.

    Well done and entertaining.

  78. Antony

    Guys have any of you actually seen the series?!?!?!

    It’s absolutely amazing!!!!!!!

    (14) Kevin Nolan is sooooo jealous, and might I say, i’ve watched Prof Cox, for 5 hours now and want to see so much more… I read your comments and would describe them as… “patronizing to his audience. He also makes it ‘about him’ so you’re never in the subject, you’re perpetually frustrated by his superficiality. He overuses superlatives without explaining them and leaves the viewer none the wiser” quote from (14)

    The series are actually MASSIVELY interesting!

    With fascinating facts from a wide variety of scientific disciplines to let the young and old decide a specific scientific discipline to study or just simply enjoy… In my opinion it’s an excellent starting point, which can re-inspire those who have lost perspective of just how incredible the earth and our neighbours are…

    I personally didn’t like Prof. Brian Cox in the 1st documentary, I too found him to be a bit “hippyish” for my tastes, but now 5 down the line, I think he’s absolutely awesome and more than capable of presenting what is a truly mind opening series… He explains subjects simply which DOES NOT, mean his opinions and data is incomplete or lacking; it means he makes the complex simple, which as any of us here with any knowledge at all, know that this is only possible with a complete and fluid mastery of the subject at hand…

    This series is true eye candy, and it’s one of the few times i’ve been truly saddened to see a scientific documentary end, lol! Most do not deliver, often leaving the viewer with many of the same questions they had prior to watching the documentary! This one leaves you inspired and satisfied with a bunch of new questions to answer…

    As a studying nanotechnologist, not previously particluarly interested in investigating the solar system other than on a superficial level (frankly because I didn’t think we could really be so sure about what’s out there, which I now retract) This documentary has so far been inspirational = )

    Highly recommended for all!

  79. Arran Bedford

    Look Im not as educated as some of you, I am however a working class young man from England, and I for one must say that this series was outstanding. I have always had an interest in the Solar System but for me Brian Cox brought it all to life and was able to really make Science and space interesting. The series makes you look at the stars in a whole new way. The BBC is often put down in this country but I hope they continue to make such fascinating shows.

  80. Faber

    I’m sure this series will inspire many people to take an interest in astronomy, it was truly fascinating stuff. Not sure about Prof Brian’s constant smile tho, can make him look slightly psycho. His enthusiasm is infectious though.


  81. Iorek Koepf

    You’re concerned about how much Brian Cox knows about the LHC?

    I’m pretty sure it’s more than you, mate.

  82. Ivan Velasquez

    First of all, thanks to the peoples of the British Isles for paying for all these great programs the BBC churns out for the benefit of mankind at large. People abroad Europe probably are not aware that the Brits do actually pay for a ‘BBC Licence Fee.’ (Other European countries do as well, paying even higher fees to their respective broadcasting systems.)
    I don’t think Brian is patronizing nor dumbing down; he seems to be rather ‘explaining,’ and for those who expect to get an education out of these entertaining science series, there are universities and community colleges waiting, for a deeper grasp on the matter. Then, there are books… What these shows/Docus actually aim to, is to fascinate the young and lure them to the fields of science, and, perhaps, to revisit with others long forgotten/learnt facts.
    There are thousands of scientists bunkered down under Geneva, and in many labs and universities around the world, and it’s good to see that some of them come out to share their knowledge with those of us on the surface. Perhaps better suited for the young, pre-college/Uni, but, nonetheless, certainly entertaining. So, thanks BBC and Brian for bringing the solar system in all its glory into our living rooms!

  83. Last night, the Arrow of Time-eposide of the [i’ve been told]new series aired on BBC2.
    I’m enjoying it but all the same feel a bit annoyed by all the eye candy and romantic scores and the desolate-man-on-top-of-mountain-approach.

    Gimme more tech stuff, man!!! Still, other than that, i’m not complaining.

  84. Terry

    Well done Brian, he had a fantastic jolly making the programme and got paid. Getting a flight in the Vomit Comet and a Hawker Hunter jet together with travelling all over the world (sometimes for a scene lasting barely a few minutes) and all paid for by the license fee payer.
    P.S. I’m only jealous.

  85. Steve

    “I find Brian Cox incredibly annoying. He is patronizing to his audience. He also makes it ‘about him’ so you’re never in the subject, you’re perpetually frustrated by his superficiality.”

    Am I? Well thanks for telling me how I feel, that was really useful. Here I was thinking his enthusiasm was infectious, but apparently I’m perpetually frustrated by his superficiality. I”d have been lost without you to tell me how I feel about him.

    Seriously though. I enjoy Dr Cox’s programmes……well I enjoy them right up to the point where some hyper-critical nobody on the internet spoils it for me by telling me how I really feel.

  86. Reggie

    Yeah….what one really needs is one of those flat deliveries I recall from science films of you youth.
    I find Brian Cox’s enthusiasm for the subjects infectuous and enjoyed the entire series which was lent me by a friend on Blue Ray.

    I also liked his simplified explanations of so many relationships between planets and moons and the gravitational forces of both.

    Sure, if you’re already a plasma physicist or professional astronomer, you might find it all a little superficial but for the average Joe (or Reg), I’ll take Cox’s delivery anyday.

  87. Tom

    Kevin Nolan is right. Cox regurgitates other peoples facts as if they are his own, in an incredibly annoying manner. I don’t need Cox to tell me that something is “amazing” every sentence. I can decide that for myself.


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