This is so cool – a watershed science and scifi-based TV series from the Eighties – COSMOS is now on YouTube! If you want to experience some deep 80’s-nerd nostalgia, binge-watch this series while sitting on your grandma’s Montgomery Ward couch and drinking a JOLT! cola. Take a look:
Here’s more info on Cosmos: A Personal Voyage from Wikipedia: is a thirteen-part, 1980 television series written and presented by Carl Sagan. It covers a wide range of scientific subjects, including the origin of life and a perspective of our place in the universe.
Inspiration for the series sprung from disappointment, according to Entertainment Weekly: “In 1976, Sagan, then a member of the Viking Lander Imaging Team at NASA surveying Mars with robots, was dismayed by the lack of attention given to their historic, important work by the news media. At the time, the cultural narratives about space focused on the question of alien life and hospitable planets, and Team Viking couldn’t support reductive storylines about little green men or interplanetary manifest destiny. But Sagan was convinced the public was hungrier for knowledge — and more capable of appreciating complexity — than the press assumed. In the companion book to Cosmos, Sagan wrote: ‘I was positive from my own experience that an enormous global interest exists in the exploration of the planets and in many kindred scientific topics — the origin of life, the earth, and the Cosmos, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, our connection with universe. And I was certain that this interest could be excited through that most powerful communications medium, television.'”
Sagan was more right than any one else knew. The series was first broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service in 1980, and was the most widely watched series in the history of American public television until The Civil War (1990). As of 2009, it was still the most widely watched PBS series in the world. It’s spun off a variety of sequels and reboots, and created a nascent genre of science and science fiction/fact television we still enjoy today.
The entire 13-series is available here. I hope you enjoyed this deep dive on Carl Sagan and COSMOS, now that it’s back on Archive.Org. Please feel welcomed to dive down the rabbit hole of every other Sci-Friday I’ve published in the past couple years. Have a great weekend! 🙂