I have to admit, I hadn’t seen a single season of the History Channel’s The Universe until this season. Considering that this is the sixth season of the series, one can’t help but respect the efforts of The History Channel to take on such a massive effort at explaining the mysteries and science of this great universe. I can’t help but also think that in six seasons, there has to be a repeat of some basic information as it is presented in this largely CGI imagery and discussion involving various scientists from various specialties. I don’t know how much of this series is repeated from the past and how much is new; I can only review based on what I have seen, and what I have seen up to this point is season six. In that, I can’t help but be impressed with many things, confused about some, left in awe by others, and perplexed at the totality of this project.
The Universe: Season Six is largely a CGI presented program. While there are images of The Universe that certainly come from real footage, much of what is shown couldn’t be done without CGI. While many television series of this sort fall short in CGI quality, as has even The History Channel at times, this particular series looks quite good via Blu-ray in both the visual and sound qualities of the program. There are enough interview segments and real-life video footage to keep this show entertaining and easy to watch. While I expected a narrative format over the season, each episode appears as a stand alone program. It still comes across as entertaining and educational, as each program varies in subject, and all are well scripted.
I have to admit, while I loved science in school, I wasn’t a good student and should have taken my studies more seriously. This series would have increased my interest in science, specifically regarding the universe and space. The History Channel does a good job at explaining the theories and science of the universe in an entertaining way.
One of the things I liked about the sixth season, although I don’t agree with all of the conclusions, is its willingness to address the possibility of God, and/or other sources (such as aliens and ufo’s), in understanding the origins of the universe. As I watched the series, especially the doomsday episodes, of which there are many, I couldn’t help but recognize the complexity of the universe. I am not a scientist, but I consider myself educated and one who has the ability to think outside of the box as well as within the box. I appreciate things like logic and reason and, as others have stated in the past, I can’t help but think the only logical explanation for the origins of the universe is the hand of God. That the complexity of the universe could come about from nothing takes a greater leap of faith for me than accepting the existence of God. The complexity of faith, in all its possibilities, is a concept I’ve had cause to ponder within my own Christian faith practice.
I follow a faith that centers on the person of Jesus Christ. Aspects of that faith are congruent with other faith systems such as Islam and Judaism. Each of these faith systems recognizes a monotheistic (singular) God. All would accept the Old Testament and much of their faith books overlap from the point of creation up to several hundred years before Jesus and Muhammad. Each of these faiths speaks of a God who created the universe and knows each of us by name. The complexity of God, his ability to create something as massive as the universe and at the same time know each person by name, is something I thought about while watching this DVD. I appreciate that various perspectives, including the possibility that God created the universe, are presented in a respectful yet objective way. In the search for the origins of the universe, we also see the universe explained in the very first verse of the Bible, where it states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The place of faith in the search of science versus faith includes an act of faith, no matter which concept one believes. Unfortunately, one claim that tends to permeate discussions is that science and faith are not cohesive or mutually compatible. I disagree, and the series, at least in one program, may cause one to consider alternatives to the incompatibility of science and faith.
I realize that many of the concepts of this season of The Universe may be rehashed . As mentioned earlier, I don’t know, as I haven’t seen the previous seasons. I did find the sixth season enlightening, entertaining, and educational, but more importantly I found it thought provoking, causing me to marvel, if you will, at the concept that for all the complexity of the Universe, I serve a God who knows me by name. That said, there was something I didn’t like about the DVD set—the lack of special features. With a series of this type, it would have been easy to include special features, including complete interviews, varying view points, and the myriad of information that I am sure ended up on the cutting room floor.
I am not certain if the blu-ray quality of this DVD set makes it a must own for DVD owners. I would say, the low suggested retail price and sure to be lower offered price make it an okay purchase. I would have been glad to pay the few extra dollars on an already low price for the Blu-ray. I just don’t know if everyone will view it that way.
I hope that as people watch this, they understand that much of what is presented is theory. While there are certainly doomsday aspects to this series, I am confident in my faith, and find solace in my belief in a God. I don’t know how one who has no faith in God would feel good about the conclusions in this series. There would certainly be very little, if any, hope. I realize that faith is a concept that can’t be measured; I also realize that whatever view on the creation of the universe one takes, there is a measure of faith, whether in God or science. I think there is a third place we can come to with a better understanding of the complexities of the universe, that is accurate in using science, yet at the same time, seeing and believing that God is the creator. There is no doubt we live in a complex and massive universe. There is also no doubt that over the years a great deal of wisdom and knowledge has come about regarding our universe. Happily, this series breaks it down in such a way that we can see and better understand the complexities of the universe we live in. As for me, this series didn’t answer all of my questions, but it did make me appreciate the power of God regarding the detail, majesty, and awesomeness of the universe.