Stephen Hawking's Universe DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.0
Video 8.0
Audio 7.0
Special Features   N/A
Total 8.0
Distributor: ABC
Running Time:
300 minutes
Classification:
G
Reviewer:
Simon Black

8.0


Stephen Hawking's Universe

One of the great charms of Stephen Hawking has been his unerring ability to not only postulate some of the most important scientific and philosophical questions known to humankind, but to impart the fruits of his research in terms that are succinct, comprehensible and universally engaging. 

Hawking’s landmark work A Brief History of Time, which has now sold over ten million copies worldwide, was a neat encapsulation of the physicist’s ongoing quest to unlock the mysteries of the universe, and of his wonder at the mysterious beauty and endless intricacies of the laws governing space and time. 

The six-part documentary series Stephen Hawking’s Universe provides a stunning, lucid and endlessly appealing visual portrait of the history of astronomy, charting the voyage of discovery taken by the world’s most preeminent scientists throughout the millennia.  Having originally aired in 1997, the series finds Hawking at his witty and passionate best, describing the theories governing planetary motion, gravity, dark matter, singularities, quantum physics and much more in terms that are readily accessible to even the most mathematically-challenged viewer. 

Illustrating each of the six episodes are breathtaking shots of nearby galaxies, nebulae and other of the firmament’s more captivating splendours, as well as re-enactments, photographs and assorted historical records detailing man’s search for meaning and his place within the cosmos.  The discoveries of Newton, Einstein, Kepler, Hubble, Copernicus, Democritus and many others are each explored in turn, and throughout the course of the series’ five-hour runtime we see one of the actual telescopes through which Galileo first saw Jupiter’s moons, the house of Isaac Newton and the Paris laboratory where Marie Curie first discovered radium.

It’s an arresting and immensely satisfying journey, and one you won’t want to miss.

Audio & Video

The series is presented in 4:3, which fills out nicely on a 16:9 screen without looking stretched or boxy.  Despite being almost fifteen years old it holds up extremely well, and there are no major problems with image or sound quality.  The image looks a little washed-out in one or two places, but overall holds up extremely well.  The 2-channel DD soundtrack is also strong, with no dropout or noticeable defects.  Lastly there is no bonus content, just the six episodes spread out over two discs.






 
 



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