Discovery Channel // 2010 // 373 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roman Martel (Retired) // April 16th, 2011
Easy Reader says, "Worm. Hole. Wormhole!"
Hi, I'm writing to you from a wormhole. You know it's not too bad in here, kinda blue and glowy. The weather is nice and I can make stuff materialize all around me, like apple turnovers and the perfect cup of Earl Grey. How did I end up in this bizarre world with my laptop? I followed famed actor and documentary producer Morgan Freeman in. I mean, the guy played God in Bruce Almighty, so obviously he knows a thing or two about manipulating the space time continuum. We both leapt into the wormhole, which looked a lot like a scene from The Time Tunnel, and here we are.
But what the heck is a wormhole? Well, funny you should ask. Mr. Freeman and his pals have crafted an entire series to answer that and may other tough questions. Is there a creator? Is time travel possible? Are we alone? (Not in a wormhole obviously, I keep running into Ernie Hudson). And what happened before the beginning?
To tackle these weighty matters, Morgan and company turn to science, and this is where things get puzzling. For most of these questions, we don't have answers. Instead, scientists have come up with several theories that involve equations the size of Mt. Fuji, concepts involving particle zoos, and the Large Hadron Collider.
Each episode is crammed full of interesting scientific explorations and concepts. The format is straightforward, we join Freeman in the wormhole, where he seems quite comfortable (thank you very much) posing the question for the episode. After giving us an amusing anecdote how he first thought about the question as a young man (helped by some reenactments), we dive right into the science, using a combination of interviews, computer generated visual aids, location shooting, stock footage (where necessary), and archival footage to provide historical context. We even get to see some of these scientists get their Mr. Wizard on, as they do some practical visualizations involving balloons, tennis balls, RC cars, and food coloring.
Hey Morgan, stop materializing penguins in this wormhole! They keep stealing my apple turnovers. Greedy little guys...
Anyway, I'm going to be honest, you have to have a strong interest in science to get the most out of this show. Sure, they do a great job of explaining the more complex ideas like String Theory and its affect on time and space. But the show zips along pretty quickly, eager to deliver as much information as it can. None of these questions are easily answered, and all of them have multiple theories supporting them. So there is a lot to cover in the time provided. This means your brain may be packed full of new ideas about halfway through when you hit information overload.
But you know what? I like that. Lately I've seen too many documentaries that only scratch the surface, or attempt to distract you from their shallowness with pretty pictures. Through the Wormhole takes the opposite approach, and I got more out of eight episodes of this show than twelve episodes of the painfully vapid America: The Story of Us.
Since this series was featured on the Science Network, it means there is no room for philosophy or religion. Many of these questions have been tackled from those angles, but Freeman and his crew only provide passing mention. The concept of Time could provide an entire series based on philosophy alone, so anyone who finds the idea of scientists using quantum theory to prove or disprove the existence of a creator may want to look elsewhere.
Production values are solid. Freeman provides all the voiceover, as well as acting as our host. The title theme is composed by Hans Zimmer and his signature style is imitated throughout. The full frame images are sharp, even during the darkest space scenes, and the 2.0 audio is mixed perfectly. As a bonus, we even get a selection of deleted scenes from each episode, providing a bit more background on the subject, always a great extra in documentaries.
There is one question I have been able to answer during my time in the wormhole. Where does my cat disappear to? The answer: He creates a one dimensional door and goes wherever he damn well pleases. I know this because my cat just found me and is begging for dinner. Mystery solved.
Mr. Freeman may warp time and space, but he's not guilty.
Review content copyright © 2011 Roman Martel; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Discovery Channel
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 373 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes
* Wikipedia: Wormhole