Judge Victor Valdivia would like science more if it didn't involve math. No, he's really not that smart.
Our reviews of The Universe: Collector's Set (published November 5th, 2008), The Universe: Complete Season Two (Blu-Ray) (published July 18th, 2009), The Universe: Our Solar System (Blu-Ray) (published August 24th, 2010), The Universe: The Complete Season Five (published January 22nd, 2011), The Universe: The Complete Season Five (Blu-Ray) (published March 5th, 2011), The Universe: The Complete Season Four (published February 20th, 2010), The Universe: The Complete Season Four (Blu-Ray) (published March 4th, 2010), The Universe: The Complete Season Six (Blu-ray) (published May 5th, 2012), The Universe: The Complete Season Three (Blu-ray) (published October 1st, 2009), The Universe: The Complete Season Two (published October 22nd, 2008), and The Universe: The Complete Series Megaset (Blu-Ray) (published April 13th, 2011) are also available.
Explore the edges of the unknown.
The third season of History's astronomy series The Universe more or less continues the trend set by the first two. Here is science presented in a TV-friendly way, with nice CG animation, practical examples, and snappy narration. While it sometimes seems the show has reached a little for topics this season and there are a couple of complex topics which are not well explained, this is a pretty solid series. It's not where newcomers to this show should start—the first season is more accessible, both in the topics it chooses and how it addresses them—but it's far superior to some of the dreck History has chosen to air recently.
The Universe: The Complete Season Three has twelve episodes compiled on four discs:
• "Parallel Universes"
• "Light Speed"
• "Alien Faces"
• "Deadly Comets and Meteors"
• "Stopping Armageddon"
• "Another Earth"
• "Edge of Space"
• "Cosmic Phenomena"
As with the first two seasons, the show mixes computer animations and practical examples along with pictures and archive footage. Actually, because most of the episodes this season are more speculative than earlier ones, there's an abundance of CG shots, some of which are reused from episode to episode. This tends to highlight how some topics, such as "Alien Faces" and "Cosmic Phenomena," are too thin to build entire episodes around. Also, there are a couple of episodes, such as the "Parallel Universes" episode in particular, that are so complicated and difficult to visualize that it's still hard to understand the ideas they describe even though the participants do their best. Otherwise, these are as easy to watch and understand as the first two seasons were. Because it does rely on concepts that were explained in earlier seasons, such as how Jupiter acts as the guardian for our solar system, it would probably be a good idea to watch those first before starting with this one. Longtime fans of the show, though, shouldn't worry about this season. It still makes a good complement to the others. Bonus points go to astrophysicist Dr. Amy Mainzer, who appears in several episodes. She's clearly emerged as the show's most prominent interviewee, partly because of her sizable intellect and partly because she bears more than a passing resemblance to Angelina Jolie.
The presentation is typical History DVD: non-anamorphic 1.78:1 transfer and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mix, both satisfactory. The last disc has a few pictures and text extras, but these are just icing. The show itself is the cake, and while it may falter in spots, anyone who likes science TV, especially astronomy, should easily find this a worthy collection.
Not guilty. But start with the other seasons first.
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Studio: History Channel
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