I remember my dad telling me about watching Don Herbert on television back in the days of his original Watch Mr. Wizard.
For me, growing up in the 1970s and ’80s, science on TV ranged from kid stuff like 3-2-1 Contact to mind-blowing programs like PBS’ Nova and, of course, the ultimate space trip, Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.
Today’s science television menu is beyond just about anything I could have imagined back then, but every so often, something comes along that really reawakens that elementary-school-age sense of wonder, and this spring, it looks like it’s going to be the Discovery Channel‘s Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking.
Just announced this week, we’re talking about a four-part series helmed by – well, seriously: Stephen. Hawking. The network’s promising a heaping helping of NASA footage and mind-bending talk on everything from the birth of galaxies to whether there might be life on other worlds – and you know the visual effects department isn’t going to be skimping on the budget here.
As a kid, watching shows like this and trying to fathom things like these impossibly vast distances between stars and the unimaginable epochs which pass as planets cool and continents drift often kept me up late at night, wondering and thinking.
I expect Into the Universe to have a similar effect – only this time, I’ll get to share some of the wonder with my own child.