I watchinged the original Cosmos series when it first came out in 1980. I remember it as being very well done. It really captured my imagination at the time. Carl Sagan did a great job of making the science interesting. When I heard that Cosmos was going to be redone, with updated science and modern special effects, I was excited and anxious to see it. But I also wanted to go back and watch the original for comparison. I was fortunate enough to get both series on DVD/BluRay for my birthday last summer.
Late last year Sandy was gone for ten days visiting family which gave me the perfect chance to watch the original. Every evening Abby and I would sit down on the couch and watch an episode. I was really impressed. Despite being 35 years old, it was surprising how little of it was out of date. And Carl Sagan was really fun to listen to. He conveyed a real passion for the subject. You couldn't help but be interested in what he was talking about. Some of it was more like poetry than science when he talked about the wonders of the universe.
Iy was definitely a tough act to follow. Making a new version of Cosmos was like doing a cover of a Jimi Hendrix song. The question isn't how can you do it as well, but why would you even try? But recently Sandy was on another trip and Abby and I got to watch the new series. The special effects were better. There were some animated sequences, which I didn't care for much. The music by Vangelis for the original series definitely fit the mood better. But Neil deGrasse Tyson did a surprisingly good job as the narrator. He even tied the new series to the old with some personal anecdotes of when he had met and been inspired by Carl Sagan when he was a young student. They did the right thing by making the new Cosmos similar to the old, but not exactly the same. So both were very good and I enjoyed both.
Abby of course had her own opinion. She also seemed to like both series. She would sit next to me on the couch while I watched, usually nodding off during the course of the program. But one sequence talked about the evolution of dogs from wolves, and featured some scenes of wolves approaching a campfire and growling. Abby did NOT care for that. She dashed to the tv and barked at the wolf till it was gone. Then she came back and sat down on the couch, satisfied that she had done her job and protected our house from the Big Bad Wolf. It was kind of interesting because usually dogs don't react much to tv. But when she heard the wolf growling, she definitely was looking at the picture of the wolf on tv and was ready to go at it. I almost thought she would jump right into the tv and knock it over. Fortunately the scene ended (or Abby scared the wolf away, as I'm sure she would tell the story). Who would have guessed that she would get so involved with a science documentary?