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5 Shows like Cosmos: Exploring Our Universe
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5 Shows like Cosmos: Exploring Our Universe

Thanasis Karavasilis itcher‘Space is the last frontier’ might be one of the most overused clichés in science and science fiction history. Yet, the vast black of our universe is the next great sea and, at some point, we’ll be sailing it as we embrace our nature as explorers. Here are a few shows to spark your scientific curiosity. ~ Thanasis Karavasilis

A Spacetime Odyssey

This is how we discovered the laws of nature and found our coordinates in space and time.

Before going any further, we should clarify that there are two shows that share the same name. If you know that already, I am deeply sorry for implying your ignorance; you can proceed straight to the recommendations.

The first version, called just ‘Cosmos’ (1980), was hosted by Carl Sagan, renowned American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences. That’s a pretty big resume.

The second, most recent version (2014), called ‘Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey’ was hosted by astrophysicist and science popularizer, Neil deGrasse Tyson, who’s equally adored and hated by many (I like him — most of the time).

Both are incredible, informative, and aim to make you, if not a wannabe scientist, at least a science enthusiast. The same applies to all the TV shows like ‘Cosmos’ in this list.

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Shows Similar to ‘Cosmos’…

‘Journey to the Edge of the Universe’ (Yavar Abbas, 2008)

A journey through space and time.

Narrated by Alec Baldwin and Sean Pertwee, ‘Journey to the Edge of the Universe’ is a mesmerizing documentary that was, surprisingly enough, considering their trashy program schedule, broadcasted on National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. Using heavy CG, the show takes you on a space ride to find out the secrets of the universe.

Similarity Match: 90%
Both are inspiring documentaries and devote most of their time in space, but ‘Cosmos’ includes more than just a spacewalk.

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‘Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking’ (Iain Riddick, Martin & Nathan Williams, 2010)

So next time someone complains that you have made a mistake, tell him that may be a good thing. Because without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.

Do you know Stephen Hawking? He’s one of the most acclaimed scientists of this generation and the author of my favorite science book: A Brief History of Time. He’s English (if that means anything to you), a theoretical physicist, a cosmologist, an author, and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. His insights into the Universe are quite fascinating.

This 2010 TV documentary was written by the British physicist himself and features great storylines, excellent directing, and insightful comments. Plus, Benedict Cumberbatch!

Similarity Match: 85%
They’re very similar in tone, but ‘Into the Universe’ taps more into our potential as a species, utilizing the facts to highlight our dreams.

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‘Through the Wormhole’ (Science Channel, 2010-2015)

The direction of time itself is something of a mystery.

‘Through the Wormhole’ is a long-running science series narrated and hosted by science enthusiast and renowned actor, Morgan Freeman (who is God).

It not only explores the deepest mysteries of the universe by calling for the expertise of various scientists, but also tackles some of the deepest questions asked by our kind: Are we all bigots? Do we exist? Are robots going to take our jobs? Can I go back in time and win the lottery?

Like ‘Cosmos’, ‘Through the Wormhole’ is an attempt to explain science, philosophy, psychology, etc. in an approachable but not oversimplified language.

Similarity Match: 82%
Like ‘Cosmos’, it leaves you in awe of the vastness of our universe, but it also tries to tackle more subjects than just natural sciences.

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‘The Age of Hubble’ (Thomas Lucas, 2014)

What we know about ourselves as humans in time and spaces is largely based on telescopes like the Hubble, which first started gathering data in 1990.

Stephen Hawking once said:

Now is a good time to be alive, I think. We may only be an advanced breed of monkey, living on a small planet, but we are able to contemplate the universe as a whole, which makes us very special.

It’s true that we’re an advanced breed of monkey, bestowed with our intelligence due to a mutation that just went right – or wrong, depending on your point of view. And it may be that now we’re at a point where our little blue home might seem limiting due to our advances in communications and travel.

Yet, our ability to look up and contemplate the stars was made possible by the telescope technologies we put into orbit, especially due to the Hubble telescope.

Most of the beautiful space images you see were taken by Hubble. Don’t you want to know more?

Similarity Match: 80%
While it’s not divided into episodes like ‘Cosmos’, this is essential viewing if you want to know more about our eye on the universe.

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If You Like ‘Cosmos’, You Will Like…

There are not many series similar to ‘Cosmos’. But all that fascination with the universe and space has led directors, writers and artists to explore it through the genre of science fiction.

‘Battlestar Galactica’ (Glen A. Larson, Ronald D. Moore, 2005-2009)

Life has a melody, Gaius. A rhythm of notes which become your existence once played in harmony with God’s plan.

Humanity has apparently reached a distant part of the galaxy and managed to colonize twelve planets named after the Zodiac circle. As the Cylons (an old enemy) attack and obliterate all twelve colonies, the crew of the aged war-spaceship Galactica will have to protect a small civilian fleet carrying the last survivors of our kind as they search for the mythical 13th colony.

‘BattleStar Galactica’ is considered one the best science fiction dramas ever produced. I think that’s an understatement, as the show has set the bar too high for any subsequent space flicks. This is a must-see.

‘Battlestar Galactica’ is not a documentary, but is set in space and dares to address controversial subjects like science, technology, religion, and morality.

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I Bid You to Look Up…

This is how Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson says farewell to his audience at the end of his new science talk show, ‘StarTalk’. If you want even more science, I bid you to check it out. Tyson will discuss everything, from science and pop culture, including how lightsabers work, with British scientist Brian Cox.

Keep watching, reading, listening and playing!

Hey there! I′m Thanasis, a writer and lover of stories who was educated to be a teacher of English. I spend my time between worlds and inside pages; written or otherwise. I roam the endless void called The Internet in a constant quest to discover pieces of great storytelling in every artistic medium imaginable.

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