Space is a visually impressive science series from the BBC. Sam Neill is the earthbound anchor, and he takes the viewer on journeys across the universe in each half-hour segment, thanks to some nifty special effects. Like Carl Sagan’s pioneering Cosmos from 1980, Space delves in to the mysteries of how stars and planets were created; but unlike Sagan’s visionary and optimistic view of cosmic wonders, Space is astronomy for the Age of Anxiety, revealing with terrifying clarity and in graphic detail how fortunate humanity is to exist at all, and how it could all end at any moment as a result of space-bound monsters like rogue comets and asteroids that might crash into Earth or, the worst horror of the universe, wandering black holes that could tear our sun apart. Finally, the series finds cause for faint optimism with Star Trek-style speculations on the development of Ion-drive and solar-powered spaceships, terraforming new worlds and wormhole technology that might, just might, allow humanity to escape from a doomed Earth and seek refuge somewhere else in the galaxy. A series that sheds light on both the secrets of the universe and, implicitly, the anxious state of western new millennial society, Space is a compelling combination of popular astronomy and really, really scary cosmology. Series was called HyperSpace when it aired in the U.S.A.
Episode 1 Star Stuff – covers the origins of life and how everything is produced by the process in which stars burn their fuel.
Episode 2 Staying Alive – analyses the chances of Earth being destroyed by a black hole or asteroid.
Episode 3 Black Holes – looks at how black holes are formed and how they behave, with potential to destroy the solar system.
Episode 4 Are We Alone? – ooks for potential homes of extraterrestrial life and the chances that humans could make contact.
Episode 5 New Worlds – covers the possibility of colonising and terraforming planets both in our solar system and beyond into deep space.
Episode 6 Boldly Go – looks at the technologies that are being developed to further enable our venture into space.