‘Cosmos’ returns to explore ‘Possible Worlds’

Fox presents third edition of Carl Sagan-originated series

Neil deGrasse Tyson

It’s time for television to take another trip to “Cosmos.”

The Emmy-winning science series originated by Carl Sagan was revisited by executive producers including Seth MacFarlane, “Star Trek” franchise veteran Brannon Braga and Sagan’s widow Ann Druyan in 2014, and they’ve created a third edition. First shown earlier this year by National Geographic, “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” makes its Fox broadcast premiere Tuesday, Sept. 22. Hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the latest series not only delves into the past to discover lost worlds, it also projects a future existence that may be yet to come.

Patrick Stewart, Viggo Mortensen and Judd Hirsch contribute voiceovers along with MacFarlane, and Sagan and Druyan’s daughter Sasha portrays Sagan’s mother in the program. MacFarlane asks, “When things hit the fan, what do we turn to to bail us out? Science, and I think it’s because we understand that this is the only mechanism that can offer us any defense from things like disease and the ravages of nature.”

A science series clearly is relevant now, and Druyan says she believes the latest “Cosmos” project offers “a sense of hope. iIt’s a vision of the world we still can have if we get our act together and use our science and technology with wisdom and foresight. This ‘Cosmos’ takes you to the beginning of time, and also to the distant future we’ve only just begun to discover.”

DeGrasse Tyson adds that “Possible Worlds” refers not only to physical locations where people might venture someday, but “also what you’re doing at that physical place, the world you create on that world. One of my favorite elements of these 13 episodes is that they shatter your restrictive sense of what a world is.”

The hugely visual “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” also involves such talents as Oscar-winning “Black Panther” costume designer Ruth E. Carter and composer Alan Silvestri (“Marvel’s The Avengers”). Druyan believes every story the series tells is “a reason to have confidence in our species. We’re all descended from generations of people who had their backs to the wall, and they managed to persevere and endure.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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