Page 1 of 3
It's awesome to experience The Universe on 3D Blu-ray, but is it worth $80 for just three episodes of the show in its upconverted format....?
A&E / 132 Minutes / 2011 / Unrated / Street Date: November 13, 2012
I'm a sucker for all things astronomical, so I must admit that after a few BD releases, I have officially given myself over to the CGI-recreation-heavy PowerPoint presentation nerdery that is The Universe. On previously-released TV-on-BD sets, the show's CGI and drawn-out narrative style made me feel like the show was extending 25-minute episodes into a 50-minute running times, but while this Universe in 3D box set is definitely not narratively the grandest and most illuminating season the show has ever had, I'm nevertheless sold. Just give me a minute to get my "I Brake for Quasars" t-shirt out of the dryer and meet you at the observatory.
For anyone with a bent toward things astronomical, The Universe is a real doozy of an experience. The show isn’t afraid to take time to investigate its concepts, offering not just single-layer descriptions of the entities it highlights, but relatively full-fledged illuminations. You can really get lost in it. And these three 3D upconverted episodes from the show's sixth season - Catastrophes That Changed the Planets, Nemesis: The Sun's Evil Twin, and How the Solar System Was Made - are excellent ways to enjoy the geekiness.
But is this expensive box set worth its price tag? We'll get into the technical savvy of the show in 3D later (spoiler alert: things are good, not great), but compared to A&E's The Universe: The Complete Season Six compilation, The Universe in 3D is a bit of a letdown. Sure, it's cool to experience the CGI zip of the show with an added dimension involved, but eighty bucks for just over two hours of material seems a little steep. I mean, these episodes are good, but they're not that good.