[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cosmos_cover_27.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:''If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, [[LiteralMinded you must first invent the universe]].'']]

->''"The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries."''
-->-- '''Creator/CarlSagan'''

'''''Cosmos: A Personal Voyage''''' is an educational television series written and narrated by astronomer and writer Creator/CarlSagan in 1980, and was also published in book form. It is best known for its presentation of a wide variety of scientific topics -- astronomy, physics, biology, evolution, environmentalism, nuclear power, and more -- in LaymansTerms, making both the wonder and the terminology accessible to the public. It also had cutting edge special effects for the time it was produced and also crossed over into science fiction by having Sagan explore remote corners of time and space via a "Spaceship of the Imagination". As such, it was one of the first science-documentary series to receive serious coverage by science fiction entertainment publications such as ''Starlog''.

The series has been credited with inspiring an entire generation of scientists and formed a template for nearly every mainstream science program that followed. It was re-released as a DVD collection with commentary by Sagan, mainly to discuss where ScienceMarchesOn. Even today, it remains remarkably relevant; although some of the facts are dated, the majority of the principles and theories discussed by the show remain intact.

'''''Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey''''' aired on FOX network 34 years later as both a remake and an update. With NeilDeGrasseTyson as host, viewers were once again taken on a journey through the wonders of the Cosmos. It used many parts from the original series which still held up and showcased many things which had come about since the original show's airing, also branching off in other directions.

The full series is [[http://www.hulu.com/cosmos available on Hulu]]. And on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClPShKs9Kr0 Youtube]] (for those outside the US).
----
[[foldercontrol]]

Tropes specific to both are listed under the original ''Cosmos'', and tropes specific to the 2014 remake are in a folder afterwards.

[[folder:1980 series: ''Cosmos: A Personal Voyage'']]
!! This series contains examples of the following tropes:

* AccentUponTheWrongSyllable: Carl Sagan's idiosyncratic pronunciation of the word "cosmos" - not to mention that this was the first time anyone in Britain had heard the alternative pronunciation of the planet name "Uranus" - caused much hilarity in Great Britain and was [[TheBurkissWay extensively parodied]].
* AfterTheEnd: In his treatment of nuclear war.
* BookEnds:
** Both the first and last episodes feature discussions on the Great Library of Alexandria and of its last librarian Hypatia. The mood of the latter's discussion of it, though, is ''[[DownerEnding far]]'' [[DownerEnding more somber]].
** The series begins and ends with Sagan on the same rocky beach, letting a dandelion fly.
* BonusEpisode: the original VHS release of the series included an additional episode in which Sagan is interviewed by Ted Turner for an hour about the series and it's concepts. This bonus episode is not included in the later DVD release.
* BuffySpeak: Very occasionally. "These plants use carbohydrates to go about their...planty business." And of course the famous "star stuff".
* ButWhatAboutTheAstronauts:
** In the "nuclear winter nightmare" segment, Sagan flies back to Earth after being away exploring space, only to find radio silence because everyone is dead.
** Sagan comes to this conclusion when discussing relativistic travel.
--> '''Sagan''': In fact, if we slowly increase our speed to the speed of light, we can traverse our entire galaxy in 56 years. But we'd come back to find the earth burnt to a cinder and the sun long dead.
* CoolStarship: Sagan's "spaceship of the imagination", used as a FramingDevice for his explorations. It looks like a 3D lens flare from the outside.
* ConstantlyCurious: Possibly the reason this show became so popular was its ability to be understood by children.
* TheDeadliestMushroom: Discussed in the episode about nuclear war.
* EldritchStarship: The Ship of the Imagination. The inside looks pretty normal, just minimal--it has a chair, a viewscreen, a control console, and a video screen on the floor that Sagan activates with hand motions. The outside is shaped like a dandelion puff and glows like a lens flare.
* EruditeStoner: Sagan was an enthusiastic marijuana smoker and makes a reference to it in Episode 9, when describing the restoration of gravity upon removing it and its effects on tea and people in ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'': "I've been to a couple of parties like that myself!"
* FasterThanLightTravel: The possibility of this is discussed during the episode about relativity. Sagan's FramingDevice spaceship is described to be completely unrestricted by the laws of physics so he can fully explore the universe.
* FingerlessGloves: Edwin Hubble rocks a gray knit pair in the scenes about his observations.
* FlingALightIntoTheFuture: Sagan discusses the possibility of Earth's radio broadcasts reaching other civilizations. (Also a case of AliensStealCable.)
* FlowerMotifs: Dandelion seeds.
* FoodPorn: The apple pie sequence at the beginning of "The Lives of the Stars".
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Talking about the 43 female Heike survivors, Sagan says that they got by by selling "flowers and... other favors"
* GreatBigLibraryOfEverything: The virtual reproduction of the library at Alexandria, whose loss Sagan mourns as "self-inflicted radical brain surgery" for civilization as a whole.
* TheGreatPoliticsMessUp:
** In an earlier version of the "Blues for a Red Planet" episode, there was an afterword discussing the possibility of the U.S. and the Soviet Union teaming up to explore and colonize Mars, ending with a shot of the U.S. and Soviet flags in front of a Martian landscape.
** This was also acknowledged in the afterword of the new version of the final episode, "Who speaks for Earth", showing images of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shaking hands and the abolition of the [[TheApartheidEra apartheid in South Africa]], mentioning how "walls have fallen down and [[ReconcileTheBitterFoes irreconcilable ideologies have embraced]]", and taking it as a good omen for the future.
* GhostPlanet: Sagan theorizes about Mars in this manner before settling into the reality.
* HiroshimaAsAUnitOfMeasure: The combined explosive yield of all bombs dropped during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII was about 1 megaton of TNT. As one episode pointed out, this is the warhead yield of a ''single, very small'' hydrogen bomb. If the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a full-scale nuclear exchange, it would be like "A World War II every second, for the length of a lazy afternoon."
* HolyBacklight: Applied to Sagan in the opening of the tenth episode, in a discussion of the concept of birth and its cultural implications.
* HotLibrarian and HotScientist: According to contemporary reports, Hypatia, the last librarian at Alexandria.
* HumansThroughAlienEyes: In "Who Speaks for Earth?" during the AfterTheEnd scenario, Sagan wonders what the Encyclopedia Galactica would have to say about humans, and in the first episode he muses:
-->''"For an extra-terrestrial observer, the differences between the human cultures would seem trivial."''
* JidaiGeki: A recreation of the era when it's explored how the artificial selection of crabs happened due to a random resemblance to a fallen samurai.
* InsignificantLittleBluePlanet: When discussing the final photo of the entire solar system by Voyager 1, Sagan shows us the Earth as a single pixel in a huge image. However, he goes out of his way to mention that Earth is special due to the presence of life.
* LaymansTerms: Possibly the best example among educational programs, and certainly the inspiration for nearly all the shows that have come since.
* LiesToChildren: Carl resorts to analogies to explain extremely abstract concepts like gravity, infinity and extra dimensions. To his credit, he immediately explains why the analogies are imperfect.
* LivingGasbag: In one episode, Sagan theorized that life existing on a gas giant planet such as Jupiter would be most likely to evolve into this form.
* TheLongitudeProblem: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] by Sagan, who talks about Dutch trading ships and the need for a good clock to calculate longitude.
* MatchCut:
** The first scene of the first episode ends with Sagan letting a daffodil blossom fly off into the wind. The show then cuts to an animation of the Ship of the Imagination flying through space.
** The montage that ends the series contains several match cuts, such as a recreation of a medieval scholar writing with a quill pen, cutting to a modern scientist tapping away on a keyboard.
** The opening credits of the 2014 version include several match cuts, such as from a crater to the pupil of a human eye and from a spiral galaxy to the spiral of a nautilus shell.
* MeasuringTheMarigolds: Complete, total, masterful refutation.
* MessageInABottle: Sagan compares the Voyager Golden Record to this, tossed out onto "the cosmic ocean".
* MundaneMadeAwesome:
** Books, as explained in Episode 11, "The Persistence of Memory," let us ''transcend time and death''.
---> ''"What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.''\\
"''Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors. The library connects us with the insights and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds there ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all of our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contributions to the collective knowledge of the human species.''"
** A bit earlier in the book, he quotes Charles Sherrington, who makes the act of ''waking up'' into something of cosmic importance.
---> The brain is waking, and with it, the mind is returning. It is as if the Milky Way entered upon some cosmic dance. Swiftly, the cortex becomes an enchanted loom where millions of flashing shuttles weave a dissolving pattern, always a meaningful pattern though never an abiding one; a shifting harmony of sub-patterns.
** "The Lives of the Stars" begins by showing an apple pie being made- in a dramatic manner reminiscent of "''Music/AlsoSprachZarathustra''".
* NotDrawnToScale: The DNA helicase and DNA polymerase enzymes are much larger relative to a DNA molecule than they're depicted as in the CGI simulation.
** The closeup view of a comet in the new series looks much like the one seen in the opening sequence of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', which doesn't show that while the nucleus is a mile across, by the time it reaches the inner solar system the coma of gas surrounding it is the size of the Earth.
* OneWorldOrder: {{Played with}}. While Carl Sagan points out the folly of radical, fanatical nationalism compared to loyalty to the species, planet and cosmos, there's never really any call to a unified world government, rather hoping for the world to cooperate better. Neither does he treat humanity as a mere amorphous mass, acknowledging diversity in its myriad cultures, nations and communities while encouraging that same diversity to work together.
* OrionDrive: Mentioned as the only presently possible way of achieving space travel at any noticeable fraction of the speed of light, and also the best use for nuclear weapons. The related Daedalus drive concept was also mentioned.
* PatrickStewartSpeech: Sagan is incredibly effective at delivering these in regards to RealLife, as is Ann Druyan in the intro to the updated version of ''Cosmos''.
* PlantAliens: The civilization who are self-described as "We Who Survived" in the Encyclopaedia Galactica are mobile autotrophs who implement Selenium, Bromine and Chlorine in their biology (along with the ubiquitous CHON elements, of course), and engage in arithmetic poetry. Ironically, [[spoiler: they ended up self-destructing. Just before we did]].
* PunyEarthlings: At the beginning of episode 12 ("Encyclopedia Galactica"), Sagan narrates, "In the vastness of the Cosmos there must be other civilizations far older and more advanced than ours."
* {{Ramscoop}}: Mentioned shortly after the OrionDrive, as a possible means of circumnavigating the universe within a ([[TimeDilation subjective]]) human lifetime. (The limitations of the Bussard drive, such as the drag problem, were not addressed.)
* RecursiveReality: Carl Sagan speculates that our universe could be the equivalent of a subatomic particle inside a "superuniverse".
* ReCut: Later editions of ''Cosmos'' have been supplemented with material dating from after the original run of the show and even after Sagan's death-clips of the Space Shuttle, of the Exxon ''Valdez'' disaster, of the Mars rovers. In the final episode, one of the broadcasts Sagan listens to as the ship of the imagination sails back to Earth is a bulletin from the 9/11 attacks.
* ScienceHero: Sagan himself. As heroic as you can be in a documentary, anyway. Also some of the historical scientists portrayed in the series, like Huygens, Humason, Einstein, Leonardo, and Kepler.
* ScienceIsBad, ScienceIsWrong: Strongly and intentionally debunked.
* SpaceIsNoisy: The pulsar thrums loudly as it revolves.
* StarfishAliens:
** One episode speculates on what life might be found within the atmosphere of Jupiter or a similar gas giant. It included microscopic "sinkers" that had to reproduce before sinking too far into Jupiter and being crushed or fried, mile-wide hydrogen-filled balloon "floaters" that filter-fed on the sinkers, and winged predators that hunted the floaters.
** The pages from the Encyclopedia Galactica (which are reprinted in the book adaptation) describes [[MechanicalLifeforms lifeforms with biologies that utilize cryogenic superconductors]] and "mobile autotrophs" (i.e., [[PlantPerson walking trees]]).
* StarfishLanguage: The whale's songs are described like this. Also, he speculates that science and the laws of nature are the universal language for communicating with an alien intelligence.
* SpaceWhale: Not exactly, but it mentions that the golden record on the Voyager probe also has recordings of the songs of the whales on Earth.
* SpeculativeDocumentary
* TakeThat: At pseudosciences. He spends the first ten minutes of the third episode deconstructing astrology.
* [[TearJerker/LiveActionTV Tear Jerker]]: Sagan's heartfelt plea to prevent nuclear annihilation, and his [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming heartwarming acknowledgement of its aversion in the later DVD commentary]].
** From the book, the murder of Hypatia of Alexandria at the hands of a Christian mob, as well as the loss of widespread skeptical scientific inquiry from the western world for roughly 1,000 years that Hypatia's death represented.
* {{Terraforming}}: At the end of "Blues for a Red Planet," Sagan popularized the idea of turning Mars into an Earth-like world by seeding it with (tough) plant life.
* TimeDilation: A thought experiment about special relativity involving an Italian teenager on a Vespa. (What if the speed of light were 40 km/hr instead of 1.08 billion?) And it's awesome.
* TimeTravel: Discussed in the episode on relativity and used as a FramingDevice for the episode with the calendar of the universe.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece:
** In the third episode Sagan is shown picking up a copy of the ''New York Post'' which announces "[[Music/TheBeatles THE BEATLES]] ARE BACK!". Music/JohnLennon was murdered two months after the episode first aired.
** The episode where Sagan explains how the Voyager data was received and collected now doubles as a fascinating portrait of the state of computer technology in TheSeventies. Data was collected on "magnetic disks, much like a phonograph record."
* VoiceClipSong: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc A Glorious Dawn]]'', by SymphonyOfScience, which mixes and sets a tune to scenes from ''Cosmos'', along with Stephen Hawking's ''Universe''. Notably, entire phrases from the respective shows are used as lyrics. It's rather awesome. And thanks to [[TheWhiteStripes Jack White's]] record label Third Man, it was actually given a [[http://store.thirdmanrecords.com/carlsagan.aspx limited release]] on vinyl, with a copy of the diagram from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_Golden_Record the Voyager Golden Record]] etched on the backside.
--> ''"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars. A still more glorious dawn awaits - not a sunrise, but a galaxy-rise. A morning filled with 400 billion suns - the rising of the Milky Way."''
* WhatTheHellHero: Sagan clearly reveres the Greek scholars whose work was stored in the Library of Alexandria, but in the last episode he points out that there is no record of them ever questioning the society they lived in, particularly the institution of slavery, which he calls "the cancer of the ancient world."
* WhatMightHaveBeen:
** Sagan briefly speculates on what might have happened if the spirit of scientific inquiry found in ancient Greece and Rome had persisted.
** At the time of his death, he and his wife, Ann, were planning a new miniseries, ''Cosmos For Kids''.
** The state-of-the-art CGI in the 2014 remake, as evidenced by its trailer, makes one wonder how the original series would have looked had Sagan had access to the technology in 1980.
* WhenDimensionsCollide: As part of an explanation of how we can try to [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm visualise a 4-dimensional being]], and a ShoutOut to ''Literature/{{Flatland}}'', Sagan brings to life the 2-Dimensional 'Flatland' on a tabletop and imagines it being [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnURElCzGc0 visited by an object]] from our (3D) dimension.
* TheWorldIsJustAwesome: Sagan was fond of pointing out just how majestic and grandiose the natural world is, compared to the ability of our imaginations to understand it. In one part, he describes big numbers and then points out how far from infinity and eternity they are.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:2014 series: ''Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey'']]
!! This series contains examples of the following tropes:
* AliensStealCable: Discussed in "The Immortals", which also suggests that if there are broadcasts from alien civilizations, they may either have been missed or can't be detected by modern technology.
* AllPlanetsAreEarthLike: "The World Set Free" begins with the notion that Venus was once much like Earth, with oceans and a stable climate, but volcanic activity filled the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and sulphuric acid, making it the hot, inhospitable planet it is today. Tyson draws a parallel between Venus' fate and that of Earth if greenhouse gasses are not put under control; although he does mention that turning Earth into an actual Venusian hothouse is a very long shot, as Venus lost its oceans to space.
* AmericanAccents: Tyson pronounces "water" as "warter" - fairly common colloquial accent in America, just not heard very often on TV in a science show.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: The series ends on this note: the discoveries of dark energy and dark matter in the last episode are used to highlight the fact that humanity is closer to the beginning than the end of the scientific journey, espousing the importance of widespread scientific literacy. The closing shot is of an unmanned Ship of the Imagination drifting out into deep space, inviting the viewer to explore the cosmos with it (and hopefully, on their own or as a profession.)
* ApocalypseHow: "The Immortals" discusses a number of possible ways our civilization could end, starting with the more remote (asteroid collision, supervolcano eruption) and moving to the more imminent, such as climate change.
* ArcWords[=/=]{{Catchphrase}}: "Come with me."
* TheArk: Used as a metaphor in "The Immortals" for the propagation of life, describing the Epic of Gilgamesh (the oldest recorded version of the Flood myth), and using this idea to discuss dandelion seeds and panspermia, the possible transportation of microbes from one planet to another via asteroid impact debris.
* ArtShift: The animated segments in "The Immortals" are more stylized than those of other episodes, particularly the segments devoted to the fall of Mesopotamia and the spread of Old World diseases in the Americas.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: The tardigrades are depicted as fleshy pink and opaque (the way they appear in an electron microscope, minus the "pink" part) because it would be hard to see transparent tardigrades in a transparent water droplet (as they appear elsewise).
* AscendedFanboy:
** Creator/{{Seth MacFarlane}} is a huge geek for the original series and for CarlSagan. He is also one of the producers of the updated version of the show starring {{Neil deGrasse Tyson}}. He admits that, in his opinion at least, he is the "least important" player in the remake, serving mostly as the means by which Ann Druyan (CarlSagan's widow) and Steven Soter were able to meet with FOX and get the new series off the ground in the first place.
** Neil deGrasse Tyson spends the last few minutes of the first episode relating his first meeting with Carl Sagan, back when he was a 17-year-old nobody from the Bronx, and how it shaped him into the scientist he is today. In episode 4, he again returns to that moment as an example of a moment in space/time.
* AscendedMeme: When discussing the invention of the digit 0, Neil mentions that it's useful for writing "billions and billions".
* AsteroidThicket: The first and seventh episode featured one for the asteroid belt, probably for RuleOfCool. The real asteroid belt is incredibly sparse and boring. Tyson later points out the actual sparsity of the Oort Cloud.
* AstronomicZoom: In "Unafraid of the Dark", over Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" speech. The final thirty seconds of the zoom replicates the original photograph taken by Voyager 1 in 1990, albeit upside-down. There's also a DramaticPause for the audience to absorb just how precious Earth actually is.
* AuthorAppeal:
** Neil hugely admires Isaac Newton, the guy who invented calculus on a bet.
** He's also quite the admirer of fine wine and visits Italian wine country to talk about photosynthesis and the ''c'' constant.
** His monologue on the future humanity ''could'' craft for itself-a utopia free of poverty and bigotry-sounds pretty familiar to [[Franchise/StarTrek his fellow Trekkies]].
* BookEnds: The series begins and ends on the rocky cliffs from the first series.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: In Episode 5, after talking about the governmental accomplishments of the Chinese emperor Qin Shihuangdi, Tyson adds that Qin also completely suppressed original thought, burned all books that disagreed with his philosophy, acted like a totalitarian dictator, and probably set the human race back a thousand years by silencing the disciples of Mozi, who had a viewpoint similar to the modern scientific method.
* BuffySpeak: Tyson re-uses phrases such as "star stuff" from the original series.
* ButterflyEffect: Invoked when discussing the amount of carbon naturally occurring in the atmosphere, represented by three colorful butterflies. When taken away from a flock of white moths, the Earth freezes; when three more are added, the Earth heats up. Tyson also mentions it when explaining the difference between weather and climate.
* CallBack:
** The series begins with Tyson on the same point on the California coast where Sagan started and ended the 1980 version.
** NDT's explanation of the speed of light using a motorcyclist in the countryside in episode 4 is word for word identical to Carl Sagan's explanation. In fact, several explanations are verbatim (or nealy so) from the original series because this is an updated version written by the same two scientists who wrote the original series with Carl Sagan. Phrases such as "star stuff" show up due to this trope.
** The second episode uses the same simple "evolution in 40 seconds" animated graphic that the 1980 program did.
** The final episode of the series shows a montage of the various scientists whose lives have been covered throughout the series.
** Many objects mentioned or shown in one episode will show up later--Voyager, for instance.
** The use of "a kind of hell" by Tyson. The original phrase, used by Sagan even shows up in a voiceover taken from the original series in episode 12. Other phrases from the original series show up elsewhere throughout ''A Spacetime Odyssey''.
* CallToAdventure: When a scientific concept has not been proven yet, Tyson asks the audience whom among them will solve the problem.
* ChekhovsGun: In "The Electric Boy", Michael Faraday keeps a lump of malformed glass as a reminder of the time he was forced to work with optics by Humphry Davy. Later, as he struggles to prove a correlation between electromagnetism and light, he fails to find a proper medium through which he could see polarized light be affected by an electric magnet. In desperation, he picks up the lump of glass, and sure enough it does the trick.
* CometOfDoom: Deconstructed in the third episode, "When Knowledge Conquered Fear". Tyson explains how this trope was based in superstition and ignorance of how the solar system worked, and then tells an absolutely ''epic'' version of how Edmund Halley went about utterly crushing this superstition by figuring out what comets were and how they worked. It ended with [[NeilDegrasseTyson Dr. Tyson]] telling of Halley's "prophecy" that not only would a particular comet return in 50 years, but accurately and correctly predicting where in the sky it would appear, and how long it would be visible, and how "Halley's Comet" became the best known comet in the history of the world.
* ContemplateOurNavels: Sagan's entire reflection on the Pale Blue Dot photograph is narrated over an AstronomicZoom that becomes the famous Pale Blue Dot photograph.
* CoolStarship: The Spaceship of the Imagination is pretty nifty, but a big one pops up in episode 11, launching from (somewhere that looks like) Mars and unfurling a SolarSail.
* CreatorCameo: Creator/{{Seth MacFarlane}} plays the voice of Giordano Bruno in the animated segment about Bruno's life.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Oil industry tries to cover up the harmful effects of their product and employs a scientist to do it while trying to discredit the scientists pointing out the opposite--no, not climate change, lead emissions from gasoline. There's a clear HistoryRepeats subtext.
* {{Determinator}}: Clair Patterson is portrayed as one. No matter how hard it is to decontaminate his lab so that he gets accurate results, he spends ''six years'' at what was supposed to be little more than a graduate school project, and then the rest of his life campaigning against leaded gasoline, despite the oil companies doing everything in their power to discredit him.
* DoorstopBaby: Episode 3 begins with Tyson comparing the human race to this, abandoned on the earth with no idea where it came from or what its purpose is.
* DontTryThisAtHome: Michael Faraday, probably anachronistically, says this to his audience while demonstrating how an electric spark can make gunpowder go boom. (Or [[AluminumChristmasTrees possibly not an anachronism]], since [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chemical_History_of_a_Candle his book about candles]] included several "at home" experiments and advised on proper safety measures.)
* DramaticPause: Incorporated into the penultimate scene, an AstronomicalZoom replicating the Pale Blue Dot photograph, to allow the audience to contemplate their place in the cosmos.
* DreamSequence: Giordano Bruno's fateful dream of an infinite cosmos. Along with stars and planets, and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophanim Ophanim]] (the angels shaped like wheels). It gets a callback in the final episode when he "escapes" his prison cell through a FantasySequence.
* ElmerFuddSyndrome: Michael Faraday is depicted as speaking like this as a child in "The Electric Boy".
* EyeScream: The result of Humphry Davy putting his face too close to a nitrogen trichloride reaction. One poof of smoke and he's clutching his face while blood runs through his fingers. (The injuries weren't permanent.)
* TheFaceless: Robert Hooke and John Michell are only shown from the back since there are no surviving portraits from which their appearance can be determined.
* FantasticVoyagePlot: The ship of the imagination shrinks down and flies down a bear's blood vessels to explain how polar bears evolved from brown bears. In the original series, the camera's POV dives inside one of Sagan's white blood cells, but his ship isn't actually seen to shrink.
* FingerlessGloves: It being Victorian England, these are the poverty variant and part of the overall shabby look of young tradesman Michael Faraday. They disappear after he gains employment at the Royal Institute.
* GreenAesop:
** Specifically invoked in "The Lost Worlds of Planet Earth", in which Tyson almost outright says that humanity's current destruction of the planet through oil/coal mining and pollution is very well setting up the sixth major extinction event that the Earth has seen -- one that will mirror the Permian–Triassic extinction event, which destroyed up to 96% of all life on Earth.
** "The World Set Free" explicitly points at the effects of carbon dioxide production and our continued use of fossil fuels as a giant factor in ruining our planet.
* HellOnEarth: What Earth might become due to global warming, as explained in "The World Set Free".
* HeroesLoveDogs: Neil shares some scenes with his dog, whom he affectionately calls "my friend"; in fact while walking it on the beach he uses it to explain the difference between weather fluctuations and climate:
-->Look at me, not my friend.
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade:
** Giordano Bruno. While he was burned at the stake, it had much more to do with his religious views, not his views about the universe. [[http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/outthere/2014/03/10/cosmos-pick-wrong-hero/ It's argued that he's best seen as a martyr for religious freedom, not science, and the show credits him with pioneering ideas that began with other people.]]
** [[http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/outthere/2014/03/13/cosmos-giordano-bruno-response-steven-soter/#.UyY-KKhdUas The writer of that episode fired back with their own response.]]
** In general, the series showcases a lot of scientists whose work was crucial to our understanding of the world today yet aren't as famed as the Newtons, like Ibn Al-Haytham and Marie Tharp.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade:
** One episode features [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hooke Robert Hooke]] and discusses his numerous accomplishments, but the episode devotes more focus to his rivalry with IsaacNewton.
** Similarly, Sir Humphry Davy appears in an episode about Michael Faraday, in which he is presented as forcing Faraday to devote years of his life to a fruitless effort to reproduce Joseph von Fraunhofer's optical glass out of professional jealousy (in reality the project was also backed by the British government and Faraday didn't quit the effort until a couple of years after Davy's death). Some might actually call the portrayal charitable, because it leaves out any mention of the time that Davy forced Faraday to serve as his valet on a long tour of Europe, during which Faraday was frequently mistreated by Davy's wife, or Davy's spurious accusation of plagiarism over the electric motor.
* HistoryRepeats: In a heartwarming example. Faraday got the attention of Humphry Davy by sending him a book of notes he'd made on Davy's demonstration. Later in life, we see Faraday imagining his younger self standing in front of his desk--once Davy's desk--as he's about to open a dissertation by ''his'' young fan (James Clerk Maxwell) expanding on his own theories.
* HollywoodDarkness: Averted. The ship turns its lights on when visiting the orphan planet and the surface of Titan, which are both otherwise very dark places.
* JitterCam: When Tyson takes the Ship of the Imagination into a Black Hole.
* LiesToChildren: The new series presents some scientific concepts in a much more simplified way than the original did.
** Although the "motorcycle traveling at relativistic speed" returns, the new series doesn't discuss the Doppler effect, redshift, blueshift or length contraction, and only briefly touches on time dilation without Sagan's TearJerker dramatization of the Twin Paradox.
** The DNA molecule in episode 2 is represented as a "twisted ladder" model, rather than a spacefilling atomic model as in episode 2 of the original series. A more accurate spacefilling model of DNA is briefly seen in episode 6. Meanwhile, the DNA molecule shown in the opening sequence of the new series looks like it's made of fish bones, which bears a suspicious resemblance to the opening scene of ''Film/{{Prometheus}}''.
** An inconsistency of style is introduced by zooming in on realistic depictions of cells, but representing the enzymes involved in DNA replication and photosynthesis as machines.
** Although the new series mentions the quantum mechanical behavior of electrons and how they can be excited into different orbitals, electrons are still depicted as particles orbiting around the nucleus, rather than smears of probability. (By contrast, the atoms in the ''Series/{{NOVA}}'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx_bMk-_3GA&t=49s opening sequence from the 1980s]] are more accurate.)
** Tyson demonstrates the law of conservation of energy using a pendulum, but doesn't mention that it loses energy through friction, which is important because he segues into how nuclear reactions lose energy by emitting neutrinos.
* MeasuringTheMarigolds: ''Inverted.'' One excellent example is in "Unafraid of the Dark", where he explains how brittle manganese nodules on the seafloor, growing over millions of years, record the history of supernovae through layers of slightly radioactive iron.
--> "The difference between seeing nothing but a pebble and reading the history of the cosmos inscribed inside it -- is science."
* MusicalGag / StealthPun: A sequence near the end of "Hiding in the Light" -- the episode all about light spectra and therefore about colors -- is scored with Gershwin's ''Rhapsody in '''Blue'''''.
* MythologyGag:
** In the first episode Tyson begins the show on the same rocky outcrop in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Sur Big Sur, California]] as Sagan started the original Cosmos, the MatchCut with the Dandelion blossom is recreated and Tyson also uses Sagan's famous "We are all made of star stuff" quote.
** In "Sisters of the Sun", Neil refers to the Milky Way as the "backbone of night", the name of an episode of the original series. Shortly after he repeats the heartening "galaxy rise" speech that debuted in the same original episode and was used in Symphonies of Science.
* NestedStoryReveal: In the fourth episode, the old man watching William Herschel and his son walking on the beach is revealed to be [[spoiler:the son all grown up, and the scenes are really his memories.]]
* NeverTrustATrailer:
** For episode 8 "Sisters of the Sun", Tyson shows supernovae and the lights going out in various major cities as he asks "are we safe?" It turns out in the episode the lights going out have nothing to do with supernovas or their effect on Earth (say, frying our electrical grid), they are merely illustrating the effect of light pollution on stargazing long before discussing supernovae.
** The trailer for "The Immortals" poses the question of whether or not scientific advance will someday make if possible to live forever. Naturally, this question is never answered in the actual episode--the closest thing is saying that if humans managed to avoid any extinction scenarios, them there is no reason why civilization cannot outlive the Earth, but of course, [[YouFailForeverForever billions of years is not "forever"]], and the episode doesn't even mention that humans would have to find a way around the heat death of the universe or the Big Rip in order for the species to truly exist forever.
* NightmareRetardant: In "Sisters of the Sun", Tyson [[InvokedTrope goes into detail]] about the catastrophic consequences that the death of the supergiant star Eta Carinae will have for any planets too close, ''even ones in another star system'', and points out that [[ParanoiaFuel for all we know, the star may have already exploded]]. He then says that [[LampshadeHanging he knows that the viewers are now worried about what will happen to Earth]], and then reassures them that we on Earth are perfectly safe, because we are far enough away from Eta Carinae that even if we saw it go hypernova tomorrow, all we would get out of it is a nice light show. In "The Immortals", he also dismisses worries that a regular old ''super''nova will end civilization because there aren't any potential supernova stars close enough.
* {{Panspermia}}: "The Immortals" discusses the possibility of life being spread across other planets. It also suggests that if life here were wiped out by a meteor, bacteria from space-borne debris could survive the trip back down and repopulate the Earth.
* PersecutedIntellectuals: {{Discussed}} in the fifth episode, which depicts the Burning of Books and Burying of Scholars that took place in the Qin dynasty. Tyson points to this as one of the great dangers to science and human achievement.
* POVCam: When discussing the evolution of eyes, it shows you what eyesight with that eye would look like.
* PrecisionFStrike: Michael Faraday lets out a "damn!" after accidentally shocking himself on a long day of scientific failure and claps his hand over his mouth in horror. (In the 1800s the word was more serious, especially for someone profoundly religious like him.)
* RagsToRiches:
** Joseph von Fraunhofer goes from IndenturedServitude in a glass factory to the head of Bavaria's Optical Institute. Sadly, all the toxic fumes he inhaled as a boy might have led to his early death (a fate common to glassworkers of the time).
** Michael Faraday, a poor man who didn't finish his elementary education, running the Royal Institution.
* ReassignedToAntarctica: In "The Electric Boy", after Michael Faraday invents the electric motor and becomes the toast of the English scientific community, his superior Sir Humphry Davy reassigns him to work on glass optics, in the hope of keeping Faraday from showing him up. Ironically, this failed assignment gives Faraday the means to make his greatest discovery (see ChekhovsGun).
* RecursiveReality: Tyson suggests that inside each black hole is a whole universe, which in turn has black holes of its own, with universes inside them. The segment displays a little bit of RealityEnsues: after travelling through kaleidoscopic parallel universes, Tyson ends up in a random parking lot, insinuating that life goes on for everything.
* RhetoricalRequestBlunder: Non-murder version in "The Electric Boy". After fooling around with electromagentism, Humphry Davy jokingly tells Faraday to see what he can make of it once he's done tidying up the lab. Faraday makes an electric motor of it.
* SceneryPorn: Italian wine country, the ancient Triassic, and various other stunning vistas from Earth's past and present.
* SceneryGorn: Any time Neil starts talking about the Permian-Triassic Extinction, also known as "The Great Dying". There's also the Hadean Era, when the Earth was a ball of angry lava constantly being hit by meteorites.
* ScienceHero: Clair Patterson has a whole episode devoted to his [[{{Determinator}} heroic struggle]] of first figuring out the age of the Earth, and then campaigning to get lead banned from gasoline and household products, despite facing opposition at every point from oil companies and their "expert for hire" Robert Kehoe.
* ScienceMarchesOn: Invoked and discussed at length. Neil explains the process Bishop Ussher used to determine that Earth is 6,000 years old[[note]]by going backward from the death of Nebuchadnezzar[[/note]] and then how geologists realized the Earth had to be older than that by examining rock layers before Clair Patterson arrived at the figure we use today. Also covered are the transition from the "disappearing land bridges" idea to the theory of continental drift and the vindication of Payne's discovery that the Sun is mostly hydrogen rather than having the same composition as Earth.
** In a meta-example, ''A Spacetime Odyssey'' itself was created to update the information presented in the original series, ''A Personal Voyage''.
* SelfDeprecation: When Michael Faraday says that scientists are noble and morally superior to tradesmen, Humphry Davy remarks that he must be the first scientist Faraday's ever met. (Also {{Foreshadowing}}, considering Davy's shabby treatment of Faraday later on.)
* ShinyLookingSpaceships: The 2014 version of the Spaceship of the Imagination is ''very'' shiny, compared to the white dandelion puff/spikey thing of the previous series (Hey, it was the 80's and they were on a budget).
* ShoutOut: When the series title appears at the end of the sequence, the '''C''' and '''S''' at the beginning and end of the word "Cosmos" emerge from the eye's pupil first as a tribute to '''C'''arl '''S'''agan.
* SolarSail: Unfurled by a CoolStarship in episode 11.
* SophisticatedAsHell: Tyson has a habit of using colloquialisms during his measured speeches. He says "maybe it's those damn volcanoes" while contemplating what is causing greenhouse gases. He also describes star cluster Eta Careinae as "flipping out ever since" its first outburts of (supposed) radiation pressure, which were first documented in the 1800s and have continued to this day.
* SpaceIsNoisy: Even in a science show.
** When one asteroid bumps into another asteroid in "The Clean Room", there is an audible "thump" sound.
** When "Sisters of the Sun" is explaining how the Sun will eventually expand into a red giant and destroy Mercury and Venus, those planets explode with audible booms.
* SpeechImpediment: see ElmuhFuddSyndwome, above -- the weason Micheaw Fawaday weft schoow.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Though the [[InconsistentDub episode guide spells the name]] "Ibn al-Haytham", Tyson consistently refers to the Arabic scientist by the Latinized form, "Alhazen".
* TakeThat:
** At several times in different episodes of the series, beliefs commonly espoused by fundamentalist Christians regarding nature (such as the idea that the universe is only about 6000 years old, or that the eye disproves evolution by being "irreducibly complex") are specifically called out and debunked.
** When discussing the speed of light, a graphic shows the nearby section of the galaxy with a sphere roughly 12,000 light years in diameter, which is how far you'd be able to see if the Earth was really only about 6000 years old. The image then zooms outward and Tyson makes a comment about the grandeur and majesty of the whole universe as opposed to the puny little one imagined by people believing in recent creation.
** It should be noted that numerous highlighted scientists are mentioned as being religious in a positive way. For instance, during "The Electric Boy" Tyson mentions that Michael Faraday was a devout Christian, and that his faith was a source of comfort and humility to him throughout his life. It's not religion Tyson takes issue with, rather ignoring verifiable fact in favor of (unverifiable) stories written millenia ago, and then trying to impose those stories as fact on everyone else.
** "Sisters of the Sun" has a nice TakeThat to sexism before the animated segments.
--> "One of them provided the key to our understanding of the substance of the stars, and another devised a way for us to calculate the size of the universe. For some reason you've probably never heard of either of them… [[SarcasmMode I wonder why]]."
* TerrifiedOfGerms: Clair Patterson seems to be initially portrayed as such the first time we see him. Later it is revealed not to be germs he is afraid of, but airborne lead particles from leaded gasoline.
* ThisIsMyHuman: At the start of episode 2 Tyson explains the evolution from SavageWolves to BigFriendlyDog (and AngryGuardDog) when wolves with a lower amount of stress hormone domesticated humans.
* TimeMarchesOn: In episode 10 "The Immortals" Tyson introduces a new "year" to the cosmic Calendar, starting from now.
* {{Tuckerization}}: A segment set in the Paris 1878 Universal Exposition in "The World Set Free" features a booth for [[Creator/SethMacFarlane MacFarlane's]] Refined Lard, taking advantage of the fact that there ''was'' an actual [[NamesTheSame Mcfarlane]] and Co. Booth advertising their refined lard at that expo.
* VindicatedByHistory: [[invoked]] Multiple scientists who developed ideas before technology existed to test them. For example, Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift made him a laughingstock during his lifetime, but Marie Tharp proved him right when she mapped sonar images of the seafloor and consequently identified the continental boundaries. Similarly, some discoveries are made only for Tyson to note that it would sometimes takes centuries for the ramifications and understanding of those discoveries to occur. Conversely, some segments tend to subtly note how often certain things are discovered and re-discovered over and over, such as the scientific method.
* TheWorldIsJustAwesome: The goal is to demonstrate this is true for the ''entire universe''. Earth is awesome. Subatomic particles are awesome. Galaxies are awesome. ''Bacteria'' is awesome. Everything from the massive star Eta Carinae to the microscopic tardigrades that survive anywhere, is beautiful, complex, and wonderful in the literal sense of that word.
[[/folder]]

----