First, there was Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980), Carl Sagan's groundbreaking scientific series. Then, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014), which ushered the show into the modern era through the thoughtful enthusiasm of its new "ambassador of the sciences" host, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Now, with science and evidence-based research under siege like we haven't experienced in a lifetime, more Cosmos feels downright necessary, which is why I was ecstatic to hear the show would be coming back for another round as Cosmos: Possible Worlds.
At this year's Comic-Con, executive producers Seth MacFarlane, Ann Druyan, Brannon Braga and Jason Clark -- along with Tyson -- hosted a panel about the show's upcoming season and shared the same feeling: that in this anti-science climate we find ourselves in, viewers need the show now more than ever.
It might seem easiest to look at the state of the world and become numb to attempts to discredit the sciences, but not for these creators (though MacFarlane couldn't pass up the chance to crack wise about the irony of Fox being the network airing a series about scientific facts). As the panel went on, it was clear all of them had a deep appreciation and love of the scientific unknown, whether it was here on Earth or out among the stars. No cynicism or nihilism here, folks.
It seems like the overall message of the upcoming season is one of hope and encouragement. As long as humanity puts its differences aside, it can get down to protecting civilization -- the true test of our species. On the press line, Tyson was enthusiastic about the message of the show, saying it offers possible solutions, timelines and outcomes to the questions we need answered.
Fitting, then, that the new run of episodes is called Cosmos: Possible Worlds. It'll debut on Fox and National Geographic in March 2019.