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Wonders of the Universe is a lovely, sometimes surreal journey to the edges of reality and back--and a fully entertaining experience right here on planet Earth. British scientist Brian Cox is a personable host for this BBC miniseries--an enthusiastic teacher who could be Carl Sagan's English offspring. Wonders of the Universe is a follow-up to Wonders of the Solar System, and some of the same territory is covered. But Wonders of the Universe contains plenty of amazing information and visuals in its four episodes. Cox and his producers don't claim to speak to the scientific community for which he and the series have received some mild complaints but instead present for the lay audience a basic overview of four pretty giant topics: "Destiny" the laws of the universe, "Stardust" how stars and solar systems--and life--are formed, "Falling" the science of gravity, and "Messengers" the study of the travel of light, and what might lie beyond the farthest reaches of our knowledge. If the topics are big, Cox's approach is down-to-earth and infectiously captivating. It's hard to imagine a more enthusiastic scientist just brimming with superlatives he wants to share with his audience. The photography, and Cox's travels to little-known ancient ruins around the world where prehistoric peoples built structures to study the stars, are both truly heavenly. Wonders of the Universe makes understanding the barely comprehensible easy and very enjoyable. Great for star watchers of all ages. --A.T. Hurley