So far I have gone through the first 10 chapters/episodes of Carl Sagan's Cosmos : A Personal Voyage. There are three more episodes left and an interview with Ted Turner. I will update this entry once I have seen all of the episodes.
After watching through the episodes, I have developed a deep sense of respect for this man. It is unfortunate that he is not alive today. What is remarkable about him is his understanding of natural systems and moreover the way he delivers it to the audience. I was also unaware of many facts.
The first two episodes were mere introductions and may be a bit trivial for most science students, yet they are essential. The depths and insights into the history, methodologies and scientific speculation of many subjects are well dealt with. The cosmological part was a bit out of my known territory. I grasped whatever I could from them. Some preliminary background study is definitely necessary to fully understand these topics.
The strangest part that shocked me was "The Ionian tales". I wasn't aware of the fact that it was the Pythagorean school and their political stronghold that resulted in the coma of observation and reasoning. These are fundamentals of science. Yet, what they had developed, the abstract and mathematical school of thought, is today a vital tool for the investigation of the same. The influence of Pythagorean school drove Europe into Middle ages and also helped shape the modern school of understanding. How paradoxical!
In the true spirit of science, Carl Sagan updates us of developments and modifications to the information presented in the series. This is available in the Collector's Edition which was released 10 years after the original production.
Edit (5th March, 2011) : Now that I have seen all the episodes, I must point out that the last episode "Who Speaks for the Earth?" is one of the fundamental Human question raised - an anthropocentric one in a non-centric universe.
P.S. Carl Sagan is one man worth looking up to.