Prof. Jim Al-Khalili tells the story of light and darkness in terms of their astronomic importance, and their role in our understanding of the universe.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Jim Al-Khalili Jim Al-Khalili ...  Himself - Presenter 2 episodes, 2013
Daniel Hunt Daniel Hunt ...  Narrator 2 episodes, 2013
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Storyline

Prof. Jim Al-Khalili tells the story of light and darkness in terms of their astronomic importance, and their role in our understanding of the universe.

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tv mini series | See All (1) »

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Documentary

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Details

Official Sites:

Official BBC site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Свет и тьма See more »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 episodes)

Color:

Color (HD)
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User Reviews

 
Superb once again but this time ending with a big bang surprise
23 June 2015 | by trimmerb1234See all my reviews

While Professor Jim Al-Khalili's series of scientific documentaries are highly acclaimed, I've not seen any analysis of what makes them so particularly good. What I have though noticed is that, apart from the great clarity, in dealing with historical subjects, he (somehow) manages to make both the significance and the surprise (at the time of the discoveries) fully present to the modern viewer. I guess that he has the ability - and perhaps the habit - to relive the prior state of ignorance, the curiosity and then the surprise at each new discovery.

And so science proceeds: humans make discoveries, acquire knowledge, discard old theories, move to a higher understanding then move on - in short: to progress. Science makes the world more knowable (and more controllable) and scientists take pride in making this so. But lurking in dark corners is a view that while science celebrates what it understands, it keeps away from what seems insoluble or unknowable, rather as a ship will be kept well clear of rocks for fear of being broken up on them, so also a fear that reputations for individuals - and subject - risk similarly being dashed.

Not so professor Al-Khalili, I noticed in an earlier programme dealing with quantum theory - some things just are, with the current state of knowledge, he makes clear, strange and inexplicable. 10-15? years ago astro-physics was confident in its understanding of the big bang - time and space simply did not exist beforehand, the universe was expanding rather as fragments from an explosion continue to fly through the air.

Viewers of part 2 of this series, unless abreast of recent scientific theories, will not be prepared for the surprising conclusion that leaves even the good professor himself in a deeply contemplative mood.


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