The Universe: 7 Wonders of the Solar System – Blu-ray Review

Typically when people argue against science they claim that it somehow robs the universe of its wonder. I’m really not sure how people can say that given that science has shown us icy geysers erupting from Enceladus, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, and mountains within Saturn’s rings that rival the Alps in height. The greatest wonder of the universe, though, is A&E thinking they can get away with releasing a Blu-Ray of one episode of The Universe for close to thirty dollars.

The 7 Wonders of the Solar System fulfills the high standards set by other episodes of The Universe: gorgeous computer simulations of planets, asteroids, and other cosmic phenomenon: excellent and fascinating information from experts in the fields of astrophysics, physics, and astronomy. It’s absolutely worth watching if you’re interested in our solar system. Just watch it when A&E reruns the episode.

Probably the real draw for this release is that the disk is formatted to play on both Blu-Ray and 3D players. Seeing the Great Red Spot in 3D is, I’m sure, amazing, but I wouldn’t know because I don’t have a 3D television. Even if I did, I’d have a hard time justifying paying that much for one episode, even if it is from a show that I dearly love.

The episode is presented in fullscreen with the audio in dts-HD Master Audio 5.1. It looks amazing—especially in Blu-Ray—and I can’t praise the quality enough.

There are no special features on this disc.

As much as I love The Universe, this release is a blatant, clumsy attempt to capitalize on the new 3D craze. The episode scores high points because the series is consistently excellent, but I find it insulting that A&E would put out a $30 Blu-Ray/3D disk that contained only one episode. For that reason I’m not recommending it.


A&E Television presents The Universe: 7 Wonders of the Solar System. Directed by: Douglas J. Cohen. Running time: 47 minutes. Rating:NR. Released on DVD: January 11, 2011.