National Geographic: Extreme Universe review (DVD)

This two-disc set from National Geographic provides a comprehensive look at our universe and just how dangerous it truly is, yet also incredibly vast and magnificently beautiful. From ravenous weather, Mount Everest-sized asteroids and galaxies on a collision course, it seems as though Earth's fate is sealed, and to take the unsettling approach, will inevitably be obliterated in years to come. Except we're not talking just a few years, nor hundreds, thousands or millions, but in fact billions of years, so humanity is safe for countless generations.

Yes, Extreme Universe takes a pretty bleak direction a lot of the time as it details exactly what could happen to our planet in the event of these apocalyptic scenarios, and yet the scale of each kind of Earth-snuffing doomsday is continually topped just as you think things couldn't get any worse. So overwhelmingly stacked are these rather frightening facts that you'd barely notice the statements given that they're highly unlikely and/or way, way, way too far ahead in the future to even begin to bother worrying about. The light at the end of the tunnel gets a fraction of the screen time that the darkness does, but at least it has you paying greater attention to all the details, as if you wouldn't be when being fed the intricacies of your certain death.

Aside from the relative uncomfortableness you may feel when learning the facts, the six-episode series is extremely interesting, taking you on an information journey to the stars and back, where you will learn about everything from space storms and intergalactic weather forecasts, to actual real life star gates and the history and significance of Stone Henge.

EXTRAS None.Read my reviews of National Geographic's Baby Tales and Africa's Lost Eden.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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