Neil DeGrasse Tyson isn’t a science fiction hero, but everybody kind of treats him like one anyway. The PBS host and astrophysicist has earned his cult-of-personality by making science accessible to people whose eyes might otherwise glaze over when having complicated concepts explained to them--without ever dumbing those ideas down.
So it makes sense that, in the trailer to the upcoming FOX/National Geographic Channel documentary series Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey--a sequel to Carl Sagan’s 1980 series of the same title (albeit with a different subtitle)--Tyson come off as every bit like the action hero his fans see him as. He’s dressed all in black, standing on a set that looks an awful lot like the bridge of a starship, giving his best badass glower as he puts his sunglasses on and showing neat images from different parts of the universe as an epic guitar score plays around him.
There’s incredible footage here, too: from the rings of Saturn to ancient, knobbly trees to time-lapsed close-ups of sea life to wolves jumping at each other’s throats. What they can’t capture in nature with cameras, meanwhile, seems to be generated by man--there is an actual spaceship popping up that we’re pretty sure doesn’t actually exist, and animated sequences depict things like a guy in robes being lifted through the air and deer being hunted by spear-carrying early humans.
Tyson told Big Picture Science last year that the goal of the series is to "present science to you in a way that has meaning to you, that can influence your conduct as a citizen of the nation and of the world." At this point, we’d be fools to believe that there’s anything Dr. Tyson can’t do.