The Doctor has the T.A.R.D.I.S. to travel in throughout all space and time, and astrophysicist and all-around cool guy Neil deGrasse Tyson has the Ship of Imagination.
The vessel is used as a narrative device for Tyson to explore everything from the speed of light and the Milky Way to electromagnetism and ancient rock formations in Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. The show, a reboot of the old 1980 Carl Sagan PBS series, wrapped its 13-episode first season on Fox over the weekend and arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday.
The extras of the home-video release has Tyson taking viewers on a tour of the studio outside of Santa Fe, N.M., where he filmed his sequences as well as his TV ship. The hull is physically constructed and embedded in a green screen "that allows us to voyage anywhere we want," Tyson says.
There is a chair for him to sit for more dramatic episodes, such as navigating the turbulent outer atmosphere of the sun or diving into the DNA molecule of a bear. Plus, Tyson shows where they put green screens for various subjects that will later get cool special effects.
While it might be tough for most people to identify different parts of the Andromeda galaxy with no markers in front of them, it's a piece of cosmic cake for Tyson since all the details are in his head.
"Fortunately I know what all this stuff looks like in the universe because that's what I do," he says. "The fun of this is pretending I'm actually going there."
Blu-ray bonus features for Cosmos, executive produced by Seth MacFarlane, include deleted scenes, an audio commentary, a Library of Congress dedication, a "Cosmos at Comic-Con" documentary and an interactive cosmic calendar.