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The Best Episodes of Cosmos

Every episode of Cosmos ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the Best Episodes of Cosmos!

Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson provides clarity for the vision of the cosmos as he voyages across the universe with never-before-told stories that delve into the scientific concepts of the laws of gravity and the origins of space and time.

Genre:Documentary

Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "Cosmos" is "Unafraid of the Dark", rated 9.4/10 from 1811 user votes. It was directed by Ann Druyan and written by Ann Druyan, Steven Soter. "Unafraid of the Dark" aired on 6/8/2014 and is rated 0.3 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "Standing Up in the Milky Way".

  • Unafraid of the Dark
    9.4/10 1,811 votes

    #1 - Unafraid of the Dark

    Season 1 Episode 13 - Aired 2014-06-08

    The Ship of the Imagination makes a final journey to explore one of the biggest mysteries of the universe: dark energy. Meet one of science's greatest unsung heroes, Fritz Zwicky, whose prediction of supernovas paved the way for our larger understanding of dark energy, the unknown force in the universe that overwhelms gravity on the grandest scale. On our final voyage, discover the romantic message embedded in Voyager's Interstellar Golden Record and contemplate the spiritual experience of life on Earth as our cosmic journey concludes with Carl Sagan's unforgettable meditation, The Pale Blue Dot.

    Director: Ann Druyan

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • Standing Up in the Milky Way
    9.1/10 3,589 votes

    #2 - Standing Up in the Milky Way

    Season 1 Episode 1 - Aired 2014-03-09

    The Ship of the Imagination, unfettered by ordinary limits on speed and size, drawn by the music of cosmic harmonies, can take us anywhere in space and time. It has been idling for more than three decades, and yet it has never been overtaken. Its global legacy remains vibrant. Now, it's time once again to set sail for the stars.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • The Electric Boy
    9.1/10 1,754 votes

    #3 - The Electric Boy

    Season 1 Episode 10 - Aired 2014-05-11

    Travel to 19th century England and meet Michael Faraday, a child of poverty who grew up to invent the motor and the generator. His ideas about electricity and discovery of magnetic fields changed the world and paved the way for future scientists to make giant strides in the world of high technology and instantaneous communication.

    Director: Bill Pope

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • The World Set Free
    9.1/10 1,610 votes

    #4 - The World Set Free

    Season 1 Episode 12 - Aired 2014-06-01

    The Ship of the Imagination travels to our near neighbor Venus, where we begin our journey to discover the long history of global warming and the greenhouse effect. Later, explore the detrimental effects of climate change and trace the magnitude of our impact on the Earth’s atmosphere. However, with knowledge, technology and science within our grasp, imagine a hopeful future where we dedicate our efforts to taking care of our home, Planet Earth.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • When Knowledge Conquered Fear
    9.0/10 2,483 votes

    #5 - When Knowledge Conquered Fear

    Season 1 Episode 3 - Aired 2014-03-23

    There was a time, not so long ago, when natural events could only be understood as gestures of divine displeasure. We will witness the moment that all changed; but first, the Ship of the Imagination is in the brooding, frigid realm of the Oort Cloud, where a trillion comets wait. Our Ship takes us on a hair-raising ride, chasing a single comet through its million-year plunge towards the Sun.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • A Sky Full of Ghosts
    9.0/10 2,355 votes

    #6 - A Sky Full of Ghosts

    Season 1 Episode 4 - Aired 2014-03-30

    An exploration of how light, time and gravity combine to distort our perceptions of the universe. We eavesdrop on a series of walks along a beach on summer nights in the year 1809. William Herschel, whose many discoveries include the insight that telescopes are time machines, tells bedtime stories to his young son, John, who will grow up to make some rather profound discoveries of his own.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • Hiding in the Light
    9.0/10 2,098 votes

    #7 - Hiding in the Light

    Season 1 Episode 5 - Aired 2014-04-06

    The Ship of the Imagination travels back in time to reveal 11th century Europe and North Africa during the golden age of Islam, when brilliant physicist Ibn al-Haytham discovered the scientific method and first understood how we see, and how light travels. Later, William Herschel discovers the infrared and the signature hidden in the light of every star, eventually unlocking one of the keys to the cosmos.

    Director: Bill Pope

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • The Lost Worlds of Planet Earth
    9.0/10 1,740 votes

    #8 - The Lost Worlds of Planet Earth

    Season 1 Episode 9 - Aired 2014-05-04

    The Ship of the Imagination embarks on a journey through space and time to grasp how the autobiography of the Earth is written in its atoms, its oceans, its continents and all living things. Later, American geologist Marie Tharp creates the first true map of Earth’s ocean floor, and discovers microscopic life that exists deep beneath the ocean.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • The Immortals
    9.0/10 1,697 votes

    #9 - The Immortals

    Season 1 Episode 11 - Aired 2014-05-18

    The Ship of the Imagination travels across the cosmos to discover the possibility of beings that live forever and explain why other civilizations perish. Then, visit the Cosmic Calendar of the Future and contemplate what lies ahead with a hopeful vision.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • Some of the Things that Molecules Do
    8.9/10 2,742 votes

    #10 - Some of the Things that Molecules Do

    Season 1 Episode 2 - Aired 2014-03-16

    Host Neil deGrasse Tyson is on a voyage to explore the relatedness of all living things and the possible evolution of life in the cosmos. Go on a journey to discover how artificial selection turned the wolf into canine breeds and how natural selection sculpted the complex human eye. Later, Tyson visits the grand Hall of Extinction, a monument to all the broken branches on the tree of life. Retrace the story of life on Earth and the unbroken thread that stretches from the first one-celled organisms to human life.

    Director: Bill Pope

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • Sisters of the Sun
    8.9/10 1,759 votes

    #11 - Sisters of the Sun

    Season 1 Episode 8 - Aired 2014-04-27

    Discover the remarkable story of Annie Jump Cannon and Cecilia Payne, two incredible women who challenged conventional wisdom and uncovered the real-life story of the stars. Cannon led a group of female astronomers in the early 20th century to catalogue the spectral characters of stars, and two decades later, young British beauty Payne joined forces with Cannon to analyze the data and uncover the chemical compositions of the stars. Later, travel on the Ship of the Imagination to explore the lives and deaths of stars.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • The Clean Room
    8.8/10 1,866 votes

    #12 - The Clean Room

    Season 1 Episode 7 - Aired 2014-04-20

    To determine the true age of the Earth, geochemist Clair Patterson developed the uranium-lead dating method to make an unprecedented discovery – calculating Earth's age of 4.5 billion years. But Patterson's groundbreaking discoveries were just beginning. Patterson made it his mission to draw public attention to the detrimental effects of lead in the environment and dedicated his career to fighting against the petroleum and chemical industry, eventually achieving public health's biggest victory of the 20th century.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • Deeper, Deeper, Deeper Still
    8.7/10 1,883 votes

    #13 - Deeper, Deeper, Deeper Still

    Season 1 Episode 6 - Aired 2014-04-13

    The Ship of the Imagination ventures on an epic voyage to the bottom of a dewdrop to explore the universe on the smallest scale and observe exotic life forms invisible to the naked eye. Then, host Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the neural network in our brains which determine our sense of smell and memory, and later, he travels deep beneath the surface of the Earth to discover the most mysterious particle we know.

    Director: Bill Pope

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Steven Soter

  • The Sacrifice of Cassini
    8.3/10 8 votes

    #14 - The Sacrifice of Cassini

    Season 2 Episode 8 - Aired 2020-03-30

    The mysterious untold story of the scientist who figured out how to go the Moon while fighting for his life in a WWI trench. He wrote a letter to fifty years in the future. It made the Apollo Mission possible. And the saga of the twenty-year long odyssey of a robotic explorer ordered to commit suicide on another world.

    Director: Ann Druyan

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Brannon Braga

  • Ladder to the Stars
    8.2/10 12 votes

    #15 - Ladder to the Stars

    Season 2 Episode 1 - Aired 2020-03-09

    An adventure spanning billions of years into the evolution of life and consciousness. A visit to a 100,000-year-old laboratory. The story of the change in life-style that radically altered human existence and the life of the heretic who found god in the book of nature, opening our way to the stars.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan

  • The Fleeting Grace of the Habitable Zone
    8.1/10 11 votes

    #16 - The Fleeting Grace of the Habitable Zone

    Season 2 Episode 2 - Aired 2020-03-09

    There is no refuge from change in the cosmos. There will come a time in the life of the Sun when Earth will no longer be a home for us. The story of our ancestors who rose to a comparable challenge and a long-term vision of our future on other worlds.

    Director: Ann Druyan

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Brannon Braga

  • Vavilov
    8.1/10 9 votes

    #17 - Vavilov

    Season 2 Episode 4 - Aired 2020-03-16

    In the first half of the 20th century pioneering geneticist Nikolai Vavilov traveled 5 continents assembling a treasury of the worlds seeds. He dreamed that science could be the means to end hunger. His refusal to tell a scientific lie cost him his life. The heroism of his colleagues and its direct impact on your life is one of the most stirring stories in the history of science.

    Director: Ann Druyan

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Brannon Braga

  • The Search for Intelligent Life on Earth
    8.0/10 8 votes

    #18 - The Search for Intelligent Life on Earth

    Season 2 Episode 7 - Aired 2020-03-30

    A revelation of the hidden underground network that is a collaboration of four kingdoms of life, and a true first contact story between humans and beings who communicate in a symbolic language and have maintained a representative democracy for many tens of millions of years.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Brannon Braga

  • Magic Without Lies
    8.0/10 7 votes

    #19 - Magic Without Lies

    Season 2 Episode 9 - Aired 2020-04-06

    Meet the man who stumbled on a hole in the reality of quantum mechanics and the still-unfolding technology that made it possible.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Brannon Braga

  • A Tale of Two Atoms
    7.9/10 7 votes

    #20 - A Tale of Two Atoms

    Season 2 Episode 10 - Aired 2020-04-06

    How a deadly embrace between science and state altered the fate of the world, and a gripping cautionary tale of mass casualty and unlikely survival.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Brannon Braga

  • Coming of Age In The Anthropocene
    7.7/10 7 votes

    #21 - Coming of Age In The Anthropocene

    Season 2 Episode 12 - Aired 2020-04-13

    A baby is born on the day the show premieres. What kind of world can she expect to grow up in? One of her possible futures is explored.

    Director: Ann Druyan

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Brannon Braga

  • Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
    7.6/10 7 votes

    #22 - Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

    Season 2 Episode 11 - Aired 2020-04-13

    An exploration of human potential for change, concluding with the story of one of history's greatest monster and his virtuous transformation.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Brannon Braga

  • Lost City of Life
    7.5/10 8 votes

    #23 - Lost City of Life

    Season 2 Episode 3 - Aired 2020-03-16

    A new vision of genesis at the bottom of the blood red sea of the infant Earth. And the story of the man who found the first clues to life's beginning in a green jewel. As he searched for life's origin, he risked his own, daring to toy with his Nazi tormentors.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Brannon Braga

  • The Man of a Trillion Worlds
    7.5/10 8 votes

    #24 - The Man of a Trillion Worlds

    Season 2 Episode 6 - Aired 2020-03-23

    A child lies on the rug of a tenement dreaming of interstellar adventures. At the dawn of the space age, a young Carl Sagan's career is forged in the clash of his mentors, two scientific titans. Sagan goes on realize his childhood dreams, to carry their research forward and communicate its significance to the whole world.

    Director: Ann Druyan

    Writer: Ann Druyan, Brannon Braga, André Bormanis

  • Seven Wonders of The New World
    7.3/10 7 votes

    #25 - Seven Wonders of The New World

    Season 2 Episode 13 - Aired 2020-04-20

    Take a trip to the 2039 New York World’s Fair, where the problems we now consider hopeless have been solved and thrilling possibilities exist.

    Director: Brannon Braga

    Writer: Ann Druyan