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Patrick Stewart Will Appear On Tonight’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

I suppose if you don’t want to spoil tonight’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, then don’t watch the video below. But I’ll spoil it anyway: the butler did it.

For the most part, Fox’s info-tainment series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey has done a solid job delivering stunning visuals and science facts without the network’s normal reliance on using celebrities to promote it all. I’m still surprised Jack Bauer hasn’t yet found a way to enter the story by saving Neil deGrasse Tyson from Plutonian spies. That changes a little bit tonight when the iconic Patrick Stewart stops by to lend a hand. Or his voice, as it were.

Stewart will offer his dulcet tones to William Herschel, a 19th century British astronomer and composer, for an animated segment in which Herschel talks to his son about the ways that time and gravity affect light. We can assume these two forces are at least part of the reason the episode is called “A Sky Full of Ghosts.” Or as MAD Magazine would have called it, “Para-Nerd-Mal Activity.”

Anybody who has ever claimed that “long walks on the beach” is a favorite activity has clearly never taken that stroll with a genius astronomer. After he initially scoffs at the idea of ghosts in the sky, Herschel turns the conversation back to darkness by establishing the nightmare scenario that the universe is full of the malevolent spirits of dead stars. The sound of my screams will get to your ears long after the light from those dead stars will.

Here’s another clip you can look forward to seeing on the episode, which deals with the equally frightening concept of black holes and event horizons. Just picture Sam Neill’s eyeball-less face smiling in the background.

And here’s another clip about our place within the universe.

“A Sky Full of Ghosts,” which also features a guest voice performance from Downtown Abbey‘s Julian Ovenden, will air its creationism-free episode tonight at 9 p.m. EST.

Below you can catch Stewart passionately asking for an Obamacare repeal on The Colbert Report. (The clip also features a joke about Kate Upton’s zero-G photo shoot.

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