FILE – In this Dec. 5, 2009 file photo, Morgan Freeman, a cast member in the upcoming film “Invictus”, poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)
NEW YORK (AP) – Actor Morgan Freeman didn’t shy away from tough questions for his new Science Channel series about space exploration. On Wednesday’s first episode he asks, “Was there a Creator?”
The question, as with most of the topics he discusses on the eight-episode series, is more likely to lead to more questions than it is to answers.
“What we’re learning is we don’t know a lot more than we do know,” said Freeman, whose lifelong fascination with astronomy and space travel coincided with the Science Channel’s effort to attract more attention to itself with the help of celebrities who bring a passion to their hobbies.
The Academy Award winner hosts and narrates the series, “Through the Wormhole,” and it was made by his production company.
Scientists are tapped to address issues like what happened before the creation of the universe, what dark matter is doing to the galaxies, whether time travel will someday be possible, what intelligent life might exist beyond Earth and how life began on Earth.
The idea of a God that created the universe is hard for many scientists to deal with, but one that some turn to when not everything they see is explained by the complex mathematical equations used to prove theories.
“It is hard for me to get my mind wrapped around the idea that there is an extra, corporal – shall we say, intelligence – that controls everything,” Freeman said.
Freeman is intrigued by the speed of light and how and why light travels. The idea of time travel is another interest, although the actor isn’t sure whether he’d like to go backward or forward.
Similarly, he’d love to travel in space someday. But he doesn’t want to just go for a ride.
“I’d like to have a destination,” he said, “and I’d like that destination being a foreign land where there are things we could possibly communicate with. Just wandering around out there – you might as well be out in the ocean trying to swim.”
The issues discussed in “Through the Wormhole” are “heady stuff,” but they’re presented in an entertaining way, said Debbie Myers, the network’s general manager. That’s one of Myers’ chief goals, to break through the stuffy and dry reputation of science programming.
Whoopi Goldberg is doing a science-related game for the network that is due this fall. Will Smith is also hoping to boost the network’s “Young Scientist Challenge.”
Freeman, who won an Oscar in 2004 for “Million Dollar Baby,” brought a common touch to the complex stories on his series, Myers said.
“Morgan is kind of the everyman,” she said. “He has a love for science, but he’s not a scientist, and he’s a great storyteller.”