On Sunday, March 9, Fox and National Geographic Channel will simulcast the premiere of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a 13-part series hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson that follows in the epic footsteps of the Emmy Award-winning 1980 TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Ann Druyan, who co-wrote the original Cosmos with her late husband Carl Sagan, serves as an executive producer, and as Seth MacFarlane revealed in his SiriusXM Town Hall with Entertainment Weekly editor Matt Bean, you can thank her for the trippy spaceship that becomes “home base” through this new journey across space and time.
“It was very important to her that it be something that was kind of timeless and very simple,” MacFarlane says in the excerpt below, noting that the original “Ship of the Imagination” was used only in the first episode of the original series and had an exterior shaped like a dandelion. “There was, I guess, some people smoking weed in 1980 also,” he jokes.
The new ship has a flat floor and flat ceiling: “The floor opens up to reveal the past, the ceiling opens up to reveal the future. The front wall is just a big open window,” he says. “It was important to us that [Neil] not just be a guy who’s lecturing us but that he actually take us to the places that he’s talking about.”
MacFarlane also spoke about the inspiration for his new film A Million Ways to Die in the West, which hits theaters this summer. His novel of the same name is on shelves now. Listen to that clip below as well.