‘NOVA: Saving Notre Dame’ Boasts Several Saving Graces

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

More than a year after it suffered extensive damage to its structure, work to restore damage caused to the famed Notre Dame Cathedral by a 2019 fire is well underway.  According to multiple media outlets, the scaffolding that burned in the fire has allegedly been successfully removed from the church as part of the restoration efforts, though there is still much work to do.  Media outlets state that most of the work that is taking place now is focused on the cathedral’s interior structure, including statues that surround the high altar in the sanctuary’s choir section.  What’s more, officials working on the restoration have been quoted as saying that more than 1,000 oak trees will be needed to replace the catheral’s spire.  That is not even counting the trees damaged in the cathedral’s “attic” and roof.  All of this work and more will take time.  Some of that work and other efforts are discussed at length in t he story at the center of PBS’ NOVA documentary Saving Notre Dame.  That story forms the foundation for the episode, which was released Feb. 16 on DVD.  It will be discussed shortly.  The footage that is incorporated into the story adds to the program’s appeal.  It will be discussed a little later.  Considering all of the noted content, the DVD’s average price point generates its own appeal.  It will also be addressed later.  When that affordable price point is considered along with the fully engaging content featured in the episode, the program in whole proves itself to be another of this year’s top new documentaries.

NOVA: Saving Notre Dame is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.  From those with an interest in engineering and construction, to the most devout Christians, to general fans of NOVA, the DVD ensures audiences will remain engaged and entertained, just as much as any other episode of PBS’ hit science-based series.  The most notable way in which it ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment is its central story.  As the episode’s title notes, the story centers on the efforts to restore the centuries-old cathedral following the 2019 fire that destroyed so much of the structure.  The approximately hour-long presentation follows the efforts to restore the cathedral’s roof and preserve the structure in the ongoing efforts to restore the cathedral in whole.  The transitions from one focus to the next are smooth, as is the pacing.  Audiences will be interested to watch the painstaking efforts to restore the cathedral’s stained glass and the extreme measures to which workers had to go through during and even after working in the structure.  What’s more, the equally intense lengths to which those involved in the restorations are going, just to make sure the replacement stone matches with the original stone is incredible to watch.  It serves to show just how dedicated everyone is to restoring the cathedral to its original glory.  The story’s pacing through all of its transitions and discussions is smooth in its own right.  All things considered, the story featured in NOVA: Saving Notre Dame is itself reason enough for audiences to watch this episode.  It is just one part of what makes the program so engaging and entertaining.  The footage that is used to help tell the story adds to the episode’s appeal even more.

The footage that is used to help tell NOVA: Saving Notre Dame’s story is important to examine because of how much it adds to the story’s engagement and entertainment.  The first half of the program reminds viewers of what happened at the cathedral in April 2019 not just through an interview with one of the priests who works at the facility, but also by showing news and amateur footage of the fire.  Viewers will see time and again, the towering spire that stood atop the cathedral fall into the flames, itself ablaze.  Also, viewers see through the professional recordings, the firefighters on the ground who worked so hard to put out the fire inside the building as the narration points out the difficulty that they faced in achieving their goal.  Along with that, the program also incorporates computer generated visuals to help viewers understand the fragility of the cathedral and how easily it could have collapsed in the efforts to save it.  The (seeming) drone footage taken high above the cathedral gives viewers a rarely seen view of the fire’s aftermath and the efforts taking place to restore the cathedral.  It’s just one more visual that so powerful.  When it and all of the other footage that is presented here combines, the overall visual aspect of the episode builds (no pun intended) on the foundation formed by the episode’s story.  When all of this combined content is considered together, it makes the DVD’s average price point such that viewers will find this aspect appealing, too.

The average price point of NOVA: Saving Notre Dame is $19.62.  That number was obtained by averaging listings at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and PBS’ online store.  The listings at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and PBS’ online store are the only ones that exceed that price, each listing the DVD at $24.99.  Amazon, Walmart, and Target each list the DVD at $16.59, well below the listed average.  Best Buy’s listing of $17.99 is not the best buy, but is still a good middle ground that is itself still below the listed average.  Simply put, the majority of the listings and even the average are below the $20 mark.  That means that none of the listed prices will break any viewer’s budget, even with shipping & handling taken into account.  That relatively affordable overall pricing puts the finishing touch to the DVD’s presentation.  Considering the amount and depth of the featured content, audiences will agree that they are getting their money’s worth here.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD overall makes clear that it deserves a spot among this year’s top new documentaries.

PBS/PBS Distribution’s presentation of NOVA: Saving Notre Dame is another enjoyable edition of the hit long-running science-based series.  Its central story makes that obvious through its content and pacing.  The footage that is used to help tell that story adds its own touch to the program’s presentation.  The story featured in this episode of NOVA and its content (including its footage) gives audiences plenty to appreciate.  Keeping that in mind, its average price point and separate listings of mostly less than $20 (save for a pair of listings) proves to be its own positive.  All things considered, the DVD in whole proves itself to be just as enjoyable as most every other episode of NOVANOVA: Saving Notre Dame is available now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:




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