The National Geographic Channel has announced in a press release that the network’s latest miniseries, MARS will be unlike any documentary you’ve ever seen before as it takes place in the present day as well as the future. Executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, MARS is expected to be an impressive six-week adventure as it will attempt to tell of the setbacks and successes of what is called the modern scientific space revolution while also showing what a colonized life on Mars could be like in the year of 2033.
Each week MARS will present another chapter of a fictional story set in the future created with top-of-line special effects along with amazing documentary sequences to “drive forward a cohesive, edge-of-your-seat story.” Filmmaker Everardo Gout was hand-picked by Grazer and Howard to direct all six episodes of MARS which was filmed in Budapest and Morocco. The story revolves around the space crew aboard the spacecraft Daedalus’ maiden voyage to Mars. The crew consists of:
- American mission commander Ben Sawyer (played by Ben Cotton)
- Korean-American mission pilot Hana Seung (played by JiHAE)
- Spanish hydrologist and geochemist Javier Delgado (played by Alberto Ammann)
- French mission physician and biochemist Amelie Durand (played by Clémentine Poidatz)
- Nigerian mechanical engineer and roboticist Robert Foucault (played by Sammi Rotibi)
- Russian exobiologist and geologist Marta Kamen (played by Anamaria Marinca)
The Mars Mission Corporation is set up in London and includes Hana Seung’s twin sister, Joon (also played by JiHAE) and the French CEO of the Mars Mission Corporation, Ed Grann (played by Oliver Martinez).
Then, once the crew has successfully landed on Mars and settles in, British nuclear physicist Leslie Richardson (played by Cosima Shaw) will lead a phase 2 settlement team with her experimental botanist husband Dr. Paul Richardson (played by John Light).
For the documentary portion of MARS, the program has recruited some of the most fascinating people on earth to talk about the achievements in space travel including:
- Charles Bolden, Administrator, Former Astronaut, NASA
- Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director, Hayden Planetarium
- Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO, XPRIZE Foundation
- David Dinges, Director, Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania
- Casey Dreier, Director of Space Policy, The Planetary Society
- Ann Druyan, Creative Director, Voyager Interstellar Mission, NASA
- Charles Elachi, Director, LPL (Ret.)
- Jim Green, Division Director, Planetary Science, NASA
- John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator, Former Astronaut, NASA
- Jennifer Heldmann, Planetary Scientist, NASA
- Jedidah Isler, award-winning astrophysicist; emerging Explorer, National Geographic
- Thomas Kalil, Deputy Director, White House Office of Science and Technology
- Roger Launius, Smithsonian Institution
- John Logsdon, Founder, Space Policy Institute, George Washington University
- James Lovell, Former NASA Astronaut, Apollo 13 Commander
- Elon Musk, CEO SpaceX
- Stephen Petranek, author, How We’ll Live on Mars
- Mary Roach, author, Packing for Mars
- Jennifer Trosper, Mars 2020 Mission Manager, JPL
- Andy Weir, author, The Martian
- Robert Zubrin, President, The Mars Society
In addition to the six-week event, National Geographic Channel is currently featuring a prequel series, Before MARS, with new short episodes on the series website MakeMarsHome.com, where visitors can create their own teams to experience Mars in virtual reality experience. The MARS miniseries is also being promoted in the November edition of National Geographic magazine, a stand-alone hardcover “coffee table” book (MARS: Our Future on the Red Planet), and a children’s book (MARS: The Red Planet).
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MARS is a follow-up to the impressive yet hard to watch miniseries Saints and Strangers about the first American settlers aboard The Mayflower, which premiered last November.
MARS premieres on Monday, November 14, on the National Geographic Channel as well as Nat Geo Mundo at 9/8c. It will also broadcast internationally in 170 countries and in 45 languages with a premiere date of Sunday, November 13.
[Featured Image by National Geographic Channel]