You’d better believe there’s life on Mars, as this stunning series returns to the box
MARS, Sunday 11 November, 8pm, National Geographic/HD (CH 266/268). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > National Geographic
When US docudrama MARS set foot on National Geographic in 2016, there was some scepticism around whether the showrunners could pull off its premise of blending documentary and drama to tell the fictional story of mankind’s first mission to Mars.
But those concerns were ultimately blown into orbit. The ambitious six-part series – co-produced by Hollywood heavyweights Ron Howard and Brian Grazer – offered a tantalising glimpse of a potential future and had both science fans and drama devotees hooked.
This weekend, MARS returns for a second season – and there’s lots to be excited about. From shady corporations to killer viruses, here’s what you need to know…
The drama has jumped forward nine years
Season two begins in the year 2042, nearly a decade after the events of season one. And a lot has happened since the crew of the Daedalus touched down on Mars and set up base camp. The colony (known as Olympus Town) now totals more than 300 settlers, but a struggle to raise funds for the mission throws everything into doubt. Maybe this brave new world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…
Capitalism threatens to ruin everything
Among the settlers now living on Mars are the employees of Lukrum Industries – a corporation that makes a lot of dosh from natural resource extraction. With new private business opportunities increasingly available on the Red Planet, the relationship between scienctific advancement and profit making is explored in greater detail in season 2.
A deadly illness sweeps through the colony
Think establishing a new life on Mars is a walk in the park? Think again. In season 2, the colonists are forced to contend with a mysterious disease, and as if that wasn’t enough, the first Martian baby is ready to be delivered!
You’ll be kept up to speed once again by a group of experts
Season 1 boasted some scintillating scientific commentary from a panel of experts who revealed additional information about efforts to get humans to Mars. And there’s plenty of them on hand to explain the science-y stuff in season 2. From SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk to former NASA chief Ellen Stofan and award-winning journalist Stephen Petranek (whose book How We’ll Live On Mars is the foundation for the show), someone’s always on hand to help break down the more complicated concepts.
There’s a host of new faces
Joining the cast in season 2 are Esai Morales (Ozark), Evan Hall (Orange Is The New Black) and Roxy Sternberg (Zapped). Plus, there’s been a change behind the camera, with Dee Johnson of hit US drama Nashville taking up the reins as showrunner.
Never miss an episode with Catch Up TV and Series Link+
Every episode of MARS season 2 will be available to watch up to 30 days after broadcast thanks to Catch Up TV. Alternatively, you can set up a Series Link+ and your TiVo® box will automatically record every episode! Now that’s what we call out of this world.
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Image credits: Mars © National Geographic