‘Mars’ miniseries review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
The mission to Mars is one that takes a long time to prepare, and is still being prepared. It is a mission that many people wanted to be possible. Its purpose is to learn about the planet and find out if humans can live on it. While the mission is big, anything could affect it. Mars is about a space crew going to Mars to learn about the planet in the year 2033, and the miniseries goes back and forth between 2033 and present day, blending real-life interviews with the fictional future. It shows how we are getting to Mars today and those facts are put into the story in 2033. Produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, Mars explores what could possibly go wrong in the mission and the many things that must be done to prepare for it.
The story is narrated by Ben Sawyer (Ben Cotton), who is the commander of the 2033 mission, and he describes how the mission will lead to discovery and go through challenges along the way. In the first episode, Ben tells the rest of the crew that the expedition is risky and that everyone may not make it back home when the mission is done. In the 2016 scenes, we see interviews with people from Elon Musk, who is the head of SpaceX; StarTalk’s Neil deGrasse Tyson; and various other people in the field of space science.
The miniseries looks like a show that might be on Investigation Discovery. This means you are probably thinking that by the end of Mars, the space crew passes away and the mission is a failure, but hopefully that will not happen.
The interesting thing about the show is that the 2033 scenes have interviews with the members of the space crew and they are presented as if the events actually happened. The real-life 2016 scenes are very informative and the people who are interviewed know their thing. DeGrasse Tyson does not appear a lot in the first episode, though he will probably be seen more in later episodes. The archival footage in the miniseries is similar to the archival footage in Ron Howard’s 2016 documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week.
Getting to Mars is risky, because the crew has to do their tasks correctly to make sure that the mission is on the right track, and even though the equipment that they use is tested, it could malfunction at any time. For example, when the crew tries to land their ship, the Daedalus, on the planet, it malfunctions, so they work together to fix the problem and they make sure to work carefully. Ben is injured when he is repairing the ship and the crew’s physician, Amelie Durand, gives the rest of the crew specific instructions to keep him alive. While there is progress in making the mission to Mars a reality, there are still a few things that must be done to make it work—like improving the rocket that launches the ship to space, because in many tests, it explodes.
When astronauts are on Mars, we will find out if humans can live on the red planet. Mars airs Monday at 6:00 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel, and will run for six episodes.