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NGC to air ‘Mars’ in November

MUMBAI: Of all the planets in our solar system, none has captured our collective imagination like Mars — a mysterious, indelible part of the zeitgeist. The quest to send humans to Mars has engaged the top minds in science in a modern-day space race, and it has infiltrated pop culture through blockbusters like Andy Weir’s “The Martian” and through out-of-this-world tweets from astronaut Scott Kelly.

Now, National Geographic Channel; Academy Award- and Emmy-winning producers Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg of Imagine Entertainment; and Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning producer Justin Wilkes, Academy Award- and Emmy-winning producer Jon Kamen, and Dave O’Connor of RadicalMedia and visionary Mexican filmmaker Everardo Gout (“Days of Grace”) have joined forces to launch viewers farther into outer space than ever before with the global event series Mars.

Starting November, National Geographic Channel will air MARS — which is set both in the future and in the present day — will redefine television storytelling by combining feature film-quality scripted drama and visual effects with best-in-class documentary sequences to drive forward a cohesive, edge-of-your-seat story of mankind’s thrilling quest to colonise Mars.

This epic six-part global event series tells the inspiring story from the vantage point of a fictitious crewed mission to Mars in 2033. Executive producers Howard and Grazer hand-selected Gout to direct all six episodes of the series, filmed earlier this year in Budapest and Morocco. The scripted portion focuses on Earth’s first crewed mission to Mars aboard the spacecraft Daedalus. Its maiden voyage in 2033 is crewed by a carefully selected international team of six uniquely qualified astronauts, including:

American mission commander Ben Sawyer (Ben Cotton), Korean-American mission pilot Hana Seung (Jihae), Spanish hydrologist and geochemist Javier Delgado (Alberto Ammann), French mission physician and biochemist Amelie Durand (Clementine Poidatz), Nigerian mechanical engineer and roboticist Robert Foucault (Sammi Rotibi) and Russian exobiologist and geologist Marta Kamen (Anamaria Marinca). Back on Earth, the Mars Mission Corporation (MMC) control team based in London includes Hana Seung’s twin sister, capsule communicator Joon Seung (also played by Jihae), and French CEO of the MMC, Ed Grann (Olivier Martinez).

Once Daedalus successfully lands on Mars and sets up a preliminary base of operations, British nuclear physicist Leslie Richardson (Cosima Shaw) will lead a Phase 2 settlement team along with her husband, world-renowned experimental botanist Dr. Paul Richardson (John Light).

‘Mars’ truly brings together all of the world’s leading minds in a way never before accomplished — think of the world’s largest TED talk with the most fascinating people on Earth. Those interviewed on camera for the series include the following:

  • 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
  • James Lovell, Former NASA Astronaut, Apollo 13 Commander
  • Elon Musk, CEO SpaceX

NGC will extend the ‘Mars’ storytelling in an unprecedented cross-platform effort, including a six-part digital companion prequel series. Before Mars, which will launch prior to the premiere, is an extensive digital virtual reality experience at www.MakeMarsHome.com. There will also be the Mars Experience installation in New York City this October. Further, Mars will be the November cover story of National Geographic magazine and will be featured in a stand-alone National Geographic book, “Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet.” The NG Kids book, ‘Mars: The Red Planet’, will go on sale on 27 September.


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