DRAMA National Geographic HD, 8pm
As season two opens, it is 2042 and the scientists have been living on Mars for nearly a decade when a mysterious deadly illness sweeps through the colony.
new Sci-fi Mars
Sun, national Geographic HD, 8pm
THE FIRST SERIES of Mars followed a group of intrepid astronauts in 2033 as they overcame freezing temperatures, fatalities and a lack of oxygen to set up the first human colony on the red planet.
This week, as the docudrama returns to National Geographic, the action has jumped forward nine years. The astronauts have successfully established a colony called Olympus Town and, with the help of other settlers, are busy ‘terraforming’ Mars into a less hostile landscape.
‘It’s become a real city, a real civilisation,’ says Clémentine Poidatz, who plays surgeon Dr Amelie Durand. ‘There’s even a bar where the colonists can socialise.’
However, with private corporations now funding the mission, tensions are running high between the scientists and the executives from Lukrum Industries, a mining company that is making a profit by exploiting the minerals found on the red planet.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Heading up Lukrum Industries is Commander Kurt Hurrelle, a high-flying executive who sees Mars in terms of dollars rather than discovery.
‘The new series pits the scientists against the industrialists,’ says Jeff
Hephner, who joins the cast as Hurrelle. ‘My character wants to get the job done, and has no interest in the science.
He’s not a complete villain, though. He is genuinely concerned about the wellbeing of his workers and you do see a softer side to him.’
Part of that softer side comes from his relationship with his daughter Chelsea, who is played in the series by Hephner’s own daughter, Shea. ‘I have three kids and we’ve all got a kick out of learning more about space – the show has ignited a real passion in all of us,’ he explains.
Like the first series, the new six-part run intercuts the drama with documentary footage. Space experts, including Elon Musk, talk about the race to the red planet, while ecologists reveal how corporations are ruining parts of Earth by exploiting its natural resources – and warn that the same could easily happen on Mars.
‘I love the documentary parts,’ says Poidatz.‘they really make you think about what we are doing to our planet. Some parts had me in tears.’
The French actress had a happier time when it came to filming her own scenes. While the first series was filmed in Morocco, the producers shot most of the new series in Hungary using green-screen technology.
‘When we filmed in Morocco it was so hot, our shoes were melting. We were losing our minds and it was really hard for the crew,’ she recalls. ‘This time, we shot on green screens with lots of sand shipped in. You had to use your imagination. It felt like being in a big Hollywood movie.’
INDUSTRIALISTS ARE MINING MARS FOR ITS NATURAL RESOURCES THE SCIENTISTS MUSTNOW SHARE THE PLANET WITH MINERS CLÉMENTINE POIDATZ AS AMELIE DURAND