Two-season series Mars is part documentary, part science fiction drama. National Geographic has used real-life footage from NASA, astronaut and scientist interviews, as well as equipment to add a sense of reality to the story.
The 12 episodes can be streamed on Showmax, and follow mission commander Ben Sawyer (Ben Cotton) as he leads the race to land on Mars. It’s not an easy journey and the alien planet is particularly cruel.
The show has impressive special effects – you’ll feel giddy as the spacecraft lands, putting the astronauts through eye-bursting G-forces. You need to keep focused, though, because there’s a lot of scientific info in the script, which, unless you’re an astronaut, can be a little daunting.
Have no fear though: as Kevin Murnane from Forbes.com writes, Mars is a blasting good time: “I didn’t expect the show would be as compelling as it is. National Geographic has put together a portfolio about a manned mission to Mars that is deep, rich and educational in the best sense of the term if you are interested in planetary science, space technology, science fiction or an intriguing approach to filmed storytelling.”