On Blu-ray this week from National Geographic, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and the Executive Producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard is the series “Mars.”
The year is 2033 and a mission to Mars that is not starting off well. With the crew consisting of Commander Sawyer (Ben Cotton), Hana Seung (Jihae Kim), Amelie Durand (Clementine Poidatz), Robert Foucault (Sammi Rotibi), Javier Delgado (Alberto Ammann and Marta Kamen (Anamaria Marinca) they are being observed carefully by CEO of Mars Mission Ed Grann (Oliver Martinez).
On Mars the terrain is difficult as the crew of the Daedalus look for a place to set up a base camp. The story also unfolds as SpaceX works on a reusable rocket in the present and Kelly becomes the only person in NASA to spend the most time in space while Antarctica becomes a practice settlement.
Jumping four years on Mars, a massive storm means the crew must look for somewhere else to set up a camp. Walking through the blinding storm they find the most unexpected place to begin again.
At the same time some of the crew is suffering from “cabin fever” and the commander is made aware of it. It isn’t in time however as a botanist opens an airlock sending the camp into chaos and killing himself and other members of the team. So much is lost setting the mission back but repairs begin.
After everything that has happened to the crew and the question of whether to continue or return home is the topic of conversation. That could possibly be a useless conversation when the crew believes they have found life on Mars!
Other cast include Kata Sarbo as Ava, Antoinette Fekete as Sam, and Cosima Shaw as Leslie Richardson.
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The series filled with realism mixing drama and documentary adds the appearances by Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Stephen Petranek. There is everything to be pulled in by “Mars” and it’s our human curiosity to know more about the planet that makes this series inviting.
This cast brings everything unique to each character and although they are sharing the same experience, they are experiencing it so very differently. Knowing that they must rely on one another, it isn’t as if they can call ‘home’ and get help.
I found myself jaw dropped, gasping for a breath (especially when the airlock opened!), curious, wondering, shocked, and more which is, I’m sure, exactly the intent of “Mars”. To bring out the amazing emotions that are engrained in our desire to know more about the red planet. Added to this is the breath taking cinematography and special effects that invite the audience to be on “Mars” with the crew.
The Blu-ray includes the episodes “Novo Mundo,” “Grounded,” “Pressure Drop,” “Power,” “Darkest Days” and “Crossroads.” The special features include “Making ‘Mars,’” “BEFORE ‘Mars’ – A Prequel,” “BEFORE ‘Mars’ Behind the Scenes,” “Getting to ‘Mars’ Featurettes,” “Living on ‘Mars’ Featurettes,” “More ‘Mars’ Featurettes” and “Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes.”
It is so worth the time to watch the special features of “Mars” because they are as amazing and stunning to see as the series itself. With two hours of cast and crew interviews, how often does a series give you a prequel on the same Blu-ray as the series? I can’t recall it happening.
In the end — we went to the moon because we wanted to; we went to Mars because we had to!