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Photo Credit:  National Geographic/Dusan Martincek
  • Premiered: 
    November 14, 2016
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Nat Geo
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Science Fiction
  • Tags: space, astronauts

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  • Complete Series
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  • Complete Series [Blu-ray]
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  • Season 2
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Legal Full Episodes
Not Available Online
(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

Executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, MARS is a six-part global event series that tells the story of mankind's quest to colonize the Red Planet. Set both in the future and in the present day, this series uses scripted storytelling that focuses on Earth's first crewed mission to Mars aboard the spacecraft Daedalus and interweaves the story with a collection of interviews with the top scientific minds currently working to overcome the many obstacles that stand in the way of an eventual maiden launch. In this story, the future of space travel is funded through a corporate-public partnership of two fictional organizations: the Mars Mission Corporation (MMC), a consortium of aerospace corporations formed in 2022 and headquartered in London that builds and manages the technological hardware for the Mars program, and the International Mars Science Foundation (IMSF), which was created by a coalition of space-faring nations to carry out a mission to Mars. Daedalus' maiden voyage in 2033 is crewed by a carefully selected international crew of six uniquely qualified astronauts, including American mission commander Ben Sawyer, Korean American mission pilot Hana Seung, Spanish hydrologist and geochemist Javier Delgado, French mission physician and biochemist Amelie Durand, Nigerian mechanical engineer and roboticist Robert Foucault and Russian exobiologist and geologist Marta Kamen. Back on Earth, the MMC control team based in London includes Hana Seung's twin sister, capsule communicator (CAPCOM) Joon Seung and French CEO of the MMC Ed Grann. Once Daedalus successfully lands on Mars and sets up a preliminary base of operations, British nuclear physicist Leslie Richardson will lead a Phase 2 settlement team along with her husband, world-renowned experimental botanist Dr. Paul Richardson. In addition to Elon Musk, who allowed exclusive access to his team at SpaceX mission control as they successfully landed their Falcon 9 reusable rocket on a drone ship off the East Coast of the United States, MARS also features interviews with these scientists: Charles Bolden, NASA administrator and former NASA astronaut; Peter Diamandis, founder and executive chairman, X-Prize and co-founder and co-chairman, Planetary Resources; Neil DeGrasse Tyson, director, Hayden Planetarium at The Rose Center for Earth and Space; David Dinges, professor, department of psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania; Casey Dreier, director, space policy, Planetary Society; Ann Druyan, executive producer and writer, Cosmos; Charles Elachi, retired director, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) and professor emeritus, Caltech; Jim Green, NASA planetary science division director; John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate and former NASA astronaut; Jennifer Heldmann, NASA planetary scientist; Jedidah Isler, award-winning astrophysicist and emerging Explorer, National Geographic; Thomas Kalil, deputy director, policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and senior advisor, science, technology and innovation, National Economic Council; Roger Launius, associate director, collections and curatorial affairs, Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum; John Logsdon, professor emeritus, political science and international affairs, George Washington University; James Lovell, former NASA astronaut and commander, Apollo 13 mission; Stephen Petranek, author, "How We'll Live on Mars"; Mary Roach, author, "Packing for Mars"; Jennifer Trosper, Mars 2020 mission manager, JPL; Andy Weir, author, "The Martian"; and Robert Zubrin, president, The Mars Society and president, Pioneer Astronautics. On Monday, December 19, 2016 at 9pm ET/PT, Nat Geo premiered "Crossroads," the season finale of MARS. In 2037, a devastating tragedy on the colony forces everyone on Mars and Earth to question the mission. While Olympus Town tries to cope persevere, controlling groups back on Earth struggle with the decision whether to end the mission. In present day, SpaceX again attempts to pioneer the rocket technology that would help mankind reach the planet.

Season 2 of MARS premieres Monday, November 12, 2018 at 9pm ET/PT on Nat Geo. The second season is a hybrid, six-episode arc that alternates between scripted drama and documentary sequences to predict what life will be like on the Red Planet forecasted by what's happening now on Earth. MARS picks up five years after the conclusion of Season 1, following the successful maiden mission to the Red Planet when the original International Mars Science Foundation (IMSF) crew struggled to safely land on and create an initial settlement. It's now the year 2042, and IMSF has established a fully-fledged colony, Olympus Town, but they cannot finance the Mars expedition alone. Doors of opportunity have swung wide open to the private sector, but tensions arise among original mission-driven scientists and miners sent by the for-profit corporation, Lukrum Industries, which create a new world of challenges for everyone on the Red Planet.

On the scripted front, the series tackles seemingly everyday occurrences -- pregnancy, break ups, new romances, epidemics, breakdowns, power outages, injuries, exercise, mealtimes and socializing. But when they occur approximately 34 million isolated miles from Earth -- where there is no escape -- they are anything but ordinary. And while the mission-driven scientists, who first set foot on Red Planet nine years earlier, initially are alarmed by their new neighbors, some soon find themselves understanding and comingling with 'the other side.' Life on Mars intensifies when scientists who are searching for new life get upended by Lukrum's mining mission; the worst natural disaster hits home; the first-generation Martian baby enters the new world; and when loved ones draw their last breath.

On the documentary front, present-day vignettes draw parallels to the future happenings on Mars by looking at some of the dire issues facing Earth's last frontier -- the Arctic. This includes a spectrum of events that currently are compromising life on Earth -- and could plague us in the future as we become an interplanetary species: drilling, glacial melting, rising sea level and indigenous health epidemics which surface when the permafrost melts.

On-camera experts -- dubbed 'Big Thinkers' -- once again navigate the audience through the struggles and opportunities awaiting humans on Mars. This elite group includes some of the biggest names in human exploration, technology, the environment and social science, such as Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO; Ellen Stofan, former NASA Chief; Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist and futurist; Casey Dreier, director of space policy at the Planetary Society; Antonia Juhasz, leading oil and energy expert; and Naomi Klein, bestselling author, activist and award-winning journalist on climate change.
On Monday, December 17, 2018 at 9pm ET/PT, National Geographic Channel premiered the Season 2 finale of MARS. In the season ender, "The Shake Up," Lukrum pushes its corporate interest too far and jeopardizes the safety of both colonies. IMSF springs into action to stabilize the situation, but, for some, it will be too late. On Earth, human activity destabilizes the natural world.


Production & Distribution

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