Mars, a show on the National Geographic channel. Actually one of the few times I follow the shows on there. Usually, I pass by the National Geogrpahic channel and if there’s something interesting on, I stay there. Mars is a show I go there specifically to watch.
It’s really right up my alley. I’m interested in space travel and expanding the human race. Mars is pretty much our best educated guess at how we’re going to do that and when. The show takes is sort of part documentary part space drama. The going to Mars part takes place in 2033. Then there are scenes of 2016 and before showing all of the relevant research and experiments that helped us along.
It’s a pretty interesting format. I’m just going to take whatever happens in 2016 as real and not fiction, but I don’t know. At least I know that the people interviewed are experts in the field. And it helps lend an air of authenticity to the show and the techniques of how to live on Mars.
Then there’s the main part of the show, showing us what it would be like to set up the first colony on Mars. I haven’t read the book it’s based on, but I think what they say seems reasonable. The only real thing none of the shows or movies on Mars deals with is the gravity difference between Mars and Earth. I believe Mars has a bit over 1/3rd the gravity of Earth.
Now, I totally understand why no one references it. It would just be too hard to simulate that. The characters can’t talk about it either since the audience can’t see anything different with the gravity compared to how it is on Earth. It would just be confusing.
The style of the show is one of those slow, somber types. Characters take long pauses between speaking and there is a lot of silent scenes. I think it was executed well, and the look of Mars was good. It felt like a desolate world with only a group of people against the planet. I think the cast did a fine job.
Each episode is dealing with a problem that happens on Mars mixed in with something going wrong for good measure. I know things have to go wrong to have drama, but it would be cool to have a rousing success, too, show that it can happen. But the drama never got too heavy for me. All of the characters were competent and professional despite their stressful situations.
And I really liked their little video journals. It gives the characters a private outlet for whatever they’re thinking about the mission. The scenes back on Earth at 2033 were a good way to contrast what the people on Mars were facing with the realities of what it took to get them there. Which is basically a lot of support back home. The mission to mars would be a global effort.
Overall, I just really like the idea of this show. It’s about the future, about getting out there. It’s something I want to see happen in real life.