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National Geographic Channel to show 'Journey to Mars'

Mars showcases the dramatic setbacks and successes of the modern scientific space revolution, while envisioning mankind’s first attempt to colonise the distant planet

September 19, 2016

NGC-Mars

Premiering this November on National Geographic, Mars — set both in the future and in the present day — will redefine television storytelling. It will combine feature film-quality scripted drama and visual effects with best-in-class documentary sequences to drive forward a cohesive, edge-of-your-seat story of mankind’s thrilling quest to colonise Mars.

National Geographic Channel; Academy award and Emmy winning producers Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg of Imagine Entertainment; and Academy award-nominated and Emmy winning producer Justin Wilkes, Academy award and Emmy winning producer Jon Kamen, and Dave O’Connor of RadicalMedia and visionary Mexican filmmaker Everardo Gout (‘Days of Grace’), have joined forces to launch viewers farther into outer space than ever before with the series, Mars.

The epic six-part global event series tells the inspiring story from the vantage point of a fictitious crewed mission to Mars in 2033. Executive producers Howard and Grazer hand-selected Gout to direct all six episodes of the series, filmed earlier this year in Budapest and Morocco. The scripted portion focuses on earth’s first crewed mission to Mars aboard the spacecraft Daedalus. Its maiden voyage in 2033 is crewed by a carefully selected international team of six uniquely qualified astronauts.

The team includes, American mission commander Ben Sawyer (Ben Cotton), Korean-American mission pilot Hana Seung (Jihae), Spanish hydrologist and geochemist Javier Delgado (Alberto Ammann), French mission physician and biochemist Amelie Durand (Clementine Poidatz), Nigerian mechanical engineer and roboticist Robert Foucault (Sammi Rotibi) and Russian exobiologist and geologist Marta Kamen (Anamaria Marinca). Back on Earth, the Mars Mission Corporation (MMC) control team based in London includes Hana Seung’s twin sister, capsule communicator Joon Seung (also played by Jihae), and French CEO of the MMC, Ed Grann (Olivier Martinez).

Once Daedalus successfully lands on Mars and sets up a preliminary base of operations, British nuclear physicist Leslie Richardson (Cosima Shaw) will lead a Phase 2 settlement team along with her husband, world-renowned experimental botanist Dr Paul Richardson (John Light).

Mars brings together all of the world’s leading minds in a way never before accomplished — think of the world’s largest TED talk with the most fascinating people on Earth. Those interviewed on camera for the series include the following:

  • Charles Bolden, Administrator, Former Astronaut, NASA
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director, Hayden Planetarium
  • Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO, XPRIZE Foundation
  • David Dinges, Director, Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania
  • Casey Dreier, Director of Space Policy, The Planetary Society
  • Ann Druyan, Creative Director, Voyager Interstellar Mission, NASA
  • Charles Elachi, Director, LPL (Ret.)
  • Jim Green, Division Director, Planetary Science, NASA
  • John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator, Former Astronaut, NASA
  • Jennifer Heldmann, Planetary Scientist, NASA
  • Jedidah Isler, award-winning astrophysicist; emerging Explorer, National Geographic
  • Thomas Kalil, Deputy Director, White House Office of Science and Technology
  • Roger Launius, Smithsonian Institution
  • John Logsdon, Founder, Space Policy Institute, George Washington University
  • James Lovell, Former NASA Astronaut, Apollo 13 Commander
  • Elon Musk, CEO SpaceX
  • 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’
  • Robert Zubrin, President, The Mars Society

National Geographic will extend the Mars storytelling in an unprecedented cross-platform effort, including a six-part digital companion prequel series. Before Mars, which will launch prior to the premiere, is an extensive digital virtual reality experience at www.MakeMarsHome.com. There will be the Mars Experience installation in New York City this October. Further, Mars will be the November cover story of National Geographic magazine and will be featured in a stand-alone National Geographic book, ‘Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet,’ on sale from October 25. The NG Kids book, ‘Mars: The Red Planet,’ will go on sale on September 27. There will be media and educational materials for kids, a touring NG live speakers series and ongoing Mars coverage on nationalgeographic.com.

Mars is produced by Imagine Entertainment and RadicalMedia for NGC. For Imagine Entertainment, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg are executive producers. For RadicalMedia, Justin Wilkes, Jon Kamen, Dave O’Connor, Jonathan Silberberg are executive producers. For NGC, Robert Palumbo is executive producer; Matt Renner is vice-president, production; and Tim Pastore is president, original programming and production.

Media contacts:

Kriti Bhargava

Kriti.Bhargava@bm.com

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