Mars: Season 1 (2016)


Season 1

Critics Consensus

Ron Howard's direction ensures that Mars is an attractive endeavor, even if the show struggles to move smoothly between its documentary and fictional elements.



Critic Ratings: 18


Audience Score

User Ratings: 221

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Air date: Nov 14, 2016

In 2033, the first human mission to Mars enters the planet's atmosphere, but the Daedalus crew faces a life-threatening emergency when the ship's landing system goes offline. The crew's commander risks his life to fix the problem as Mission Control monitors back on Earth. Interwoven within the drama, in 2016, SpaceX is attempting to land the world's first reusable rocket to pioneer the critical technology that will help humans reach Mars.

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Air date: Nov 21, 2016

In 2033, the Daedalus crew battles the harsh Martian terrain to reach the safety of its pre-built base camp. A race against the clock begins when the ship commander reveals he has been injured during landing. In present day, NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly is undergoing a historic yearlong mission on the International Space Station, revealing both the physical and emotional hardships astronauts face.

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Air date: Nov 28, 2016

In 2033, the Daedalus mission is in jeopardy as the crew struggles to find a permanent shelter that can provide long-term protection from radiation. The team must locate a suitable site for their settlement before their mission is cut short. In current day, the European Space Agency and Roscosmos, Russia's former federal space agency, partner to launch an orbiter to help future Mars missions prepare for settlement through advanced imagery.

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Air date: Dec 5, 2016

It's 2037: four years have passed since the Daedalus crew landed on Mars and established its first settlement, Olympus Town. A new crew arrives to help execute plans for expansion and search for life when a dust storm threatens the outpost. In present day, the bustling McMurdo Station in Antarctica currently serves as a modern example of how humans will settle Mars as scientists look to discover life on another planet.

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Air date: Dec 12, 2016

In 2037, the dust storm has lasted for months, and Olympus Town's infrastructure, along with its residents' well-being, suffers. The psychological pressures of life on Mars reveal themselves while the crew is trapped inside the habitat. In current day, modern-day scientists study the effects of extreme isolation among various long-term analog missions to prepare for a future manned mission to Mars.

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Air date: Dec 19, 2016

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.

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Air date: Dec 23, 2016

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of "MARS."

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Air date: Nov 12, 2018

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Tv Season Info

The year is 2033, and our first manned mission to Mars is about to become reality. As a clock counts down the final 90 seconds to landing, an expert crew of astronauts endures the final harrowing moments before touching down on the red planet. Even with the best training and resources available, the maiden crew of the Daedalus spacecraft must push itself to the brink of human capability in order to successfully establish the first sustainable colony on Mars. Set both in the future and in the present day, the global miniseries event MARS blends feature film-caliber scripted elements set in the future with documentary vérité interviews with today?s best and brightest minds in modern science and innovation, illuminating how research and development is creating the space technology that will enable our first attempt at a mission to Mars. National Geographic Channel; Academy Award- and Emmy-winning producers Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg of Imagine Entertainment; and Justin Wilkes and Dave O?Connor of RadicalMedia have joined forces to launch us into outer space, with visionary Mexican filmmaker Everardo Gout (?Days of Grace?) tapped to direct the scripted portions of this groundbreaking miniseries event.

News & Interviews for Mars: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Mars Season 1

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (9)

While fleeing this planet for a new life on Mars may be tempting right now for more than just scientific reasons, Nat Geo's intriguing effort to show us how such a trip could actually happen proves convincing on its own.

Nov 14, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

It appears the once reliable filmmaker has lost contact with human emotions. To get back on the winning track, Howard will have to reconnect with his inner Opie and return to heartfelt dramas and comedies led by irresistible stars.

Nov 11, 2016 | Full Review…

A particularly handsome production that dares viewers to dream the impossible - and dares them to watch some sporadically cheesy dramatizations, too.

Nov 11, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

The format is ambitious, and if some parts don't entirely work, there's still a lot to like and learn in Mars.

Nov 11, 2016 | Full Review…

The real stuff is meant to be juxtaposed with the fictionalized story, but only exposes how dull it is.

Nov 14, 2016 | Full Review…

Mars itself is a ride that's only worth taking part of the time.

Nov 14, 2016 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Significant plot developments keeps the story moving along organically. The witty banter between all the characters keeps you smiling, with pop culture references having been upgraded to include quips about Marvel movies and Lena Dunham.

May 24, 2017 | Full Review…

National Geographic Channel is treading into uncharted, unexplored territories with Mars... If only the landing had been softer, the pilot been better, we would have had some hope.

Dec 31, 2016 | Full Review…

Outstanding Mars mission series has suspenseful moments.

Nov 15, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Save for the eerily gorgeous production design, the 2033 half offers little to Mars's raison d'être: to inspire.

Nov 15, 2016 | Full Review…

The fictional narrative is well-executed and, paired with the documentary segments and excellent production values, drums up a real sense of excitement for something that could happen in our lifetime.

Nov 15, 2016 | Full Review…

Mars becomes a tribute to the best instincts of humanity and an almost hypnotic recruitment drive. Space travel will not be easy. But it's the best hope we have. And what an adventure it will be.

Nov 14, 2016 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mars: Season 1

  • Mar 11, 2019
    Definitely different, this TV series shines a light to the fascination many of us have with the idea of earth people forming a colony on Mars, but... this show lacks heart. The pacing is wrong. It seems too quick and jagged. The scenes lack detail, often just skimming the surface. However, the parallels between documentary-style 2016 and fictional 2033+ show an interesting comparison to what may be in our near future, based on factual events that are happening today. Today's facts, which are revealed in the documentary by interviews and actual news footage, foreshadow the fictional future in a way I've never seen depicted with a television series. I admire the boldness of this series. It's just misses the mark and lacks emotion. It's as cold as space.
    Amy A Super Reviewer
  • Mar 02, 2019
    Brilliant and underrated. I thought this "documentary" was in a class of it's own and deserves a new genre in that it showed a sci-fi version of the future of where we are headed to draw the audience in, then shifts back to the past and present to show what events back the storyline. I love documentaries, but I get bored easily and don't commit much of the information too long term memory. After watching this series not only was I fully entertained, but was able to rattle off information as if I took a semester of the history of space exploration.
  • Mar 01, 2019
    The last episode is the worst i've seen ever. The ignorance of the writers and editors is honestly amazing. Apparently the green house has a door that go straight into the open air, no air lock, NOTHING. And they had no way of locking this off while watching him open it. I'm just not convinced that whoever wrote this is dumb enough to think there wouldn't be an airlock ANYWHERE that leads out doors. End of rant, sorry that just made me so mad thinking this was a well thought out docu/drama.
  • Feb 26, 2019
    Its a great show. Ive seen just about every scifi show and movie out there. However, constantly inserting historical clips and interviews (50%) of the time gets annoying and boring, just play the show we all wanna see, 2037 not 2016
  • Feb 24, 2019
    Excellent cast and I love how they bring in scientists commentary.
  • Feb 10, 2019
    Just finished binge-watching this Netflix series. Awesome !!
  • Jan 10, 2019
    Better than season 2.
  • Jan 08, 2019
    I hate the format. Too many political agendas being espoused and not enough actual science. Commentary is pompous.
  • Dec 18, 2018
    I love the style of weaving an educational program together with a fictional story that helps viewers grasp the challenges of traveling to and living on Mars.
  • Dec 16, 2018
    What many fail to see tis that this is not a drama with documentary interspersed to support it, but the opposite. A documentary with a drama line to support it.

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