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  • I was really looking forward to this series. Like "Red Planet" and "Mission To Mars" but without the fictional hooey. Like "The Martian" but in grander scale, with many scientists doing their thing, not just one. Bah; I was quite wrong.

    Apparently, in the year 2033, we've completely run out of scientists, and instead sent a bunch of backstabbing, whiny hipsters to Mars. If they had any formal training in science, they forgot it all. They certainly don't mention anything scientific in their dialogue with each other. They do not even appear to be doing any scientific work once they arrive - just bickering over their mission, and passive-aggressively hiding useful information from each other, causing bonehead accidents.

    What can you do, when you see great frontiers being explored, and cool hardware brought to bear, and you want to smile and enjoy it ... but the people doing it are always upset, depressed, or appallingly unobservant?

    Three episodes in, and I quit, because I realized I was actually _dreading_ the next episode, not anticipating it. I was just waiting for them to have their next unnecessary argument or make their next totally avoidable mistake.

    How could man's next great frontier be so ... joyless??
  • Oh dear, where do i start? While i was really excited for the premise of a mars colony series, this isn't what i was hoping for.

    At first the documentary-style segments give it an authentic feel. Yet after a while it really interferes with the pacing of the story. Whenever the situation gets dramatic, there is a cut to Elon Musk or Neil Degrasse Tyson blue-balling us with another scientific explanation. They should have stopped this after the first episode, as it really comes across as filler after that.

    What i also couldn't take was the huge character discrepancy between the real life astronaut and his fictional counterparts. While Scott Kelly is a warm and controlled guy, who takes the one-year- separation from his family in a laid-back "it's my job"-attitude, the protagonists of the series seem to get emotional at the slightest mishaps. Add to that the fact they act more like teenagers than professionals with decades of experience.

    And finally this seems like the worst space voyage in human history. A blind and hesitant ground control, hardly any reserves, moronic hiring philosophy... If any real mars trip would be happening like this, they would fire the management and drop the whole project.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I gave up on the first season because of a lot of science and the "we are humans therefore we must do very stupid things" attitude.

    This continued in the second season.

    First off there was the blatant disregard for human life when Lukrum arrives and debris from their landing capsule almost kills two people in suits on the surface as well as taking out an installation.

    Their scientific excuse: They could not know where it would land. Wrong: they know exactly in what area it would land. Maybe not down to the last meters but they will know the area the debris will impact. We can do this for planes that breakup in the air on earth and make a predictable area of where to search for debris.

    Second off. The CME. Solar storms do not travel with the speed of light. There are hours of warning before the storm arrives in case of a carrington event. On Earth. That warning time is about 24 hours and is essential to put satellites and more into safe mode so that they do not get damaged even in small solar storms.

    Third. The fact that they cannot navigate the Martian landscape without GPS (supposedly knocked out by CME) is unbelievable. Astronauts on Mars would have made sure to have a backup plan. Navigating by the stars seem to be an easy one for a computer.

    4th. The rover just have to little power and to little air for a vehicle of its size. I event think the astronaut only brought 1 tank of oxygen for her suit but i cannot remember that clearly now.

    5th. If a persons body temprature is 29 degrees: They would be passed out in deep coma.Here from wikipedia that seems to be credible

    31 °C (87.8 °F) - Comatose, very rarely conscious. No or slight reflexes. Very shallow breathing and slow heart rate. Possibility of serious heart rhythm problems. 28 °C (82.4 °F) - Severe heart rhythm disturbances are likely and breathing may stop at any time. Patient may appear to be dead.

    Instead she is breathing heavily and talking and very conscious about Lukrum not f... up her samples. all that at 29 degrees body temperature.

    I gave up again.

    It is some pretty basic stuff they dont display correct.
  • I enjoyed season one. The back and forth between the story and the science was a little shaky, but it worked.

    Season two was an abosolute mess. Here is a science colony which does basically no science. It's a science colony but their priority isn't exploring, but terraforming? It makes no sense. A colony should have exploration teams fanning out across the planet, not huddle underground. And what "science" they are supposedly doing is farcical. My college chemistry lab used better containment procedures than these idiots. And the "documentary" breaks were one long anti-capitalist screed, And even that was so over-the-top as to be laughable. First Exxon only cares about its shareholders. Then all it cares about is power.

    Season two was basically a simplistic diatribe about why socialism is good and capitalism is evil.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The initial concept of MARS was interesting - combine real people in current science and space exploration with a fictional setting on how humans might colonize Mars a few years into the future. Season 1 showed the astronauts facing overwhelming odds just to survive and establish a colony, while searching for signs of life. Season 2, however, quickly became a commercial for anti-capitalist, global warming advocacy. It seems like NatGeo and the show's writers couldn't help themselves, and it caused me to turn off the show halfway through S2 EP3. When the broadcast time is being filled with more Greenpeace demonstrations than the portrayal of exploration on Mars, I saw no need to watch any further.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    So, taken individually, the two components that go to make up each episode of Mars are fine. The fictitious story of colonising Mars is a kind of low rent deal, but it works well enough for what it is and is enjoyable for the most part. The scientific discussion parts, designed to draw parrallels between what has happened on Earth in the past and what might occur on Mars due to political considerations are also, for the most part, fine, if overly preachy.

    What isn't fine, however, is the fusion of the two. It sort of worked in the first season as a kind of novelty, but the second season has become a bit of a slog. My hands are twitching towards the fast forward button every time the story is cut short to discuss how people/politicians/businesses would do things on Earth. It's getting in the way, frankly, and it is becoming more annoying with each episode.

    The over-reliance of these fill-in sections (increasingly, that is what they are) is becoming more and more apparent as the series progresses. If you haven't watched it, imagine a TV show where, in place of a momentary fade-to-black between scenes, you get a minutes-long dry discussion of something completely different instead, complete with irrelevant nonsense.

    If I want to see Trump's Mars-coloured face gurning at me from my TV screen, I'll just watch the news. When I watch something that, fictional or not, is concerning our species future, his is the last face I want to be subjected to.

    I won't pretend that the storyline of the show is particularly riveting, or ground-breaking. But it is way more interesting than being reminded every few minutes of how awful humans are and how exploitative they can be.

    What I would like is a version of this series with all the irrelevant dross removed. A version that is just the story and not the political nonsense and point-making that it seems to be increasingly pushing at you. I know I have the benefit of a fast forward button, but it makes the whole thing a chore to watch.

    Increasingly, I am finding it hard to find the enthusiasm for each new episode, despite wanting to see how the story plays out. Increasingly, it seems as if the makers are more intent on getting their views across rather than telling a story. Increasingly, it seems like they are padding out the series with junk to fit a run-time.

    SUMMARY: Increasingly preachy and political. Remember when writers had their characters make the points they wanted to get across for them? Not in Mars! Here you get the equivalent of a tedious voice-over narrative! A disjointed mess thanks to the format, that requires a real effort of will to slog through it. Not recommended unless you have a good fast-twitch response time in order to hit the fast forward.
  • I like the comment where someone said this isn't science fiction but science future. It does take relevant clips and interviews from the past and present which provide educational information and sometimes opinions.

    Will we go to Mars? Hell yes. Do we need to? No. Should we? Hell yes. Think how much the world benefited by the challenge we faced by going to the moon and how much technology was developed from doing so.

    Going to Mars is just a first step and there is so much to learn from taking on the challenge. We may very well learn to solve some of the present or future problems that we will be facing here on earth by looking for solutions to living on Mars.

    Now my comments on the story side of the show.

    I am a fan of Elon Musk but why do I get the feeling like this is a one big commercial for the SpaceX program? I have to agree with some comments in that the story line is weak in that much of the planning and contingency planning that would normally be done is not represented in the show. So far with two episodes I have given up on questioning why things are happening as they do and just accept it at face value for the entertainment aspect.

    The budget for the show may be limited but National Geographic is providing some great links for the show as well from which includes cast information and interviews, recaps, online viewing, and the Before Mars episode to get folks engaged with the actors.
  • drjgardner15 November 2016
    The new mini-series MARS is not like most science fiction films or TV entries. Instead it is more like "science future" rather than science fiction – an extension of existing knowledge and techniques to the near future. More specifically, the authors envision what it would be like to travel to Mars in 2033. Because it is "science future" and not science fiction, most of what we're watching seems familiar.

    Each episode looks like a documentary made in 2033 about the pioneers of the Mars movement. So we see interviews of people like Elon Musk and they talk about the Space X program. Then it switches to real time and we see the trials and tribulations of the first people to land on Mars.

    As clever as the science future element is, there is a fictional story here as well, concerned with troubles that happen on the approach to Mars and the landing and the subsequent attempt to colonize the planet. This part of the series is lacking, not merely in character development, but also in action. It is slow going, but probably not unlike what it would be if you were there.

    Among the most interesting elements are the decisions that have to be made about the program and comparisons between this future project and major exploratory projects of the past.

    This series is definitely worth watching.
  • I have enjoyed this hypothetical drama of the exploration of Mars. Season one was very enjoyable. At the time I gave it an 8 out of 10. I was very excited for season two, only to find that the amount of preachiness was significantly amped up. I can't get past the preachy aspect of season two, so I have dropped my review down to a 6 out of 10. Hopefully season 3 goes back to the glory of season 1.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    My expectations were sky high for Mars, a national geographic mini-series produced by Ron Howard that promised to be the definitive word on Man's first mission to the Red Planet. The subject has fascinated me since I was a kid, watching the Spirit and Opportunity rovers land on the surface of Mars in 2004. As someone interested in the material, I saw this new Mars documentary as an opportunity to catch up on the most current thoughts about a manned mission to Mars. However, this National Geographic mini-series squanders the opportunity, providing precious little in the way of concrete information about a mission to Mars, and providing far too much in the way of ponderous melodrama.

    The series is split between a documentary-style exploration of the newest technologies and theories regarding a Mars mission, and a fictional story of what a Mars mission might look like (Titles cards "2016" and "2033" note the changes). In the right hands, this structure might work, but even with a big name like Ron Howard attached, Mars is a thorough failure in both ways.

    To begin with, it should be noted that while the series is split between two stories, the attention given is not 50/50. The 2033 story takes up about 75% of the series, and that is a two-folded problem. One, the 2033 story is totally uninteresting, and two, it limits what the 2016 story can tell. The result is a documentary that has nothing to teach. The entire 2016 portion of the series is made up of nebulous pontificating about the importance of a manned mission to Mars. We get a non-stop barrage of lines like, "We look to the stars" "It is our destiny as human beings", "A paradigm shift for humanity", and so on, without a single word about the science or engineering challenges of such a mission. Even the scenes such as the SpaceX launch or the spotlight on astronaut Mark Kelly, where the series should be able to provide some facts, Mars uses as an opportunity for more pretentious melodrama. I want to know how a SpaceX rocket would land on Mars, I don't care about what Elon Musk felt like when he launched a prototype. I want to know what an astronaut would do during a flight to Mars, I don't care what his daughter thinks about him while he's up there.

    Nowhere is the melodrama more apparent than in the fictional 2033 section of the series. It is apparent from the first 10 minutes of the first episode, that Mars' fictional section has no interest in realism. The "diverse" cast is made up of walking cartoons (How many tough foreign women and Africans are we sending to Mars?), and they apparently spend the entirety of their trip in cartoon action scenes. The way this series handles deaths on Mars is somehow both outlandishly juvenile and stupefyingly pretentious (The scene where the plant guy goes crazy and kills a bunch of people is one of the stupidest things I'll ever see). What makes matters worse is the look of the 2033 sections. Mars has never looked uglier. Barren as it is, the real Mars has a kind of untouched beauty. With director Everardo Gout, Mars has the oppressive gray sheen of the worst that digital videography has to offer. Even with a noticeably expensive production, Mars is a horrible visual experience where it should be great.

    National Geographic's Mars is a monumental disappointment for me. I was ready for a big-budget update on the continuing struggle to put a man on Mars. Unfortunately, this series is all melodrama. Mars is not interested in educating anyone about the Red Planet or how we might get there. What we get is a self-important mess, a lecture about nothing, a terrible documentary and an embarrassing drama. If you are looking for a series with actual information about a manned mission to Mars as well as a fictionalized account of such a mission, check out Mars Rising and Race To Mars. Neither are perfect, but they are a world more substantial than this National Geographic series.

  • The Mars part of it is OK. But I'm tired of the injection of political opinion during the "documentary" parts.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I enjoyed Mars, mainly because I like space exploration and the tech involved. The mixing of documentary footage, interviews of real people and then hopping forward in time to the fictional mission worked quite well. What I didn't like were the implausible series of disasters besetting the crew.

    During the Apollo era every activity to be undertaken either in the spacecraft or on the surface in EVA suits was meticulously planned and rehearsed hundreds of times. How likely would it be for a situation to arise on Mars where they would bungle sorting out their power supply, and have that happen right when the worst dust storm in history occurs... Like they would not have seen the weather system developing in time to bring forward the power cable work, or have extra people out there for such a mission critical EVA?

    And the lack of dual airlocks in the plant laboratory for dramatic license when the plant guy goes bananas... Not to mention that no one noticed he was that far over the edge until too late.

    A real shame they did not focus on the science on Mars and the real issues, rather than trying to make it into a TV movie.
  • kmhammer-6647921 December 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    Watched through Season 2, Episode 3:

    There is a lot to like about the production values and overall story in this series, but it suffers from several really bad scientific gaffs. The worst of these is in the episode where an exterior door is opened by a delusional member of the crew resulting in the violent venting the atmosphere out of one wing of the colony habitat, destroying the wing and killing several people. Even if such an idiotic design existed (there was no airlock), the pressure inside the wing would have made it impossible for the door to be opened by a simple lever. Other gaffs include the ultimately fatal injury of a crew member who, after months in zero G tries to climb up into the spaceships control room against a 5 G force when the only sane thing to do would have been to go to the lower end of the ship and ride out the landing. The individual falls, suffers a ruptured spleen and cardiac tamponade yet manages to walk nearly 50 miles in this state. Both are medical emergencies requiring immediate surgery. Another individual dies in transit to Mars due to a meningioma (a non-cancerous tumor that even today can be easily treated and rarely leads to death). Lastly, a pipeline is built on the planets surface to transfer water from one colony to another over a great distance. As the surface temperature of Mars drops way below the freezing point of water at night, the pipeline would be destroyed on the first night by expansion of the water as it turned to ice.

    Apart from that, there is a fair amount of PC spread throughout both the fictional and documentary elements of the program. The fictional part portrays one group, run by a corporation, much like the military is portrayed in many anti-war pictures. The documentary portion is actually more even handed.

    Follow up on completing season 2:

    Sorry to say that the last three episodes of season 2 jumped the science shark on two major points. First, in episode 4, "Contagion," the lack of a proper biohazard containment system when dealing with unknown organisms is laughable. Further, the rapidity in which the organism infects and kills is off the charts (it makes an ebola infection seem like slow motion). The rapidity in which an antibiotic cures those infected, despite severe lung damage, is highly improbable. In the final episode, the sudden loss of power to the mining colony leads to an absurdly rapid loss of breathable oxygen. Contrast this with the first season where the scientific colony lasts for months with inadequate power due to a protracted dust storm. Lastly, something I did not mention earlier: the biggest issue facing the scientific colony in the first season was needing to get underground to avoid radiation exposure. This issue nearly resulted in failure of the colony. Meanwhile, the commercial colony is situated entirely above ground. Very inconsistent to say the least.

    The PC goes over the top in these last three episodes. The "Earth" portion of the program becomes an almost continuous attack on industry and mankind in general. Scientists are all altruistic (never mind that many of them work in industry - the dark side must have taken them over). The fictional portion also makes the corporation out to be revolting, but is not as extreme. And some of the scientific colony members do recognize there culpability regarding spread of the contagion.

    Consider these caveats as to whether you want to spend time on this series when you are looking for some down time The overall production values and SFX are good, much of the science is accurate but there are some rather frustrating issues you will need to overlook.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I love the idea of the story jumping between 2016 and 2033 to see the now and the future, but I find it sad that the Mars Mission crew plays out like a soap opera.

    When people are asked important questions, they always hesitate to give the answer and have to be asked twice. A professional crew would never behave in this way. This happens on board the ship and at Mission Control.

    A lot of people high up in the chain of command ask questions that they already know the answer to, otherwise they wouldn't be so high up in the chain of command. That is why I think it plays out like soap opera. They try to create tension in the story via the dialogue and not via the events.

    What really makes it hard for me to watch, is how the crew communicated to Mission Control through cryptic messages delivered by a crew member who is literally trying to climb through the web cam and talks as if she is entering a log in her private diary, while actually addressing some 2nd level operating officer back at Mission Control instead of talking directly to her superiors in charge.

    None of this would happen on a real mission, and don't get me started on the Mission captain refusing medical attention!

    Because when you're on Mars the best way to deal with a catastrophic situation, is to hide it and pretend it is not happening. Please!
  • This new series has definitely caught the attention of millions of people, I believe. As a National Geographic Series, it's obvious that the series is scientifically accurate. And the adventure part is really intriguing. Everyone will enjoy these parts. The Mars environment, the astronauts looks really awesome. I would give it 8.0 based on that.

    Wait, there's more to it. The series has the decades-long history behind Mars Exploration. Who, where, how, why - all things are there. The documentary lovers like me will definitely appreciate this part for sure.

    Overall, I would suggest everyone to try the show. It really does showed the struggles of the astronauts/ relevant people in these explorations.

    Thanks to National Geographic.

    However, I think sometimes, they are showing too much history. Most of the times, it's okay. But, I do not really understand why you have to go into history, when a dramatic "tension" moment is building up. It really change the mode of the audience. After all, it's a adventure/sci-fi drama, right? not a history documentary?

    All in all, although I loved the history part here, my overall rating would not go beyond 7.0, for bad timing of the history parts.

    Good luck :)
  • art14128 November 2018
    I enjoyed the first season, but the second has turned into a commercial for the science denying man made global warming religion.
  • Toni250316 November 2016
    So don't go into this show expecting a Hollywood-style drama series.

    The focus here are not character development or some plot twists, it's about something humanity has dreamed forever and bringing this in a realistic and at the same time entertaining way to the screen.

    The documentation parts also really fit the fictional mission and are mostly on point and not too long. Many emotional goosebump-moments, at least for me.

    Don't watch it if you don't care about space or deep questions and are only looking for easy entertainment, for everyone else this show is a 10/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm very happy with the the new crop of sci-fi movies and series that have come out recently and in particular The Martian, written by Andy Weir.

    I was looking forward to Mars, anticipating a series that not only had a decent story but also relied on a decent foundation of science and near future science.

    While it does a reasonable job of keeping it real, I'm unhappy with the gaping flaws in the story. For example after landing far off course due to a board failure, why wasn't this tested prior to starting the landing phase? The crew declared they only had 2 days of air for 6 of them, clearly just a device to give us some drama.

    Then we had a rover that wasn't already remotely operable, and with a seemingly small range. Then we had all of them having to go in one trip for some reason creating another bit of drama with the overloading. Oh and of course it breaks down...

    To add to this we had a Commander hiding an injury, not exactly the team play of highly vetted astronauts.

    It was all unnecessary as far as I was concerned. I understand the need for some drama in a series like this, unfortunately what we got was very forced and it showed.
  • ewaf5814 November 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    Yes getting to Mars will be tough. My 1970 Peter Fairley's Space album says we'll be there by 1985 - we'll looks like we've missed that window.

    Production wise it obviously suffers from a smallish budget - the monitors in ground control just look like standard home television sets mounted together while for some reason cameras - both for TV and journalists - have bucked current trends and got bigger.

    So far - unless there's going to be flashbacks - none of the long journey to Mars was shown except the landing (interior shots only).

    Interesting drama has been added as the - rather big - spaceship has landed over 70 kilometres from its intended target - a preconstructed base.

    I will be following the series because even if the sections set in 2033 prove not to work that well then there's always the real interviews with scientists - authors and entrepreneurs from the present day giving their views. At the very least it's holding my interest because if we don't get there by the 2030's I might not be around to see the momentous landing.

    I hope we do make it.
  • I loved the premise of the show in season 1 but now it seems to be a pulpit for activist. The story is getting more political and left-wing fringed then it is enjoying.
  • Season 1 was great and is informative, educational and engaging. Solid science and a captivating watch.

    Season 2 quickly throws science out the window and spends most the season promoting climate change agenda on earth.

  • One of the best TV series I have seen. Couldn't stop watching it! Only bad part is having to wait till Spring 2018 for the season 2.
  • Look, we're on Mars, and the future is happening and it's awesome! Meanwhile, in the present, man has destroyed the Earth, OMG, we're all gonna die! Let's destroy the very technology that keeps our civilization going. Of course, this is National Geographic, which was taken over in the 1970's by the liberal ecofreaks who predicted that sea levels would rise 100 feet by the year 2000. Also, CO2 (plant food) is a dangerous gas and will kill the polar bears by the year 2010. By the way, Greenpeace (a terrorist organization) is so wonderful. I just wanted to see a hopeful vision of the future, but I got this politically correct dreck.
  • The techno-geek execution of the Mars series is exceptional, but the climate-change political agenda, preachy-ness, anti-American, anti-NASA, anti-capitalism overt message is nauseating. I'm not sure who or what audience NatGeo was targeting, clearly it was not the average American viewer. The shotgun-to-the-face approach that capitalism and America is evil is more than unsettling. Am I to understand from the plot, that NASA doesn't exist in the near future? And the multi-billions of $$ it would take to colonize Mars, should, and would, only be realized through tax dollars of those interested countries, without any evil capitalist investment or industry?

    When this series was put together, around the same time the US dropped out of the Paris Climate Accords (Jun 2017), it is fortuitous that now, at broadcast time (Dec 2018), the Paris Riots are occurring over the forced French climate-change taxation of the low and middle class.

    I began watching the Mars series last year with an open mind, realizing there was a left-leaning political agenda, but felt I could overlook NatGeo's position somewhat. However, tonight's episode (12/11/18) was so ridiculously over-the-top that I no longer can remain silent.

    NatGeo has evolved from what once was a science learning endeavor to an over-the-top climate-change political platform. I'm so glad our family canceled its NatGeo magazine subscription some years ago. Now the only thing left to do is to drop NatGeo from our cable line-up.
  • WOW WOW WOW, watched the first episode of "Mars" and totally loved it. It's mind blowing to even start to think that in my lifetime (I am 36), I could be witnessing something as HUGE as the first mission to the Red Planet. I mean : WOW ! I totally disagree with the previous comment. The mix of fiction and documentary works really well. Sure this is not your average Netflix series, but hey it's Nat Geo, so it had to have a strong documentary foothold. No ? It gives credibility to the whole thing. I am now going to follow carefully Space X. What they are doing is just incredibly visionary. Can't wait for episode 2. Strongly recommend.
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